Shinai (竹刀) is a weapon, most often made of bamboo, used for practice and competition in Kendo representing a Japanese sword.
Shinai are also used in other martial arts, but may be styled differently from Kendo shinai, and represented with different
The Shinai is - or at least was - legal to be carried in public, and so it became a favoured weapon of street gangs during the hey-day of the
Sukeban-era - so much so that, even today, even when being parodied,
Sukeban are more often than not,
depicted carrying a Shinai.
(See SUKEBAN KYOKO)
Now-a-days, one must have a legitimate reason for carrying such a weapon in the street (eg. on the way to, or from, a Kendo class) to avoid arrest.