Buki to ningu – combat and shinobi tools


This list is meant as an encyclopedia, not to be a practitioners shopping list. I hope it’s useful.

The list doesn’t include pictures. This is partly to lessen the chore but more because a short description of a tool is more informative than a picture. Despite “a picture being worth thousand words”, a picture doesn’t tell why the tool is called that or of a certain type.

The tools have been listed under the categories from smaller to larger, or according to some other principle that felt good for the moment, or in random. The category names are either something encountered in different sources, or defined or translated by the author.

On the names and translations “|” differentiates forms of translettering and “/” different terms.

My apologies for possible inaccuracies or oversights.

– Jukka Nummenranta, shidôshi, dôjô-chô

 – –

Zue / bô (staffs)

Bladed Weapons

Tanken (knives)

Tô-ken (swords)

Seo-dachi | seoi-dachi (swords carried on back)

– Other sharp weapons

Nagaebuki (pole weapons)

Hoko (early spear weapons)

Yari (spears)

– Arresting tools

Te-yari (hand spears)

Chôtô (“sword spears”)

Shinobi-zue (combination staff weapons)

Flexible Weapons

Kusari dogu (chain weapons) and cords

– Flexible combination weapons

Ballistic Weapons

Tôtekibuki (throwing weapons)

– Projectile Weapons

Tonki (small metal weapons)

Makibishi (foot spikes)

Igadama (Iga balls)

Explosive and Combustion Weapons

– Explosive Charges


Other Tools

Tekken (knuckle irons)

Tenouchi (small wooden or metal objects used as weapons)

– Utility knives on swords

Sen, sensu (fans)

Shinobi rokugu (six tools of shinobi)

Kakushi-buki (hidden weapons)

Proper tools

Kaiki (metal tools)

Kunai (digging tools)

Shikoro (sawing tools)

Heiki (closing tools)

Tôki (climbing tools)

Suiki (water tools)

Kaki (fire tools)

Zue / bô (staffs)

Seki-bo (stone staff): ancient stone club.

Kirikobu: Wooden club carried by imperial palace watchmen.

Ô-tsuchi (large club): Club reinforced with iron.

Mompa | monpa: Large wooden club.

– Tansaibô (short thin staff): 24 cm long and about 10 mm thick stick, some reinforced with metal ribs.

Yubibo (finger staff?): 15-30 cm long stick.

Kobô (short staff): About 29 cm long wooden stick from Shibukawa Ichi-ryû.

Gobô: About 30-50 cm long wooden stick from Shibukawa Ichi-ryû.

Hishigi (crusher): About 24 mm thick tanbô from Shindô Tenshin-ryû. Used either as a single weapon or as a pair.

Tanbô / hijigigibô (short staff / elbow cut stick): Short staff between 30 to 60 cm in length depending on ryûha. One measurement from elbow to the tip of middle finger.

Hanbô / sanyaku bô (half staff / three shaku staff): Length 90 cm / half / 90,8 cm (2’11 ¾”).

Chigiriki | chigi-riki / chigirikibô (chest cut wood / breast cut wood staff): Wooden staff that reaches from ground to user’s chest. [look also shinobi-zue]

Jô / yonshaku bô | yonshakubô / shôgungi | shôgunki (staff / four shaku staff / shôgun staff): Length about 4 shaku 5 sun (136,35 cm); 130 cm long and 21 mm thick; 127,5 cm long (4’2 3/16″) and 22 mm thick (7/8″) / 120-150 cm; according to user – over 30 cm shorter than user / up to armpit; 2/3 , slightly longer than a sword.

Gonshakubô (five shaku staff): Length about 152 cm.

Bô / rokushaku bô / chô-bô | chôbô (staff / six shaku staff / long staff?): Length 180 cm / 1,82 cm (5’11 ½”) and 2,7 cm thick (1 1/16″) / over 30 cm longer than user.

Nanashakubô (seven shaku staff): Length about 212 cm.

Hasshaku bô | hassaku-bô (eight shaku staff): Length about 242 cm.

Kyûshaku bô (nine shaku staff): Length about 273 cm.

Kukishin-ryû bô: 4 metal bands in both ends (interval width of hand) and one in the middle to increase striking power and reinforcing the ends.

– ?: Giant staff, 360 cm long.

Tanjô: Heavy club, 30-61 cm long.

Tetsu-bô | tetsubô (iron staff): Iron club or heavy iron-covered staff.

Kanabô (metal staff?): 1,5-2 m long iron club, often studded from the handle up.

Yagyûzue / jûbeizue: 4 shaku / 121 cm long walking stick. Loooks like a black-lacquered cane, but is trgon enough for a weapon and longer than an Edo Period katana. Yagyû Jûbei Mitsuyoshi developed this Yagyû Shinkage-ryû secret weapon.

Kanasaibo: 1,5-3 m long metal reinforced wood or metal staff.

Nyoi-bô | nyoibô (heavy staff): Heavy wooden staff about 2 m long. Covered with leather and metal studs or metal. Sometimes a canvas strap and tassel in end tfor distraction and o help throwing from shoulder.

Tamazue / tamabô (ball stick / ball staff): Tsutsumi Hôzan-ryû 120-127 cm long staff tipped with wooden balls.

Daisharin: About 3 m long and n. 7,5 cm thick axel and 10 cm thick 61 cm diameter wheels that was used to bring boats to dry land and back. Used as a weapon in Kukishin-ryû.

Tobiguchi?: Staff tipped with a small fire hook (tobiguchi).

Hakkaku bô | hakkakubô (eight-edge staff): Staff with octagonal shape. Possibly from Kukishin-ryû.

– ?: A staff with hexagonal shape.

Rôgabô (wolf’s tooth staff): Staff weapon tipped with a hook.

Bonden: Approximately 1,8 m long staff carried by the yamabushi, top end closed with a folded square of white paper.

Bladed Weapons

Tanken (knives)

Tôsu (sword’s child?): An early type of very short knife, approximately the size of a kozuka.

Tantô: Short almost straight single-edged knife made in similar fashion to a sword. Length between 13 to 28 cm; defined as being under a shaku (30,3 cm). Tsuba can be minimal oval shape. Could be carried in place of wakizashi.

Aikuchi tantô (kôshirae) / kusun-gobu (fitting mouth / 9 sun 5 bu ? [28,7 cm]): A knife without tsuba less than 1 shaku (30,3 cm) in length.

Hamidashi | hamadashi: Utility knife with a small tsuba.

Shinobi tantô: Disguised as a wooden stick, no tsuba.

Chokken (straight sword?): Straigh dagger.

Futokoro gatana | Futokorogatana (sleeve sword): Small tantô-styled dagger.

Kai-ken | kaiken | kwaiken (bosom sword): Dagger carried inside kimono for woman’s self-defence.

Yoroi dôshi | yoroi-dôshi | yoroidôshi | yoroi-toshi (armor piercer): Knife with thick almost straight blade to stab through openings in armor.

Metezashi: Yoroi dôshi mounted to be worn edge up on the right side of the body.

Himogatana (cord sword | braid sword): Old onepiece stiletto or term for a tantô?

Shitô | sashitô (stabbing sword | piercing sword): Old knife type or term for a tantô?

Toshi: Dagger.

Omamoritô (protection sword | charm sword): New bride’s equipment, kaiken or aikuchi, which they were expected to use rather than ever seek a divorce.

Kubigiri | kubikiri / bokuwari tantô (head cutter / wood splitter knife): Concavely sharpened knife without tip.

Kubizashi / kubizashigatana (|kankyûtô) (head piercer / head piercing sword): Small two-edged knife to mark taken heads. 12-15 cm long, at the most about 13 mm wide. End of handle pierced for a name tag.

Wari-bashi | waribashi (split chopstick). Thin knife carried thrust through hair.

Hôchô / hôchô tantô (cleaver? / -): Kitchen knife. Thin, wide blade.

Tô-ken (swords)

Dôken (copper sword): Bronze sword from Yayoi period.

— Warabite tô | warabi-te-gatana / warabite no tachi (bracken sword): Short straight sword, tip double-edged. Carried like a tachi. The name comes from the shape of the wooden handle.

Ken / suken (sword / straight double-edged sword): “Original” Japanese sword with straight blade.

Tsurugi: Sacred sword of Fudô myô. Shaped as a ken.

Hokken: Ken produced for temples.

Chokutô (straight sword): About 1 meter long straight single-edged sword from 7th to 8th centuries, straight tachi.

Tsurugi no tachi: One cutting edge is shorter than the other one. As time goes on the shape is developed to be more curved.

Kantô tachi: Straight sword with a ring-shaped pommel. Came to use after ken.

Kodachi: Short tachi. Length between 40-65 cm.

Koshigatana (hip sword): Old short sword without tsuba, carried as single weapon.

