A Shuriken, (lit. "Hand-Hidden Blade"), otherwise known as a "Throwing Star", is a traditional Japanese concealed weapon that was generally used for throwing, and sometimes stabbing or slashing. They are sharpened hand-held blades made from a variety of everyday items, such as needles, nails, and knives, as well as coins, washers, and other flat plates of metal. Shuriken is the name given to any small-bladed object, while Shaken is traditionally used to indicate the well-known name, "Throwing Star".
Shuriken are commonly known in the West as throwing stars or ninja stars though they took many different shapes and designs during the time they were used. The major varieties of shuriken are the "Bō Shuriken" (棒手裏剣, 'Stick Shuriken) and the "Hira Shuriken" (平手裏剣, 'Flat Shuriken'), or "Shaken" (車剣, also read as "Kurumaken", or 'Wheel Shuriken').
Shuriken were mainly a supplemental weapon to the more-commonly-used sword or other various weapons in a samurai warrior's arsenal, though they often played a pivotal tactical role in battle. The art of wielding the shuriken is officially known as Shurikenjutsu.
Shuriken are commonly seen in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, normally used as secondary weapons for the main characters. In some continuities, the Turtles are equipped with explosive and other specialized shuriken.
- In the 2012 series, the Turtles are seen using four-pointed shuriken, and the Foot Soldiers are seen using six-pointed shuriken.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures commonly include two or more shuriken as additional accessories.