The ninjato (忍者刀), also known as ninjaken (忍者剣) or shinobigatana (忍刀) is the most common name for the type of sword ninjas are portrayed carrying in modern fictional works. Because of the lack of historical evidence of their usage, it is considered of fictional origin and their history going back as early and the mid-20th century.
The ninjato is typically depicted as being a short sword, often portrayed as having a straight blade (similar to that of a shikomizue) with a square guard. Usually of a length "less than 60 cm", the rest of the sword is comparatively "thick, heavy and straight". Modern ninjutsu practitioner Stephen K. Hayes suggests that the typical description of the ninjato could be due to ninja having to forge their own blades from slabs of steel or iron with the cutting edge being ground on a stone, with straight blades being easier to form than the much more refined curved traditional Japanese sword. His second possible reason for ninjato being described as a straight-bladed, rather short sword could be that the ninja were emulating one of the patron Buddhist deities of ninja families, Fudo Myo-oh, who is depicted brandishing a straight-bladed short sword similar to a chokuto.
In Gameplay Edit
It's the weapon of choice of the protagonists and the first weapon type available to players. The ninjato is the most versatile weapon in the game, allowing decent range of attack, fast movement, quick strikes combined with taijutsu to make combos and it can also be used for blocking. It also sees a lot of use for quick stealth kills.
See also Combat for player movelists.