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Juttes were one of the main weapons used by the samurai who acted as police officers (or doshin) in Japan’s feudal times.
While the jutte was basically an iron cudgel or a bludgeon, it often was modified so it could be used for more than just striking people. (It is interesting to note that similar ancient “night sticks” or clubs were in use in England as well other European countries at the time.)
One modification of the jutte was based upon its predecessor, the hachiwari, another battle-field weapon of employed by the bushi or samurai in a slightly earlier era.
A fork-like attachment was embedded in the handle end of the jutte. The fork end enabled the user to trap and often break sharp-edged weapons of an opponent. Thus, it could be used by the law-enforcers to disarm a criminal before arresting him.
Of course, the jutte, along with knocking open a few heads and breaking a few arms, could be effectively used to block or parry the attack of the enemy.
As with many things in Japan – a certain status became associated with the jutte. Over time, the low-grade samurai called doshin started sporting the jutte, proudly, as a symbol of their official rank.
With further modifications, several other weapons, such as the sai, were also designed based on the jutte. In this case, the sai was a three-pronged weapon with a long middle prong surrounded by two shorter projections.
Again, these additional weapons along with the jutte were mainly designed for use by the law-enforcing samurai to disarm suspects. And to force them into submission, rather than with the intention of bloodshed, as would be the case of weapons on the battlefield.
Author : Scott Harker