Posted on

How To Tie Sageo 下げ緒

A question I commonly get asked in the dojo is what is a Sageo 下げ緒 for and how do you tie one? This is usually after a student has bought their first Iaito and undone the Sageo not realising that they have no idea how to put it back into it original position.

In this post i’m going to break it down into an easy guide so that its never an issue for anyone again.

The first thing you need to do it understand what your working with, the diagram below will outline all of the parts of the Katana and the relevant Japanese terms:

In this post we are going to mainly be concerned with the Kurigata 栗形, Hito Dome 鵐目 and Sageo 下げ緒 but its a good idea to familiarise yourself with all the sword terms.

First establish what type of Sageo you have, certain types of Sageo such as the Shigeuchi Sageo have a loose weave so you dont want to pull them through Hito Dome as it will ruin the Sageo completely.

The Sageo pictured above is a Shigeuchi Sageo but it has been passed through wider than usual Hito Dome 鵐目.

Care should be taken with your Sageo if you are unsure what type yours is, most are a slightly thicker weave cotton Sageo similar to Tsuka Ito (Handle Cord) called Kakucho Sageo like the one pictured below.

The more expensive traditional Sageo are weaved out of expensive silks and cost £60+ per Sageo so you certainly would not want to damage them during fitting. You can get cheaper satin equivalents that look similar to the more expensive silk variants but much of its personal preference. If you want to know what your Sageo is made out of you can perform a burn test, the colour of the flame will tell you what it is comprised of but we will go into that in more detail in a later post.

So what exactly is a Sageo used for? A Sageo is a cord that is used to keep your Saya (Sheath) attached to your Obi (Belt), This provides the swordsman with enough movement to keep the Saya attached to the Obi but not locked in a position where it restricts body movement when he needs to draw the sword. It also serves the practical purpose of stopping your Saya from moving freely around the waist and getting in the way of your movement or leaving it on the ground behind you when you move at any speed.

You should tie the Sageo on the Obi with enough length to extend the left arm out while holding the Saya so that the Kojiri of the Saya is in the Obi, This is especially important for Taihenjutsu should you need to roll or leap out of the way as you need to be able to reposition the Saya so that you are not rolling over it or landing directly on it. The lower back needs to be completely clear of the Saya.

Its important to mention that you should not be able to bring the Saya behind the back, the Sageo should start to pull on the Obi once it starts to reach the flat of the lower back on the left hand side, if not the Sageo needs tightening up.

The traditional way of tying the Sageo to the Obi is using a single or double loop with the Sageo passed through to secure the loop in place on the Obi like so:

Find both ends of the Sageo and and hold the ends together, you should have the Kurigata of the Saya positioned right in the middle of the Sageo so that its equal in length. Take about 6-8 inches of Sageo and fold over the finger and pass the loop under your Obi on the right hand side of your hip.

So that a loop is exposed from the top of the Obi like this:

If you imagine my forefinger is the Obi the loop should be exposed from the top, then take the two ends of the Sageo and pass them through the loop like so:

This loop can then be repeated again and the end of the Sageo tucked into the Obi, It shouldnt be tied in a fixed knot in case you need to release it quickly.

Thats how the Sageo should be tied to the Obi but how about when your not training and its on the Kake?

This is a topic of dispute to some extent as the best way you can tie your Sageo without damaging it is not to really tie it at all, The complex looping and knotting of the Sageo tends to stretch and damage the Sageo so the way you see most Sageo tied when you buy them is actually considered detrimental to the Sageo, Tied in the manner shown below:

When you use your Katana your first step should be untying the Sageo and tying a simple loop knot close to the Kurigata, like this:

To form a knot, this helps to keep the Sageo together and stop the Kurigata and Hito Dome from sliding about when your using the Katana.

Although it may not seem that important to tie this knot it is essential for safety, if the Sageo snags whilst you are drawing the Katana all sorts of accidents can happen and you could even end up stabbing yourself with the Kissaki of your Katana.

When you are finished training with you sword you should wrap the Sageo in a simple flat manner, I have provided two examples below.

This is the easiest way to tie the Sageo by simply wrapping it under the Kurigata.

This is a more traditional way of wrapping the Saya whilst it is stored on a Kake (Stand). The Sageo is run along the length of the Saya and wrapped approximately three quarters of the way down the Saya by the Kojiri.

