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Nunchaku?
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Something occurred to me, and I figured someone on KnM would probably know:

In the movies you often see ninja running around with nunchaku...but it doesn't seem to be a weapon we train with. Obviously Hollywood takes a lot of liberties, and just plain gets some things completely wrong, so that's no surprise.

However, I though I'd read that nunchaku were derived from a flail as used for threshing grain. Since ninja were often common folk, such as farmers, field workers, millers, etc. (or at the very least disguised as common folk), wouldn't a weapon such as that have been a natural part of the arsenal?

~D

Posted on: 2004/6/22 3:33
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Re: Nunchaku?
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I don't know the answer to your question, I hope some others here might shed some light on the subject. From my POV I would say the Kasari Fundo would be our version of the nunchaku (this is not to say that we don't or have never used Nunchaku). I have also seen some hanbo tec,s that were very similar to the way in which nunchaku are used, I have used Nunchaku as a grappling weapon in training.Like all things Bujinkan I am sure we are being given the skills to use them even if we have something different in our hands at the time and our brains don't quite make the connection yet

Posted on: 2004/6/22 11:52
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Re: Nunchaku?
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I think you'll find that the real origin of the nunchaku is Bruce Lee.

This is a weapon of Okinawan Kobudo but before Bruce even it's use here was fairly obscure. I believe only five or six people in the world were proficient in it and the way it was used was quite different before being discovered by Bruce.

I have never seen a rice flail like a nunchaku. Usually they seem to be only half of one on the end of a much longer bamboo pole. This could be used as a weapon too but it doesn't seem to be something even a farmer would carry around with him normally as it is a tool for a specific job that is only done very occasionaly.


Posted on: 2004/6/22 12:39
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Re: Nunchaku?
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A little remark on the rice flail theory.
Appearantly nowadays the flail idea has been tossed. More recent research would consider a horses mouth piece (dunno how this might be called in English) to be the origin of the nunchaku.

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Anyhow, this weapon was a derivate of Ryūkyū and not of Japan. Same goes for sai, tonfa, nichugama, ...
No connection to "ninjutsu" there.

@ kusari fundō...
That's no ninja weapon either. It's not even quite Takamatsuden, as it is from Masaki Ryū.
Hatsumi sensei has added kusari fundō to our curriculum, probably because he assumes that we lack a short flexible weapon in the nine Booj Ryūha...
But the "why" is a VERY wild speculation, so never ever quote me on that one ...

Posted on: 2004/6/22 17:51
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Re: Nunchaku?
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'man you come right out of a comic book!'

boards don't hit back, but those blimmey nunchaku do!, many a sore one i gave my self,lol

that doesnt look like nunchucks, it's a timber bridle surely?

Posted on: 2004/6/22 17:54
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Re: Nunchaku?
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Bridle, that's the word!
Eventually they would have become straightened and turned into the nunchaku we know nowadays.
Bear in mind that his is only a theory. We'll never know for sure.

Posted on: 2004/6/22 18:28
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Re: Nunchaku?
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I agree with Duncan here (well he's a big lad! ). The rice flail idea is very questionable. Use something like a nunchaku on the rice and you will crush it. The rice flails are indeed usually long poles with a shorter pole at the end joined by some kind of flexible material. You can actually see them being used in Kurosawa's "The Seven Samurai" in the background of one scene in the town.

I've heard the bridle theory before but here's another one, told to me by a teacher of Okinawan Kobudo. The watchmen in Japanese towns and villages and probably in Okinawa too, used to carry around two short sticks joined with a short piece of rope. As they walked around, they would knock them together with a very distinctive sound, announcing their presence I suppose? You can actually see this idea in Kurosawa's "Yojimbo". The same character actually shows Mifune's character a jutte too if I remember, saying that he's the town guard.

Anyway, just another idea to consider. I personally consider it more feasible than the bridle idea but who knows? Even the Okinawan Kobudo people don't seem to know for sure.

Posted on: 2004/6/22 19:01
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Re: Nunchaku?
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Quote:

MWDAndy wrote:
The watchmen in Japanese towns and villages and probably in Okinawa too, used to carry around two short sticks joined with a short piece of rope. As they walked around, they would knock them together with a very distinctive sound, announcing their presence I suppose? You can actually see this idea in Kurosawa's "Yojimbo". The same character actually shows Mifune's character a jutte too if I remember, saying that he's the town guard.


Interesting theory. Yet I always thought the police signs to be a specific kind of lantern.
Can't remember that scene in yôjimbo though, unfortunately.

Posted on: 2004/6/22 19:15
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Re: Nunchaku?
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Quote:

MWDAndy wrote:
The watchmen in Japanese towns and villages and probably in Okinawa too, used to carry around two short sticks joined with a short piece of rope. As they walked around, they would knock them together with a very distinctive sound, announcing their presence I suppose? You can actually see this idea in Kurosawa's "Yojimbo".


You can still see this in Japan today. Local members of the community work in shifts walking around checking for fire and/or thieves clapping their two sticks together.

I used to see them go past all the time when I lived in Hiroshima and then Kawaguchi. I don't think the sticks were joined together though.

Posted on: 2004/6/22 21:04
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Re: Nunchaku?
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Not tied together? OK, fair enough. Like I say it was just this Okinawan Kobudo instructor's theory that this was the origin of nunchaku, but if they're not generally tied together, it's looking less feasible than I thought.

Posted on: 2004/6/22 21:57
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