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megadomonic
12-15-2010, 04:03 AM
Does anyone know if there is a certain name for a katana that has a square-like hilt?

I know that most katanas appear to have sort of a circulish oval hilt, but I rarely see the ones with the rectangle-like hilts.

Like the one in this picture.

http://www.animefushigi.com/wallpapers/Ga-Rei/44246%20ga-rei_zero%20isayama_yomi%20seifuku%20sword%20white% 20zero.jpg

Kamigoroshi
12-15-2010, 04:22 AM
That would be an Chokuto (直刀), also known as straight swords. It's an pretty old sword type which dates back to the pre-Heian period (before the year 794).
Later (and in the present) they are used as temple offereing swords. Below you see a picture of an Daichokuto, an twohander which is 250cm long:

http://www.kajidai.com/daityokutou.jpg

LuxVertas
12-15-2010, 04:27 AM
That would be an Chokuto (直刀), also known as straight swords. It's an pretty old sword type which dates back to the pre-Heian period (before the year 794).
Later (and in the present) they are used as temple offereing swords. Below you see a picture of an Daichokuto, an twohander which is 250cm long:

http://www.kajidai.com/daityokutou.jpg

So, what is the name of the Old sword that Kusagani is suppost to be?

Kamigoroshi
12-15-2010, 04:36 AM
Kusagani..? Do you mean Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi a.k.a Kusanagi no Tsurugi? A good question... since its replica is a straight sword, it could be an chokuto too. Though I'd have to see real thing first to be sure of that.

LuxVertas
12-15-2010, 06:08 AM
Kusagani..? Do you mean Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi a.k.a Kusanagi no Tsurugi? A good question... since its replica is a straight sword, it could be an chokuto too. Though I'd have to see real thing first to be sure of that.

Wow! I can't even spell it as spell it as "Grass Cutter" (one of the biggest let downs in names ever, next to King Arther's other bladed weapon names!)

It is weird though, take a look:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/%E4%B8%89%E7%A5%9E%E5%99%A8.png

(NB: other items are the other symbols of the Monarch of Japan, like the Crown Jewls in the UK)

Kamigoroshi
12-15-2010, 06:23 AM
Yeah, I can't stand the new name for this relict too.
It's a true mystery to me how they could rename it from Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi (Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven) into Kusanagi no Tsurugi (Grass Cutting Sword) and think the latter would actually be more 'popular' by the croud! Geez...

In any case, even with the photo of its replica it's hard to categorize the artefact:
Blade length not published, weight not published, even the age of the sword is not known to public.

Heck, the last time anyone saw the goddamn thing was when Emperor Akihito ascended to the throne in 1989.

LuxVertas
12-15-2010, 07:57 AM
Yeah, I can't stand the new name for this relict too.
It's a true mystery to me how they could rename it from Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi (Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven) into Kusanagi no Tsurugi (Grass Cutting Sword) and think the latter would actually be more 'popular' by the croud! Geez...

In any case, even with the photo of its replica it's hard to categorize the artefact:
Blade length not published, weight not published, even the age of the sword is not known to public.

Heck, the last time anyone saw the goddamn thing was when Emperor Akihito ascended to the throne in 1989.

Well according to Usagi Yomijimo... that used reserch... When one of Japan's Legindary emporer's went on a quest he used it to defend himself from being burnt by flaming grass! and renamed it... It's like one of Arther's Squires renaming Excalaber... something lame... and in welsh...

Yeah, I know it's a replica... it's sad but just... curious?

agreed, Like 90% of the Crown Jewels

megadomonic
12-15-2010, 12:35 PM
So would a straight blade Katana be just as effective as a curved blade Katana?

LuxVertas
12-15-2010, 01:36 PM
So would a straight blade Katana be just as effective as a curved blade Katana?

Good Question!

Well, strait and curved blades have their effectiveness, BUT curved blades are stronger than their straight brothers... I sense a test coming up! Who has 220 K to burn? or a banker's bonus?

Boo
12-15-2010, 02:44 PM
That would be an Chokuto (直刀), also known as straight swords. It's an pretty old sword type which dates back to the pre-Heian period (before the year 794).
Later (and in the present) they are used as temple offereing swords. Below you see a picture of an Daichokuto, an twohander which is 250cm long:


Lol, you'd be dead in seconds, trying to swing that flagpole around.

kochiramendokusai
12-15-2010, 04:20 PM
Wow! I can't even spell it as spell it as "Grass Cutter" (one of the biggest let downs in names ever, next to King Arther's other bladed weapon names!)

