Posts Tagged ‘Leaf’

Swiss Army knife – Ninja Style!

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Alrighty then, as I promised in my last post, I’d like to introduce you to one of the most over-used staples of animated ninja weaponry, the ubiquitous, omnipotent and omnipresent Kunai.

Dark Warrior Spike Kunai

Dark Warrior Spike Kunai

What is a kunai? Glad you asked. If you are to believe all of the animated ninja stuff that goes on, a kunai is a multi purpose knife tool, In most animes and video games like Naruto or Ninja Gaiden and such, multiple kunai are usually carried by ninjas at any given time.

Anime Kunai - Red and White

Anime Kunai - Red and White

Dark Warrior Spike Kunai - Set of three

Dark Warrior Spike Kunai - Set of three

If memory serves, it was also used as a throwing knife, a shovel, a pocket knife, a stake, a scalpel, an arrow head, shuriken, combat blade, a nail, an anchor, a fishing hook, a spear head, piton, wind chimes, main-gauche

Kunai - Anime design

Kunai - Anime design

I could go on, but I think you get the “point”. Hah! Did you see what I did there? Get the point? The point!? that was a pun, did you get that? Yeah, ’cause Kunai are pointy and… Ahem… Oh never mind…

Do you want to know what Kunai really started life as? An old Japanese garden trowel. A gardening tool, usually made of soft, easily formed iron. It had no real edge, and was used more like a small crowbar or small shovel than a knife.

An enterprising shinobi warrior could probably have parried with it in a sword fight, but in an extended battle soon you’d be fighting with a small lump of soft iron, which as you can imagine, would not be to your advantage. The tools in the picture below are of traditional Kunai design, which, as you can see, were not even limited to metal.

Traditional Kunai - Garden Trowels

Traditional Kunai - Garden Trowels

They’re not the kind of multi-purpose super knife you might expect. But in spite of it’s humble beginnings, the need for an inconspicuous, easily concealed, multi-purpose weapon soon spawned the advent of the “Super Ninja Kunai”, made of tougher, sharper and altogether meaner stuff.

Or so I’m told. Heh. Yeah. Actually the dumpy looking tools above later evolved into these:

Kunai - Lethal gardening implements.

Kunai - Lethal gardening implements.

Much more lethal lookin’ eh? It went from a lowly gardening implement to a finely honed combat tool, capable of trapping demons, triggering explosives, chopping down trees, and leaping tall buildings in a single bound…

Ok, so maybe there aren’t any leaping kunai. But amazing Japanese jumping kunai aside, it still a pretty major functional makeover if you ask me. I wonder if that makeover team does bloggers…

The Dark Warrior Ninja Spike Kunai – [True Swords]
The Dark Warrior 3 Ninja Spike Kunai
– [True Swords]
Ninja Gaiden set of 6 red and white Kunai – [True Swords]

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