Wakizashi / shôtô (insert at the side (of the body) / short sword): Short curved sword with one-hand handle. Length under 70 cm (67 cm), blade 30-48 cm. With katana/daitô forms a daishô.

Aikuchi: A sword without a tsuba.

— Ô-danbira | ôdanbira: Sturdy curved backup sword from Nambokuchô period.

Dôchûzashi / dochu wakizashi | dôchû wakizashi (?) (traveling small sword): Self-defense sword for civilians in longer journeys.

Nageken: Short throwing sword.

Mamorigatana: 25,7 cm long ceremonial gift sword also for self-defense.

Tachi (large miekka | long miekka): Long curved sword with two-hand handle, 70-120 cm. Carried hanging from belt cutting edge downwards.

Jin-tachi | jintachi | jindachi: Large tachi.

Uchi-gatana | uchigatana / katana / daitô katana (single-edged striking sword? / single-edged sword / large single-edged sword): Long sword with two-hand handle, 70-120 cm. Carried thrusted through the belt cutting edge upwards. Came to use after unmounted warfare became the norm (even for upper classes) during the  Muromachi period. The blade itselfItse didn’t change much from tachi, being usually somewhat shorter, but new method of carrying brought a new term. During the Edo period the length of blade was defined as 2 shaku 3 sun (69,69 cm). With wakizashi/shôtô forms a daishô.

Handachi (half tachi): A sword carried like a katana but that is partially furnished in tachi style.

Toppei style uchigatana: Furniture to carry a sword with western suit. On the backside one fitting is featured with a tying cord.

Guntô (army sword): Sword with military assembly.

— Kyu guntô: Army sword furnished in western style with one or two hand handle and handguard. Used in 1883-1945 / 1890-1935 / 1895-.

— Shin guntô | shin-guntô | shinguntô (new army sword): Army sword for officers and non-commissioned officers carried in tachi style with one hanger. Used 1935-1945. Blade machine-made, new production or older heritage.

Kai guntô | kai-guntô (navy sword): Navy sword carried in tachi style with two hangers. Used 1935-1945. Blade machine-made, new production or older inherited one.

Chisa-katana | chisa-katana | chiisa katana | chiisagatana: Intermediate version between wakizashi and katana.

Ninja-tô | ninjatô / ninja-ken | ninja ken / shinobitô / shinobigatana | shinobi gatana | shinobi-katana / shinobiken | shinobi ken: Ninja sword with two-hand handle, blade length 42,4-54,5 cm (1 shaku 4-8 sun). Shorter than usual swords, so it can be used in confined spaces. Darkish blade and 3,6 – 4 m long sageo, that can be used as shinobinawa. Kojiri can be detached to use the saya as a shindake. Saya is longer than the blade, so the end of it can be used to carry metsubushi.

Shikoro katana | shikoro-gatana (destruction sword | sawing sword): Sword with a serrated blade.

Shinobi kogatana (ninja‘s short sword): Short ninja dagger, length about 40 cm with handle. Back of the blade serrated and end of handle has a ring to connect a cord.

Seppuku-tô (suicide sword): Sword sword that is used to perform a seppuku.

Shikomigatana / Tsuka gakure no ichi tô (?) (deceptive sword / knife hidden in handle): A weapon looking like a sword, handle of which conceals a spearhead.

Fukuro shinai | fukuroshinai: Practice sword made from leather-covered bamboo or wood.

Chikutô | shinai (bamboo sword): Practice sword made from bamboo split four-ways.

Bokken / bokutô (wooden straight sword / wooden curved sword): Practice sword made of wood.

Shiai bokutô (wooden match sword)

Tachibô: Large bokken.

Suburi-tô | suburitô: Heavy wooden sword.

Tsunagi: Wooden sword made for keeping in kôshirae in order to display it. Not actually a weapon.

Seo-dachi | seoi-dachi (swords carried on back)

No dachi | no-dachi | nodachi (field sword): Long sword / was sword. Lenght about 1,8 m, blade over 1,27 m.

Ô-dachi | ôdachi | ô-tachi | ôtachi (large tachi): Giant sword with longer than two-hand handle. Blade length over 76 cm…120-180 cm (114 cm)…2,2 m. Total length even 2-3,7 m.

Wakodachi | wakôdachi(?) (pirate sword): Total length 1,8 m.

Chôken (long sword?)

– Other sharp weapons

Raifu: Stone axe.

Fuetsu: Axe made of stone and iron.

Masakari (axe | battle axe): Battle axe.

Ono / ô-ono: Large battle axe. Shinden Fudô-ryû.

Kama (sickle): A sickle.

Shinobigama (ninja sickle): Small sickle.

Naigama / shinogi zukuri kama / funayosegama (? / sickle with longitudinal ridgeline / sickle for pulling boat): Battlefield sickle with 210-240 cm shaft.


Sôkama (double sickle): A sickle with two blades.

Jingama / umayagama (battle camp sickle / stable sickle): Large sickle – or scythe – to clear camping ground.

Ono kama: Axe sickle.

Shoku / tobiguchi / tobi kuchi jitte / tobijitte / tekagijitte / kenkatobi (kite’s beak / ? / ? / ? / ? / fight kite): Fire axe used by Edo firemen. Named after blade resembling a kite’s beak.

Nagaebuki (pole weapons)

Hoko (early spear weapons)

Hoko: Term for early types of spear, usually blade fitted with a tube-like socket.

Akahata-no-hoko: Ancient type of spear.

Amahoko: Ancient heavenly spear.

Ama-no-numahoko (heavenly spear of subjugation): Ancient type of spear.

Ame-no-mihoko: Ancient type of spear.

Buten-no-hoko | Susutsuke-no-hoko (a spear with a bell): Ancient ceremonial spear.

Dô-hoko | Dôhoko: Ancient 30 cm to 1 m long bronze spearhead connected with socket to a 2,0-2,5 m shaft.

Eda-hoko: An early halberd.

Gaku-boko / Bugaku-no-hoko: Wooden and lacquered spears carried in some Bugaku dances.

Hana-hoko | hanahoko: Ancient type of spear.

Hi-boko (sun-spear): Yamato period term for a spear.

Hihiragi-no-yachihoko: Ancient ‘magical’ spear of authority.

Hi-hoko | hihoko (fire-spear): Ancient type of spear.

Hira-hoko | hirahoko: Ancient term for a broad flat spear.

Hyomon-hoko | hyomonhoko: Ancient type of spear.

Ikashi-hoko | ikashihoko | igashihoko: Kongo-type 2×3 -pointed blade at the end of a shaft.

Itsushi-hoko | itsushihoko: Ancient type of spear.

Jûmonji-hoko: Eight century cross spear.

Kama-hoko | kamahoko: Ancient term possibly for a spear with a single-branched blade.

Kaminari-sama-no-yari: A stone ‘hoko’ used by the Ainu in Hokkaidô.

Kata-kama-hoko: Eight century one-sided cross spear.

Kihoko: Ancient type of spear.

Kunimuki-no-hirohoko (spear for subduing the nation): A ceremonial spear or emblem of office around the second or third century.

Kuwashi-hoko: Ancient type of spear.

Mitsumata-no-hoko: An ancient name for a hoko, possibly a trident blade.

Naga-hoko | nagahoko: Ancient type of spear, possibly a long blade.

Namazuo-no-hoko: Ancient type of a hoko, possibly a ‘catfish’ shaped blade.

Nu-boko | nuboko / tama-boko: The ‘Jewel Spear of Heaven’ used by the husband and wife creation deities, Izanagi and Izanami.

Tehoko: Ancient type of spear.

Tsukushi-boko: Ancient bronze spear head from Tsushima.

Do-ka | doka / ka / ge: Ancient bronze halberd of Chinese type.

Yari (spears)

Yari | sô (spear): A generic term for a Japanese spear but usually meaning a su-yari. 1 to 6 m long nakae of bamboo, wood or iron; thins towards the blade giving better balance. Other end has an iron ishizuki, either tipped or rounded. Iron blade 8 to 50 cm long. The shape of the blade usually triangular or diamond shape. Nakago must be twice the length of the blade giving strength for the nakae. The blade binding (lacquered string) must be at least twice the lenght of the blade, there’s usually also three metal rings (usually bronze) within the length of the nakago.

Su yari | Su-yari / choku-sô | choku yari / sugu yari | sugu-yari / kachi-yari (straight|bare spear / straight spear / ? / ?): Straight-bladed spear. Blade has one to four edges.

Nagamiyari: Long bladed spear, apparently over 25 cm long.

Tanpoyari: Short bladed spear, apparently 10-25 cm long.

Taishin yari / taishin-sô / omi-yari / omi no yari|omi-no-yari: Wide bodied spear, spear with long reinforcements, long su-yari.

Kikuchi yari | kikuchi-yari: Single-edged blade.

