The popular belief is that nunchucks were originally a short Southeast Asian flail used to thresh rice or soybeans (that is, separate the grain from the husk). It is possible that it was developed in response to the moratorium against violence under the Satsuma daimyo after invading Okinawa in the 17th century. Nunchicks were most likely conceived and used exclusively for that end, as the configuration of actual flails and bits are unwieldy for use as a defense tool. Also, peasant farmers were forbidden to carry items such as arrows or blades so they improvised using only what they had available say, farm tools such as the sickle.
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