Weapons helped our ancestors not only to survive but also to defend themselves against the attacks of enemies. However, legends and fictional stories put some weapons on a pedestal.
The Indian Chakra is considered a gift from the gods. This fiery metal disc could kill any enemy and return to its owner. And the Japanese Shuriken was considered a formidable weapon of the invincible Japanese ninja. The Shuriken threw itself at the enemy, causing irreparable damage to his health or life. However, not everything is as many may imagine.
The history of the chakras and their purpose
According to India’s ancient legends and myths, the chakra or chakram (Shakram in some sources) was a gift from the major gods to that nation. The god Brahma fanned the bright fire, the god Shiva invested the magical power of the third eye. The third god Vishnu combined all these gifts and created the disc. The myths say that it was the god Vishnu who used the Chakra to fight evil.
Ancient Greek myths said that the female warrior Xena (based on the film Xena) wielded the deadly weapon Chakra. For her, this metal disk was forged by the god Hephaestus himself. It turns out that there were two chakrams: Light and Dark. These weapons were kept in the “Chakram Altar”. The Chakram of Darkness came to Xena, and the god of war, Ares himself, contributed to this. So he could control the woman warrior and, with her help, start a war against the gods of Olympus.
The first mentions of this weapon appeared in the 5th century B.C. In the old days, it was known that young Indians from wealthy families knew how and could use Chakras. This situation remained until the 12th century. Everything changed after the locals began to study the conduct of combat and the use of other peoples’ weapons. Chakrams became the weapons of palace bodyguards and were occasionally used by others.
The ancient weapon of the gods was brought back to life by the Indian people of the Sikhs in the 16th century. They often fought in wars, defending their religion and the right to life. Suddenly attacking the enemy, the warriors used Chakras and often won.
Interestingly, the Sikhs wore combat discs on their heads, placing them on special blocks. In the 19th century, these people were almost completely exterminated by the British, and the chakras were withdrawn and banned for the population of India. Nowadays, no one uses Chakras on a massive scale in battle. True, this weapon remained in use among the modern Sikhs, who live only in one place in India – the state of Punjab.
How Chakras were used in battle
In India, it was believed that any killing of a person had a negative effect on karma. However, the chakrams were treated differently. Even though these metal discs were capable of killing an enemy instantly, they could not harm karma in any way. But after all, a person would die after coming into contact with these weapons. This is because the owner of the Chakra was throwing the disc and could not contact the enemy directly, and therefore was not his killer. The Chakra, in this case, acts by itself, and the aura of the person who threw it remains pure.
At first, the disc was made of brass and later of steel. Chakras could be different in diameter – from 15 to 300 mm. Their outer side is carefully sharpened, so it is very sharp and dangerous to the enemy. But even if the disc was not sharpened, it could significantly hurt a person by developing great speed. The chakras of representatives of power and wealthy people were adorned with precious stones.
It took time to master the art of correct disc throwing (from 4 to 12 months of training). Chakras can be thrown at a distance of 50 to 150 meters. First, the disc was spun on a finger (or a special rod). Then the Chakra was clamped between the index and thumb and thrown towards the enemy. The Chakra always returned to the one who threw it. Inexperienced warriors could cripple themselves and their allies without reaching the enemy. That’s why they’ve been training for so long.
When did the Shuriken appear, and who can use it
Many people know Shuriken or an asterisk from films about Japanese ninjas. This is a deadly weapon of brave warriors. In fact, ninja or shinobi were assassins and Japanese spies in the Middle Ages. These mercenaries were masterful in the art of ninjutsu and often attacked suddenly “from behind”.
Ninja did not wear black clothes but often dressed as peasants or disguised themselves as old men. They had excellent physical fitness, but these warriors tried to avoid hand-to-hand combat altogether. Ninja did use shuriken weapons but in the most extreme cases. When it was possible to reveal them, the Shuriken were thrown at the enemy, retreating and fleeing.
Shuriken includes much more than just a metal star. We are talking about all arrows and throwing knives, the weight of which does not exceed 150 grams. Translated from Japanese, it is “a blade hidden in hand.”
Therefore, these weapons were worn secretly, disguised as everyday and inconspicuous things. In turn, these weapons were divided into:
- Bo-shurikens, which more resemble throwing sticks of various sizes. They were used to scare off enemies. The length of their flight was no more than 7 meters.
- Shaken, similar to stars or circles with a hole inside. They flew at a distance of up to 15 meters. In medieval Japan, special magical signs were applied to the surface of the shaken. It was believed that this is how the spirit warriors helped in battle.
The first mentions of Shuriken were found in the “War Tale of Osaka Castle” of the 16th century. Throughout history, many varieties of these weapons have appeared. In the modern world, shurikens are available to many. They are freely sold in stores in America and Europe. This type of weapon can also be purchased anywhere. However, if the length of the beams of a bo-shuriken or shaken exceeds 8 mm, then this is considered a melee weapon that requires special permission.
Shuriken’s capability in battle
If it is difficult to learn how to throw Indian chakras and requires lengthy training, then throwing Shuriken is simple and accessible even for children. It is difficult to kill an enemy by throwing a shuriken at him, but it is easy to distract or disorientate for a while.
Most often, medieval ninjas threw 4-6 stars (sticks) in a row and tried to get in the eyes or face. There was little time in the battle, and it was up to 5 seconds before the enemy could deliver a fatal blow with a spear or sword.
Ninja treated their shurikens with poison. This guaranteed them greater success in the case, especially when it came to the elimination of a specific person. Asterisks were used not only as a weapon. They made it possible to cut the rope, make a hole in the wall for secret surveillance, open the lock, and so on. Experienced ninjas have never had one star, but more often, up to 10 pieces.
Shuriken is not a formidable ninja weapon that can be killed (as shown on the screen). It is quite possible to injure or distract the enemy. Some experts call the asterisks the “psychological weapon” of Japanese warriors. For the murder, platinum was used, which was thrown into the face or eyes of the enemy. In the modern world, the Shuriken has become a weapon of nobility after its use in some works of cinema. For example, in comics about Ninja Turtles or Ninja from Beverly Hills.