I would personally advise tying your Sageo using a method that wont damage your Sageo but I do understand that the simple manners of tying it just dont have the same aesthetic appeal as the more complex styles.

Which leads me on to the final section of this post, How to tie the Sageo in the usual way for display.

Im going to start right from the beginning to avoid any confusion so i have removed everything from the Kurigata of my Saya.

The first thing to do before you even start thinking about tying the Sageo is to get a sheet of A4 paper, some scissors and a pencil.

Take the A4 paper and cut a 4cm square, then take the paper and tightly fold it around one end of the Sageo, keep in mind the inner width of the Hito Dome when your wrapping the Sageo as you are going to pass the folded paper through it, this stops the strands at the end of the Sageo from snagging.

Paper wrapped around one end of the Sageo.

Pass the end of the Sageo through the front of the Hito Dome.

Pass the Sageo through the Kurigata with the back of the Hito Dome facing the Kurigata.

Pass the Sageo though the Kurigata until you find the middle ensuring that the Sageo does not snag on the inside of the Kurigata.

Take the paper wrapped end of the Sageo and pass it through the Hito Dome the other way this time, so from the back of the Hito Dome to the front. Be sure to check that you are placing the Hito Dome on the right way up on the Sageo and that the Sageo is not twisted otherwise you will have to remove it and start again.

Once both Hito Dome are on the Sageo in the correct position then remove the paper tip it’s no longer needed.

Find the middle of the Sageo again this time being careful not to snag the Sageo on any shap edges that may be present on the inside of the Hito Dome. Carefully work it through feeling for any snags that may pull threads on the Sageo.

Once you have found the middle of the Sageo lay the left hand side over the right to form a cross.

Take the right hand side of the Sageo and place under the Saya.

Fold the right hand side of the Sageo and place under the first loop formed by the Kurigata.

Repeat the same steps on the left side of the Kurigata.

So that you have two loops either side as demonstrated in the picture above.

Now take the Sageo on the right hand side of the Kurigata and fold it to go back under the Saya to form another loop. Ensure their are no twists in the Sageo on the Ura side of the Saya.

Like so.

Then bring the Sageo back over the top of the Saya to form another loop in the same way as the first loop.

Repeat this process of folding, drawing the Sageo under the Saya and then looping over until you have six loops, three either side of the Kurigata.

Place the pencil through the six loops and level out.

Start tightening the Sageo from the Kurigata outwards, I started from the Kurigata tightening the right side first. The pencil stops you pulling the Sageo through the loops whilst tightening.

Follow the path of the Sageo whilst tightening but leave enough space to pass the ends of the Sageo through the loops.

Once you have tightened the right side and left enough space to pass the Sageo through the loops then tighten the left side in the same way.

One the Sageo has been tightened enough, fold the length of Sageo on the right and pass through the loops.

Use the pencil to carefully push the folded Sageo through the loops.

Make sure the Sageo is not twisted and is sitting flat inside the loops.

Remove the pencil.

Fold the length of Sageo on the left and pass through the loops.

Use the pencil to assist in passing the folded Sageo through the loops.

Remove the pencil.

Start tightening from the Kurigata outwards again.

Once again i tightened the Sageo on the right side of the Kurigata and then the left side.

Level out either side of the Sageo and flatten down and your finished.

Their is a huge variety of ways to tie the Sageo on your Katana but this probably the most common form that people ask about, some other examples are:

We hope that you find this post helpful and have gained a better understanding of how to use and tie the Sageo.

Posted on

Togakure Ryu Ita Ken

Togakure Ryu Ita Ken are one of the main varieties of Shuriken you are likely to encounter when learning Shurikenjutsu as part of your training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

The three main types of Shuriken associated with Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu are Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai (Bo Shuriken), Togakure Ryu Ita Ken (Tanto Gata) and Togakure Ryu Senban (Hira Shuriken) although their are a vast array of other Shuriken associated with other Ryuha such as Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Katori Shinto Ryu and Meifu Shinkage Ryu.

Togakure Ryu Ita Ken Shuriken Specifications:

Length: 19cm
Width: 1.7cm
Thickness: 3mm
Type: Tanto Gata / Ita Ken
Material: Steel / Tool Steel

The Togakure Ryu Ita Ken can be seen being used by Soke Masaaki Hatsumi (34th Grandmaster of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu) in the book Ninjutsu History and Traditions published in 1981.

