The kusarigama (鎖鎌, lit. "chain-sickle") is a traditional Japanese weapon that consists of a kama (the Japanese equivalent of a sickle) on a kusari-fundo – a type of metal chain (kusari) with a heavy iron weight (fundo) at the end. The kusarigama is said to have developed during the Muromachi period. The art of handling the kusarigama is called kusarigamajutsu.
Methods of use
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 while still outside the range of an opponent's hand weapon.
In Canada, under the Criminal Code of Canada's centrifugal force criteria, the kusarigama is a prohibited weapon due to the chain using said force. A kama (the correct term for a single tool) is legal.
In popular culture
- Hanzo Hattori, as depicted in the Samurai Warriors series, wields one.
- In the manga Vagabond, Shishido Baiken uses a kusarigama.
- The demon slayer Kohaku from the manga and anime Inuyasha wields a kusarigama.
- In the One-Punch Man webcomic and manga, the hero Chain'n'toad (Japanese: 鎖ガマ Hepburn: Kusarigama) both wields, and is named after, the kusarigama.
- Hidan is depicted wielding a kusarigama in the manga and anime Naruto
- Ryu Hayabusa uses a kusarigama in some games of the Ninja Gaiden series.
- In the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series, Michelangelo often uses a kusarigama in addition to his traditional pair of nunchaku.
- In the game League of Legends, the champion Thresh, the Chain Warden, uses a kusarigama.
- In the fifth season of the cartoon Samurai Jack, the assassin Ashi uses a kusarigama.
- In the game Nioh, one of the available weapon types is kusarigama.
- In the game series Guilty Gear, Axl Low uses a kusarigama.
- In the game Shadow Fight 2 , kusarigama is one of the main weapons to be played.
- Magic: the Gathering has featured the kusarigama as a card in its Japanese-inspired Kamigawa block.
- In The Lotus War series of books (Stormdancer, Kinslayer and Endsinger) by Jay Kristoff, the character Akihito wields a kusarigama.
- In the anime and the manga series of Soul Eater, Black Star wields two chained-together kama.
- In the game For Honor the Shinobi uses two chained-together kama.
- In the anime RWBY, Emerald Sustrai uses a pair of revolvers with blades on retractable chains.
- In the anime and manga of Bleach, Hisagi Shuhei's soulcleaver in its first released state is two double-bladed kama chained together.
- Kusarigamajutsu, the art of handling the kusarigama
- Okinawan kusarigama, Okinawan chain and sickle weapon
- Chain weapon
- Grappling hook
- Legacies of the sword: the Kashima-Shinryū and samurai martial culture Karl F. Friday, Fumitake Seki, University of Hawaii Press, 1997 P.122
- Secrets of the samurai: a survey of the martial arts of feudal Japan, Oscar Ratti, Adele Westbrook, Tuttle Publishing, 1991 P.317
- Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: The Martial Arts of Feudal Japan (1973)
- Ellis Amdur, Old School: Essays of Japanese Martial Traditions (2002)
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