21
May
07

Swiss Army knife – Ninja Style!

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.

The Dark Warrior Ninja Spike Kunai

Ninja Spike Kunai
[view full size]

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, usually carried by ninjas in lots of 6 of them at a time, sometimes more. If memory serves I have seen it 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

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 involved 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.

Traditional Kunai Design

They’re not the kind of multi-purpose super knife you would 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:

Traditional Kunai
[view full size]

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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2 Responses to “Swiss Army knife – Ninja Style!”


  1. 1 ChroniclerLoki
    September 28, 2008 at 12:38 am

    *wonders if his psychiatrist is available* My friend you are starting to make me look sane, and I cannot allow that. I have a carefully crafted image to maintain.

  2. October 5, 2008 at 2:21 am

    I just thought I should mention that there is no shame to cedeing sanity in comparison to one such as I… No shame at all… 😉


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