Sankaku yari (triangle spear): Three-edged blade.

Hira-sankaku / hira-sankaku-yari / hira-sankaku-no-yari / hira-sankaku-su-yari: Three-edged blade, one of which is wider than the others.

Sei-sankaku-yari: Three-edged blade, with edges of same dimentions.

Ryô shinogi yari | ryô-shinogi-yari / ryô-shinogi-no-yari / ryô-shinogi su-yari | ryô-shinogi-su-yari: FOur-edged blade.

Sasaho-yari: Su-yari with wide leaf-like blade.

Ya jiri nari yari: Spear with wide blade.

I-chô-yari | ichio-yari / ginnanbo-yari: Blunt-tipped spear with three or four sided blade.

Kyû-shaku-e-no-yari (spear with nine shaku shaft?): Spear with 2,74 m shaft and a hadome.

Kama yari | kama-yari | kamayari / o-kama-yari (sickle spear / large sickle spear?): Spear with a sickle-shaped side or main blade.

Katakama / kata-kama-yari | katakama yari | katakamayari / kama yari | kama-yari | kamayari / hoko / rikken / tencho (one-sided sickle spear / sickle spear / ? / ? / ?): One-sided cross spear or one with side blades of different length.

Ryôkama-yari | ryôkamayari / ryôkama / moro-kama-yari / kosha-yari / sanken / tori / jûmonjiyari | magari-yari (spear with sickles on both sides / double sickle / ? / ? / ? / cross spear): Spear with two side blades forming a cross.

Kagi-yari (hook spear): Hook-shaped blade.

Fukuro yari | fukuro-yari | fukuro-no-yari / fukuro-ho-yari: Spearhead, that is connected to the shaft with a tube-like socket instead of a nakago.

Kuda yari | kuda-yari (tube spear): Forward hand provided with a sliding handgrip tube.

Gekken: A spear with a half-moon shaped forked head.

Kutoji-no-yari: A spear with a forked blade.

Ono-no-yari: Straight-bladed spear with awe-shaped side blade.

Sasumata / sasumata-yari: Spear with two or three forked head.

Futamata yari | futamata-yari | futomata-yari: Spear with a slightly curved forked blade.

Inoshishi-no-yari / zokugata-no-yari / bogata-no yari (wild boar spear / ? / ?): Spear with a wide leaf-shaped blade for wild boar or bear hunting.

Yumi-no-yari: A socketed yari blade designed to fit the head of a bow in such a way as to also seat the bow-string.

Kasezue (deer staff?): V-shaped cutting edge.

Hashigo yari | hashigoyari (ladder spear): Kamayari with detachable steps.

Hokaya: Three feet (0,91 m) long shôgungi, with both ends sharpened to speartips.

Nagayari / nagae-yari: Long spear; shaft over 3 m.

Tetsu yari | tetsuyari (iron spear): Shaft either reinforced with iron or made of it.

Sambonyari: Three spears of different length.

Fukumi-yari: Telescope spear.

Take-hoko / take-yari (bamboo spear): Length of bamboo, end of which is cut sharp and hardened over a fire.

Kumade (bear’s claw): Four or five metal hooks extending from metal ring connected to a shaft. Used as a weapon, for climbing and as a police weapon.

Mochi-yari / yari-mochi / ke-yari: Spear carried behind a person as a status symbol.

O-tachi-yari | otachiyari: Extremely long shafted spear outside a structure’s entrance as a symbol of authority.

Ban-yari: Uniformly mounted spears carried by elite infantry units.

Keiko-yari / Tampo yari (practice spear / softened spear?): Practice spear with a softened tip.

– Pidättämisaseet

Mitsu-dôgu | mitsudôgu (three tools)

Sasu-mata | Sasumata | Sasumata yari: 1) Straight spear with 1-2 hooks on side of the blade, favorite of firemen to pull down burning roofs. 2) Two-headed blunt staff for grabbing neck. 3) Spiky forked spear

Tsuku-bô | tsukubô (pushing staff): Staff with spiky T-shaped tip

Sode-garami | Sodegarami / Sode guruma / Yagara mogara (sleeve grabber / ? / ?): Long staff with spikes and hooks in the end for grabbing clothes etc. Earlier used in sea battles, since the favorite of Edo police and often kept in guard houses

Mojiri: Sleeve grabber. Pole weapon for police

Hineri: A weapon to twist into and entangle the clothing

Neji: A restraining weapon that twists or screws the felon’s clothing.

Te-yari (hand spears)

Uchi ne | uchi-ne | uchine / futoya / nageya / tetsukiya (? / thick arrow / throwing arrow / hand thrust arrow): Throwing spear with 36 to 75 long shaft. Mainly styled as a full-sized one, but of instead of ishizuki the other end has several feathers or long cord to balance the throw.

Te yari | te-yari | teyari (hand spear): 40 to 50 cm long shaft.

Nage-yari (throwing spear): A su-yari blade mounted in a short tapering shaft that is narrowest at the butt end. Shaft and blade about 60 cm in length.


— Nagari: A light spear or javelin.

Te-boko | Teboko (hand spear): Ancient hand spear made of cast bronze or iron.

Makura yari | makura-yari | makurayari (pillow spear): A light spear with a short shaft for fighting indoors. It was placed by the pillow in the bedroom.”

Chôtô (“sword spears”)

— Naginata (mowing edge | long blade | glaive | halberd): Curved 20-60 cm or even 76 cm long single-edge blade in the end of a long (150-280 cm) shaft. Shaft is made with oval cross-section from lacquered wood, iron or copper. Earlier ones have a longer blade with deep sori, later shorter and more straight. Back side of the blade thinner and the blade has also grooves. All don’t have san-dan-maki, but the shaft is strenghtened somehow by collars or rings. Possibly a tsuba or a crosspiece. Other end of the shaft has an ishizuki.

Tsukushi-naginata / fukuro-naginata / tsukushi-fukuro-naginata / naginata-no-saki: Early socketed blade.

Nagamaki / nagamaki-naoshi (long wrapping / ?): Sword blade fitted with a shaft. Shaft of similar length as the blade or shorter. Shaft often wrapped like a sword handle.

Shobuzukuri naginata: Halberd with about 1,2-1,42 m long blade and 2,13 m or longer shaft.

Shobuzukuri-nagamaki: An extremely long-bladed halberd.

— Ô-naginata: Term for a naginata or nagamaki with over 76 cm long blade.

— Zanbatô | zambatô (horse killing sword): Large blade at the end of a shaft.

Bisentô: Large halberd with Chinese origins. Heavy, even 1 m long blade.

— Fukuro-nagamaki: Socketed blade.

— Keiko-naginata (practice naginata): A practice halberd with blade of a two-slatted bamboo or padded wood.

Shinobi-zue (combination staff weapons): Generally 90-210 cm long bamboo or wooden staffs, inside of which are hidden weapons.

Shinobi-zue | shinobizue / shikomi zue | shikomi-zue | shikomizue | shikomi jô / shikomi bô (ninja stick / filled|deceptive|prepared stick / – staff): Looks similar as staffs carried by monks, yamabushi or komusô, but contains sword blade, spear, weighted chain, hooks etc.

Jôtô / shikomi gatana (sword cane / prepared blade): Sword blade disguised as a cane.

Urushizaya jôtô: Lacquered wooden cane sword.

Kuretakezaya jôtô: Bamboo cane sword.

— Shikomizue / shinobi yari | shinobiyari / monomi yari: Spearhead hidden by an end cap.

— Makugushi yari (screen pole spear): Spear hidden inside headquarters camp screen pole.

— ?: End caps hide chains with weights or hooks.

— Shikomi-fundô: Weight inside a staff.

— Donryû-bô | donryûbô / Kuki gyôja bô (drinking dragon staff / ?): Kûkishin-ryû staff weapon. One end has 4 blade-like spikes and sides strengthened with studded iron rings. End open containing 1,2 m weighted chain. The other end has 9 iron bands with 9 studs/spikes/horns and protruding metal tip.

— Shishaku takezue / takezue: Four shaku (1,2 m) long hollow bamboo cane, through which goes a chain tipped with weight and hook. Ends closed for carrying with canvas or leather.

— Yonshaku shikomi chikujo: Four shaku (1,2 m) long cane containing hidden weapons (kakushi buki). Takamatsu’s addition to shinobi rokugu.

— Takeshikomi / shikomidake: Tauramuso-ryû. Bamboo stick with cord attached.

— Mezashi: Togakure-ryû. A thin spear-like arrow flies out of a bamboo tube called shikomi-zue or shinobi-zue. Inside the bamboo there is a lead rod.

— Kusaribô / chigirigi (|chigiriki) / furi-zue | furizue / kusari furizue / furijô / kusari furijô / furibô (chain staff / chest cut wood / swinging staff / ? / swinging stick / ? / swinging staff): Staff fitted with 1-3 m long chain tipped with lead or cast iron weight.

