anibee's Guide to Nifty Japanese Words 101! (Vol. 30)

Know your weapons!

Weapons - we all love them, and we all love seeing our favourite anime characters use them. From ninjas to samurai, weapons have become just as important in pop culture as the characters of pop culture themselves.

So it makes sense that to be as authentic as possible, it'd be good to know how to write and read the names of these legendary weapons properly - as well as point out some popular wielders of these instruments of destruction!


刀(かたな)

Katana

Katana
IMAGE SOURCE: ZEROCHAN

What it is - a classic looking slim, slender, curved blade sword, the katana's the ever-trusty weapon of choice for many warriors of times' passed.

Some notable users - Date Masamune (Sengoku Basara), Himura Kenshin (Rurouni Kenshin)


鎖鎌 (くさりがま)

Kusarigama

kusarigama
IMAGE SOURCE: NARUTOPEDIA

What it is - Essentially a "chain sickle", a kusarigama comprises of a kama (sickle) attached to a chain, with a counter-balancing weight at the end.

Some notable users - Tenten (Naruto)


長刀(なぎなた)

Naginata

Naginata
IMAGE SOURCE: GUNDAM WIKI

What it is - a long pole arm with a blade at the end, this weapon most probably took some cues from the Chinese Guan Dao. Also appears in a double-bladed variation in fiction.

Some notable users - Sanada Yukimura (Sengoku Basara), the Gelgoog (Mobile Suit Gundam)

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手裏剣 (しゅりけん)

Shuriken

Shuriken
©SUNRISE/T&B PARTNERS, MBS

What it is - Throwing stars. You should know what these are if you've ever seen a ninja movie.

Some notable users - Origami Cyclone (Tiger & Bunny), Ninja. Lots and lots and lots and lots of ninja.


ヌンチャク

Nuncyaku/Nunchaku

Nuncyaku/Nunchaku
IMAGE SOURCE: COMICS ALLIANCE

What it is - The swinging chained weapon made ever-popular by martial artist Bruce Lee, and is quite possibly one of the most endearing weapons in pop culture till this day.

Some notable users - Bruce Lee (duh), Michelangelo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

- Q

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