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Common japanese weapons i

Common Japanese Weapons I

There are a myriad of different swords used in Japanese history, but there are three core weapons that make up the highest percent. These were carried by the famous and infamous Samurai. These swords included: Katana, Wakizashi and Tanto. In a brief overview I will lay out the differences, situations and uses of these weapons, hopefully broadening your knowledge of the world of weapons in the orient.
First off, the trusty ole Katana. Though the true meaning of this word actually implies any sword whatsoever in the Japanese language, it has come to solely represent the main weapon of Samurai, that being a sword over the length of 60cm (23.6 inches) with a curved blade. This weapon was worn cutting edge up, so when it was drawn from the scabbard one could immediately turn the draw into a strike, taking an opponent by surprise. Iaido is one of many Martial Arts that focus primarily on the act of turning draws into attacks. This weapon was always the first drawn in battle, and would not be dropped unless it proved useless at some point, either through breaking, disarmament, or death.
On the off chance that an opponent managed to disarm a Samurai or break their Katana, the Wakizashi was the next toy up to bat. Wakizashi were the traditional sidearm of Samurai, the pair of swords being called Daisho. Wakizashi are roughly anywhere from 30-60cm in length, and were often used as a tool for the decapitation of opponents at the point of defeat, it being easier to wield one handed whilst the other had was occupied with holding the opponents head up. It is also notable as one of the two weapons used in Seppuku, or ritual suicide.
The other weapon used in this method is the Tanto, a sort of Japanese dagger. Also counted as a sidearm for Samurai, the Tanto gained in popularity as a armor-piercing, or stabbing weapon. Due to the shortness of its blade it was not often used for slashing, but its squat structure allowed a fighter to stab very effectively through the armor plating of an opponent. It was also prized for its ability to be easily concealed.
Though there are a vast number of variations to these weapons, at lest you now have a basic idea of what is what! I can only encourage you to expand your knowledge of the world of swords and put some research of your own into the subject.

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