They are also well known in the Tsuagawa Ryu according to one of the top ranking UK Shihan.

Togakure Ryu Ita Ken are good Shuriken and perform well when thrown but I have to admit, if given a choice between Togakure Ryu Ita Ken and Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai, I would probably stick with the conventional Uchi Barai Bo Shuriken.

The Ita Ken lack the penetration capability of the Uchi Barai’s geometrically structured needle tip, although that could be rectified easily enough by sharpening the Ita Ken tips and turning them into Tanto Gata.

That’s not to say that Ita Ken aren’t extremely effective Shuriken in their own right, just that their is a little room for improvement and its not to much of a stretch of the imagination to assume that at some point in time the Togakure Ryu Ninja may well have sharpened the tips of the Ita Ken.

An obvious benefit to the Togakure Ryu Ita Ken over the Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai Bo Shuriken is in the design itself, having two points either end of the Shuriken means that it doesn’t really matter which way the Shuriken is held when thrown from the hand.

I’m specifically highlighting this point about how the Ita Ken is positioned in the hand as having tips either end of the Shuriken doesn’t really increase the likelihood of the Shuriken sticking, The probability that the Ita Ken will stick in the target doubles but that isn’t really relevant as whether you throw with or without spin you are still controlling the tip of the Shuriken and guiding its trajectory to stick into the target. This only really applies to Bo Shuriken, Ita Ken and Tanto Gata, Hira Shuriken are entirely different as their is a very high probability they will stick in the target regardless of how they are thrown.

Ita Ken have a roughly 50/50 probability of sticking if just thrown without technique but with good technique they are pretty much guaranteed to stick in the target each and every time.

In conclusion Togakure Ryu Ita Ken are great for practicing Shurikenjutsu and are one of the more relevant Bujinkan Shuriken for students of the Dojo but they aren’t the best Shuriken on the market. Definitely. An essential Shuriken for any Bujinkan students collection.

The Togakure Ryu Ninja traditionally carried 9 of each Shuriken during missions and it’s good to have multiple Shuriken to practice with when training so if you get the opportunity then stock up on Togakure Ryu Ita Ken.


Posted on

Koga Ryu Juji

The Koga Ryu Juji Shuriken is possibly one of the most iconic Ninja symbols in popular culture and anime and for good reason.

The Koga Ryu Juji is an excellent all round Hira Shuriken which is reliable, has good penetration on the target and is stable during flight once thrown due to it being equally balanced.

Koga Ryu Juji were actually the first Hira Shuriken I ever came across when I first started training and they are excellent for beginners.

They were not exclusively used by The Koga Ninja but also the closely related Iga Ryu Ninja as well, the two families were possibly the most famous and influential Ninja families of medieval Japan and gained notoriety during the Sengoku Jidai (Warring States c. 1467 – 1603) period with prominent Ninja like Hanzo Hattori.

When you first start training in Shurikenjutsu Togakure Ryu Senban are usually the first Hira Shuriken you encounter but Koga Ryu Juji are equally suitable, perhaps even a little better that Togakure Ryu Senban.

They can have a hole in the centre of the Shuriken with some Koga Ryu Juji and others without hole but they are much the same really, it perhaps slightly effects the Shuriken over a distance but not at a relevant effective range to the target.

The specifications for Koga Ryu Juji are as follows;

Length – Point to Point: 12.8cm

Width: 2.7cm at base

Thickness: 2mm

Type: Juji (Cross)

Material: Steel / Tempered Steel

In conclusion the Koga Ryu Juji Shuriken are one of the better Hira Shuriken on the market, They have a great geometric design overall, good penetration on the target and the weight and balance of the Shuriken keep them on a straight trajectory to the target once thrown. The only Hira Shuriken I have encountered with better penetration capabilities than the Koga Ryu Juji are Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Juji due to their increased weight and needle sharp tips.

Posted on

Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Juji 柳生新陰流手裏剣

Yagyu Shinkage Ryu 柳生新陰流 Juji Shuriken are possibly one of the best varieties of Hira Shuriken, The long rounded needle sharp points and thick overall construction of the Shuriken give them excellent penetration on the target.

Yagyu Shinkage Ryu is one of the oldest schools of Kenjutsu, It’s primary founder was Kamizumi Nobutsuna who called the school Shinkage Ryu (New Shadow School).

