SHO KOSUGI: WEAPONS MASTER, WEAPONS DESIGNER


NINJA, SAMURAI, AND KOBUDO WEAPONS


CLAWS and CLIMBING TOOLS

 

  TEKAGI (手鉤) Hand Claws

 

  TEKKŌ-KAGI (手甲鉤) Long Hand Claws

 

  TEKAGI-YA (手鉤矢) Arrow-Bladed Hand Claws

 

  TEKKŌ (鉄甲) Iron Fist

 

  KAGINAWA (鈎縄) Grappling Hook

 

  NAWABASHIGO (縄梯子) Rope Ladder

 

 

TEKAGI(手鉤)

The TEKAGI (手鉤, also read as SHUKO) is a Japanese claw-like weapon used by ninja.  Tekagi were usually worn in pairs and could be used both as weapons in order to strike opponents with the tekagi's iron claws, and as a tool to help climb walls and trees.  Similar claws worn on the feet were called ASHIKO (足鉤).

 

Enter the Ninja (1981)


A staple of ninja movies, the TEKAGI was used in almost all of Sho's ninja projects, starting with his star making debut in ENTER THE NINJA.

 

 

Revenge of the Ninja (1983)


 

 

 

Ninja III: The Domination (1984)


 

The Master - ''Max'' (1984)


 

 

 

The Master - ''Out-of-Time-Step'' (1984)


 

 

The Master - ''State of the Union'' (1984)


 

 

 

 

The Master - ''Hostages'' (1984)


 

 

 

9 Deaths of the Ninja (1985)


 

Ninja Theater Hosted by Sho Kosugi - ''Tekagi'' (1986)


 

 

 

Sho Kosugi Self-Defense and Ninjaerobics (1996)


 

 

 

 

Ninja Assassin (2009)


A unique pair of TEKAGI featuring striking shiny metal spikes had a particular importance in NINJA ASSASSIN.  Hand sharpened by the young female ninja Kiriko (Anna Sawai), it later became the means by which she was able to escape the Ozunu fortress, at least for a little while...

 

 

 

 





 

TEKKŌ-KAGI(手甲鉤)

The TEKKŌ-KAGI ("back of the hand hooks") are large claw-like weapons featuring four long iron nails attached to a metal ring.  Worn over the hands, the claws could be used for both offensive and defensive purposes as the wielder could easily slash and defend with natural hand motions.  Although sometimes also called tekagi, the tekkō-kagi featured much longer claws that were, as the name suggests, generally attached to the back part of the metal ring that goes over one's hand, thus differentiating it from its smaller counterpart.


The Master - ''Out-of-Time-Step'' (1984)


The first TEKKŌ-KAGI featured in one of Sho's ninja projects appeared in the 2nd episode of THE MASTER.  This TEKAGI / TEKKŌ-KAGI hybrid had three thin spikes that fit in between the wearer's fingers allowing The Master to hold onto the underside of a car as it drove through the streets.

 

 

 

The Master - ''Hostages'' (1984)


A now legendary "Master" TEKKŌ-KAGI was wielded by Okasa (Sho) in the 4th episode of THE MASTER.  Replicas of this amazing weapon were also sold by SHO KOSUGI NINJA ENTERPRISES, where it was referred to as The "Master" Tekagi.

 

 

 

 

 

Rage of Honor (1987)


The TEKKŌ-KAGI from THE MASTER got a major overhaul for Sho's final 1980's ninja movie, RAGE OF HONOR.  This upgraded version not only featured an additional set of 4 smaller claws welded to the back of the 4 longer ones, but it also featured a number of spikes protruding out from the top of the metal hand guards.  This is unquestionably one of the wildest and most amazing ninja weapons ever designed by Sho.

 

 

 

 

 

忍者戦隊カクレンジャー「超大物・来日!!」
Ninja Sentai Kakuranger - ''A Super Big Figure Coming to Japan!!'' (1994)


As the ninja assassin Gali, Sho wielded a special TEKKŌ-KAGI in both of his episodes of NINJA SENTAI KAKURANGER.

 

 

 

 

忍者戦隊カクレンジャー「史上初の超対決」
Ninja Sentai Kakuranger - ''History's First Super Battle'' (1994)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenchu: Stealth Assassins (1998)


A couple different types of TEKKŌ-KAGI are wielded by various ninja opponents in the TENCHU STEALTH ASSASSINS video game.

 

 

 





 

TEKAGI-YA(手鉤矢)

The TEKAGI-YA (or SHUKO-YA) is a modified version of the tekagi/shuko specially designed by Sho in the mid-1980s.  It features a large metal blade in the shape of an arrow (YA) attached to the back of the TEKAGI's metal hand ring.


Rage of Honor (1987)


Used exclusively by Shiro Tanaka (Sho) in RAGE OF HONOR, the TEKAGI-YA is another spectacular and brilliantly reimagined ninja weapon.

