Lit.: "sword hidden in the hand", shuriken are sharpened hand-held blades made from a variety of everyday items such as needles, nails, and knives, as well as coins, washers, and other flat plates of metal. Shuriken were mainly a supplemental weapon to the more commonly used katana or Yari in a warrior's arsenal, though they often played a pivotal tactical role in battle. The art of wielding the shuriken is known as shuriken-jutsu.
Historic Shuriken (OOC)
Contrary to popular belief (video games, Hollywood, anime, etc.), shuriken were not primarily intended as a killing weapon, but rather as a secondary weapon that sometimes played a role supportive to a warrior's main weapon. Shuriken were primarily used to cause either nuisance or distraction, both being tactics to gain an advantage in battle. Targets were primarily the eyes, face, hands, or the feet, the areas most exposed by a samurai's armor.
Shuriken, especially hira-shuriken, were also used in other novel ways – they might be embedded in the ground, injuring those who stepped on them, or wrapped in fuse to be lit and thrown to cause fire. They can also be used as a handheld striking weapon in close combat.
There are reports of shuriken being coated with poison intended either for a throwing target or for whoever may pick them up when left in a conspicuous place. Other reports indicate that shuriken may have been buried in dirt or animal feces and allowed to rust and harbor the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium tetani – if the point penetrated a victim deeply enough the bacteria would be transferred into the wound, causing a then-incurable tetanus infection.
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