The word shuriken means "a dagger hidden in the palm," so all daggers small enought to hide in your palm were called shuriken. The ninja's throwing stars are called shuriken, they come in countless shapes, but there are two basic types: straightbladed and multi pointed. The star shuriken could also could be the "invisible attacker." If a guard or enemy stood out in a cleared area, the ninja hidden in shrubs or beside a wall would throw shurikens in a spinning manner. The blades would cut the startled enemy and then fly off into the grass or dirt out of sight. The bewildered enemy, havine been slashed by an invisible swordsman, would then take off to seek help, leaving the area unguarded. Though a shuriken can hardly go thru an armor protection, it was mostly thrown at unarmed targets. Venom was used on shuriken sometimes.