Tokyo Jewelry Store Employee Foils Robbery Using Ancient Samurai Weapon

A Tokyo jewelry store employee heroically foils a robbery using a sasumata, an ancient samurai weapon, sparking a surge in its popularity and demand.

Dec 1, 2023 - 16:19
Dec 1, 2023 - 16:37
Tokyo Jewelry Store Employee Foils Robbery Using Ancient Samurai Weapon
Police use sasumata during training in Japan

In a recent daring act in Tokyo, a jewelry shop worker has reportedly gained widespread acclaim for successfully stopping a robbery. This brave individual didn't rely on modern self-defense tools like Tasers or pepper spray, but rather used a sasumata, an ancient weapon designed by samurai warriors featuring a two-pronged pole.

The incident, which took place on a Sunday evening, quickly went viral after the robbery attempt footage circulated online. In the video, the employee, clad in a white shirt and suspenders, is seen wielding the sasumata against three would-be robbers wearing motorcycle helmets in Tokyo’s Taito district. The worker even used the tool to damage a motorcycle on the ground, presumably the robbers' escape vehicle.

This unexpected event has sparked considerable interest in the sasumata. According to NHK, Japan's public broadcaster, samurais first used this tool during the Edo period (1603-1868) for apprehending criminals. Contrary to being a relic of the past, this non-lethal weapon is still utilized by Japanese police forces.

The heightened interest in the sasumata has significantly benefited a Tochigi Prefecture-based company, situated north of Tokyo. This company, specializing in metalworking, also manufactures these traditional weapons. They reported a substantial increase in inquiries and orders following a rise in robberies over the past year. Previously selling only a few units monthly, they now receive up to ten orders daily since the previous autumn.

Their product range includes a variation that ejects a robust rubber band to restrict an assailant's movement, and another version made of lighter material for ease of use. However, Takemitsu Sano, the company's president, advised caution in the use of sasumatas. He emphasized their purpose as self-defense tools, pointing out they are most effective when operated by trained individuals, as reported by NHK.

The demand for these tools notably increased among educators following a tragic incident in 2001, where a man fatally attacked eight children with a knife at an Osaka primary school.

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