— Shikomi chigirigi / shikomi kusarijô / shikomi furizue / karakuri kusarifuribô / shikomi furibô: Chain inside a staff.

— Shikomi kusaribô: In addition to the chain a folding sickle blade.

— Shaku-jô | shakujô / shakujô-yari | shakujôyari / shakubô / suzu-zue | suzuzue: Buddhist monk’s or pilgrim’s walking staff. Spear tip has a ring from which hangs more rings.

— Shikomi shakujô / shikomi kongôjô: Walking staff hides a spear or sword blade.

— Shakujô-yari: Walking staff hides a spear blade.

— Shugenja bô (ascetic’s staff): Monk’s walking staff. Tip made of metal with large ring connecting 9 smaller ones ans a metal spike.

— Gyôja-zue (ascetic’s staff): Ascetic’s walking staff. Very thin, sharp 183 cm long staff. Tip has a spike and rings.

— Kongôjô / Kongôzue / Kongô: Long pilgrim’s staff used by yamabushi. It was made of white hardwood (iron ones are also said to have existed) with an octagonal or square cross section. It was usually thicker than most staffs used in bôjutsu.

— ?: Oar of which paddling surface removed reveals a sword blade.

Flexible Weapons

Kusari dogu (chain weapons) and cords

Konpi (perseverance flying / spirit flying / metal flying): Chain with ends having a weight and a loop.

Kusariryûta (chain and dragon’s claw): Chain, with one end having a weight and another a hook resembling dragon’s claw.

Kompei | konpei: Hidden chain weapon. Short hollow rod with wing-like extensions, through which runs a chain tipped with fundô and kakushi.

Chidorigane / Nanban chidorigane (plover iron / ?): Nanban Ippon-ryû. Weight connected to a chain and metal pipe.

Mijin (crusher): A ring fitted with three 20 cm chains tipped with weights. From Edo period.

Manrikigusari | manrikikusari | manriki kusari | manriki-kusari | manriki-gusari / manriki / manrikusari / manrikisa / kusarifundô | kusari fundô | kusari-fundô | fundô-kusari / ryôfundôgusari / sode-kusari | sodegusari / futokorogusari / inyôgusari / kusari-jutte | kusarijutte / tamagusari / tegusari / gekigan | gakigan / kanamari (ten thousand force chain / ten thousand force / ? / ? / weighted chain / two-weighted chain / sleeve chain / sleeve chain / jinjang chain / ten hand chain / ball chain / hand chain / ? / ?): 30-120 cm long chain (kusari) tipped with weights (fundô) that fit into palms.

Fundônawa / hayatejô / hittateyôki (weighted cord / swift handcuff / ?): Cord or rope tipped with weights.

Kusariuchibô: Chain with weight in one end and a 20-30 cm truncheon (uchibô/tetsubô) in the other one.

Kusarijutte / kusarijitte (ten hand chain / ?): Jutte fitted with weighted chain.

— Kusarifundô shikomi no jutte (jutte with prepared chain): Chain hidden inside top end of jutte.

Mukûjutte / hananeji: Wooden baton (hananejibô) with weighted chain.

Tessa (iron chain): Shinden Fudô-ryû (Shinden Jigen-ryû).

Shinobinawa: Survival cord.

Torihimo (bird cord): Short cord to use in hojôjutsu.

Hayanawa: Cord fitted with a hook, metal ring or spike to make tying up easier.

– Flexible combination weapons

— Nage gama | nage-gama | nagegama (throwing sickle): Polearm with sickle blade at right angles at one end with long weighted chain in the other one.

— Kusari gama | kusari-gama | kusarigama (chain sickle): Straight-handled sickle with one or two weighted chains attached to one or both ends.

— Ô-gama | ôgama / ôkusarigama (large sickle / large chain sickle): Giant kusarigama. 360 cm long chain and nine-sided weight. Tip of the shaft at the top of sickle blade may have a spearhead.

— ?: Two kama connected with a chain.

Kakushi kusarigama / kogama (hidden chain sickle / small sickle): Small kusarigama. Handle might consist of tang only without woden furniture.

— Kaen kusarigama (/ kogama) (flame chain sickle / ?): About 270 cm (9 shaku) kusari, small kama and weight. Egg shell containing metsubushi fitted near the weight or into its place.

— Mamukigama: Sickle, cord, poisonous snake and weight.

— Bakuhatsugama: Sickle, chain, egg shell and weight. Egg shell contains metsubushi or explosives.

— Chûton kusarigama: Instead of chain snakes or poisonous moths.

— Hensô kusarigama: Kama folds into a stick and is carried like a taiko drumstick.

Kyoketsu shôge | kyogetsu shôge | kyogetsushôge | kyogetsu-shôge | kyogetsu shogei / Shinobibundo (run freely over mountains and valleys | long distance traveling hair / ?): Knife-hook -combination, cord and iron ring. The angle of the hook is 30-90º, sharp only near its tip (example of measurements: 45 cm + 12 cm hook 16 cm from end of handle). Cord 5,45 m (1 8 shaku; 3-4,3 m / 5-10 m) women or horse hair (or chain), longer than polearms. Ring diameter 10 cm.

Ballistic Weapons

Tôtekibuki (Throwing Weapons)

— Tsubute (/tôtekibuki): Stone shaped for throwing. Throwing club.

— Tetsutsubute (iron stone): Between tsubute and senban shuriken. Octagonal, round or square shaped about noin 4,5 cm wide and 1 cm thick piece of iron with slightly sharpened edge.

— Kurumi (walnut): Used as a throwing as is or filled with metsubushi or cast lead.

Teppan: Kotô-ryû and Kukishin-ryû. Square metal plate about 7,5-10 cm wide. Edges not sharpened.

— Shuriken / tôken / daken / gekiken / byô / onken / anken / sanbukaken / shiriken / fusatsuken (inside hand blade / throwing blade / hitting blade / striking blade / ? / hidden blade / dark blade / three no passing swords / butt sword / non killing sword): Käteen mahtuva heittoase.

— Bôshuriken / Shuriken (inside hand staff blade / inside hand blade): Throwing spike.

—- Harigata shuriken (needle-shaped shuriken): A thin, straight shuriken resembling a large needle.

—– Fusatsuken (no-need-to-kill knife): A special needle-like shuriken, which was small enough to conceal in the palm. Invented by Kadono Hirohide.

—– Hibashigata shuriken (fire thongs shuriken): Shirai-ryû.

—– Uchibari: Kukishin-ryû‘s harigata shuriken.

—- Yarihogata shuriken | yarinohogata shuriken / ryûseigata shuriken (spearhead-shaped shuriken / comet-shaped shuriken): At least Kôshû-ryû, Moen-ryû and Negishi-ryû. Sturdy with a large, solid point, and relatively heavy. The shuriken is tapered from the point towards the blunt end. Some had a hole at the end of the shuriken so a tassel could be tied to it.

—– Jûji bôshuriken (cross-shaped stick shuriken): Yagyû-ryû and Shinkage-ryû. A very heavy point with a round cross section. From the widest part of the point to the blunt end a short tapered section, before it gradually widened again towards the end. Cross section of the end resembles the fletchings on an arrow.

—– Suteyari / sodeyari (abandonable spear | throw-away spear / sleeve spear): Yamamoto-ryû. Spearhead with a triangular cross section.

—- Hokogata shuriken (spear-shaped shuriken): The cross section of the handle is round, but the sharp end of the shuriken has a triangular cross section. Relatively long.

—- Kugigata shuriken (nail-shaped shuriken): Straight shuriken shaped like a large nail or spike. Heavier and sturdier than harigata shuriken. Typically a square cross section.

—- Tantôgata shuriken (dagger-shaped shuriken): Forged in the shape of a tantô.

—– Yoroidôshi tantôgata shuriken (armor-piercing dagger-shaped shuriken): Kôga-ryû. Resembles a long, sharp triangle.

—- Dokkogata shuriken / dokko shuriken: Double-headed shuriken. Thinner than other types of dokko.

—– Ryôbarigata shuriken: Double-headed hokogata shuriken.

—– Ryôyarihogata shuriken (double-spearheaded shuriken): Double-headed yarihogata shuriken.

— Shaken | kuruma ken / shashuriken / hira shuriken (wheel blade / inside hand wheel blade / flat inside hand blade): Flat “throwing star” with at least three tips.

—- Jûjigata shuriken / jûji shuriken / shihô shuriken / shihôgata shuriken (cross-shaped shuriken / cross shuriken / four directions shuriken / ?): Four-tipped shuriken.

—– Jûyonken: Shinkage-ryû.

—– Jûji ken: Togakure-ryû.

