Posts Tagged ‘arson arrows’

Ninja expert and author of the “Real Ninja” book, Dr. Hirohisa Oda, explains the different types of weapons commonly used by ninja and how it was important that they were hidden well or camouflaged by their professions.

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**Dr. Oda has just come across some of his old ninja artifacts! Check back often as we update the site with these new items!**

Ninja surprise attack techniques

Ninja Sword AttackOccasionally, ninjas were hired to assassinated people. Whenever possible, ninjas attacked by using the element of surprise. They were also known to use techniques which would make it difficult to determine who initiated the attack by using small archery devices in the twilight or at night. Small arrows were advantageous because they were easily concealable and they could be used at close range. After they disabled their opponent quickly by surprise, they used spears or swords to quickly finish him/her off.

The ninja used ash to blind their opponents so they could attack, incognito, with swords; the ash was concealed in various places, such as in eggshells, wrapped in cloth, or poured into sword sheaths. The victims would be very surprised by the ash coming out of a sword sheath. Since ash was available anywhere, it became a convenient tool in the ninja’s repertoire of techniques.

The ninja sometimes urinated on doorway tracks to make them slide without any noise. Although this was a clever technique and worked well in most circumstances, it could not be used against one’s ninja enemies because they would identify the smell right away.

(content taken from Page 18 and 19 of “Real Ninja” by Dr. Hirohisa Oda)

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Ninja Tools – Gun Powder and Kaginawa

(following excerpts taken from page 55 and 57 of “Real Ninja”)

A gunpowder-like material had already been developed by 1274, when Mongolia attacked Northern Kyushu during the Kamakura shogunate period; the gunpowder-like material had been incorporated into primitive bombs. The ninja used this powder for making signals, bombs, smoke, handguns, mortars, sounds, arson arrows, and mines. Ninja were characteristically spies—not fighters and were surreptitious, always surprising unsuspecting people. Almost all of the attack weapons were for ninja advantage—they were not designed to give their opponent a fair chance.

Kaginawa (hook and rope)
Kaginawa illustration by Hirohisa Oda

Kaginawa – The hook and rope is used for climbing up and down, tying up people, or for locking a sliding door. The strings of the Japanese harp, the “Koto” were often used to make the rope because they were so strong.

Real Ninja Book Cover

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Real Ninja Book Cover

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"The student of ninjutsu should have an understanding of the history of the ninja, and that is just what one gets with "Real Ninja". I recommend this book for any serious student of ninjutsu." – M. Chesbro (Rainier, Washington)