Ninja Weapons, Kunai October 4, 2014
After a quick review of your ninjato, today we will review your all time favorite multi-purpose weapon, the kunai.
A kunai (苦無 kunai) is a Japanese tool possibly derived from the masonry trowel. Two variations are the short kunai (小苦無 shō-kunai) and the big kunai (大苦無 dai-kunai). It is a good example of a basic tool which, in the hands of a martial arts expert, could be used as a multi-functional weapon. It is commonly associated with the ninja, who used it to gouge holes in walls.
The kunai was conventionally wrought in ranges from 20 cm to 60 cm, with the average at 40 cm. The kunai was used by peasants as multi-purpose gardening tools and by workers of stone and masonry. The kunai is not a knife, but something more akin to a crowbar. The blade was soft iron and unsharpened because the edges were used to smash plaster and wood, to dig holes and to pry. Normally only the tip would have been sharpened. The uses a kunai was put to would have destroyed any heat-treated and sharpened tool like a knife.
Kunai normally had a leaf-shaped blade and a handle with a ring on the pommel for attaching a rope. This would allow the kunai’s handle to be wrapped to act as a grip or, when used as a weapon, to be strapped to a stick as an expedient spear; to be tied to the body for concealment; or to use as an anchor or piton. Contrary to popular belief, they were not designed to be used primarily as throwing weapons, though they could be thrown to cause damage. Instead, they are a thrusting and stabbing implement.
Many ninja developed weapons that were adapted farming tools, not unlike those used by Shaolin monks in China. Since kunai were cheaply-produced farming tools of a decent size and weight and could be easily sharpened, they were readily available to be converted into simple weapons.
As a weapon, it is larger and heavier than a shuriken and with the grip could also be used in hand to hand combat more readily than a shuriken. In addition, it could be used for climbing, either as a kind of grappling hook or as a piton.
In combat, Many shinobi attack by attaching an explosive tag to the blade. The kunai is usually thrown so that it lodges in an object near the target, and then the explosion from the attached tag destroys the target. This use of the weapon is known as an explosive kunai (起爆クナイ, kibaku kunai).
The techniques that entail the throwing of shuriken,kunai, senbon or any other of a number of bladed, hand-held weapons are called Shurikenjutsu (手裏剣術; “sword hidden in the hand techniques”). Shurikenjutsu can be used in combination with taijutsu, ninjutsu, and/orchakra flow in order to create more devastating techniques.
As a consequence of the versatility of the weapons involved, it is practised by nearly all shinobi to some extent. However, because of its value as a supplemental art, numerous more innovative techniques have been developed, including ones that can even alter the trajectory of the projectiles once they’ve be thrown. Expert users like Itachi Uchiha, can use such methods to accurately hit targets that are even located in their blind spots.