—- Gohôgata shuriken / gohô shuriken: Five-tipped shuriken.

—– Hoshijô shuriken: Shuriken in the shape of five-tipped star.

—- Roppôgata shuriken / roppô shuriken / kagome: Six-tipped shuriken.

—- Happôgata shuriken / happô shuriken: Eight-tipped shuriken.

—– Happô ken: Togakure-ryû.

—– Hôringata happô shuriken / hôrin: Eight-tipped shuriken resembling Buddhist implement representing the sun. Kobori-ryû.

—- Kuji (nine syllable): Nine-tipped shuriken.

—- Juppôgata shuriken / juppô shuriken: Ten-tipped shuriken. Kôga-ryû and Iga-ryû.

—- Manjigata shuriken / manji shuriken / manjiken: Swastika-shaped shuriken.

—- Senban shuriken / teppan shuriken / itomakigata shuriken / itomakiken / kuginukiken / shaken: Square shuriken, with sides slightly concave. Square hole in the middle. Koden-ryû and Sho shô-ryû.

—– Senban shuriken / teppan shuriken: Kukishin-ryû.

—– Senban shuriken / hishi-gane shuriken: Togakure-ryû.

—– Kugi nuki (nail remover): Iron plate with square hole in the middle for removing nails. Could be used as a senban.

—- Sankô shuriken / sanpô shuriken (three rays of light shuriken / three directions shuriken): Large shuriken, shape of which recalls three rays of light radiating from the sun. Shinkage-ryû, Yagyû Shinkage-ryû and Ikeda-ryû.

—– Mitsubishi shuriken (three diamonds shuriken): Smaller version from unknown ryûha.

—- Shiken shuriken / shiken (four-bladed shuriken / four blades): Shinkage-ryû juyônken tips connected to each other forming slightly concave square blade. Thick and heavy. Taisha-ryû.

—- Enbangata shuriken / hakudôkyô shuriken (disc-shaped shuriken / nickel mirror shuriken): Round-shaped shuriken. Taisha-ryû.

—- Kamagata shuriken (sickle-shaped shuriken): About 10 cm long shuriken that looks like the blade of a small sickle without a hilt. Shinkage-ryû.

—- Mikazukigata shuriken (crescent moon-shaped shuriken): Shuriken in the shape of crescent moon.

—- Gandomeken (eye-stopping knife): Two-headed asymmetrical shuriken. Saihôin Buan-ryû.

—- Matsubagata shuriken / hiengata / enbigata shuriken (pine needle-shaped shuriken / flying swallow shape / swallow-tail shuriken): V shaped shuriken. Yoshio-ryû and Iga-ryû.

—- Ryôhashi tsurugigata shuriken (a shuriken with two tsurugi-shaped ends): Double-ended bit under 20 cm long shuriken. Tsugawa-ryû.

—- Tetsumari (iron ball): Two Kobori-ryû happôgata shuriken put together to resemble a ball.

—- Endo-shuriken: Shuriken with poisonous smoke or an explosive charge.

—- Endokuken: Shaken with fuze that produces poisonous smoke.

Ita-shuriken / itaken / byôshuriken (plank shuriken / plank blade / flat shuriken): Long and wide shuriken, between shaken and bôshuriken.

Metsubushi | gantsubushi (eye ruining): Blinding powder delivered to the eyes by various means.

Fukumibari | fukumi-bari / ganshin: Needles held inside the mouth to be spit towards an opponent.

– Projectile Weapons

Yumi ya | yumi-ya | yumi to ya (bow and arrow): Laminate-construction long bow, handle of which is 1/3 from bottom end. Reed-shafted arrows have different points – piercing, slicing, cutting, exploding, whistling, blunt…

Daikyû (long bow): Battlefield bow. Length 2,2-2,4 m; at earlier times even 2,7 m.

Hankyû (half bow): Short ninja bow. Some were foldable.

Nori-yumi / age-yumi (thin bow / ?): A bow shorter than normal, possibly for amusement purposes.

Bankyû: Short bow.

Yokyu: Amusement bow, as accurate as a hankyû.

Suzume-yumi: Hunting bow.

Azusa-yumi | azusayumi: Short bow used by exorcists in their chants.

O yumi | o-yumi: Large crossbow for fortifications.

Teppo-yumi: Shoulder-fired crossbow.

Dokyu: Self-loading crossbow.

Fukedake | fukidake & fukiya | fuki-ya (blowgun and blowing arrows): Blowgun made from different materials and possibly poisoned darts.

Soku tô ki | Sokutôki: Breath attack device. Lacquered to look like incense box containing powder or liquid metsubushi. After removing protective cap can be blown through to deploy metsubushi from other side.

Dokumizudeppô (poison water gun): Bamboo tube, on which poisonous water is inserted and launched towards opponent.

Tonki (small metal weapons)

Makibishi (sprinkled water chestnut|diamond)

Tennenbishi: Natural foot spike.

Hi shi | hishi / hishi-bishi (water chestnut | diamond / ?): Dried wated chestnut. Sharp, hard points injure when stepped on or distract when thrown.

Kibishi (|kobishi): Pyramid-shaped foot spike manufactured from wood.

Takebishi: Bamboo foot spike. Two-headed, pushed to ground.

Tetsubishi | tetsubushi: Iron, usually four-tipped foot spike.

Igadama (Iga balls)

Igadama | ingadama | idagama: Spiked ball for use as a foot spike or a throwing weapon.

Doku bari | dokubari: Poison-spiked ball.

Tetsumari (iron ball): look shuriken.

Explosive and Combustion Weapons

Belong to kaki.

– Explosive Charges

Nagedeppô | nageteppô | nage teppô | nage teppe: Hand grenade. According to mixture either explosive or smoking effect. Also dokuenjutsu version with poisonous smoke.

Totetsu ho: Grenade.

Umebi | uzumebi | uzume-bi: Land mine, that blows up when stepped on.

Jirai: Land mine.

Torinoku | torinoko: Flashbang with time fuze, usually egg-shaped.

Bakuchi ire: Bamboo container filled with gunpowder and fitted with a time fuze.

Bakuhatsuya: Rocket.

Kayaki ire: A container filled with gunpowder for transportation or use as an explosive device.

Higurumaken (rotating fireblade): Shuriken fitted with time fuze or gunpowder for frightening purposes.

Bakurai-bishi: Makibishi that explodes when stepped upon.


Tetsuho: Rudimentary iron tube cannon developed between 1200-1550. Ignited with a fuze pushed through a hole in after section.

Ô-zutsu | ôzutsu: Mortar or cannon manufactured from hollowed wood or bamboo and laminated with paper. Shoots either metal pieces or explosives.

Hozutsu: Wooden cannon.

Sodezutsu | sode tsutsu / sode-hô / sodeteppô | sodedeppô | sode-deppô (sleeve cannon / sleeve firearm / iron sleeve firearm): Hand held wooden cannon about sleeve length. Bamboo reinforced with paper.

Kakae ôzutsu | kakae ôzu / kakae-taihô: Hand carried large cannon. Manufactured by covering wooden tube by 9 pieces of durable paper with varnish. Used more for frightening than causing injuries. Range about 30 m.

Tanju: Inaccurate noisy hand carried cannon firing flash bombs.

Tanegashima / tanegashima teppô | tanegashima-teppô (- / Tanegashima firearm): Matchlock firearm originating from Tanegashima island.

Hinawa-jû / teppô: Flintlock or matchlock firearm?

Shô teppô?: Matchlock pistol.

Futokoro teppo | futokoro-teppo | futoroteppô | teppo: 1) Bronze pistol; 2) Small Portuguese derringer, manufactured from wood with barrel reinforced with iron or tightly wrapped copper wire.

Jitte-teppô: Handgun capable to be carried ready to fire.

Negoro-deppô: Firearm suitable for mass-producing developed by Iga-ninja Kazunaga.

Kozutsu: Wooden gun shooting metal balls.

Wakizashi teppô (companion sword firearm): Looks like a wakizashi, but instead of a blade contains a single-shot flintlock gun.

Shikomi tantô (disrupting knife): A pistol that could fire a single shot but was made to look like a dagger.

Hyakuraiju | hyakurai-ju: Several firearms in a circle inside large barrel or tree trunk to be fired in series.

Koshizashi: Firearm kept at the hip.

Shin-ten-rai: Storm shaking the sky. Old Japanese firearm.


— Ban-zatusu

— Chû-zutsu

— Tan-zutsu: Pistol?

Bajou-zutsu: Cavalry carbine?

Other Tools

Ô tsuchi | ô-tsuchi | ôtsuchi (large hammer): Large battle hammer. Shinden Fudô-ryû.

