The image to the left (how to make a shinobigama) is taken from the ninpiden; 1560 by Hattori Hanzo. Image to the right depicts a shinobigama taken from the Iga NinjaMuseum.
GAMA-SAKU (鎌作; a.k.a kama-zukuri)
NINIDEN (忍祕傳); 1560
HATTORI HANZO (服部 半蔵)
The blade should be 5 Sun (approx 15cm) in length and 9 Bu (approx 2.7cm) in width and should be made with a double edge on both sides.
The handle should be 5 Sun (approx 15cm) and 5 Bu (approx 16.5cm) or 6 Sun (approx 18cm). The end of the handle where the blade is should have a ring clamp of 8 Bu (approx 2.4 cm) and should be 1 Bu (approx 3mm) in thickness. To make the handle the wood from the Japanese evergreen oak; however you can also use the wood from the red cinnamon tree or the wood from the nara oak tree as well. The blade should be “V” shaped and symmetrical.
* Refer to the drawing on the right for the final shape of the kama.
* Hattori Hanzo made a mistake in the beginning of the text, setting the length of the blade at 5 “Bu”. This seems too short for a blade; however the measurements written next to the drawing reads 5 ”Sun” which is more appropriate for this shinobi tool.
* The term that is used in the text to indicate that the kama has a double edge is moroha (両刃). Although Hattori Hanzo uses the term, which translates double-blade or double-edge, it does not mean two sharp edges. To understand this better, one should read this as one sharp edge that is sharpened on both sides. So when you sharpen the blade, sharpen one side of the bottom of the blade, then one side on the top of the blade, this is also to be understood that the sharp edges are on opposite sides of the blade.
* It is noted that even though artistically Hattori Hanzo does not draw the kama with a “V” like image, he does state that the blade should be “V” shaped. This is easily understood when looking at the shinobigama that is displayed in the Iga Ninja museum.
Budo Ryu; School of the Warrior Way:
21st Soke of the Tomo Ryu Tradition
Headmistress of the Budo Ryu – School of the Warrior Way
Founder of the Budo Ryu Online University
Owner of the Ninjutsu Super Store
Chief Editor of the Shinobi no Mono Magazine
Founder of the Ninjutsu International Federation
Professional Model and Artist