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Japanese "makibishi" iron spikes, a type of caltrop
Water caltrop (Trapa natans) seeds

The term makibishi (撒き菱 or 撒菱) refers to the Japanese version of the caltrop.


Makibishi (igadama) are sharp spiked objects that were used in feudal Japan to slow down pursuers and also were used in the defense of samurai fortifications.[1][2] Makibishi were one of the items supposedly used by ninja. Iron caltrops were called tetsubishi while those made from the dried seed pod of the water caltrop, Trapa sp., formed a natural type of caltrop called tennenbishi. Both types of makibishi could penetrate the thin soles of the shoes such as the waraji sandals that were commonly worn in feudal Japan when the makibishi was dropped on the ground or planted in advance.[3][4] Makibishi could be carried in a bag attached to a belt along with other commonly carried weapons and/or tools such as shuriken and kaginawa.[5] Makibishi could be thrown like a shuriken[6] and could also be used against an enemy on horseback.[7]


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