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Three jutte

The jutte or jitte (十手?), literally meaning "ten-hand" (i.e., the weapon with the power of ten hands), is a specialized weapon which was used by low-rank law enforcement officers (called okappiki or doshin) during Edo period in the history of Japan. Nowadays, the jutte is the subject of the Japanese martial art of juttejutsu.

Contents

Design and technique

The modern jutte is about 45 cm (18 inches) long with no cutting edge and a one-pronged tine, about 5 cm long starting just above the handle and pointing toward the tip. A popular misconception is that the tine is used to catch a sword. It could possibly be used for this purpose, but the tine's proximity to the hand would make it rather dangerous. When faced with a swordsman, a more likely use for the tine would be to capture and arrest the blade after blocking it with the main shaft. The tine's more common use is to hook into clothing or parts of the body like the nose or mouth, or to push into joints or other weak points on the body.

The jutte can also be used in much the same manner as other short sticks or batons, to strike large muscle groups and aid in joint manipulation.

History

The original form of the jutte is traditionally believed to have been created by the legendary swordmaker Masamune[citation needed] (although some claim his father, Munshinai had done so, instead); it resembled its name of "ten hands", having that many prongs, and resembling a rake. It was carried in one hand, and used on the battlefield either to trap an enemy's sword and then slay them, or trap it and bind the enemy with a lasso or grapple with them, capturing them.

The design is believed to have been derived from the Okinawan sai,[citation needed] although some assert that the jutte existed first, and influenced the design of the sai.

In feudal Japan, it was a crime punishable by death to bring a sword into the palace of the shogun. This law applied to everyone except the shogun’s sons and hatamoto (most trusted retainers), including the palace guards. In effect several kinds of non-sword, mainly defensive weapons were carried by these palace guards, but jutte was particularly effective and ultimately it evolved to become the distinguishing symbol of a palace guard's exalted position.[citation needed]

Marohoshi jutte

A variant on this design is the marohoshi, which is generally shorter and incorporates a blade.

In popular culture

Notable examples of jutte featured in fiction include:

  • Jutte is carried by Zenigata Heiji, the famous fictional okapiki of the classic Japanese cinema.
  • Manji, the main character of Blade of the Immortal has two short-swords shaped like jutte, as well as two smaller weapons which he notes to be able catch/break a sword in the same style as a jutte. A secondary character Doa also steals a jutte from a policeman and sharpens it to use it as offensive weapon.
  • The title character from the Hanzo the Razor series of films is a constable in the Edo period who carries two jittes (these having lengths of chain concealed in the handles) and routinely uses them as his preferred weapons.
  • Koichi Zenigata, the antagonist from the Lupin III manga/anime franchise, uses a jutte when not utilizing his handcuff-throwing technique.
  • In the trading card game Magic the Gathering, the Kitsune Blademaster fought with a blade-catching jitte in the offhand. Additionally, one of the most popular and powerful equipment artifacts in the game's history is "Umezawa's Jitte".
  • In the anime series Cyber City Oedo 808, officers of the Cyber Police Squad use the jutte as a weapon and as a method of identification.
  • In the Super Sentai series Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, the support robot DaiGoyou can separate into a jitte and a paper lantern.
  • In Gundam 0083, the protagonist's Gundam GP01 uses a jutte.

In manga and anime, jitte are used by the characters Lady Kayura (Ronin Warriors), Sakami Manzou (Samurai Champloo), Otaru Mamiya in (Saber Marionette J) and Smoker (One Piece), among others. In video games, jitte are also used by the characters Sodom (Street Fighter Alpha and Final Fight series) and Taki (Soulcalibur series).

See also

  • Juttejutsu - the martial art of using the jutte
  • Sai - a similar weapon, which resembles a jutte with a second prong and is used in Okinawan kobudō

References








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