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Title: Makibishi  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Shuriken, Ninja, Area denial weapons, Kubi bukuro, Kyoketsu-shoge
Collection: Area Denial Weapons, Japanese Martial Arts Terms, Ninjutsu Artefacts, Samurai Weapons and Equipment
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Japanese "makibishi" iron spikes, a type of caltrop

The term makibishi (撒き菱 or 撒菱) refers to the Japanese version of the caltrop.


Makibishi (igadama), sharp spiked objects that were used in feudal Japan to slow down pursuers and also were used in the defense of samurai fortifications.[1][2]Makibishi were one of the items supposedly used by ninja. Iron makibishi were called tetsubishi while the makibishi made from the dried seed pod of the water chestnut formed a natural type of makibishi called tennenbishi. Both types of makibishi could penetrate the thin soles of the shoes such as the waraji sandals that were commonly worn in feudal Japan when the makibishi was dropped on the ground or planted in advance.[3] [4] Makibishi could be carried in a bag attached to a belt along with other commonly carried weapons and/or tools such as shuriken and kaginawa. [5]Makibishi could be thrown like a shuriken [6]and could also be used against an enemy on horseback.[7]


  1. ^ , Stephen Turnbull, Peter Dennis, Osprey Publishing, 2008 P.32Japanese Castles AD 250--1540
  2. ^ , Karl F. Friday, Psychology Press, 2004 P.119Samurai, warfare and the state in early medieval Japan
  3. ^ Pauley's Guide - A Dictionary of Japanese Martial Arts and Culture, Daniel C. Pauley Samantha Pauley, 2009 p176
  4. ^ , Donn F. Draeger, Robert W. Smith, Kodansha International, 1980 p.127Comprehensive Asian fighting arts
  5. ^ , Stephen Turnbull, Osprey Publishing, 2007 p.162Warriors of Medieval Japan
  6. ^ , Donn F. Draeger, Robert W. Smith, Kodansha International, 1980 P.127Comprehensive Asian fighting arts
  7. ^ , Sid Campbell, Citadel Press, 1999 P.100Exotic weapons of the Ninja

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