It is weird though, take a look:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/%E4%B8%89%E7%A5%9E%E5%99%A8.png

(NB: other items are the other symbols of the Monarch of Japan, like the Crown Jewls in the UK)

Lux,The pictures above are just artist's impression. Maybe it's the one Akihito used (The one Kamigoroshi said) .
They only gave examples of what the three imperial regalia of japan looked like.
The real thing is described as "the wind adheres to the path of the sword to which it was slashed"
(great for blowing enemies away with one slash) and was lost in the twelfth century in the sea along with the other two.
This is not the real thing- A copy of the original perhaps?
It's on the same section as Excalibur, Gramm and Caladbolg, maybe they didn't exist at all.
I hope they find the location of the damned thing fast.

Kamigoroshi
12-15-2010, 06:15 PM
So would a straight blade Katana be just as effective as a curved blade Katana?
In short, no! Straight blades are for thrusting and cutting, while curved blades are for slashing. As they serve different purposes they cannot reach the same effectiveness as one another in attacks they aren't build for.


Good Question!

Well, strait and curved blades have their effectiveness, BUT curved blades are stronger than their straight brothers... I sense a test coming up! Who has 220 K to burn? or a banker's bonus?
Curved blades are heavier than their straight cousins and most often require both hands, which ultimately yields more attack power. But the accuracy suffers and you're unable to use shields.

LuxVertas
12-16-2010, 02:27 AM
Curved blades are heavier than their straight cousins and most often require both hands, which ultimately yields more attack power. But the accuracy suffers and you're unable to use shields.

Like I said, we need a test

V666p
12-16-2010, 04:02 AM
I like "Esther"

HiguraShiki
12-16-2010, 02:43 PM
Maby it would be a good idea to carry one curved sword and one straight sword?
Speaking of Katanas, does anyone know the name for a Katana without the hand guard?

http://kaonazhie.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/x-18.jpg

Kamigoroshi
12-16-2010, 11:21 PM
Err... that's not a type of katana. What you mean is a katana mounted onto a shirasaya; a wooden scabbard used when a blade is not expected to see use for some time and needs to be stored. This is because the original mount for nihonto, called koshirae, is harmful to the blade on the long go.

GhenghisPanda
12-18-2010, 04:55 AM
Another important factor to consider with straight blades, is the fact that the blade requires more care. They're prone to lose their edge far faster than a curved blade. Although both are effective, the curved blade excels at exactly what it's built for, slashing. Although it's not as good at stabbing as it's straighter predecessor, it can still do it. Since Samurai were primarily on horse back, the curve of the weapon just so happened to be more useful to them while slashing from the saddle. Which is a common theme with warriors from around the world that utilized swords from horseback, from cossacks to dragoons who utilize curved Sabers. The curve however, is mostly on par with the way the sword is forged. One part of the process is called "Quenching", where a thin layer of clay is placed on the blade, it is then heated and placed in water (sometimes oil, depending on the Swordsmith). This clay/ash makes it so that the edge will be hardened for use, and the curve comes from strain involving the spine of the sword. This allows for a much stronger edge that can be polished and sharpened to a razor edge that requires less sharpening in the foreseeable future.

Straight swords were simply the mainstay of how swords were forged for a long time throughout history. In Europe, it didn't really change, but the edge on a sword in the time of knights was never really honed to cut through it, as the tip is typically what is used to cut with a straightened sword (although this was different from sword to sword, and user to user). Hence, the Gladius used by the Romans, a very versatile weapon that was best used for stabbing. Although, it can cut, it's structure made it more useful as a stabbing weapon.

Meanwhile, the use of a Ninja-To was straight for a specific reason. The Ninja-To is generally depicted as being used as more of a tool rather than a weapon, the square of the hilt being useful as a step for the agent, the straight of the blade allowing for them to stick it straight into the ground without going in an odd direction. Although the Curved blade serves it's purpose well, a straight sword is just as deadly and shouldn't be mistaken for a vastly inferior sword.

The "Tsuba", or the guard of the sword, does not really determine if it's a different type of sword altogether. It really depends on what the Swordsmith intended with the weapon. The "Tsuba" is made by another craftsmen, rarely the Swordsmith himself. Generally the length of the blade, or the length of the hilt determine the type of the sword. Be it a general Uchigatana, or a Nodachi.