Hachiwari | hachiwara / kabuto wari | kabuto-wari | kabutowari (skull|helmet crusher|splitter / helmet crusher|splitter): Curved pointed rod of tempered steel with hook near the handle. Length between 18-48,5 cm. “Blade” length usually 30-38 cm. Apparently used paired with sword in left hand to block or pierce armor. During the Edo period it was used as a self-defence weapon fitted like a sword.

— Jitte / jutte/ juttei | jittei | jutei / juttei | jicchô | jucchô / jittô | juttô / jutsute | jutte / jutta / honeono | kotsukin / tebô / tetsu-ken | tekkan / tetsu-mu | tetsu-hoko | tetsu-boko / koppu / kesan / tettei / tetsu-shaku / tesshaku / jittetsu / sakate / tenki: Policeman’s badge, used also as a defence tool . 25-90 cm iron, steel or brass rod (or wood) with handle  Rod cross section round or with four, six or eight corners. Bottom of the “blade” may have a hook alongside the “blade”.

Josun kakugata jitte: Used by provincial officer of low ranks.

Tsubatsuki jitte: Jitte with a hilt only (without a hook).

Tsubatsuki kagitsuki jitte: Jitte with a hilt and a hook.

Tsuba kagi jitte: The hook and hilt are made of one single metal.

Naeshi jitte: A short iron bar.

Jissen-yo naga jitte: Long hexagonal or octagonal jitte for combat, length up to 63 cm.

Hakagi jitte: Jitte with a sharp edged hook.

Teppô jitte: Jitte with a firing device for signaling or blinding temporarily.

Uchiharai jitte: Often used from horseback to beat away enemies, up to 1 m and can be double-hooked.

Tômaru jutte: Long jitte for use controlling the accused who is being carried in a basket to court of justice.

pitkä kärjellinen jutte, jota käytetään korissa oikeudenkäyntiin kannettavan syytetyn kurissapitämiseen.

Shikomi jutte: Tip hides a knife blade.

Kärjen sisällä veitsenterä

Kusarifundô shikomi no jutte / Bundogusari shikomi jitte: Shaft hides a weighted chain.

Kärjen sisällä painotettu ketju.

—- Nanban Ippon ryû hananeji: A similar weapon made partly of hardwood was used by exponents of the Nanban Ippon ryû.

— Water Gun Jitte

— Chinese Design Jitte

— Korean Type Jitte

— Long Pipe Jitte

Jitte with an ink bottle

Jitte shaped like a Buddhist Rod

Yariho kumiawase jitte (spear poin combination jitte): One model two rods connected from the middle and open to cross shape, one of the rods has knife edge and tassel. Used as a weapon paired with sword.

Marohoshi jitte: Folding jitte.

Marohoshi / yarijitte: Spear point with jitte-style side blades on the bottom of the blade.


— Karakurijitte: Spear point with folding side blade, connected with a stud.

Jitte: Enmei-ryû, Tôri-ryû.

Tettô (iron sword): Straight or curved tempered unsharpened iron rod, cross section round or with four, six or eight corners. Curved one has usually a handle, tsuba and saya with cord and was carried thrusted to belt like a tantô or wakizashi. Straight simple version is also called naeshi. Straight with square cross section is also called tenarashi.

Naeshi / nayashi / zui / nui (paralyzer / ? / ? / ?): Seigô-ryû. Generally a straight baton. Basic model tantetsu tanbô (short stick of tempered iron). Metal ones 20-35 cm long with 1-2 cm diameter. Cross section round or with four, six or eight corners. Point either narrower or wider. Possible studs on the surface. Not much embellishments. Palm wide nigiri-e -handle either bare metal or covered with leather string, rattan, silk string or ray skin. End of the handle usually slightly thicker. The end of the handle has a himotsukeana with ring shaped round or heart (sharp point towards rear for striking). A cord with tassels connected from middle to the ring. Used in pair with jitte against a sword.

Yumiorezue (broken bow staff): A whip-like weapon between 45,5 cm and 90 cm long. It was usually cut back from a bow that had broken and the remaining piece lacquered.

Chashitsutô (tea-room-sword): A kind of bokutô, similar in length to a tantô. Before entering the tearoom, a samurai would remove the daishô from his obi and instead insert a chashitsutô. Many were lavishly carved and decorated, and designed so that the thinner, sharper part could cut through the arteries of an opponent’s wrist or throat. Used also by commoners as a self-defense weapon.

Tenarashi / tenarashi tessen / tenarashigata tessen / tenarashigata bokusen / bokusen (? / ? / ? / ? / wooden fan): Tessen -like object that were solid and could not be opened out. It was made in various metals or of hardwood. Just like the menbarigata tessen, tenarashi came in different types, but three principal ones can be distinguished according to their shape. The gunsengata tenarashi (battlefield fan-shaped tenarashi), the maiôgigata tenarashi (dance fan-shaped tenarashi), and the sensugata tenarashi (folding fan-shaped tenarashi).

Kanamuchi / aribô / kirikobô / gojô (iron whip / ? / ? / ?): 85-120 cm long iron weapon resembling a riding whip, used against sword. Dates back to at least the Muromachi period. In the Edo period used by guards and as a self-defence weapon.

Musashi kaiken / Miyamoto Musashi kaiken / Nagao-ryû kaiken (-”sleeve blade”): Crescent-shaped edged weapon resembling masakari blade, with handle on the straight side.

Nanbankagi (foreign hook): Edo period slingshot-looking 17 cm long iron weapon with wide U-shaped 8 c mlong fork ja rounded handle. Widening at the bottom of the handle has a hole to which is connected 52 cm cord.

Shakyô | matabasami / yajirigi: Y-shaped wooden weapon.

Neru-kawa ito: Thick leather laminated shield for protection from bullets.

— ?: Iron rods sewn into sleeves to block bladeds.

Kiseru / kenka kiseru / buyôkiseru (pipe / fight pipe / self defence pipe): Long tobacco pipe, stronger than needed for smoking. Usually 18-20 cm long for males and  30-61 cm for females; during 16th and 17th centuries even 91-122 cm long steel stem. Might have a handle with tsuba.

— Pipe with hook as in a jitte.

— 26 cm long brass, shaped like tobijutte (fire ax jutte).

Buyôkiseru: Used by samurai. All metal, some even containing silver. About 45,5 cm long.

Shikomi kiseru: Hides a needle weapon.

Shikomi kiseruzutsu / shikomi kiseru-ire / dôran shikomi no kakushibuki / shikomi dôran (disrupting smoking pipe case): Smoking pipe case contains a knife, some have knife in addition to the pipe.

Yatate: Case for writing utensils, usually made of metal. Heavy contruction enables use as a self defence weapon.

Goshinyô yatate: Larger about 40 cm case which is more applicable to self defence use.

Yatatejitte: Jitte-style hook.

Shikomi yatate / yatate shikomi no kakushibuki: Contains a spike weapon.

Niyoi: A scepter-like implement used by Buddhist priests or monks when teaching or reading sutras. Manufactured from bone, horn, wood, bamboo, and even stone. Slightly over 30 cm long.

Tetsuniyoi / tesshaku: Made of forged iron, but usually lacquered and thus indistinguishable from lacquered wooden or bamboo models. The handle of these weapons more or less follow the curvature of the arm.

Niyoijitte: Jitte-style hook.

Niyoibô: Straighter model.

Shikomi niyoi: Made of wood and bamboo but had a short dagger concealed in the handle.

Ararebô: Believed to be self-defense weapon invented in the Edo period. About 40 cm long piece of hardwood, one end of which is fixed to a studded metal pipe some 13 cm long, while the other end is fitted into a normal piece of pipe that serves as a handle. The handle has a ring to which a cord is tied.

Tate (shield): Wooden shields about 1,4 m high, having a hinged back support, employed as portable breastworks both for land fighting and as a protective bulwark during sea battles. A smaller version was sometimes carried to protect the left side in going into battle but was not common.

Komaku: Protective shield for an individual archer.

Tekken (knuckle irons)

Tsunode | kakude | kakute / kakute / tsunoyubi | kakushi / kakushi / kakushu / haka no tsume | takanotsume / kakuwa (horned hand / hidden hand / horned finger / hidden / horned jewel / hawk’s talons / finger ring): Ring-shaped tekken. One or more protruding teeth. Used either in one or two fingers, in one or both hands.

Senriki (power of thousand): Tenkamusô-ryû Torite kakute with one tooth.

Senninriki (power of a thousand men): Tenkamusô-ryû Torite kakute with two teeth .

Sanbontsuno (three protruding teeth): Kakute with three teeth.

Shihontsuno (four protruding teeth): Kakute with four teeth.

Gohontsuno (five protruding teeth): Kakute with five teeth.

Temanriki (ten thousand power hand): A long thin metal strip bent into a circle, both ends of which are sharpened and bent up at a ninety-degree angle. The ring can be pulled open or pushed tighter depending on the size of the user’s fingers.

