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Please note: This article is about the short staff. For other uses of the term, please see Jo (disambiguation).
Jo Staff


The Jo was a short staff used when playing taiko drums, [1] usually slightly longer than a katana. It was can be used in pairs or singly, [2] and was capable of delivering rapid concussive strikes, held and arm or sword locks and binds. Adherents of the Jo style usually customised the length of their staff to fit their personal preference. [3]

Material Edit



Jo sticks were usually made from very dense, finely grained wood that could turn or even break a sword blade without being cut through. A Jo sensei was capable of disabling or killing any foe who mistook a Jo for a mere stick.

Like the Bo staff it was less effective against well armored opponents but was more easily concealed. [3]

Use Edit

When wielded in pairs, jo could allow a skilled wielder to execute a lightning fast series of strikes against an opponent. The sheer concussive force from such a volley could daze or even kill an unarmored enemy, and those in armor were usually disoriented. [4]


  1. Book of Water, p. 26
  2. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 125
  3. 3.0 3.1 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 177
  4. Complete Exotic Arms Guide, p. 27

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