tokyotreat mobile logotokyotreat logo
close button
0
All TopicsNewsCultureJapanese Snacks & CandyFood & DrinkTravelEntertainmentMember Spotlight
A person wearing elaborate black ninja gear.
A person wearing elaborate black ninja gear.

Ninja Gear: Everything You Need to Know!

James LauJames Lau
Published Time
Posted on April 16, 2024

Learn about ninja gear, from the stealthy art of Ninjutsu to the iconic shuriken! Explore the ninja swords, learn about the art of disguise, and walk on water with mizugumo! Whether you’re a history enthusiast or want to learn more about the ninja, we have an excellent guide for some of the most famous ninja gear!

Ninja Training/ Ninjutsu

Ninjutsu includes a wide range of skills beyond combat. It includes techniques for gathering information, such as sneaking into enemy territory and using disguises. Historically, ninja schools like the Koga and Iga-ryu were known for their skill in these areas, being spies during conflicts.

A guy preparing to strike while wearing a black suit.
Ninjutsu is a martial art for ninjas! Image via Shutterstock

This training involves mastering various weapons and tools unique to ninjas. These weapons were used for direct combat, creating diversions, and helping escape. Ninjas also lied and used fake information and illusions to confuse their enemies. Their knowledge extended to medicine, poisons, and survival skills. Ninjutsu blends espionage and survival, incorporating martial arts, information gathering, and mental warfare.

Shuriken

Shuriken are famous for their connections to ninjas. They come in many forms. Despite their size, shuriken requires skill and training to use effectively. Historically, the most common type was the rod-shaped variety, used by gripping it between fingers and throwing it from an overhead stance. However, there were also other versions, such as cross-shaped or wheel-shaped shuriken, each with specific purposes and throwing techniques.

A silver shuriken lodged in a tree, an example of ninja gear.
Some people also call them “ninja stars”! Image via Shutterstock

There are two types of shuriken: “ryute-shuriken” (fixed throwing blades) and “sekite-shuriken” (throwing blades to hit and injure). Ryute-shuriken comes in many shapes, whereas sekite-shuriken are often coated with poison for lethal effects. There are many techniques for shuriken, including direct throws, reversed throws, and spinning throws, each requiring different levels of skill and precision.

Swords and Knives

The ninjato had unique characteristics and versatile uses beyond combat. The ninjato had a straight blade and a long handle, although historical accounts mention curved blades and the use of other swords like the katana and wakizashi. Ninjas adapted various blades to their needs, sometimes crafting rough-and-ready weapons from discarded or broken swords.

A person holding a sword at their side. The photo is black and white.
Swords and blades were some of the more elaborate weapons ninjas used. Image via Shutterstock

With its long handle and a plain guard, the ninjato allowed for single-handed or dual-handed use, enabling ninjas to punch or grab during fights. Additionally, the sheath served multiple purposes, from storing blinding powders to functioning as an underwater breathing tube. Modern ninjas continue to train in sword techniques, preserving historical methods while adapting to contemporary martial arts practices.

Are you looking for some snacks this month? Check out TokyoTreat! TokyoTreat delivers limited-edition Japanese noodles, snacks, drinks, and sweets right to your door so you can taste Japan at home! 

Disguises

During feudal Japan, ninjas used disguises known as shichihode, meaning “seven directions,” to gather information without suspicion. One common disguise was that of the Komusō, monks known for their straw hats covering their faces, providing cover. Similarly, yamabushi, mountain monks, and Shukke, wandering Buddhist priests, could travel freely, making their clothes perfect for ninja camouflage.

A ninja wearing a black disguise.
These ninjas had many disguises! Image via Shutterstock

Other disguises included shōnin, merchants who could travel freely, and hokashi, street entertainers who performed across Japan. Sarugakushi, an actor in the Noh theater, also had travel privileges and was often invited into castles and other guarded places. Ninjas could also blend in as commoners to move behind enemy lines unnoticed. These disguises allowed ninjas to gather important information for espionage missions.

Mizugumo

Ninjas are said to have used the mizugumo, or water spider, as a tool to walk on water surfaces like rivers and moats. Artists traditionally depict it as footwear with wooden rings tied around the edges, often divided into four sections for portability. While some physical examples exist, the debate continues over their effectiveness in supporting a person’s weight.

A person standing near a waterfall.
NInjas were even able to walk on water with special sandals! Image via Shutterstock

However, another theory suggests mizugumo were larger, circular devices with a central seat, resembling makeshift boats. Experts speculate that users sat on the central board and propelled themselves forward using a “mizukaki” tool or “ninja shell” with an opening-closing fan. This method allowed for mobility while performing attack and defense actions. Additionally, mizugumo could have served as help when traveling over unstable terrain.

Why is ninja gear essential?

Ninja gear is essential because it represents the tools and techniques used by ninjas, the highly skilled spies of feudal Japan. Understanding ninja gear allows people to understand the methods used by these shadowy figures and learn from their unique approach to warfare and information gathering.

A ninja holding two kunai and wearing a metal headband.
What other ninja gear are you familiar with? Image via Shutterstock

Additionally, ninja gear shows the cleverness and imagination of the ninja, who often made their tools from unusual materials or reused everyday objects for their missions. By studying ninja gear, we understand the historical context and cultural significance of ninjutsu and the legacy of these warriors in popular culture! Have you ever seen any of these ninja tools? What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Enjoy Delicious Japanese Candy And Snacks Every Month!

Starting from$32.50 USD
Get TokyoTreat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoy Delicious Japanese Candy And Snacks Every Month!

Starting from$32.50 USD
Get TokyoTreat

Related articles

Culture

Summer Festival: Amazing Times in Japan!

When it gets warm in Japan, the country bursts to life with vibrant summer festivals that transform quiet streets into dazzling spectacles. Let’s take a closer look!

July 18, 2024
Announcement

BIG News from TokyoTreat!

TokyoTreat has some huge news to share! We’ve had some major upgrades! This means more snacks, more mind-blowing Japanese flavors, more name brands, all for you!

July 17, 2024
Culture

Bon Odori: Five Breathtaking Events to Check Out!

Bon Odori Matsuri (Obon Festival) is a vibrant and inclusive event that unites people. Its mix of traditional dance, music, food, and games is a beautiful way to experience Japanese culture and honor the past.

July 10, 2024
Culture

Matsuri in the Summer: Five Unusual Ones to See!

Japan is famous for its limitless and exclusively creative ideas, including its annual natsu matsuri (summer festivals).

July 09, 2024
Culture

Anime Matsuri: Best Episodes to Watch!

Are you ready to dive into the colorful universe of anime and visit their matsuri episodes? Let’s explore which ones are the best!

July 09, 2024
Culture

Mikoshi: The Ultimate Guide to Japan’s Portable Shrines!

When you think of Japanese festivals, one word that should come to mind is mikoshi. These portable shrines are the heart of many Japanese celebrations, bringing communities together in a fun display of culture and tradition.

July 08, 2024