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The shinai is a type of practise sword developed in Japan for training. The modern four slat style of shinai (yotsuwara shinai) has been in use since the 19th century and is a more durable evolution of the earlier bag-covered shinai (fukuro) that were in use in the early days of kendo in the 18th century.

Prior to that time more heavy duty shinai were used in training for the use of the katana in the 16th and 17th century, but these could easily cause injuries and deaths were recorded as the result of their use.

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