They are also known as throwing stars or ninja stars, although they were originally designed in many different shapes. Ironically the shuriken (ninja star) were not in the arsenal of those who practiced ninjutsu. Modern movies and tales portray ninjas using shuriken but were mainly used by samurai and ashigaru soldiers. The major varieties of shuriken are the bō shuriken (棒手裏剣, stick shuriken) and the hira shuriken (平手裏剣, flat shuriken) or shaken (車剣, also read as kurumaken, wheel shuriken).
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