What would Naruto be without the Kunai?

Two of the most popular types of replicas are video game swords and movie swords. Fans of the popular Naruto anime series can get the best of both worlds by having kunai knives in their collection. The kunai is a staple of the Naruto series. The various ninjas in the series have unique styles and weapons. The one thing each and every character is sure to have hidden on their body is the trusty kunai. This makes the kunai the most basic building block of the series’ weaponry, and therefore the foundation of any good collection that pays due homage to the genre.

Kunai is one of many weapons that were developed from common tools. Not really a knife, kunai were originally used during the Tensho era in Japan. They were a tool most used by people involved in gardening and masonry. Made of wrought iron, the edges of the kunai were not sharp. The tip was ground to a fine point. The tool was used as a trowel, to dig into packed earth or to crush plaster or wood, or as a lever. The tool was designed with a loop at the back so it can be tied with string. This furthered the usefulness of the tool by allowing it to be used as a piton or an anchor. Also, the rope loop could be used to attach the kunai to your body in the same way a carabiner is used today.

Ninjas eventually developed techniques that used the kunai as a weapon. While the exaggerated legend contributes to the image of the kunai being interchangeable with the shuriken as a throwing weapon, in reality the tool was more of a substitute for a knife, throwing being a tactic of last resort. The reason this tool was perfect as a covert weapon is that it was mass produced and cheap. Since weapons were prohibited, carrying a common tool like the kunai was something he wouldn’t necessarily consider arming himself with. Similarly today, carrying a large hunting knife would get you arrested in most public places, but owning a large screwdriver would not attract much attention.

The anime series Naruto has conquered the world. The popularity of the animated series includes television series, movies and video games. While the main character, Naruto, is the driving force behind the series’ action, the kunai is the ninja’s signature weapon in the series. These tools are the glue that holds the ninja together as a collective; the common ground that prevents the various clans and villages from being, for all intents and purposes, different species. Without a single unifying tool or technique, the word “ninja” would be meaningless to the series. The importance of this little tool can be seen in any ninja battle in the series, kunai being the first and sometimes the last option of defense.

Anime series require a “brand” to stick in people’s minds. Someone who wants to be like Naruto can’t make duplicates of himself, jump over buildings, or use any of the other fantastic powers the ninja possesses in the series. Video game swords and movie swords are a way for us mortal men to team up with our favorite characters and be our own heroes.

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