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The Kakute ninja 角手: The poisoned ring.

Meet the Kakute ninja (角手), the deadliest and smallest secret weapon, and a favorite among female ninjas (kunoichi).

There are numerous weapons in Japan that can surprise anyone, especially in their mode of use, and one of them is the Kakute ninja.

Ninja Weapons: Kakute

With the Kakute ninja, you can put a formidable opponent at a clear disadvantage in a fight, as it may seem harmless but is not.

Ninjas, much like samurais, possessed a wide range of weapons that went far beyond Japanese swords or katanas or even the famous sharp ninja stars.

In fact, they carried an extensive arsenal of Japanese weapons into battle.


Seeing the Kakute, one would typically think they were used as visible rings, but that wasn’t the case; they were concealed in the palm of the hand. Their main advantage in battle was that the ninja’s Kakute would emerge like a secret combat claw to surprise the adversary and weaken them.

kakute ninja
Various Kakute (photo ninjadojoandstore)

How to Use the Kakute Ninja and Objectives

A Kakute or ring was worn on the middle finger, but the more skilled ninjas added a second Kakute on the thumb to handle multiple ones at once.

  • The main objective of the Kakute ninja was to gain an advantage and control over the opponent in battle, allowing them to dominate at will.

They used the Kakute by puncturing pressure points to cause intense pain or even slow poisoning. This enabled the bearer of the Kakute ninja to apply different combat techniques required for the situation and make their fight easier since the opponent lacked concentration.

The Poisonous Kakute Ninja

Similar to the Japanese weapon tekko, which resembles the typical brass knuckles, the Kakute ninja could be dipped in poison to enhance its final effectiveness and gain complete control over the opponent.

kakute ninja


The Kakute had 3 spikes and was usually made of iron. As mentioned, it was common to wear one ring for the middle finger, but the most effective approach was to wear 2 Kakute on the thumb in addition to the middle finger.

With a touch of poison, the Kakute ninja could be used for quick and deadly attacks. For female ninjas of the time, these became one of their deadliest and most effective Japanese weapons.

Schools that Use the Kakute Ninja

Ninja schools were known for using the Kakute ninja, such as the Seigo Ryum, Saihoin Buan Ryu, and the Nanban Ippon Ryu school.

All of them demonstrated how to capture the enemy using only this Japanese weapon, i.e., the art of doing so.

Facts About the Kakute Ninja

These rings were more commonly used by female ninjas, known as Kunoichi, as it was not uncommon to see a woman wearing rings at that time. Therefore, it was easier to conceal them, as they could be mistaken for mere accessories or decorative items of the woman herself.

Using the Kakute ninja in this way required tremendous skill on the ninja’s part, but it was well worth it, as they could use them as claws to climb or scale large walls by embedding them into the surface.

The hooks of the Kakute could serve as claws to pierce even a wall and provide the necessary momentum for climbing.