The kyoketsu-shoge (Japanese: 距跋渉毛), which means "to run about in the fields and mountains", is a double edged blade, with another curved blade attached near the hilt at a 45–60 degree angle. This is attached to approximately 10 to 18 feet (3–5 m) of rope, chain, or hair which then ends in a large metal ring. Likely used by ninja of the Iga province, it is thought to be a forerunner to the later more widely known kusarigama (sickle and chain). Ninja were often recruited from the class of rural peasantry who resided on remote farmland, and the tool's resemblance to farming equipment and high versatility in combat gave it many benefits in stealth combat.
The kyoketsu-shoge has a wide range of uses. The blade could be used for pulling slashes as well as thrusting stabs. The chain or cord, sometimes made from human hair or horsehair for strength and resiliency, could be used for climbing, ensnaring an enemy, binding an enemy and many such other uses. The long range of the weapon combined a cutting tool along with the capability to strike or entangle an enemy at what the user perceived to be a 'safe' distance out of the way. When skilled with this weapon it could be used to entangle a sword and rip it from the opponents hands rendering him harmless. The kyoketsu-shoge cord and ring was sometimes used to wrap around an enemy's legs and trip them.
Typically the round ring was flat rather than round in cross section to provide a firmer grip and a more sturdy frame, as the ring was also used for strikes and deflective blows in use. This tool was also used as a climbing aid, and it could be thrown and lodged in corners.
In the film Ninja Assassin, a modified chain version of this weapon is used as Raizo's main weapon.
- "Kyoketsu Shoge by Joe Maurantonio". www.kihon.com. Archived from the original on 2020-01-31. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
- Hatsumi, Masaaki (1981). Ninjutsu: History and Tradition. Burbank, CA: Unique. p. 112. ISBN 0-86568-027-2.
- Hayes, Stephen K. (2011). The ninja and their secret fighting art. Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle Publishing. pp. 69–72. ISBN 978-1-4629-0183-8. OCLC 893680936.
- "How To Use The Kyoketsu Shoge". shinmyoken.com. Westchester, New York: Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo. 2019-07-09. Archived from the original on 2020-01-31. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
- "The Best Fight Scenes From 'Marvel's Daredevil'". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
- Media related to Kyoketsu-shoge at Wikimedia Commons
- Interactive page The first Internet article written about the kyoketsu-shoge. Archived January 31, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
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