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What Is the Difference Between Furibo, Kanabo, and Tetsubo? (Explained)

What Is the Difference Between Furibo, Kanabo, and Tetsubo? (Explained)

Furibo is a “huge practice club wielded in Jikishinkage-ryu to expand proper procedure and stamina”.

The kanabō (金棒) was a knobbed or spiked club or a truncheon utilized in feudal Japan as a javelin by samurai and their trainers. Other similar weapons of this category are the nyoibo, konsaibo, tetsubō (鉄棒?), and the ararebo. Relevant strong iron weapons having stakes or knobs are the kanemuchi (kanamuchi) and the aribo (gojo/kirikobo).

The tetsubo is a relatively vague but intriguing weapon that practically no one had learned of until very late. Its place in the past is a bit incomplete, and it’s hard to find valid data on the tetsubo, also called the kanabo, but its niche in Japanese mythology is solid.

If you want to know the difference between Furibo, Kanabo, and Tetsubo, I recommend continuing to read the article.

A Furibo is a wooden weapon

Description of Furibo or Subirito

The Furibo is a considerably larger and huger wooden practice weapon than a traditional Bokken. As the name indicates, it is wielded for Suburi or solo Kata practice.

Practitioners can therefore improve their Tenouchi (grasping of the sword), their Hasuji (angle whilst cutting/edge alignment), and their Tomei (the capacity of stopping the sword) – almost as the Samurai did at the time. Please notice that the Furibo, unlike the Bokken, have no defense.

Kanabo weapons come in different shapes

Description of Kanabo

Kanabō and the other similar categories of these club-like weapons were established out of enormous wood or made completely from iron, with iron studs or spikes all around the weapon. One or both edges of the wooden category clubs could be sheath in iron.

Kanabō type weapons can be in all lengths and shapes with the biggest ones for those being as tall as a man and a two-handed weapon while the smaller lighter ones were mainly one-handed and the size of a forearm.

The structure could be that of a baseball bat with an enormous end tapering towards a slender grip or they could be upright all the way from the grip to the end, with the rod being round or multi-faceted.

It has been explained that one objective of the kanabō type of harpoons was to smash opponents’ shields, bones, and the limbs of their warhorses. When shoved into the ground, this weapon usually resulted in a large shake, and shockwave impact on the ground due to its enormous metal strength, which amazed some people in feudal Japan.

Use of Kanabo

The art of utilizing these clunky weapons, tetsubo-jutsu or kanabō-jutsu, comprised of proficiency of both equilibrium and strength; it expected a great mastery to regain from a miss with the huge club, which could emigrate a wielder free to a counter-attack.

Mythology of Kanabo

The kanabō was also an imaginary weapon, frequently used in stories by oni (Japanese demons) since they were reputedly incredibly strong.

On this day there is a telling in Japanese:

“Like giving a kanabō to an oni” — which implies giving an additional advantage to a person who already has the objective (the strong was made stronger). A western effect might be, ‘like enlarging fuel to a fire’.

Tetsubo with iron club

Description of Tetsubo

Testubo is an iron or iron enhanced club, constantly studded, and occasionally spiked. Below is an explanation of its appearance and origin.

Appearance of Tetsubo

It peeked like a huge club with shafts or spikes striping the sides. It was an elite weapon of the Crab Clan, who originate that the blunt harpoon worked nicely against the tough armor of oni.

Likewise, the Crab did not hope to tarnish the swords of their forefather with the blood of Fu Leng’s minions. Constantly studded with iron or steel, it was manufactured to break down heavily armored enemies. As opposed to the beasts of the Shadowlands, affluent crab always stud their testubo with jade.

Origins of Tetsubo

The Crab tracked the practice of the tetsubo behind Hida himself.

Some Crab philosophers understood that he held up the initial tetsubo with him from the Celestial Heavens, while others thought that when Hida demolished the Kingdom of the Trolls, he put up with his tetsubo from the King of Trolls.

Difference Between Furibo, Kanabo, and Tetsubo

Furibo KanaboTetsubo
Furibo is a practice tool for the Japanese. “Kana” (also spelled as “kane”) implies metal, and “bo” means troop or stick. “Tetsu” implies iron, and “bo” means troop or stick.
It is a wooden weapon.Kanabo is a metal staff.The tetsubo is an iron troop.
Furibo is basically all wood and is a huge wooden club.Kanabo could be all iron or wood and were often very large.The Testubo (in my opinion) nearly often had metal in its building, therefore the tetsu (iron) citation.
Difference between Furibo, Kanabo, and Tetsubo

Further and detailed differences are mentioned below:


  • A furibo or subirito or Nyoubou is a practice tool used in Japanese military arts.
  • It is a huge wooden club having vicious metal shafts or spikes.
  • It was seen as a practice tool.
  • Wooden clubs were wielded as weapons.
  • These come in different sizes.


  • Kanabo is a huge wooden club with metal studs or spikes.
  • They are strongly related to samurai as well as demons in Japanese myth.
  • It was an individual fighting weapon.
  • It was a weapon of the aristocracy for an advantage.

These metal lumps were formulated to deal with improvements in armor in the 14th century. Still, they mainly fell out of practice in the Sengoku time, thanks to additional improvements in the armor encouraging better security against blunt effect (full plate rather than lamellar) and the professionalization of troops.


  • A Tetsubo is virtually the same as kanabo but is entirely formulated of steel or iron instead of wood.
  • These weapons have different sizes.
  • Smaller ones were one-handed.

This is an assumption on my part but the inner structure below truly is not difficult at all so one can comprehend extemporary clubs being wielded by poor people or pariahs who couldn’t pay for swords. Primarily by criminals and such in the Edo period after the sword ban. Here are some other designs of Tetsubo.

Final Thoughts

A Furribo is a training tool used by the Japanese military arts. In simple words, Furibo is a large wooden club that contains violent metal spikes. However, they differ in size.

Kanabo, on the other hand, is an enormous wooden club having metal spikes. The kanabo was additionally an individual fighting weapon, that makes no mistake, it may look simple and brutal.

A Tetsubo is an iron rod, largely like a mace, wielded with two hands. These weapons altered in size. This is used mainly by criminals and such in the Edo period after the sword.

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