First  Prev  1  2  3  Next  Last
Post Reply What Is a Katana?
Member
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 3/22/08
I posted this on another group. Might as well post it here.
-

First I'll start by saying what a Katana is NOT.

A Katana is NOT a "Samurai Sword."
A Katana is NOT a Tachi.
A Katana is NOT a Toy.
A Katana is NOT made of stainless steel.
A Katana does NOT transform into a giant sword that is bigger than the wielder.
A Katana does NOT have magic powers.
A Katana is NOT the greatest sword on earth.
A Katana is NEVER straight. ["Ninja Swords" never existed historically.]
A Katana is hardly ever used to parry or block another sword.

What IS a katana?
A Katana IS a Shinken. [Though a Shinken is not always a Katana]
A Katana IS a Daito. [Though a Daito is not always a Katana]
A Katana IS a durable cutting sword which in use is very effective at killing.
A Katana IS a Dangerous Weapon that should be taken seriously at all times and not played with.

Specifications:
First off, calling it a "Samurai Sword" is as silly and stupid as calling a Peacmaker Revolver a "Cowboy Gun" or an arming sword a "Knight Sword." Furthermore aside from being silly and incorrect, it was not used alone by the samurai until the Sword Prohibition Act and even then I am sure some were in secret possession.
Shinken just means "Live Blade" which is not always a Katana. First off, a Katana was worn edge up thrust through an Obi. A "Katana" had very strict measurement rules. If it wasn't constrained to those specific rules, it wasn't a katana. What about a tachi? A tachi is a sword similar to a Katana but with more of a curve and it is worn with fittings to armor edge down. A tachi certainly isn't a Katana, but people often mix them up. Or you can be very vague and list "Daito" which means "Long Sword"

Technically, "Katana" is the only real word for a "Katana." Informally, you can call it whatever you want, but you'd be incorrect. I for one am rarely informal.

So you can list Daito, Tachi, Shinken, and it would all point to a sharpened long sword, but a Katana is in a league of it's own.

Furthermore, one can NOT use a katana properly without formal instruction from a certified instructor. You can NOT learn swordsmanship from books or videos or movies or clips. Only a certified instructor can teach you swordsmanship. To wield a sword without instruction from a certified instructor proses a danger to not only yourself but to anyone and anything around you. Wielding a stainless steel blade is dangerous as well but for the fact that it is not proper metal for a sword, which is why they are called "Wallhangers" and not "Swords" and can break with little resistance as seen in this very real (and funny) clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2EQWCpnIR8

Feel free to comment, have a friendly debate, and add you're own information.
Creator
2304 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / laurel delaware
Offline
Posted 3/22/08
I like this topic. A kantana iz a samurai sword to me. but all those things u mentioned is true.
Member
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 3/23/08
Calling a katana a "Samurai Sword" is only technically incorrect. It is silly like calling a revolver a "cowboy gun" to kenjutsuka like me, but it's not that big of a deal. I just kind of get a twitch in one eye when I read or see it, but sadly that is what common westerners have come to know it as because they associate the word with the samurai.

However, many westerners also feel that Samurai means "Soldier" but it more properly translates to Vassal or Retainer. A close servant to a Daimyo (lord of a fife; Kind of like a "King" in the Frankish dark ages. The Shogun, military dictator of all Japan would be akin to a "High King" or "King of Kings" in the Frankish dark ages before "King" meant ruling all of a country due to crowns being integrated and "Common Kings" being given titles of peerage; Duke(one of relation to the monarchy), Earl, Count, Viscount, Barron, etc.) The samurai were a small percentage of the army which was made up of more than 90% foot soldiers or "Ashigaru" of which the Samurai commanded and fought alongside.

The samurai mainly prosed as cavalry. A samurai was not originally first noted for the sword at all, but rather the bow ("Yumi") because they first shot the bow until they were in close distance in which they used the Spear if they had one. When the spear was broken or became cumbersome, they threw it aside or at the enemy and drew their sword. When the sword was broken (common place in war) or disarmed, they fought using a technique called Jujutsu which employs grappling, throws, joint locks, and lethal strikes to vital points.

Later, in the Edo-jidai (The gradual decline of the Samurai) when the Shogunate had retained peace through the land and samurai were reduced to politicians and grew weak. Ronin (lit "Men of the Waves") or masterless swordsman who had lost the title of Samurai wandered the land causing all sorts of disorder. These ronin were more akin to the samurai of days of yore, rowdy and tough often making umbrellas or acting as bodyguards or joining gangs of Yakuza for money.

