Secrets of Shuriken
October 30, 2006 6:44 PM   Subscribe

Awesome! Ninjas rule!
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 7:02 PM on October 30, 2006

doesn't tell you how to do Yoga Fire. =o(
posted by carsonb at 7:16 PM on October 30, 2006

Ah, memories of metal shop....
posted by solid-one-love at 7:17 PM on October 30, 2006

Cool. I need to try that.

Somewhat in the same genre, I got to throw a tomahawk a few weeks ago. With a well-balanced tomahawk at a pre-set distance, I *thunked* it on the first throw. Hard to explain how neat that feels... now I'll have to find someone with shurikens!
posted by F Mackenzie at 7:58 PM on October 30, 2006

What's the purpose of a ninja?
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:38 PM on October 30, 2006

Only a ninja can kill a ninja.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:48 PM on October 30, 2006

Oh man, I'm gonna kill some mofos.
posted by papakwanz at 8:55 PM on October 30, 2006

doesn't tell you how to do Yoga Fire.

posted by dreamsign at 8:56 PM on October 30, 2006

I could never figure out if that Ninja shit was real or not. Everybody I ever knew into it was a flake or a freak.

I mean why thow away a perfectly good pointy thing if you coud just jab it in somebodies ear socket if they got close enough?

So. I went to a Krabi Krabong seminar this weekend. I'll be damned if the crazy bastards didn't throw those fucking things too. Swords. They throw swords? Maybe there is something to all that stuff then.

Eh. Not my thing. But whatever.
posted by tkchrist at 9:18 PM on October 30, 2006 [1 favorite]

OMG. Sho Kosugi is making a new ninja movie.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:24 PM on October 30, 2006

Filthy. I had no idea they started out as throwing NAILS, though.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:28 PM on October 30, 2006

Maybe it would fairer to say might possibly be making a new ninja movie. We can only hope.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:34 PM on October 30, 2006

Secrets of Shoryuken.
posted by zsazsa at 9:36 PM on October 30, 2006

I will not make any attempt to defend the reality of ninja. However, I would not be surprised at all if there were more than a few peasants who decided that the whole "being outlawed from carrying blades" things sucked ass, particularly when the warrior class got uppity. So... shurikens that started out as nails sounds plausible enough to me. Pretty innocuous looking in most settings, and you couldn't very easily ban the use of nails. I mean, I've read that some Okinawan arts use things like oars and such for weapons.

Humans tend to use whatever they can get their hands on to kill. If you want to go European: consider the flail. Originally a farming implement for threshing grain, no?

...Though I think in Germany the peasantry got around sword bans by carrying huge ass knives.

Also, for your daily dose of ninja, I recommend Naruto (youtube). It's total fantasy, but there's plenty of shuriken. And kunai. And I kind of get a perverse delight at posting anime video links here on the Blue.
posted by Mister Cheese at 10:00 PM on October 30, 2006

I'll see your shuriken and raise you my .40 S&W (that you won't see and might hear before it makes a gooey mess of things).

Growing up I had a need for shuriken as my house was beset with dastardly trees that needed repeated lessons from my stars and my throwing hatchets. I've found less of a need since I've become a parent though.

But a good resource site!
posted by fenriq at 11:41 PM on October 30, 2006

On his origins page, his contention that French and German flechettes derive from shuriken as opposed to European darts (which date well back to the middle ages) is somewhat questionable. But it's an interesting collection of information nonetheless.
posted by moonbiter at 1:16 AM on October 31, 2006

"I will not make any attempt to defend the reality of ninja."
Then, you shall die! There were indeed ninja, and I was in Shiga-ken yesterday near the village of Koka which is famous as the training center of the art of stealthy killing. I was working with a friend yesterday who was born in that village and still lives there. I don't know if she is a super assassin, but she is a kick-ass Super Mom and her name translates as "cormorant fishing" which is done tealthily at night and has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately, the ninja village website seems to have died of neglect (Wayback Machine archive. it used to have essays in English).
link 1, English link 2, Japanese link 3, Japanese
posted by planetkyoto at 2:03 AM on October 31, 2006

Shuriken may instantly be associated with ninja in the western mind, but the reality is different. Shuriken were used in a number of traditional japanese arts. These aren't your ninja throwing stars, but rather the needle-type shown on the page.

Miyamoto Musashi was in fact recognized for being quite good at the art. Some throwing techniques were even practiced with the wakizashi (the small companion sword of the samurai). Regardless what you believe about the ninja, shuriken were definitely real and used by many people and martial art schools.
posted by splice at 2:12 AM on October 31, 2006

planetkyoto -- you can see cormorant fishing where I am for most of the year (over now till spring). Pretty amazing.

And yes, ninjas were a necessary part of castle-era warfare. I also have a friend with a decade of ninjitsu training. I haven't gotten him drunk enough yet to tell me much about it.

back on topic, needles/nails are damn hard to throw. I'm near useless with proper throwing knives. Unwinged darts take a ton of practice.
posted by dreamsign at 2:20 AM on October 31, 2006

doesn't tell you how to do Yoga Fire.

Who cares about Yoga Fire? I need to master the Yoga Noogie!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:46 AM on October 31, 2006

This is where I failed the Ninternship :(
posted by WinnipegDragon at 9:13 AM on October 31, 2006

But how do you throw four shuriken simulaneously to pin your opponent to the wall by their sleeves?
posted by Iridic at 5:27 PM on October 31, 2006

Great find, thanks hama7.

Why stop at knives? Why not playing cards.
posted by porpoise at 7:43 PM on October 31, 2006

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