Ninjato-ninja sword history and info. Ninja sword parts, sword types, ninjato making sword process and construction. Ninjato in a real Japanese history and in ninja movies.

Ninjas were the mercenaries and secret agents of Japan during its feudal age. The fact that they were highly skilled cannot be disputed. However, their need for secrecy has created an aura of mystery around them. In fact, there are few documents that act as authentic sources for information on the warriors known as the shinobi or ninja. Even a simple fact like the weapons and swords they used cannot be determined with any reasonable amount of accuracy.

As a result, the ninja sword is a matter of much speculation. It is popularly believed that the shihnobi used what is known as a Ninjato or shinobigatana. However, some experts in the history of shinobi believe that the ninjas used the katana, the most popular type of sword in those days.

Ninja sword - Ninjato


Also known as shinobigatana, these swords are believed to have been the preferred sword of the ninjas. However, there is a distinct lack of physical evidence for their existence. In fact, all existing Ninjato are of relatively modern make. Various museums do display Ninjato but they are all replicas. This includes the Iga-ryū Ninja Museum and the Kōka Ninja Village Museum. However, modern practitioners of the art of ninjutsu such as Masaaki Hatsumi and his student Stephen K. Hayes are known to use the Ninjato.

As for its appearance, the Ninjato is a short sword with its design possibly being based on the chokutō or wakizashi swords. It possesses a straight blade along with a square guard. However, it has a single edge like the katana and wakizashi.

Other Ninja Swords

Many historians believe that the ninja used other swords in their work such as the katana and the wakizashi.

The katana was the primary sword of a samurai. It is a long sword whose blade was curved and had a single edge. With the rise of the samurai, the katana quickly became a symbol of that class. However, it is possible that the shinobi used the katana when the need arose or when they are in disguise. The length of a katana was greater than 60cm.

The wakizashi is a shorter version of the katana with a length between 30cm to 60cm. This short sword was also used mainly by the samurai class as a backup for their katana.

The chokutō is believed to have been another inspiration for the ninjato. This sword is one of the oldest styles in Japanese swordmaking with the earliest surviving chokutō dating back to the 8th century. The chokutō had a straight blade with a single edge. This sword is also considered to be the precursor to the katana.

How Does the Ninjato Look?

A typical ninja sword will be a short sword. It will have a length of less than 60cm. It will be thick and heavy. Ninja sword blade is straight in the ninj amovies and in ninja culture but the historians believe the real history ninjato was cureved as a traditional japanese katana or a wakizashi.

How Are the Ninjato Manufactured?

Since the Ninjato are relatively modern, they are manufactured with the techniques prevalent today. There are generally two manufacturing processes by which the Ninjato can be made. The traditional method involves the use of hand forging. Ninja swords made with this method tend to be stronger and of a better quality. Commercial manufacturing techniques are used for mass production of the swords which are rarely of a high quality. This is mainly due to the poorer quality of materials used rather than the manufacturing technique.

Iron is used for making the more authentic ninja swords. However, the ninja swords, which are meant to be used as souvenirs or props, are typically manufactured stainless steel. Foam can also be used for the purpose.

Ninjato in Movies

Ninjas have always been popular in movies. It is one of the reasons why there has been so many legend and myths associated with this warrior clan. Due to the popularity of ninjas, there have been many movies that have featured ninja swords or the Ninjato as well.

The first notable mention of the Ninjato in a movie occurred in 1964. That year, the Iga-ryū Ninja Museum of Iga was established. This museum contained replicas of the ninja swords. The first movie to feature the sword was Shinobi no Mono Kirigakure Saizō followed by Shinobi no Mono Zoku Kirigakure Saizō. Both of these movies were released in 1964. They were also a part of the same movies being the 4th and the 5th installment respectively.

In Hollywood, ninjas have been present in movies for a long time. However, the first time the ninja sword appeared in a Hollywood was in 1983. The movie was called Revenge of the Ninja. It was the second movie in the unofficial ninja trilogy by Cannon Films. The first TV show to feature the use of this sword was The Master. It was broadcasted for the first time in 1984 by NBC.