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Shuriken
Time period: 15th century to present
Location: Japan
Common Construction: Iron or Steel

Shuriken means "sword hidden in the hand" and comes in many shapes including metal spikes and throwing stars with varying numbers of points. They are typically hand sharpened from a flat piece of metal and were considered disposable as opposed to the works of art that some katana are thought to be.

The idea behind the shuriken was that it was not a killing tool as much as a weapon of distraction or used to gain a tactical advantage such as covering your escape. For instance, the shuriken could be thrown in such a way as to cut a pursuer without him actually seeing the shuriken, leading him to believe he is under attack from an unknown source. Of course a direct hit to the eyes or face while not fatal could help end a battle quickly.

In the modern day, shuriken are glamorized as a weapon of the ninja and are common in modern media. Stainless steel shuriken are freely available from retailers, but they are illegal in some locations.

CE 15th Century, CE 16th Century, CE 17th Century, CE 18th Century, CE 19th Century, CE 20th Century, History, Japan, Present, Thrown, Weapon


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