 

 

 

 

 





 

TEKKŌ(鉄甲)

The TEKKŌ or TECCHŪ (手中) are weaponized stirrups and horseshoes which originated in Okinawa, Japan.  The tekkō is a fist-load weapon that primarily takes its main form of usage from that of empty-hand techniques, whilst also introducing slashing movements.  The tekkō is usually made to the width of the hand with anything between one and three protruding points on the knuckle front with protruding points at the top and the bottom of the knuckle.  They can be made of any hard material but are predominantly found in aluminum, iron, steel, or wood.


The Master - ''Kunoichi'' (1984)


A pair of metal TEKKŌ could be seen in The Master's case of ninja weapons in a couple of episodes of THE MASTER.

 

 

The Master - ''The Java Tiger'' (1984)


 

琉球の風 第11回 父子の悲劇
  Dragon Spirit - ''A Father's Sorrow'' (1993)


While getting ready to defend her home from invading samurai, Gundari (Tomoko Mariya) practiced with a pair of wooden TEKKŌ in the 11th episode of DRAGON SPIRIT.

 

 

琉球の風 第13回 首里城明け渡し
  Dragon Spirit - ''Surrender of Shuri Castle'' (1993)


More Ryuykyu bugeisha prepared for the upcoming samurai invasion by practicing with wooden TEKKŌ in the 13th episode of DRAGON SPIRIT.

 





 

KAGINAWA(鈎縄)

The KAGINAWA is a type of grappling hook used as a tool in feudal Japan by the samurai class, their retainers, foot soldiers and reportedly by ninja.  Kaginawa have several configurations, from one to four hooks.  The KAGI (hook) would be attached to NAWA (rope) of varying length; this was then used to scale a rather large wall, to secure a boat, or for hanging up armor and other equipment during the night.  Kaginawa were regularly used during various sieges of castles.  The nawa was attached to a ring on one end which could be used to hang it from a saddle.


Enter the Ninja (1981)


The first KAGINAWA seen in one of Sho's projects is easy to miss as it only appears on screen for a few seconds.  This single hook version is carried in by one of the maroon ninja at the end of the opening battle in ENTER THE NINJA.

 


Revenge of the Ninja (1983)


Although we never see the KAGINAWA itself, there must have been one at the end of the long rope that allowed the Silver Masked Ninja Braden to scale up the building housing the "Cho Oriental Art" gallery in REVENGE OF THE NINJA.

 

 

Later in the film, Braden used a collapsible KAGINAWA to anchor the tight rope he'd just created by shooting an arrow through the window of an adjacent building.

 

 

 

 

A claw-like three-pronged KAGINAWA saved the life of Cho Osaki (Sho) when he was thrown off a building by Braden during their climactic duel.

 

 

Ninja III: The Domination (1984)


The three-pronged KAGINAWA returned in NINJA III: THE DOMINATION, used by both the Black Ninja Hanjuro and by his spirit's host Christie.

 

 

 

 

 

Likewise, the collapsible KAGINAWA also returned, this time used to anchor Yamada (Sho) to a tree as the ground fell out from under him.

 

 

The Master - ''State of the Union'' (1984)


A multitude of different types of KAGINAWA were featured in various episodes of THE MASTER, starting with the 3rd episode of the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Master - ''Hostages'' (1984)


 

 

 

 

The Master - ''High Rollers'' (1984)


 

 

 

 

 

 

The Master - ''Juggernaut'' (1984)


 

The Master - ''The Good, the Bad and the Priceless'' (1984)


 

 

 

The Master - ''Kunoichi'' (1984)


 

 

 

 

The Master - ''The Java Tiger'' (1984)


 

Rage of Honor (1987)


The Prison Ninja (Masafumi Sakanashi & Kiyatsu Shimoyama) repel down a rope presumably attached to a KAGINAWA in RAGE OF HONOR.

 

 

 

A cool collapsible KAGINAWA was also used by Shiro Tanaka (Sho), first as a straight grappling hook to help him climb up the side of a cliff, and later as a means to create a tight rope to traverse a raging river between two cliffs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Eagle (1988)


Undercover C.I.A. agent Ken Tani (Sho) used a large KAGINAWA to scale the wall of an old building in BLACK EAGLE.

 

 

 

 

 

忍者戦隊カクレンジャー「史上初の超対決」
Ninja Sentai Kakuranger - ''History's First Super Battle'' (1994)


NinjaBlack Jiraiya (Kane Kosugi) used a three-hook KAGINAWA in his epic battle against his sensei Gali (Sho) in NINJA SENTAI KAKURANGER.

 

 

 

 

 

Tenchu: Stealth Assassins (1998)


The KAGINAWA is one of the tools available to both Rikimaru and Ayame in the TENCHU: STEALTH ASSASSINS video game.

 

 

 





 

NAWABASHIGO(縄梯子)

The NAWABASHIGO is a foldable climbing ladder featuring two parallel ropes connected by short but strong crosspieces made of wood or bamboo.  Due to its flexibility, it was easy to buddle for transportation.  The ladder could be attached to a grappling hook in order to make climbing up or down walls easier.


Revenge of the Ninja (1983)


Finally, the NAWABASHIGO (rope ladder), made its one and only appearance in REVENGE OF THE NINJA.