Shikomizue – Stick Weapon Defense
Shikomizue is a Ninja Weapon that is referred to as prepared cane. This is just a disguise because this Ninja Tool looks like an ordinary cane or walking stick.
Ninjas are known for disguising as elderly or cripple with the help of this tool. No one can expect a cripple to fight with skills. Shikomizue became famous because it was identified with the use of the fictional blind swordmaster Zatoichi.
The name was derived from a cane like mounting concealing its true nature as a sword. These are not Shirasaya mountings that have no plain wooden mountings and decorations.
The sheath of this Ninja weapon was at times longer than the blade to allow space for storage such as flintstone, blinding powder and similar pieces of materials used to fight enemies.
The use of Ninja Shikomizue has closed to Kenjutsu aside from some features. The use of this Ninja weapon leaves the enemy alive and slightly harmed with just the right amount of damage to wound them.
In Ninjutsu, Shikomizue became popular that provides night warriors a sense of secrecy. Seeing Ninjas disguised as common people carry walking sticks appears normal in all classes.
These were not used until forging technology was introduce because there is a need to create thin blades strong enough to use for the purpose for which Ninja Shikomizue as used for.
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Shikomizue in History
In Japanese history, there are several sword hunts were they were stripped of their possessions. Oda Nobunaga initiated the first sword hunt to prevent riots and uprisings.
Daggers were still allowed but, the Samurai class was allowed to wear Katana sized swords in public. There came a time during the Meiji period were not allowed to carry a sword in public except for government officers.
These restrictions caused a lot of people to become inventive and this brought about the invention of Ninja Shikomizue. The history of the hidden swords resembles the story of the spiky rings.
These existed in Japan while in Europe they use these canes are rapiers. The desire to survive paves the way for the use of the Ninja Shikomizue.
This Ninja Weapon is a variation of the Japanese sheathed sword. In this case, the handle and sheath merge into a single unit. The blade of this Ninja Tool was like that of a broad stick to avoid causing suspicion.
There was a period in Japan when hidden Ninja Weapons become the norm. These were even used by Japanese government officials.
Some More About Shikomizue
- Ninja Shikomizue is lightweight and easy to use even for beginners.
- Easy to weld weapon.
- The cane sheath misleads people to lower their guard thinking that Shikomizue was an ordinary stick or walking stick at least to the undiscerning eye. In terms of weakness, this weapon will break when it is hit by a blade.
- Since it has no distinguishing features when sheathed. This makes it hard to figure out which side was the sharp edge. There was only one way to tell which way the blade is facing and this can be accomplished with matching two slightly angled grooves on the handle using the natural grip of the hands. When the grooves fit the direction where the fingers are pointing this means the blade is facing upwards. This simply means to take extra care when drawing the blade.
- It has no handguard which sometimes makes Shikomizue difficult to weld.
- Those Ninja swords are Straight and very thin. The scabbards and hilts resemble bamboo or old wooden sticks.
- Some Shikomizue conceals chains, hooks, and many other similar weapons.
- There are modern versions that are heat tempered and have superb functionality.
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