In 1565 Kamizumi Nobutsuna handed Sokeship of the school to Yagyu Munetoshi who added his own name to the school.

It has been believed for centuries that the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu School of swordsmanship also studied Ninjutsu skills and tactics, mainly during the time of Yagyu Munenori, Yagyu Munetoshi’s son.

The specifications for the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Juji are as follows:

Length: 11.5cm point to point
Width: 1.2cm at base
Thickness: 5mm
Type: Juji (Cross)
Material: Steel / Tempered Steel

As Hira Shuriken the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Juji are probably the best, their are some minor pitfalls such as the denser construction makes them less aerodynamic than Koga Ryu Juji but its a trade off between increased penetration and accuracy at a distance.

In conclusion they are an essential Shuriken for any practitioner of Shurikenjutsu.


Posted on

Iga Ryu Daimatsuba

Iga Ryu Daimatsuba are one of my personal favourites, They are the perfect compromise between Bo and Hira Shuriken in a single projectile weapon.

The Iga Ryu Ninja are quite possibly the most famous Ninja of all time and are one of only a few ninja lineages that have survived to this day. The Iga Ueno Ninja museum is based in Iga Ueno, Mie prefecture where they celebrate an annual Ninja festival and host regular theatrical displays and demonstrations.

Iga Ryu Daimatsuba translates into the Iga School Pine Needle but they are also affectionately known as “Swallow Tail” Shuriken due to their shape.

The Iga and Koga Ryu schools were born out of warfare during the Onin War in which they honed their guerilla warfare and weapons skills into the art that formed Ninjutsu. The history of Iga Ryu Ninjutsu is a very extensive subject that closely links to the formation of the Bansenshukai and its different variations. The original Bansenshukai that forms the basis for Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu was in fact compiled by an Iga Ryu Ninja, Fujibayashi Sabuji in 1676 for the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Fujibayashi himself is quite a mystery as Fujibayashi Sabuji, Fujibayashi Nagato and Momochi Sandayu could all be the same person.

The specifications for Iga Ryu Daimatsuba are as follows:

Length: 12cm
Width: 4.5cm at Tail
Thickness: 3mm
Type: Daimatsuba – Pine Needle
Material: Tool Steel/Tempered Steel

When I initially encountered the Iga Ryu Daimatsuba I had heard a lot of mixed opinions about their effectiveness as Shuriken, Some people hated them, Some people said they wern’t really Shuriken and others loved them.

Once I managed to get my hands on some Daimatsuba, I started training with them and absolutely loved them! I think the issue is if you view them as Hira Shuriken then they are somewhat like ineffective Sankou Shuriken, they should definitely be used in the same manner as Bo Shuriken.

Personally I find Iga Ryu Daimatsuba to be well balanced, to have very good penetration on the target and to be very stable during flight. It’s actually difficult not to layer these Shuriken on top of each other when thrown as they just seem to fly directly to the target in the same way an extremely well balanced throwing knife would like an Arrow HD.

In conclusion if being a Ninja was based on your choice of Shuriken, I’d definitely be an Iga Ryu Ninja, They know how to produce very good Shuriken! Possibly the best variety of Shuriken I’ve ever had the pleasure of practicing with!

Posted on

Meifu Shinkage Ryu Bo Shuriken

Meifu Shinkage Ryu 明府真影流 Bo Shuriken are very robust with a strong geometric needle sharp tip and are probably the best Bo Shuriken available.

Meifu Shinkage Ryu is a modern school of Shurikenjutsu founded by Chikatoshi Someya in the 1970’s. Someya was a student of Katori Shinto Ryu although the throwing style of Meifu Shinkage Ryu is different.

The current Soke of Meifu Shinkage Ryu is Yasuyuki Otsuka who runs an organisation of around 200 international students and Keiko which focus specifically on teaching Shurikenjutsu.

The specifications for Meifu Shinkage Ryu Shuriken are as follows:

Length: 15cm
Width: 6mm
Thickness: 6mm
Type: Bo Shuriken (Spike)
Material: Tool Steel/Tempered Steel

Meifu Shinkage Ryu Bo Shuriken are excellent overall, the increased length make no spin throwing significantly easier which is the main focus of the Meifu Shinkage Ryu Shurikenjutsu.

