Blinding Powders such as the metsubushi (目潰し) (gantsubushi) (eye closers), were used by samurai police and other individuals to temporarily or permanently blind or disorient an opponent in feudal Japan. They were sometimes kept in muskets to be fired using gunpowder. The idea is to gain a position upwind from the enemy and then sprinkle the powder in the air to blind him.

One type of metsubushi was used by police for blowing powdered dust into the eyes of a suspect. It is described as being a lacquer or brass box with a wide mouthpiece for blowing on, and a hole or pipe on the other end for directing the powder into the eyes of the person being captured.


Another type was a powder made up of mud, flour, and dirt. For severe damage, it could also include fine-ground glass. It was kept in hollowed-out eggs (happō), bamboo tubes or other small containers. When confronted by an attacker, a person would throw the metsubushi in the attacker's eyes, blinding him, while the victim ran off or hid himself.

The Giyoshu military manual includes a recipe for kasumo no kona (mist powder):

  • Pepper
  • Ash of Mishashagi (unknown material)
  • Flower of a thistle
  • Iron filings

The mixture would be placed into a bamboo cane or wrapped in cloth.


Throwing Weapons
Shuriken Grenade Bo-Shuriken Blinding Powder
Bladed Weapons
Wakizashi Katana Yari Shikomizue
Ranged Weapons
Bo Staff Bow Blowpipe Arquebus
Medicine Grappling Hook Caltrop Stone Pencil
Straw Hat Chain Mail Disguise Tenugui
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