Law enforcement has oft. involved the ARTs OF WAR
as well as those of SELF-DEFENSE.
The balancing of Society’s rules by the individuals
concerned requires access to cutting edge technology…
as far as the rulers budget allows anyway.
Ancient JAPAN was little different in this regard
and police forces of the time collectively
resorted to a select small number of WEAPONS
to accompany their work.
WEAPONS AND TACTICS
OF ANCIENT SAMURAI
…will examine them all.
Our World Legends.
BEHIND THE BADGE.
As with many countries, Ancient JAPAN’s Lands were divided
into Clan territories or Provinces.These were usually held
by force by Military Leaders or family lineage of such
with a CASTLE as the ‘Capital’.
From early times these military clans made full use
of the police force(s). Each province had their own.
Records indicate the main policing function has
not changed much over the years in essence.
Maintaining law and order within the province boundaries.
LAW AND ORDER… as defined by the RULER(s)…
Province districts, villages and towns all had law-enforcement
agencies who, in turn were directly responsible to the clans
representatives and/or the (Capital City) CASTLE
contingent of the RULER.
The AUTHORITY given was oft. quite broad,
giving policing powers over commoners, farmers, trades,
artisans, merchants, tourists
and even the SAMURAI class itself.
Their brief per se…seems to be akin to that
of the modern MP-MILITARY POLICE.
By this shiro means…(whilst there was indeed misuse
and abuse of/by the police for political gains and such
over the years by various leaders)…
the police were given basic powers and mainly
instructed to exercise control, prevent crime,
catch criminals and provide regular reports
to their next in the chain of command.
Usually ALL CRIME.
This type of directive which could involve petty crime
or upper class crimes meant police were oft. not sent
in to kill-but capture/’escort’ to the capital.
Quite oft. the ‘ crim ‘ was simply directly
there was no escort home.
THUS the need for… SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS.
ANCIENT SAMURAI SUPER COPS needed some new tools.
WEAPONS that could in a real sense…
save lives… usually theirs!
DEAD, NOT ALIVE…
A LAST RESORT.
A need for DEFENSIVE WEAPONS is a Law-mans lot.
Thus… LAW AND ORDER.
There are many instances in police work where violence
is askew. Facing a SAMURAI with a pair
of SWORDS problematical…
more so if the criminal act is merely political…
false claims were regular those days too…
DEADLY FORCE out of the question…
NO AUTHORITY to do that… but i’d rather not
get sliced up like fruit just for my job thanks! (click)
Time to enforce the law creatively.
These type dilemmas are i imagine all too real
for police on an everyday basis… balancing crime
prevention with appropriate preventive responses…
not offensive tactics.Hand-cuffs
not a hangmans noose approach.
SO… time to blunt that crim’s samurai
SAYONARA SAMURAI OR…
The need for self defense training in law enforcement
apparent to all.The nature of Japanese society meant
inevitably police had to cross paths…
and maybe swords… with SAMURAI.
Facing such a foe, then disarming and subduing involves
many skills and great team work.
Class distinctions aside, the SAMURAI were as well,
if not much better trained than many police officers…
WITH THE SWORD.
a small select number of WEAPON TYPES…
were well known to be quite effective
in negating the razor sharp sword edge.
Several NINJA and SAMURAI RYU/CLAN/FAMILY
had a long tradition of ‘secret’ weapons
and techniques that silenced the SAMURAI
Being from a culture that long had appreciated fine
weaponry Japanese Police Officers and support
crews became their own
WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT TEAM.
ROPE CUFFS, WHIPS AND CHAINS OFFICER ?…
Well…maybe NOT whips.
However any rope/chain WEAPON was…
roped in to the task!
The advantages of such include safer distance
from the ‘crim’ and the ensnaring effect. Chain
types a lil better suited to SWORD WORK
and the rope could help tie the samurai in knots…
Reports oft. indicate three man police teams oft.
used and as far as possible the teams ‘balanced’…
eg.1 rope expert/1 chain/1 weapon though
individual police officers skill-sets
could oft. contain mastery of several.