This was the age where Bushido was born and Samurai were then known by the Daisho (Twin swords; Katana and Wakizashi) and armor was no longer employed since there were no open wars.

This is the age, the spirit of the samurai truly fell.
Member
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 4/6/08
This should totally be stickied. XD
Creator
2304 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / laurel delaware
Offline
Posted 4/6/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:

This should totally be stickied. XD


wat do u mean by that?
Member
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 4/6/08

desfines07 wrote:
wat do u mean by that?


Stickied. You know. As in flagged at the top.
You know, on forums there are those threads that stay at the top, with a star beside it. That's called "Stickied."
You just turn on Forum Modding, then at the top of a thread, you'll see a bar with stuff. It says; "Sticky" with a space beside it. You can select the order by typing "Sticky1" or "Sticky2" or whatnot in the box.
3489 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / F / somewhere
Offline
Posted 4/6/08
hmmmmm all i know its some kind of japaness sword
my dad said is a samurai sword
i believe him cause he studied that stuff
so yeah its a samurai sword
Member
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 4/6/08
Calling it a samurai sword would be technically incorrect. Refer to my second post.
3489 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / F / somewhere
Offline
Posted 4/6/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:

Calling it a samurai sword would be technically incorrect. Refer to my second post.


its what ever
im still going to beleive my dad

Member
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 4/6/08

GZ_anime-manga wrote:
its what ever
im still going to beleive my dad



O.o; Well it directly contradicts fact. Samurai Sword is a term used by Westerners who do not know better. It has become a generalization for people who are uneducated in Japanese Sword Arts.

I have not known any reputable or experienced Kenjutsuka that has ever referred to it as a "Samurai Sword" as such a thing is a term bred of ignorance.

If you come here and disagree with me, I would expect you to provide points to back your position up.

If you don't have any way to provide a back up to what you are saying, have the decency to not enter such a position on this topic.
3489 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / F / somewhere
Offline
Posted 4/6/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:


GZ_anime-manga wrote:
its what ever
im still going to beleive my dad



O.o; Well it directly contradicts fact. Samurai Sword is a term used by Westerners who do not know better. It has become a generalization for people who are uneducated in Japanese Sword Arts.

I have not known any reputable or experienced Kenjutsuka that has ever referred to it as a "Samurai Sword" as such a thing is a term bred of ignorance.

If you come here and disagree with me, I would expect you to provide points to back your position up.

If you don't have any way to provide a back up to what you are saying, have the decency to not enter such a position on this topic.



well your probably right
but please dont call me ignorent
Member
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 4/6/08
I didn't call you ignorant. I wouldn't do such a thing. The term "Samurai Sword" in itself is a word bred from ignorance. Ignorance isn't a bad thing it is simply the absence of knowledge. For instance; People did not know better, so they called it a "Samurai Sword." It's an inter-cultural misunderstanding and misrepresentation. I am not saying everyone who uses the term is ignorant, though most are in the sense that they do not know what else to call it.

While ignorance itself is certainly not a good thing, it does not innately have any negative connotations, it is akin to human nature.
People use it as an insult, but that in itself is ignorance.

In-fact everyone is ignorant to a point as it is impossible to know everything. Just as everyone is a student. There is no end to learning.
3489 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / F / somewhere
Offline
Posted 4/6/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:

I didn't call you ignorant. I wouldn't do such a thing. The term "Samurai Sword" in itself is a word bred from ignorance. Ignorance isn't a bad thing it is simply the absence of knowledge. For instance; People did not know better, so they called it a "Samurai Sword." It's an inter-cultural misunderstanding and misrepresentation. I am not saying everyone who uses the term is ignorant, though most are in the sense that they do not know what else to call it.

While ignorance itself is certainly not a good thing, it does not innately have any negative connotations, it is akin to human nature.
People use it as an insult, but that in itself is ignorance.

In-fact everyone is ignorant to a point as it is impossible to know everything. Just as everyone is a student. There is no end to learning.


ohhhh ok
Member
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 4/6/08
Some people even use the word while knowing better when relating it to other people who do not know better.

I myself have referred to it in relation when talking to someone who did not know what a katana is.
3489 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / F / somewhere
Offline
Posted 4/6/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:

Some people even use the word while knowing better when relating it to other people who do not know better.

I myself have referred to it in relation when talking to someone who did not know what a katana is.


hey what is the proper way to say sword anyways??????

First  Prev  1  2  3  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.