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 questioned/examined/explanation reqd…other times-
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…OR NON-EXISTENT…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 sword.
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.
However…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 & SWORD.
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 SAMURAI womenfolk.
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 its wielder…
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…NINJA.
(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 and operations.
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 DR.MASAAKI HATSUMI…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 here named:
‘ 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.
The following comparison may be of historical interest.
and NOW–NJOY…or not.SIMPLE.
9 MARTIAL WEAPON DEMO’s/LINKS FOR INSPIRED TRAINING…SHIRO’s choice.
SHIRO, at 22-joined the BUJINKAN ADELAIDE GROUP under the watchful eyes and hands and feet of S.ED LOMAX in 1984.
IN 1990 BOTH ED AND SHIRO, (27)… BECAME THE FIRST SOUTH AUSTRALIANS TO JAPAN TRAVEL AND TRAIN WITH SOKE.DR.M.HATSUMI AND the BUJINKAN NINPO MASTER INSTRUCTORS…idreamofninja…
now i train and study with NINJA…
do you have a dream???… hows that going?