They can take a lot of punishment without sustaining much damage from practicing with them, the only down side is that sometimes the tips can bend if thrown too hard due to the increased weight of the shaft.

In conclusion Meifu Shinkage Ryu Bo Shuriken are an essential addition to any shurikenjutsu practitioners collection and are arguably the best Bo Shuriken available.

Posted on

Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai Bo Shuriken

Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai Bo Shuriken Specifications:

Length: 16cm
Width: 6mm
Thickness: 6mm
Type: Tapered Bo Shuriken
Material: Tool Steel/Tempered Steel

The Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai is one of the traditional Shuriken of the Togakure Ryu Ninja. Somewhat similar in design to the Katori Shinto Ryu Shuriken the Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai is tapered down to a needle shaped tip and has a slight taper at the rear of the Shuriken.

The Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai Bo Shuriken is one of the 3 fundamental Togakure Ryu Shuriken of the Bujinkan which includes the Togakure Ryu Senban Hira Shuriken and the Togakure Ryu Ita Ken. These Shuriken should be the primary focus initially of any student of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu who is studying Shurikenjutsu.

The Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai are extremely effective Shuriken somewhat like throwing oversized needles into the target, They are well balanced and robust overall although somewhat prone to bending with repeated usage.

The sharp geometric pyramid shaped tips of these Shuriken are deceptive as they don’t feel as sharp as the Meifu Shinkage Ryu Bo Shuriken but the overall design of the Uchi Barai means their is less resistance upon penetration of the target.

Definitely an essential Shuriken for any Shurikenjutsu practitioner and should be the first Bo Shuriken of any Bujinkan Budoka.

Posted on

Kobori Ryu Happogata Hira Shuriken

Kobori Ryu Happogata Hira Shuriken roughly translates as the Kobori Schools Eight Pointed Hira Shuriken and they are extremely effective. The eight sharp protruding points almost guarantee that the Shuriken will penetrate the target regardless of how it is thrown although obviously all Shuriken should be thrown utilising proper technique.

The specifications for the Kobori Ryu Happogata are as follows:

Length: 9cm
Width: 9cm
Thickness: 2mm
Type: Happogata – 8 pointed star
Material: Tool Steel/Tempered Steel

The Kobori Ryu Happogata comes from the Kobori Ryu Tosuijutsu school which is primarily focused on Suijutsu (Classical combat swimming and warfare). After doing a bit of research the original Densho of Kobori Ryu Tosuijutsu is actually owned by a private collector who purchased it from an online auction sight after it was lost for 96 years after their most prominent teacher Saruki Muneyasu died on the 5th of October 1912.

Overall the Kobori Ryu Happogata are extremely effective but their is a little room for improvement, They are quite light Hira Shuriken being only 2mm thick so increasing the thickness would provide these Shuriken with substantially improved penetration on the target.

The additional weight would enable the Kobori Ryu Happogata to build up more velocity when travelling to the target after being thrown and considering the tips are not sharpened, you need the additional velocity for them to stick effectively into the target.

In conclusion Kobori Ryu Hira Shuriken are an intermediate level Shuriken, they are extremely effective but you do need a certain degree of skill to control them effectively to be accurate, its definitely a case of using Ken Tai Ichi Jo to propel them directly at the target. They are brilliant for throwing multiple Hira Shuriken at once, I believe this is due to the decreased surface area of the Kobori Ryu Happogata not causing air pressure to separate the individual Hira Shuriken until a later stage in their trajectory toward the target.

A brilliant addition to any Shurikenjutsu practitioners collection although to be accurate with them its good to have developed some proficiency beforehand as they are lighter than some of the other Shuriken.

They will work if you just launch them at the target but thats kind of missing the point of what we are doing when training entirely.


Posted on

Togakure Ryu Senban Hira Shuriken

The specifications for the Togakure Ryu Senban are as follows:

Length: 11cm
Width: 11cm
Thickness: 2mm
Type: Diamond
Material: Tool Steel/Tempered Steel

The Togakure Ryu Senban Hira Shuriken is one of the Togakure Ryu trinity of Shuriken along with the Togakure Ryu Uchi Barai Bo Shuriken and the Togakure Ryu Ita Ken.

The Togakure Ryu Senban Hira Shuriken is an iconic image in just about every book ever written or DVD produced about Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu and Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

It is the single most common Shuriken you are likely to encounter when training in the Bujinkan and is usually the first Shuriken you learn to throw.

