The tekkan (鉄管 tekkan, iron pipe),also known as tetsu ken or tettō (鉄刀 tettō, iron sword), is a Japanese weapon used throughout the Edo period, until the early 20th century.
It was an iron baton; it could resemble a wakizashi with a blunt iron blade, or a cast iron version of the kabutowari.
Tekkans became very popular during the Edo period, when they were commonly carried by wealthy merchants and farmers, who were prohibited by law from carrying or possessing swords or other sharpened weapons.
Tekkans, having no sharpening, had always been allowed by law.
In 1876, the Meiji government passed the Edict of Haitōrei, often referred to as the "Sword Abolition Act." This law prohibited all Japanese, including former members of the samurai warrior class, from carrying weapons in public.
This ban led to a surge in the popularity of a number of unsharpened weapons, as well as masked swords of various kinds. After the enactment of the Edict of Haitōrei, members of the samurai class also began to carry tekkans as weapons of self-defense.