Jutte

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The Jutte or Jitte (???), literally meaning “ten-hand” (i.e., the weapon with the power of ten hands), is a specialized weapon which was used by law enforcement officers (called okapiki or doshin) during Edo period Japan. Nowadays, the jutte is the subject of the Japanese martial art of juttejutsu.

The modern jutte is about 45cm (18 inches) long with no cutting edge and a one-pronged tine, about 5cm 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 having evaded it. 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.

The original form of the jutte is traditionally believed to have been created by the legendary swordmaker Masamune (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 said to have been derived from the Okinawan sai, although some assert that the jutte existed first, and influenced the design of the sai.

A variant on this design is the marohoshi, also known as the marohoshi jutte, which is generally shorter and incorporates a blade. A similar weapon is the sai. It resembles a jutte with a second prong, and is used in Okinawan kobudo.