There wasn’t just one ‘breed’ of Ninja, there were many different Ryu-Ha or schools of the mysterious assassins. And each school had their own preferred set of weapons. We sell several different styles of Shuriken; here is a quick run-down of the different ones and the schools they come from.
Togakure-Ryu Senban Shuriken – Originally a carpenter’s tool, called kugi nuki (nail puller), these four-pointed throwing stars are the most recognizable form of “Ninja stars”. They were used for many different purposes besides being thrown, such as armor. Traditionally, they were not carried by Ninja every day, because if they were to be stopped, the Shuriken would reveal their identity.
Togakure-Ryu Bo Shuriken – Bo Shuriken were constructed from a wide variety of everyday items, hence there were many unique shapes and sizes. Items such as nails, needles, knives, and various pins were used as Bo Shuriken. They were typically four-sided, but can also be found rounded.
Togakure-Ryu Ita Ken – Unlike Bo Shuriken, the Togakure-Ryu Ita Ken are sharpened on both ends, giving the user a higher probability of sticking their target. These Shuriken are modeled after knives, giving their flat shape.
Iga Happo Shuriken – With eight points, this Shuriken was used by the famous Iga-Ryu Ninja of Feudal Japan. Iga-Ryu Ninja were trained in disguise, escape, concealment, explosives, medicine, and poisons, as well more conventional forms of warfare such as unarmed combat and various forms of weaponry. Shuriken were used as a method to distract and escape, not to kill.
Kobori-Ryu Roppo Shuriken – Roppo, meaning “movement in six directions”, is how this six-pointed Shuriken gets its name. When held correctly, the Kobori-Ryu Roppo Shuriken also make sturdy, self-defense weapons.
Koga / Iga-Ryu 4 Point Shuriken – A more narrow version of the Senban Shuriken, these models were used by the famous Ninja of Iga-Ryu and Koga-Ryu.
Meifu Shinkage-Ryu Bo Shuriken – These Bo Shuriken are four-sided and are able to penetrate targets deeply, given their durable design. A modern school of Shuriken-Jutsu, Meifu Shinkage-Ryu was founded by Chikatoshi Someya in the 1970’s. Although the throwing style used in Meifu Shinkage-Ryu is different, Someya refined the Katori style of throwing, making it shorter, faster and more concealed.
Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu Juji – These Shuriken are possibly one of the best varieties of Hira Shuriken. The long, rounded, needle-sharp points and thick overall construction of the Shuriken give them excellent penetration on the target. Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu (New Shadow School) is one of the oldest schools of Kenjutsu, founded by Kamizumi Nobutsuna.