The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

The Shuriken Throwing Contest for Ninjas

The Shuriken contest in Iga

A poster about the Shuriken contest

A poster about the

Shuriken contest

Every year in October in Iga - which is the hometown of ninjas - a shuriken contest takes place. As you probably know, shuriken is a classic ninjafs weapon. In general, shuriken is known by the name " ninja star " . Take a look at our article on Shuriken (Ninja Star) in this site if you want to know the details of shuriken. Basically there are two types of shape of shuriken. One is the plate type. These kinds of shuriken have some arms around their bodies. The aim of the arms is to stick in the target when it was thrown. The other is the stick type shuriken. This type of shuriken has only the pointed tip but without any arms. The shuriken used in the contest is the plate type. In this connection I may add that, by nature, generally shuriken means that of the stick type. In the first place, shuriken was a sword. In kanji (Š¿Žš) , shuriken is " Žè— Œ• " . " ken (Œ•) " means sword and originally, shuriken was not something " to throw " , but " to hit " . In orthodox shuriken - jutsu, even at present, instructors say " to hit shuriken ", rather than " to throw shuriken " . This remains from the fact that shuriken used to be a sword. It means that shurikens we know the most " ninja star " are something newer than " stick type shuriken " .
The promoter of this shuriken contest is the ninja museum of Iga-ryu and the Iga Ueno Tourism Association. The purpose of this tournament is the publicity of ninjas and ninjutsu.

The content of the contest

The prizes of the Shuriken contest

The prizes of the

Shuriken contest

If a man hopes to take part in this event, he must enter the elimination matches which are held in seven cities in Japan. The reception of the participation is over when the number of entrants fills up with 50 people. Among all of the qualifying participants, the 40 people whose scores are within the top of 40 - can advance to the final match, which is in Iga. The tournament prizes are that the champion can get a shuriken made of real gold. The runner-up is given a shuriken made of silver, and the third place prizewinner receives a shuriken made of copper. In addition, all of the participants are given a participation award and anyone that shows an original performance in the match, can get a performance award. The participation fee is 1,000 Yen which corresponds to about U.S 10 dollars.

The rules of the match

The state of the Shuriken contest

In the final selection in Iga, representative players must have the rule book given to them in advance with them given. The rules of the contest are unexpectedly rigid. The etiquette is based on real ninjutsu training. First of all, the player must salute the judge. Next, he must cast the spell called " Kuji - Goshinho (‹ãŽšŒìg–@) " , which is those, " Rin - Byo - Toh - Sha - Kai - Jin - Retsu - Zai - Zen (—ՁE•ºE“¬EŽÒEŠFEwE—ñEÝE‘O) . These are a kind of magic words, which real ninjas used when they fell into a crisis. The meaning is " The soldiers and fighters with whom I have to struggle stand in front of me making a queue ".
Then, if he desires, he can show his performance. If it is so attractive, he can get some points from the judges. At last, he starts the real contest. In advance, 11 Shurikens were given to him. He actually uses 10 of them. The reason is that real ninjas usually ensure they possess at least one shuriken for an emergency.
As the target is a circle about 30cm in diameter, the distance from the contestant to the mark is 6m. In the target, 4 rings are drawn, like that of darts. Of course, the nearer to the center of the target the hit is, the higher the point is. Then, participants have to throw shuriken using an overhand throw. The score of each player is decided by the total amount from 10 throws. After the round, the contestant has to salute the judge again. This is the full story of this contest. If a player forgot to bow or cast the spell, he would have some points deducted.

The real feeling of the contest

As described before, this contest is open for anyone but it can be thought that it is almost impossible that an amature of ninjutsu could win the victory in this competition. To begin with, the range of 6 m is considerably far. For reference, in darts, the distance from a player to the target is 2.44m and the weight of a dart is around 15 ` 18 g. Even under these conditions, it is hard to control a darts flight completely. On the other hand, in this shuriken contest, the distance between a participant and the mark is 6 m. Further, the weight of a Shuriken is about 80g. Further still, the target is much smaller than that in darts. I guess you can soon understand the difficulty of this contest. Also adding to the difficulty is that a shuriken does not stick on a target without spin. The thrower must put significant rotation on the shuriken.
In actual fact, especially in preliminary contests, almost all players cannot even get a shuriken on the target. Winners are always someone who have done specific training. For this reason, this contest is suitable for ninjutsu students because entrants who can show steady discipline like real ninjas used to do can do well.