Shuriken-jutsu is the term that describes traditional Japanese martial arts of throwing small hand-held weapons called shuriken. Primarily these weapons were used by the shinobi long time ago. If interpreted the Shuriken-jutsu stands for the art (jutsu) of the blade (ken), thrown (ri) by hand (shu).

The Japanese hand-held throwing weapon (shuriken) was first mentioned in Heike Monogatari, the annals of history. Heike Monogatari describes the weapon as the small metallic blades designed to defeat the enemy at a longer distance.


The throwing blades (shurikens) as well as the art of shuriken-jutsu was first brought to Japan together with the immigrants from China. The art of throwing small-sized weapons was well-known and popular in China one and a half thousand years B.C.

Shurikens came as weapons of complementary value, attached to the sword, spear or any other primary weapons; and in most cases they were of critical tactic significance in the battle. Most schools of martial arts still practice the art of shuriken-jutsu as a secondary skill.


The main purpose of using shuriken is distraction. The intention is to toss the blades to escape or to perform some other major actions (for example to take out the sword). Whether the target is hit by shuriken or not, the most important here is to distract attention to avoid being struck.

There are many techniques of throwing the shuriken. Most of them are related to Ken-jutsu, as if reminding that shuriken is a weapon for distracting attention only. If used together with metsubushi, shuriken might become an ideal tool to escape.

Talking about the variety of them we should distinguish the difference between the “bo” and “shaken” shurikens. Shaken-shuriken known as hira shuriken come as flat, star-like plates of steel with sharpened points. They are of more unique value in the fighting than bo-shuriken that come as straight metal spikes, sharpened at one or both sides. Shaken-shurikens spin at a faster rate striking the opponent in multiple points unlike bo-shuriken.

—  Shaken-shuriken is very easy to throw: the wrist of the warrior makes a hiting action towards whereas the arm is straightened in front.

—  Bo-shuriken is slightly heavier to throw: the wrist makes a fast movement with the palm.

Both Ninjas and Samurais have practiced the art of throwing the blades, but only the warriors of shadow enjoyed using shuriken-jutsu as the Japanese martial arts. And this technique reached to its highest peak in the environment of Ninja becoming a common skill for them to master.

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