Kusari-jutsu is the art of mastering the manrikigusari (short chain). The manrikigusari was used in feudal Japn; it consisted of a chain (kusari) of 30 to 40’’ In length with a weight in the ends of about 100 g. This was the weapon similar to kusarikogama, that is the chain with the weight in one end (kusarikama).

The creation of the chain weapon and the technique to master it are attributed to Masaki Toshimitsu Dannoshin. He was the famous swordsman who lived in Japan during Edo period of the 17th century. Dannoshin was a guard of the Edo Palace. The battles at the gates with tramps and gangsters were common to that period but Samurai warriors were not supposed to kill them since it was the breach of the code of honor for them, especially using their swords for that. It was enough to truss or slightly injure the rebels. Dannoshin made a two-foot-long chain with two weights on either ends. He instructed the warriors how to use and master the manrikigusari (powerful chain). Later the manrikigusari became the compulsory weapon for the samurais and guards at the major gates. The chain would wrap round the waist to immediately turn into the loop on the neck or to knock the opponents down.

Kusari jutsu

Masaki opened the school called Masaki Ryu that practices till now. The school program included profound mastering of the chain, apart from sword fencing.

The manrikigusari was very popular weapon among warriors, not to that extent as the spear, sword, battle-axe or bow, though. Kusari-jutsu is practiced in many schools of traditional martial arts in Japan.

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