Hope that helps. :happy:

Lord Zero
12-18-2010, 06:11 AM
Then again if it comes to bushi... swords werent the main weapon used on the battlefield.

As one could imagine, it was more of a last resort sideweapon. Usually they used lances, glaives or bows.

And yet another thing. Modern looking katanas are quite recent historically. While the saber
like sword itself dates from the muromashi period, aka the 1500s, the lenght, the curvature
and the mounting which we all know and love comes came to be in the dawn of the edo period.
And even the then the kishirae didnt follow the strict appaerance which we are familiar with nowadays.

In the most famous conflict eras like the heian, people used swords more akin to european broadswords or chinese
straight blades. Same applies to the epic muromachi period with nobunaga and everything.

One should remember that most of the early culture and technology (including forging) was
brought straight from china.

Also i want to insist those oversized swords didnt really see the battlefield. As most people should remember
good quality iron was a scarce comodity on japan and hence creating a solid, durable and reliable giant
sword was... useless at best.
And then again why to even bother when a naginata does a better job as a middle range weapon ?
A blade on a pole its certainly the best melee infantry weapon there is.

Swords larger than 80-90 cms of lenght were nothing but ceremonial weapons, meant to showcase the skill
of the bladesmith on forging a differential hardening blade that long.

Kamigoroshi
12-18-2010, 07:16 AM
In the most famous conflict eras like the heian, people used swords more akin to european broadswords or chinese
straight blades. Same applies to the epic muromachi period with nobunaga and everything.

One should remember that most of the early culture and technology (including forging) was
brought straight from china.
Exactly! In fact the Japanese didn't even *know* about swords, let alone how to build them.
That only happened when Himiko received two swords from the Wei Dynasty in 240 a.d.
And around 40 years later Japan started to import Wei swords at a larger scale, but it still was quite a minor weapon back then.


Also i want to insist those oversized swords didnt really see the battlefield. As most people should remember
good quality iron was a scarce comodity on japan and hence creating a solid, durable and reliable giant
sword was... useless at best.
And then again why to even bother when a naginata does a better job as a middle range weapon ?
A blade on a pole its certainly the best melee infantry weapon there is.

Swords larger than 80-90 cms of lenght were nothing but ceremonial weapons, meant to showcase the skill
of the bladesmith on forging a differential hardening blade that long.
If you're talking soley about Japan then you're right. To them swords were more art objects and status symbols than anything else.

But for Europe it's a whole different story. Take the Zweihänder for example:
It was created to battle enemies wearing enforced metal armours and did a damn good job at it for its time.

Of course, the Japanese didn't had much armours to begin with, which made oversized swords not neccessary to them in their armies.

GhenghisPanda
12-18-2010, 04:18 PM
Maby it would be a good idea to carry one curved sword and one straight sword?


I should note that carrying two swords is not necessarily the best idea. Although it would seem plausible, it is most likely to turn out more of a hindrance to the user than offering an edge. One has to consider the slight, but noticeable differences in wielding either weapon and to switch between the two could possibly leave the user needing some time between to properly compensate for the change. This could be fatal in a confrontation with an opponent who doesn't have to go through the same. Practicing with many weapons is a great skill, but one weapon will feel more comfortable than the other, and having a weapon that one is more proficient with for any given situation, is generally better than having several weapons of the same type.

Rather than spending the extra weight carrying an extra sword, one could carry another weapon that provided a better purpose. In the Samurai case, carrying a Yari-Spear/Naginata or a Bow (which was actually the Samurai's greatest skill in their time), to carrying a Uchigatana to back it up should the other weapon be lost. Also, a weapon to meet with a different type of confrontation, should the enemy be too close for the bow or spear to be of use such as indoors. When thinking about weapons to carry, it is generally good to plan for different ranges as well as different situations that might make one weapon less effective than another. One also must be careful as to not over equip themselves, or this to would be a hindrance to the wielder as well. A lot can be said to have a small set of weapons that one is exceptionally proficient with, as in a lot of cases, a weapon that isn't as good for the job can do just as well as long as the user's skill makes it happen.

Like Zero said, the Nodachi sword was rarely used, considering it's need for so much iron. Meanwhile, other weapons such as the Naginata or Nagamaki were just as effective if not better at doing the same job. Although the Nodachi had a better range and weight than it's Uchigatana brother, it was a bitter cost for such a small gain.