Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beautiful But Deadly - Japanese Traditional Weapons




1. Katana(刀)
The katana (刀) is a type of Japanese sword (日本刀, nihontō), and is often called a "samurai sword." The term katana may be applied to the standard size moderately curved (as opposed to the older "tachi" style featuring more curvature) Japanese sword with a blade length of greater than 60 cm (23.6 inches). The term is sometimes incorrectly used as a generic name for any kind of Japanese sword. In Portuguese the designation (spelled catana-perhaps delineated from the Japanese word when Portuguese traders first arrived in Japan) refers to a slightly shorter and wider blade, commonly used to clear paths through dense jungle, or to otherwise cut down wild vegetation.

2. Tanto (短刀, "short sword")
A tantō (短刀, "short sword") is a common Japanese single or, occasionally, double edged knife or dagger with a blade length between 15 and 30 cm (6-12 inches). The tantō was designed primarily as a stabbing weapon, but the edge can be used for slashing as well. Tantō first began to appear in the Heian period, however these blades lacked any artistic quality and were purely weapons. In the early Kamakura period high-quality artistic tantō began to appear, and the famous Yoshimitsu (the greatest tantō maker in Japanese history) began his forging. Tantō production increased greatly around the Muromachi period and then declined in the Shintō period ("new sword" period). Consequently, Shintō period tantō are quite rare. They regained popularity in the Shin-Shintō Period ("new-new sword" period) and production increased.

3. Wakizashi ( 脇差 : わきざし)

The wakizashi (Kanji: 脇差 Hiragana: わきざし) (meaning "side arm") is a traditional Japanese sword with a shōtō blade between 30 and 60 cm (12 and 24 inches), with an average of 50 cm (20 inches). It is similar to but shorter than a katana, and usually shorter than the kodachi ("small sword"). The wakizashi was usually worn together with the katana by the samurai or swordsmen of feudal Japan. When worn together the pair of swords were called daishō, which translates literally as "large and small". The katana was often called the sword or the long sword and the wakizashi the companion sword.

4. Nunchaku (ヌンチャク)

Nunchaku (English: nunchuck) (Japanese: ヌンチャク Nunchaku.ogg listen (help·info); 双截棍, sōsetsukon "Paired Sections Staff"; 梢子棍, Shōshikon "Boatman's staff"; Chinese: 雙截棍 / 双截棍, Pinyin: shuāng jié gùn, Jyutping: soeng1 zit3 gwan3; 兩截棍 / 两截棍, liǎng jié gùn "Dual Section Staff"; 二截棍 / 二截棍 èr jié gùn "Two Section Staff"; Korean: 쌍절곤 ssang jul gon "Twin Joined Sticks"; also colloquially called "nunchucks," "numchuks," "nunchukas," "chucks," "chain sticks," etc.) is a traditional weapon of the Kobudo weapons set and consists of two sticks connected at their ends with a short chain or rope.

5. Shuriken ( 手裏剣 )
Shuriken (Japanese 手裏剣; literally: "sword hidden in the hand") is a traditional Japanese concealed weapon that were generally for throwing, and sometimes stabbing or slashing. They are sharpened hand-held blades made from a variety of everyday items such as needles, nails, and knives, as well as coins, washers, and other flat plates of metal. Shuriken were mainly a supplemental weapon to the more commonly used katana (sword) or yari (spear) in a warrior's arsenal, though they often played a pivotal tactical role in battle. The art of wielding the shuriken is known as shuriken-jutsu, and was mainly taught as a minor part of the martial arts curriculum of many famous schools, such as Yagyu Ryu, Katori Shinto Ryu, Itto Ryu, Kukishin Ryu, and Togakure Ryu. In the modern western world, shuriken can often be purchased online as collector's items, but in some countries owners must possess a certificate for possession of knives.

6. Jutte (十手)

The Jutte or Jitte (十手), literally meaning "ten-hand" (i.e., the weapon with the power of ten hands), is a specialized weapon which was used by law enforcement officers (called okapiki or doshin) during Edo period Japan. Nowadays, the jutte is the subject of the Japanese martial art of juttejutsu.

7. The Jō (杖:じょう)

A jō (杖:じょう) is an approximately 1.276 m (4.18 foot) long wooden staff, used in some Japanese martial arts. The martial art of wielding the jō is called jōjutsu or jōdō. Also, aiki-jō is a set of techniques in aikido which uses the jō to illustrate aikido's principles with a weapon. The jō staff is shorter than the bō. Today, the jō is still used by some Japanese police forces.

8. Naginata (なぎなた, 薙刀)
Naginata (なぎなた, 薙刀) is a pole weapon that was traditionally used in Japan by members of the samurai class. It has become associated with women and in modern Japan it is studied by women more than men; whereas in Europe and Australia Naginata is practiced predominantly by men - this is however only simply a reflection of the martial arts demographics of Europe, where there is no historical association - as there is in Japan - that naginatajutsu is for women. A naginata consists of a wood shaft with a curved blade on the end; it is similar to the Chinese Guan Dao or European glaive or Russian sovnya. Usually it also had a sword-like guard (tsuba) between the blade and shaft.

9. The Nagamaki (長巻)



The nagamaki (Japanese: 長巻, literally "long wrapping") is a Japanese pole weapon with a large and heavy single-edged Blade. It is very much like a glaive. a long sword with 2–4 feet blade and a shaft with 2–3 feet length. It is held with the two hands in a fixed position in the same way a katana is held. Unlike the naginata, the hands do not change when handling the weapon and the right hand was always the closest to the blade. While handling nagamaki fewer sliding actions on the handle are performed than are with the naginata, where the entire length of the shaft is used.

10. The Yumi (弓)
Yumi (弓) is the Japanese term for bows, and includes the longbow, Daikyū and the shortbow, hankyū) used in the practice of kyūdō, or Japanese archery. The yumi is exceptionally tall (standing over two meters), surpassing the height of the archer (ite 射手). They are traditionally made by laminating bamboo, wood and leather, using techniques which have not changed for centuries, although some archers (particularly beginners) may use a synthetic yumi. The construction used may be a Japanese development of the laminated bows widely used for centuries across Northern Eurasia and in Jōmon times in Japan.

11.The Ninjato (忍者刀
The Ninjato (忍者刀, ninjatō), also known as ninjaken (忍者剣) or shinobigatana (忍刀), is the most common name for the Japanese sword that the ninja were thought to have carried. It is often depicted as being a short sword, often portrayed as having a straight blade with a square tsuba. There is no historical evidence of the 'ninjato', and modern depictions of the sword originate from portrayals that were seen in early Hollywood movies. Actual period ninjas used katanas and other weapons that were available at the time.


12.Odachi & Nodachi
Odachi and Nodachi (野太刀:のだち) (Great Sword) = length of more than 80 cm. These swords are rarely used in direct combat as required great strength to properly wield (too heavy), but very effective in other horses dropping or breaking large objects other

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