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Kusarigama

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Kusarigama
Kusarigama

Range

Medium

Rarity

Uncommon

Size

Various, Sometimes 14 feet

Use

Slicing, striking, cutting, slashing, entangling


The Kusarigama is a traditional Japanese weapon that consists of Kama (the Japanese equivalent of a sickle) and a long chain (manriki) with a weight attached to the end of it. The sickle was used in a slashing or stabbing motion, as well as used to block and hook opponents weapons. By holding the chain portion of the weapon, the sickle could be swung around to get a greater reach with it.

The chain portion of the weapon was most often used for trapping an enemy or his weapon. Once tangled up with the chain, the ninja could finish him off with the sickle. This was a weapon the ninja invented out of farming tools they used.

Though the kusarigama is derived from a farmer's scythe, and though the kama (sickle) was often carried as a weapon during the feudal era of Japan, these farmers did not carry kusarigama. Its purpose as a weapon was very obvious, so unlike a sickle, it could not be carried openly. The art of handling the kusarigama is called kusarigamajutsu.

Method of useEdit

Attacking with the weapon usually entailed swinging the weighted chain in a large circle over one's head, and then whipping it forward to entangle an opponent's spear, sword, or other weapon, or immobilizing his arms or legs. This allows the kusarigama user to easily rush forward and strike with the sickle.

A kusarigama wielder might also strike with the spinning weighted end of the chain directly, causing serious or deadly injury to his opponent while still outside the range of the opponent's sword or spear.

Kusarigama have also been employed as anti-siege weapons, with the chain allowing the weapon to be retrieved after it was thrown downwards at an attacking force.

Many fictional accounts of kusarigama sometimes show fighters swinging the sickle with the chain, rather than the weighted end. Though entertaining, this is usually not a proper use of the weapon, as the sickle is likely to bounce off a target without causing much injury.

According to some accounts, the kusarigama is a weapon that is well-suited against swords and spears. Records show that the kusarigama was extremely popular in feudal Japan, with many schools teaching it, from about the 12th to 17th century.

TriviaEdit

  • The kusarigama is often associated with Shishido Baiken, adept in the way of the sword, but an even more famous user of the kusarigama during the edo period. Shishido once challenged the famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi to a duel. Reportedly, Baiken was able to entangle Musashi's katana blade with the chain of his weapon, and began to pull him towards him to finish him off with the blade. As he was doing so, Musashi released his grip on his sword, throwing Baiken to stumble backwards. As he was regaining his balance, Musashi then charged him with a short knife and killed him.

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