As Hira Shuriken they are fairly effective, have good penetration on the target, good overall weight and are fairly accurate but they aren’t particularly spectacular either.

The issue is mainly in the design as the elongated sides of the Togakure Ryu Senban mean that it is somewhat prone to bouncing off of harder targets like wood when thrown horizontally. It very much depends on what you expect from a Shuriken however, if your intention is to get the points to penetrate deep into the target each time you throw then Togakure Ryu Senban Hira Shuriken aren’t really the right tool for the job.

Traditionally the Togakure Ryu Senban was used as a tool for psychological misdirection more that a devastating weapon and the larger geometry of the Shuriken enabled it to be used as a hook or Teppan (plate) to aid with Taijutsu techniques. The wider inwardly curved edges of the Togakure Ryu Senban would also cause larger lacerations and cuts to the opponent when striking hard area of the body and face before bouncing off and being lost in undergrowth and bushes.

The overall balance of the Togakure Ryu Senban is excellent when thrown as it has a wide surface area making it very aerodynamic.

In conclusion the Togakure Ryu Senban is an essential Shuriken for any Bujinkan practitioner learning Shurikenjutsu but they take practice to master properly and develop accuracy. They aren’t really designed to penetrate deeply into the target so its advisable to use softer targets or to throw with additional momentum using Ken Tai Ichi Jo (Using the body and weapon as one).

Similar varieties of the Togakure Ryu Senban Hira Shuriken exist is other schools such as Kukishinden Ryu Senban which have a fine edge and Shosho Ryu Senban which are similar to Teppan (Solid metal plates). Shosho Ryu is better known for its Jujutsu which is currently in its 68th Genration, an example of Shosho Ryu Senban is provided below.

Posted on

Nagare Manji Hira Shuriken


Nagare Manji aren’t associated with any traditional Ryuha that i can find, They appear to be produced in a reverse swazstika (Manji) design with long flowing (Nagare) points. The points have an almost Kissaki like geometric tip that forms a sharp edge.

The Swazstika although associated with the Nazis during World War Two is actually a holy and auspicious symbol in Japan and throughout Asia. It’s commonly used by Japanese schools girls putting them in their hair taking photos on Instagram and is the word Manji is used somewhat like the word “Cheese” when taking photos. The word can be used in a variety of ways in the Japanese language such as to appear strong or high class or even as a sarcastic “Really?!” Or. “Seriously?!”.

The Manji has been closely linked to Buddhism for thousand of years before the Nazis adopted the symbol. The Japanese call the Nazi variation “Haaikenkuroitsu” ハーケンクロイツ

The specifications for the Nagare Manji Shuriken are as follows:

Length: 11.5cm
Width: 11.5cm
Thickness: 4mm
Type: Swazstika (Manji)
Material: Tool Steel/Tempered Steel

My overall opinion of Nagare Manji Hira Shuriken is they are ok, They are perfectly functional Shuriken if thrown with the curvature of the Shuriken facing away from the target so that the points hook into the target. If thrown the other way around with the curvature facing the target they tend to bounce off without doing any noticeable damage.

The Nagare Manji have to be thrown quite hard to get them to penetrate the target properly when practicing so I would say they are an intermediate level Hira Shuriken in comparison to some of the Juji Shuriken from specific Ryuha (Schools).

I do like the Nagare Manji but if I’m honest, they aren’t my favourite Hira Shuriken, They have a solid construction, they are quite heavy, they are robust and will take a lot of punishment but they just refuse to stick in the target 99% of the time. They just aren’t reliable enough to be used as an effective weapon in the Ninjas arsenal.

Trying to get 3 to stick in succession feels like a really labour intensive task by attempting to force the Shuriken to rotate enough to stick in the target, it’s not easy! Which makes me wonder if they would be effective in reality? Maybe you would give Uke a concussion or a nasty scratch.

In conclusion the Nagare Manji look the part but fall a bit short of when it comes to functionality, They will stick in the target but it doesn’t feel natural throwing them, I think a lot of that could be solved by sharpening and honing the arms down into a fine edge but then that could compromise the overall structure of the Shuriken.

The Nagare Manji is a good addition to any Shurikenjutsu practitioners collection but not essential, fun if your looking for something more challenging to practice with but their are better Hira Shuriken available.