Also dependent on the status/skill of the ‘ crim ‘.
The weapons varied-from short or long
weighted chains (like the FAMED BOLAS of SPAIN…)
to existent weapons with chains/rope attached.
Comparatively lightweight, rope could double
as rope-ladder in the chase if req…
and as the obvious choice of restraint apparel
once the SAMURAI SILENCED AND SUBDUED…
The WEAPONS themselves, underwent some modding.
Points and tips rounded and suchlike,
more snare points if able… a lil more user friendly.
Much variety in the records… a lot of slight differences
as the WEAPONS evolved in use and locale etc.
THE LONG & SHORT,
BUT BOTH MIGHTIER THAN
As with the previous weapon type the main defensive
rationale was distance-though close work was not ignored…
Historically several LONG WEAPONS
had been proved to be more than effective
in SAMURAI STOPPING POWER.
The POLE …both bladed and spiked (or a combo)
was the perfect choice.The NAGINATA TYPE,
with its large curved blade and long reach
was also a particular favorite of the
Simple mods would blunt the sharp bits yet
maintain enough integrity to get the job done.
The crim could be pushed, prodded and poked
without too much injury… hopefully ensuring easy roping.
As with other weapons of the time a lil variety
in the weapon layout or makeup etc.
For those with an interest, a series of video
links to various discussed weapon demo’s
is listed at the end of the article.
Keep in mind… the POLICE WERE NOT… ALONE.
For the vast majority of the-
populace were ALSO BANNED FROM THE SWORD… so:
many of these DEFENSIVE WEAPONS and such concepts
were soon applied to items the populace
could use and carry.
Travelers of many classes such as wandering priests
and initiates, tourists, elderly, trades, traders
and merchants etc would use combos of
walking stick/mace/crook/rope/catchers as well.
The pic prior to the above is a WEAPON type
that priests oft. used for example.
Variations included tools and farming implements
such as rakes or broom types could all be simply
adapted to such functions with minimal effort…
and still can.
For when a close and personal touch required…
a unique WEAPON usually only used by a small
number of WEAPON EXPERTS came back in a big way.
TO CATCH A SWORD!?…HOW???
Well…thanks to my search engine and DuckDuckGo…
a SWORD worth catching…is pictured above…
and how TO CATCH THAT SWORD…
–pic above that.NJOY.
Pictured below is one more relevant to SHIRO…
at the moment…
OK OK… the ones below that then…
A specialist WEAPON that if used correctly would first
catch and trap then allow leverage disarming
of the SWORD itself.A WEAPON whose LEGENDARY
NAME infers the underlined strength it gives
the strength of(ju=) 10 (te=) HANDS…
A simple, solid chunk/rod of steel…
with an attached/offset tine(s). The jutte was used
so as to let the sword blade run down the steel rod
and get trapped between tine and rod… job done.
Rope ’em boys… in theory. Being as proficient as a
cowboy with the lasso may have been an advantage too.
Several other innovative defensive oriented weapons
noted though their widespread use unknown…
probably a personal choice by the officer, dependent
on the situation or crim being faced.
Protective gauntlets, body armor, battle fans,
knuckle duster type items, kubotan type
pressure point rods/sticks and
solid flat bars tied/strapped across palms
to deflect sword strikes and so forth.
Though the SAMURAI SWORD held a special
place in the hearts of the JAP.populace… (THEN and now)…
many ryu samurai/ninja/others, individual martial artists
and ex-soldiers etc ALL knew
from BATTLE EXPERIENCE and training;
…the reality… just another tool for the job.
Some of their EXPERT KNOWLEDGE has been passed
down through the few remaining MARTIAL lineages…
much is lost to the world as WRITING AND READING
per se were relatively unknown to the (global)populace
at large and word of mouth was
oft. the only resort available.
SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS.
The intel here indicate at least two tales to tell.