Ômanriki (big ten thousand power): Two short pieces of curved metal (with a number of teeth on the inner side) attached to one another with a small hinge. Both free ends have a piece of looped string tied to them. The index finger of one hand is inserted through one loop, and the other loop passed over the thumb. By moving the index finger and thumb, the weapon can be opened and closed.

Hayatejô: Five 3 x 2 cm iron plates connected to one another on the longer side with a hinge, so that they resemble a large bracelet. Each plate had three protruding teeth about 0,8-1 cm long. The two outer plates each had a ring attached with a diameter of approximately 3 cm for the thumb and middle finger. A length of cord was attached to one of the rings. When seizing a criminal by the arm, the teeth would sink into the flesh, causing pain. The free end of the cord attached to one of the rings could be passed through the other ring, so when it was pulled tight, the toothed metal plates would close around the arm or wrist. The hinges allowed it to be folded up, thus making it compact and easy to conceal. Even when worn on the fingers and ready to use, it was almost completely hidden by the hand.

Neko te | neko-te | nekote | nekode | ne-kade | nokode / kanide | kanite (cat’s paw / crab finger (crab’s claw?)): Kunoichi weapon. Steel nails, used on all fingers of both hands.

Hari (needle): Fingertip needles. Ninja weapon.

Tekkô / tekkô kagi | tekkô-kagi | Tekkôkagi (? / iron back of the hand claw): Weapon slipped over hand. ON the back hand side are four blades extending over the fingers.

Tekken (iron fist): Knuckle-duster. Metal loop fitting around the knuckles and gripped with five fingers. Loop may have teeth of studs.

Kakute: Gyokko-ryû and Shindô Tenshin-ryû tekken.

Tekkan / bankokuchôki: Nagao-ryû. Heavy tekken.

Kurokote: Gauntlets strengthened with iron plates.

Tenouchi (small wooden or metal objects used as weapons)

Te-no-naka / shôbô / suntetsu / tenketsubari / tessun / kakushibô (inside the hand / shot staff ? / ? / kyûsho needle / ? / ?): Toda-ryû and Shindô Tenshin-ryû. Short wooden or iron rod that fits into fist. In the middle is either a metal ring in rotating fitting or cord lood (for middle finger). Apparently predecessor to kakute and tekken.

Kôbô (lucky staff): Short hard wood, bamboo or iron rod for blocking and striking. Can also be used wrapped into sanshaku tefuki.

Yawara / tenouchi: Wooden rod slightly longer than a fist’s width.

Tenouchi: Seigô-ryû. Iron rod about 9 cm long or as long as the user’s palm width.

Saku: Ishiguro-ryû Jûjutsu. Short metal rod, from which protrudes another one in 90º angle; T-shaped, horizontal line is longer than vertical line. Used as a pair.

Shôken: Meifû Shinkage-ryû. Iron spikes attached to wooden shaft with sharpened tip.

Kyûtetsu: Brass tenouchi in the shape of a light bulb.

Gosuntetsu (five sun iron): About 15 cm long metal rod.

Rokusuntetsu (six sun iron): About 18 cm long metal rod

Hassuntetsu (eight sun iron): About 24 cm long and 12 mm thick metal rod.

Shutôgane | tegatanagane (sword hand iron): Small iron weapon used in hand to strengthen strikes.

Tesshô (iron palm): Iron weapon to strengthen hand, metal band with teeth.

Tegiribô (hand cut stick): Short hardwood stick, length from tip of middle finger to wrist.

Dokko | tokko / dakkosho / sankosho / sanko / gokosho / goko / kongosho / tenouchi: Buddhist implement symbolizing thunder madeof bronze or iron. Suitable to use as a weapon.

Dokko | Tokko / Dakkosho: One tip.

Sankosho / Sanko: Three tips.

Gokosko / Goko: Five tips.

Kongosho: ?

Inken: Araki-ryû and Hongaku Kokki-ryû. Small weapon similar to dokko.

Sanshu: Iga-ryû. Small weapon similar to dokko.

Gorinkudaki (five ring crusher): Kôga-ryû. Small weapon similar to dokko.

Tariki (other power): Hongaku Kokki-ryû. Small weapon similar to dokko.

Hashi (chopsticks): Bamboo, wood or metal.

Kansashi | kanzashi: About 15-30 cm long hairpin, one or two of which women when dressing formally used to hold their hair up. Metal, wood, ivory etc. Suitable for stabbing or throwing.

Kôgai / kushi kôgai: Up to 15 cm long ornamental hairpin both for men and women. Wood, ivory or metal. Round or rectangular cross section and tapered ends.

Bashin | umabari (horse needle): Small two-bladed metal spike; 12-15 cm long, about 13 mm wide at widest point. Either triangular cross section, two smooth blade surfaces or with one shinogi. Ring in the end of handle. Used to relieve pressure on horse’s swollen veins, but could also be used as a weapon.

Shakuhachi: Bamboo flute that is played from top end. As short stick suitable to use as a weapon.

Shikomibue: Made from iron or contains blade, metsubushi or poison.

Shikomi shamisen: A blade hidden into the neck of the instrument.

Hana-neji | hananeji / hananejiri / hananejibô (nose screw | nose twister / ? / -): 30-85 cm long iron rod or wooden stick, with usually cord fitted to top of handle part. Cross section round, hexagonal or octagonal. Could be pushed through a cord looped through horse’s nostrils and twisted to control the animal. It gradually changed from a stable tool to a self-defense weapon.

Gunhananeji / Gunhananejibô (military hananeji): Ôtsubo-ryû Bajutsu. Hananeji with kama-style blade.

Mokkan (cross beam): Nagao-ryû. Wooden tekken that can be hidden inside sleeve.

— ?: Tenouchi in the shape of a fish.

– Utility knives on swords

— Carried on saya pushed through tsuba‘s hitsu ana. Usually on shôtô, but can also be on daitô or tantô.

Kozuka / kogatana | kokatana / kozuka kogatana (small handle / small blade / small-handled small blade): Small knife. Also the name of just the handle, blade being called ho or kokatana. Used as a utility knife or throwing spike.

Tomozuka kogatana: Similar to kozuka and fits into pocket on saya. Blade and handle are of one part, and the knife is more suitable for throwing.

Kôgai: Small skewer, on the other end mon to recognize the owner.

Wari-kôgai | wari kôgai / wari-bashi | waribashi (splitting kôgai / split chopsticks): Kôgai that splits into chopsticks.

Sen, sensu (fans)

Gunbei-uchiwa | gumbai-uchiwa / gunbai | gumbai | gunpai: Solid metal or more often wood, “butterfly shaped”, fan part has commander’s mon. War fan to send messages to troops on the battlefield by waving above head. Became a sign of rank because they were carried only by high-ranking officers.

Shikomi gunbai: A knife hidden in the handle.

Sensu: Folding fan. By 7th century very popular in court and amongst nobles. Oldest version piled and bound from thin strips of hinoki (Japanese cypress). Later paper glued to bamboo framework.

— Styles of regular and iron fans:

—- Sensu-gata: Basic model (full-width ribs)

—- Maiôgi-gata: Used in traditional dance and kabuki (thin ribs)

—- Gunsen-gata: Used to command troops in the battlefield (bottom part of ribs 1/3 thinner).

Shikomi sensu (deceptive fan) / tantô shikomi no sensu: Hides a blade.

Gunsen: Folding fan that can be used as a weapon.

Tessen | tetsu sen (iron fan): Usually one shaku in length (30 cm), handle can be bound from silk cord, possibly a cord and tassel at end. Practical solution when swords cannot be carried or used or killing is not a purpose.

Menhari-gata / menbarigata tessen: Working fan, in which iron cover ribs and iron/bronze/bamboo inside ribs are connected with silk or strong washi rice paper. Paper is usually lacquered, strengthened with gold or silver layer or treated with oil for ornamental reasons and durability. Can represent any of the three “gata”. Expensive to manufacture and difficult to maintain. “Full iron version” is heavier, but can be applied as self defense weapon even when opened.

Tenarashi-gata / tenarashi / motsu-shaku: Iron rod that resembles (more or less) a folded fan. Also hardwood (eg. oak) motsu-shaku both for a weapon and for training; lighter to carry in belt. Better weapon and more durable than menhari-gata, and becomes the most popular model. Also used by the police in combination with jitte.

Shikomi tessen / shikomi tenarashi: Hides a blade.

Shinobi rokugu (six tools of shinobi)

Shinobi shôzoku | shinobi-shôzoku (armor of forbearance): Ninja suit. Outer side sappan-red for blending to darkness. Inside according to need light blue (suiton), light brown (doton), white (setsuton) or disguise. Pockets for metsubushi and senban. Sometimes kusari-katabira / ninniku nyoroi (chain mail) is used.

