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Caltrops (まき菱 Makibishi) are area denial items, one of the most common weapons carried by shinobi.


Caltrops are sharp, spiked objects consist of two or more sharp nails arranged in such that one of them always points upwards. They are used to slow down pursuers and part of defense of samurai fortifications (the former usage being prominent in hands of ninja, Azuma Ninja included). Though individual caltrop inflicts moderate to low damage on the enemy, it nonetheless causes great discomfort long enough for the user to distance him/herself from their pursuers thus increasing their chance to escape.

Background Information and Notes

  • Caltrops are in nearly every Tenchu game
  • Historically, there are two types of caltrops; tetsubishi (variant made of iron used in game proper which share same moniker with the eponymous grapplink hook variant) and tennenbishi (variant made of dried seed pod of the water chestnut). Both types could penetrate the thin soles of the shoes such as the waraji sandals that were commonly worn in feudal Japan when the makibishi was dropped on the ground or planted in advance.