Shuriken

From Academic Kids

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Shuriken.jpg
Hira Shuriken

Shuriken (手裏剣) are throwing blades. The martial art of wielding the shuriken is called shuriken-jutsu.

The major varieties are the bo shuriken (棒手裏剣), darts; and the hira shuriken, throwing blades with multiple points, sometimes called kurumaken (車剣, also read as shaken) but more commonly known in the West as throwing stars or ninja stars, due to their distinctive shape. They have been used by ninja and other samurai. These "throwing stars" usually had only four points, as more than four were considered as being too flashy or difficult to handle.

Contrary to popular belief, (video games, Hollywood, etc.) shuriken are not designed as a primary weapon, but rather as a distraction or tactical weapon. In the past, shuriken were sometimes used as a warning means, or to deliver death threat messages to enemies. The first shuriken were actually sharpened hairpins, kept in the hair as a last-resort weapon. A common application of shuriken is throwing them skillfully so as to reflect sunlight, as a distracting glint of light could make valuable seconds count. Shuriken could be used on the battlefield in this capacity - a hidden ambush group might throw a volley as a diversion in order to momentarily escape detection and attack or flee.


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