Amigasa: Woven hat. Some made of metal and lower-ranking samurai used them as cooking utensils. Covers identity and can be used to hide documents. Suitable for transportation of food, gunpowder or firearms. Can be thrown as a distraction. Can be used to catch fish, insects or birds.

Sekihitsu: Chalk to make markings and coded transmissions, because the writing can be rubbed away. Suitable for use as tsubute. Also yatate (brush an ink in a case) was sometimes used.

Kusuri / inrô: Medicines and carrying case or bag for them. Smaller case called inrô.

Sanshaku tefuki | sanjaku tenugi | sanjaku tenogui | sanjaku tenugui: Three shaku (91 cm) long hand towel for binding wounds, use as a weapon by placing a stone inside, to dampen the noise of metal tools, improvised bag or to hide face. Also used as a filter to drink dirty water by folding it and placing on the surface of water. Carried folded inside jacket. Colored deep red to blend into darkness.

Kaginawa [see Tôki]

Uchidake [see Kaki]

Shishaku takezue (yonshaku shikomi chikujo) [see shinobi-zue]

Shinobibashigo [see Tôki]

Kakushi-buki (hidden weapons)

Kôbô (see ‘Zue / bô – staffs’)

Teppen: Scrap iron.

Katagi: Piece of wood.

Kokeshi / doku-kokeshi (figure / poisoned figure): Wooden figure or doll. When head is removed a poison needle or chain or something else is revealed. Head or chain could be used as a striking weapon, and needle poison could kill. Could be also used to transport other weapons, documents or messages.

— ?: Bunch of flowers hiding a blade. Kunoichi weapon.

Shikomi bunchin (deceptive paperweight): Keps inside a house ready to use as a weapon.

Shikomi hossu (deceptive hossu): Zen priests’ tool for chasing away flies, of which bamboo-imitating wooden handle hides a spike-like weapon.

Shikomi chôchin (deceptive lantern): Paper lanterns curved about 30 cm long handle hides a knife blade. Light can be used as a distraction.

Toami: Fishing net.

Proper tools

Toteki sha: Throwing wheel. Wall breaking device, large stone hanging from a rope on a movable framework.

Kiko sha | kikkosha (tortoise wagon): Covered shelter for personnel or a wall breaker.

Sha rin | sharin (sphere of wheel): Kukishinden. Axle with wheels, used to bring a vessel to ground. Applicable as a weapon.

Saku: Chisel.

Kaiki (metal tools)

Kugi nuki (nail remover) [see shaken]

Tsubo-giri | tsubogiri: Boring tool. Fork-shaped tool to cut locks open.

Osaku / juroro-kagi: Lockpick.

Tatami nomi: Chisel to remove locks.

Kunai (digging tools)

— Spatula-like iron tool; used for digging, wrenching, as a platform for a torch or as a weapon. No specific shape; could be leaf, foot or fish shaped.

Shôkunai (small kunai): About 18 cm long.

Daikunai (large kunai): 35-48 cm long.

Tobi kunai | Tobikunai (flying kunai): 1. Throwable kunai with rope and hook (kaginawa). 2. Kunai, with long shaft and round boring tool and small kama connected with cord.

Kunai fundô: Kunai, with attached kusarifundô or fundô at the end of a cord.

Shikoro (sawing tools)

— Different size tools to breach walls, floors etc. Double blade that was used to bore, widen holes and saw. Also applicable as a weapon.

Shô-shikoro (small saw)

Chû-shikoro (middle saw)

Dai-shikoro (large saw)

Heiki (closing tools)

Kasugai: Staple-shaped iron clamps to lock doors open or closed.

Tôki (climbing tools)

Shukô | shukko | tekagi | te kagi (hand hook): Togakure-ryû. Used in hands in pairs either for climbing or as a defensive weapon. Iron band around the palm – with spikes on the palm side – is connected with iron or leather band to metal band around wrist. Often used with ashikô.

Ashikô | sokô | sokkô | ashikagi (foot hook): Togakure-ryû. Climbing or fighting spikes used in feet in pairs. Often used with shukô.

Kaginawa / shinobi-nawa / kawa-nawa / uchi kagi | uchi-kagi | uchikagi (hook rope / ninja rope / ? / ?): Togakure-ryû and Kukishinden-ryû. Climbing hook. 8 m long cord made from women hair can support the weight of five persons. Steel hook called uchi kagi.

Kokage nawa: Small kaginawa to board ships. Fuma-ryû and Kukishinden-ryû.

Uchi-kagi: Rope with two hooks to connect two ships during battle.

Kannawa (ring rope): Seigô-ryû, Kajiwara-ryû and Nanba Ippo-ryû. Rope tied to a iron ring. Used to tie down opponents.

Harinawa (needle cord): Strong needle and cord for fixing armor as a part of warrior’s gear. Can also be used to tie down an opponent.

Orikagi: Bent hook with tied rope.

Musubinawa: Knotted rope made from horse hair.

Kumo kumade: Yasuda-ryû. Spider grabbing device, used to hang in ceilings.

Shinobi kumade: 1. Short pieces of bamboo through which runs rope in the end of which is a hook; pieces lock together to create a climbing pole. 2. Kumade at the end of  string.

Ippon sugi nobori | ippon sugi noburi: Kumogakure-ryû. 25 cm long iron tube, outside three spikes and in the middle chain connected to a hook. Used to climbing trees (especially cedar) and also fighting.

Hashigo | bashigo (ladder): Ladder’s ropes, connecting hooks and (metal) steps could be used as weapons.

Hashigo: Wooden ladders, used by police groups for arresting.

Kuda bashigo: Tube ladder.

Kumo bashigo: Cloud ladder.

Musubi bashigo: Loop ladder.

Taka bashigo: High ladder for use on open areas.

Tobi bashigo: Jumping ladder.

Tsuri bashigo: Hanging ladder, having hooks between steps.

Shinobi bashigo| shinobibashigo: Collapsible ladder.

Suiki (water tools)

Ikada | ikeda (raft)

Kama ikada | kama-ikada: Kettle raft. Constructed from reeds tied together.

Take ikada | take-ikada (bamboo raft)

Mizu gumo | mizu-gumo | mizugumo (water spider): Horse hide raft, treated with pine sap to be water tight and filled with air. Used with shinobi-kai.

Hasami-bune | hasamibune | hasami bune / tatami-bune: Assembled boat with folding flotation devices. Parts resemble boxes and planks.

Shinobi-bune: Large portable boat.

Kagata hasami-bune: Large portable boat.

Ukigusa: Cylinder-like flotation device made from fish bones and oil paper. User is in the inside.

Taru ikada | taruikada: Flotation pots to cross shallow water or swamp.

Tarubune / ukidaru: Boat consisting of two barrels and an oar (shinobi-kai). Used to cross swamps.

Mizu-zutsu | mizu zutsu | suizutsu (water pipe): Breathing tube made from bamboo.

Shinodake | shinotake | shindake | shinodaki: Togakure-ryû. Thin 120 cm long bamboo tube to breath underwater or use as a blowpipe. Broken saya is suitable for this purpose.

Ukidasuki: Kobori-ryû. 20 small pumpkins rolled into three bags to create 1,37 m long raft.

Koshiobi: Similar than ukidasuki. 9 small pumpkins rolled into three bags to create 64 cm long raft.

Koshisageuki: Odawara lantern shaped portable raft that is connected to pelvis.

Kyokutsu: Raft constructed from two planks. Tied to front and back or the body, obi fitted with cotton to prevent rubbing.

Tsugi bune | tsuki-bune | tsugibune: Boat assembled from four parts to be carried by a group.

Hikimawashigutsu: Raft constructed from rice and leather.

Shinobi kai | shinobi-kai | shinobigai: Folding oar; shinobi oar. Bamboo tube with weighted bamboo fan on one end.

Kaki (fire tools)

Uchidake | uchi take / donohi / tsunetake: Embers inside bamboo layers to start a fire and warm hands.

Kayaku: Fire medicine. Pyrotechnical compounds, mainly black powder.

Hyakurai ju: Explosive.

Noroshi zutsu (signal fire tube): Signaling device with ash-sulfur-balls inside a pipe to be lit.

Dobi: Carrying case for fire starting material.

Rosoku tate: Versatile candle stick.

Kittate: Candle holder with sharp end as an attachment point. Suitable for a weapon.

Mizo-taimatsu: Lantern made from sap and hemp. Burns also in rain and wind because outer layers burn continuously.

Tanagokoro-taimatsu: Lantern that can be hidden inside hand. Flame keeps burning, but light can be hidden because of the lantern’s construction.

Oritami gando: Fire starting device that can be doubled to use as a candle. Can be extinguished quickly by placing hand on the lighter’s mouth.

Huichi dogu: Device to ignite firearm’s match.