Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sasumata: Man-Catcher War Fork

A fun, short entry: In every one of the schools I teach at, there is a long pole with a U-shaped head hanging on the wall in the teachers' office. This is a sasumata, which in English translates to "two-pronged weapon for catching a criminal" or, my favorite, "man-catcher war fork." In the past, it has been used as both a firefighting tool and as a tool for restraining criminals. On the right side of the following image, you can see an example of a historical sasumata.

These days, sasumata look very different. They've replaced the tiny spikes and wooden poles with aluminum. I have no idea whether it is common or not, but the schools keep these "weapons" available in case a dangerous individual threatens the teachers or students. So far, we've had no one threaten us, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to be prepared. You can watch a sasumata in action here. The video shows a group of teachers working together to subdue a "dangerous criminal" in an intruder drill.

I feel much safer knowing I am protected by the "Man-Catcher War Fork."

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