Follow TV Tropes


Twinkle Toes Samurai

Go To

In some media, a katana-wielding swordsman will dash toward his opponent, taking dainty little steps akin to a Japanese schoolgirl. Typically, this does not diminish his speed in any way. Mickey Mousing sound effects optional.

Based on actual kendo footwork, but exaggerated to the point of absurdity.


Anime and Manga


  • Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill during the meeting of the bosses, immediately before beheading Boss Tanaka. Justified as she was wearing traditional Japanese clothing at the time: If she didn't take those dainty little steps, she'd probably end up with a face full of table.
  • The Hidden Blade goes as far as portraying that samurai are so locked on the short-stepped shuffling gait of swordfighting that they've forgotten how to run properly. A westernized scholar races a samurai to show the superiority of the "western style" of running, which is just normal running.


  • In Snow Crash, part of the way that Hiro reocgnizes that a swordfighting opponent in The Metaverse is a kendo practicioner is the way he shuffles around.

Video Games

Western Animation

Real Life


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: