About the Shuriken
There were many tools the Ninja used. For example, the needle was used to sew their clothes or to treat with acupuncture or to guard themselves against the enemy. The Kusarigama was used by woman ninja called Kunoichi. Among the Ninjutsu tools, the Shuriken was the most developed and famous tool, because it was easy to carry and could be thrown noiselessly.
The Shuriken is a throwing knife made from forged iron. "Suri" means palm and "ken" means sword.
There are 4 main groups of the Shuriken shapes: a stick type, a flat type, a cross type and a two layer flat type. For example, Jujigata and Manjigata and Shakengata are the names of a flat type. A flat type was used to divert the enemy's attention so that the Ninja escape from the site.
The smallest shuriken weight is somewhere between 37.5g and 120g. It is useful to throw at an enemy who is 3-9 m away and can kill him.
There are formal ways to throw the Shuriken: straight throw, side throw, and backhand spin. But they can't throw the Shuriken without a break like the Ninja act on TV.
The costume of the Ninja
The Ninja worked as spy, so they were needed to move quickly and keep from being seen. These are reason why the costumes of the Ninja have some devices.
The typical costume of the Ninja was a brown or gray clothes for the daytime and black clothes for night. But Iga Ninja, who lived in the Iga region, wore navy blue clothes to escape from pit vipers.
They were sometimes disguised as a wandering Zen priest, an ordinary Buddhist priest, a mountain priest called Yamabushi, a merchant, a street performer, a Sarugaku player who performs a play the origin of Noh and Kyogen, or an ordinary citizen. Other than when posing as an ordinary citizen, the characters, the Ninja disguised themselves as were types that traveled from place to place, so nobody paid much attention to them. But I think the disguise, as an ordinary citizen was the best because nobody even glanced at them.
Last updated 6-Dec-2001