Foiled robbery attempt sees demand for ancient samurai weapon soar in Japan

Defensive weapon called a sasumata gains popular appeal after jewellery store owner uses one to fend off attackers

An employee at a jewellery shop in Tokyo has been hailed a hero after thwarting an attempted robbery and giving chase after the three suspects fled. But the hero of the hour wasn’t armed with a Taser or pepper spray, but with a weapon invented hundreds of years by samurai warriors: the sasumata, a pole with two prongs attached to the end.

After footage of the attempted robbery early on Sunday evening attracted attention online, an auto parts manufacturer that also makes the forked pole reported a deluge of requests for the traditional weapon.

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