'Nekome' (Cat Eyes)
Have you ever seen a cats’ eyes glowing in the dark night, or their pupils shrinking to slivers in the daytime? The ninja definitely did. In fact, they examined cat eyes so closely that they were trained to be able to tell the time of day, within one hour, based on the size of a cat’s pupil, since they change in reaction to daylight. We certainly hope this wasn’t a 'tool' they carried around with them!
'Nekote' (Cat Hands)
Staying with the cat theme, we move on to nekote. Used exclusively by female ninja, known as kunoichi, this was a metal or bamboo claw-like weapon that could be attached to the fingers via thimble-like pieces, or with a band around the hand. This could very well be the origin of the term “cat fight.”
Kunoichi were known for their preference of lightweight, hidden weapons like the nekote and hairpins. We’re not talking about the hairpins you can use to pick locks (although, we're sure these could do that too), but instead, kanzashi—long, ornamental hairpins, which could be sharpened and easily disguised in your hair. The pins could be used to attack vital points or dipped in poison to deliver a fatal prick.
'Saoto Hikigane' (Ear Trumpet)
While ninja did do some fighting, their primary responsibility was to stealthily get top-secret information from their enemies. But without modern day technology, how did they do it? With an ear trumpet, of course! The shape of the device amplifies sound, so it can be used on its own or up against a wall to hear the conversation on the other side. A lot of Japanese doors were made of paper, however, so we can’t imagine it being that hard to eavesdrop!
'Yatate' (Brush & Ink Case)
Once vital information was obtained with the saoto hikigane, the ninja had to record it somehow in order to inform their bosses. It sounds kind of lame, but ninja apparently often carried a pencil case-like container for their calligraphy brush and ink—of course, they may have carried small knives and bottles of poison in there too, for good measure.