Many/some??? of the ANCIENT SAMURAI
SUPER COPS WERE…
(In addition-many others, samurai and/or non-samurai;
ex-soldiers, security personnel, town or city guards
and commoners too…
per norm FOR THE TIMES = many had MARTIAL skills…and more-)
Besides having the requisite martial abilities, their other
skill-sets oft.vital and very applicable to security
and police work with minimal adaptation.
There had been several periods historically whereby
many felt the need and inclination to acquire
these unique social stabilisers.
SKILLS that encompass ALL BUDO per se NOT
JUST SELF DEFENSE.
SKILLS that required-
SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS.
Useful for certain RULERS to fulfill certain tasks
MARTIAL or otherwise…
One such was IEYASU TOKUGAWA.
Hattori Hanzo… another.
ANCIENT SAMURAI SUPER COPS
FIRST SHOGUN OF THE TOKUGAWA’s who ruled JAPAN
between 1600-1900 approx. (click)
Hundreds of IGA and KOGA ryu NINJA were employed to
guard the CASTLE at EDO (olden name for TOKYO btw…)
for example and utilized as a Police Force by the SHOGUN.
Oft. referred to as the ONIWABANSHU.
Many many more were sent out to other locales
with similar tasks…
including spying on potential threats or real enemies.
NINJA style… POLICE work.
Another who found the NINJA of great use…
and may well have been related to a NINJA CLAN
himself is the famed HATTORI HANZO.
A SAMURAI of IGA his exploits are LEGENDARY.
NINJA were oft.employed in his service.
His son later became COMMANDER of the NINJA CASTLE
GUARDS contingent. Hattori btw was buried
with his helmet and a favorite WEAPON-his SPEAR. (click)
For those with an interest- Hattori’s SPEAR was
approx. 4.2mtrs in length originally.
His remains/Memorial are in the SAINEN-JI TEMPLE
COMPLEX some 10 mins from TOKYO TRAIN STATION.
The SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS prevalent in
the NINJA RYU and SAMURAI TRADITIONS
can be used to save LIFE. Creatively adapting tools
and ideas into the original meaning of
SELF DEFENSE itself = SURVIVAL.
For both the ancient samurai super cops:
the police and the populace itself.ALL.
SOCIETY SELF DEFENSE = SOCIETY SURVIVAL.
SAMURAI SELF DEFENSE REVIVED-
…BY A NINJA !
Understanding the sometimes deep crossover between
SAMURAI AND NINJA can be confusing.
Basically dependent on the time period in question
and the feelings of the RULER involved….
or the historian…or the families themselves.
At times NINJA were despised… other times… LEGENDS.
In 1855 the TOKUGAWA govt. designed and built
a KOUBUSHO; a NATIONAL MILITARY ACADEMY in KYOTO.
TODA SHINRYUKEN MASAMITSU was appointed as the first
CHIEF BUDO INSTRUCTOR for the SAMURAI
attending the academy (click).
TODA SHINRYUKEN MASAMITSU is/was a NINJA.
A NINPO GRANDMASTER (SOKE) in fact.
The TODA CLAN 1600-1960 approx. are the lineage
ancestors of the TOGAKURE RYU NINPO
as well as several other martial ryu traditions.
The last of the direct family
TAKAMATSU TOSHITSUGU (photo above)
(TODA MASAMITSU’s grandson)
bequeathed the lineages to the care of
the current SOKE (GRANDMASTER)
of the BUJINKAN (photo below). (click)
In turn DR.M.HATSUMI has written many books
on such subjects including one apt and relevant
‘ Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai ‘…
if you have an interest in the techniques/details
of the ancient SAMURAI/NINJA
as well as some background data…
well worth the read shiro says.
SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS OF ANCIENT
SUPER COPS therein too.
THEN… AND NOW.
The following comparison may be of historical interest.
Two photos… JAP.COPS…
and NOW–NJOY… or not. SIMPLE.
9 MARTIAL WEAPON DEMO’s/LINKS FOR INSPIRED TRAINING…SHIRO’s choice.
do you have a dream???… hows that going?