Yamashiro Toshitora, Secret Guide to Making Ninja Weapons

Yamashiro Toshitora, "Secret Guide to Making Ninja Weapons"
Publisher: Butokukai | 1986 | ISBN: 9994291319 | English | PDF | 51 pages | 3.99 Mb
Many people wants to practice the Art of the Silent Way but cannot afford to purchase the equipment that is needed. The ninjas decided to use their great capability and make their own inexpensive weapons. This was one of the reason this book was written.

Learn to make your own weapons. The Ninja-to, Ninja Tanto, Scabbards, Yari, Kusari Fundo, Kusari Gama, Shoge, Blowguns & darts, Tetsu-Bishi, Shurikens (stars), Nunchaku, expains the types of metals, heat treating, Blade sharpening, very detailed.

Books about ninja like this one are a must for every collector and martial artist.

Review – amazon.com

The tidbits of history that accompany most of the weapon instructions and in the Forward are educational and interesting.

The Samurai were the wealthy warriors of feudal Japan. Throughout the history of the world, we see the powerful subjugating the weak. To combat this, the Koga Ninja, who were the poor farmers and could be put to death for owning any kind of weaponry, became the black clad secretive, silent Ninja. These warriors learned to create weapons from whatever material was available — wherever they were; often hiding them in many different stashes around the farms.

Their weapons had to be inexpensive, easy to make, and disposable if the need arose. This is one of the most important factors in the weapon designs from the Koga Ninja. Why? "Concern for losing a weapon might cause one to hesitate, and at that moment of hesitation might cost the Ninja his or her life." (Toshitora Yamashiro, Forward to "Secret Guide to Making Ninja Weapons.")

All weapons are extremely dangerous. The black and white photographs of Ninjas holding the weapons, and of these lethal tools, show how to carry, defend, or attack with them. These weapons have the ability to maim or kill the Ninja warrior who is practicing if they are used incorrectly.

It is imperative for a Ninjutsu to study under a master. Do not take the patterns and create weapons that you do not have the skills or knowledge to use. The Master teaches how to use each weapon, and the concentration, dedication, and spiritual growth required for a true Ninja.

I cannot stress the need for training enough.

…. The photographs of Ninja, information about the various weapons, the metallurgy, searching junkyards for components, and the patterns and directions to make them are the details that add veracity to fiction, fantasy, and history books; they allow the reader to suspend disbelief and trust the writer.

Why would a warrior choose a To or Tanto instead of a Yari?

The To, approximately thirty-six inches long, is a sword. It is the weapon that no Koga Ninja would be without; this means if a Ninja had to abandon the To in the process of completing a mission and escape, it would be the first weapon that was created when he or she had found safety.

The Tanto is the assassin's dagger. This sharp blade was designed to penetrate armor and is often painted for camouflage, as are many of the other weapons. Directions include how to make a scabbard for the To and Tanto. The Yari is a spear that is used as a thrusting weapon. The spearhaft is generally five feet long, but can be as long as twenty feet, which would require both strength and skill to manipulate. In movies we see martial arts experts grabbing poles for defensive/aggressive maneuvers — this is a lot more deadly.

The next weapons are of the Kusari class. Though they all begin with a length of chain, the Kusari Fundo (Manrikgusari) is the simplest weapon to make. The Kusari Gama requires a sickle while the Shoge adds a spiked blade. The Nunchaku adds two metal rods and uses a shorter chain.

Blow guns, Tetsu-Bishi (flat four pointed star) and Shuriken (several star weapons the fit together like a puzzle to form a deadly ball) are described in detail. These are often shown in movies. The perfect Ninja throws the Tetsu-Bishi with the ease that most of us think about when skipping stones across a lake — though I've only achieved that feat a few times.

I will never make a weapon. I do not practice Ninjutsu, but the heroes and heroines in my stories, particularly the S/F trilogy I am writing, do. Writing with detailed information is imperative. Research is what turns good writing into great stories.

This book is not one that I would ever willingly give up. It is five stars and more — depending on the writer, the genre, and scenes.

Victoria Tarrani

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