A shuriken (Japanese 手裏剣; literally: "hidden hand blade") is a Japanese concealed weapon that was used as a hidden dagger or metsubushi to distract or misdirect.
Shuriken came in a variety of forms; some were manufactured, while others were improvised from tools. The edges of shuriken were often sharpened, so they could be used to penetrate skin or open arteries.
Shuriken are commonly known in the West as throwing stars or ninja stars although they were originally designed in many different shapes. The major varieties of shuriken are the bō shuriken (棒手裏剣, stick shuriken) and the hira shuriken (平手裏剣, flat shuriken) or shaken (車剣, also read as kurumaken, wheel shuriken).
Shuriken were supplementary weapons to the sword or various other weapons in a samurai's arsenal, although they often had an important tactical effect in battle. The art of wielding the shuriken is known as shurikenjutsu and was taught as a minor part of the martial arts curriculum of many famous schools, such as Yagyū Shinkage-ryū, Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū, Ittō-ryū, Kukishin-ryū, and Togakure-ryū.
Contrary to popular belief, shuriken were not primarily intended as killing weapons, but rather in a secondary role as a nuisance or distraction. Targets were primarily the more exposed parts of the body: the eyes, face, hands, or feet. The shuriken would sometimes be thrown in a way that slashed the opponent in a glancing blow and travelled on, becoming lost, causing the opponent to believe that the cut had been made by an invisible swordsman.
This Icon is available to order as a Decal or on a T-Shirt
This work, "Throwing Star" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. It is free to use and modify for personal use only.
Icon ID: 0927