First  Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  Next  Last
Post Reply What IS a Katana?
Owner
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 7/26/08
I posted this on another group. Might as well post it here since it seems to be a favorite weapon to many 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.
Owner
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 7/26/08 , edited 7/28/08
I'll start by sharing types of swords. Once someone asks me what the word is for "Sword" so I replied with this.

Well in a generalized word; "Yaiba" is "Blade"

"Ken" often means "Sword" but can also sometimes mean "Fist."

"Tou" or "Ken" are often used as suffix denoting a sword of some kind.

"Nihonto" means Japanese Sword but refers more directly to a sword registered and signed by a swordsmith of one of the traditional schools of smithing.

"Daito" means long sword. It's a generalized word.

"Shinken" means "Live Blade" or "True Blade" which refers to a sharpened sword.

"Odachi" means quite literally "Big Blade" and Kodachi means "Little Blade" and both are often used synonymously with Katana and Wakizashi, but Odachi and Kodachi itself can also refer to any long sword and short sword without the stricter measurement and style of wearing as the Katana and Wakizashi used. They are generalized terms as well.

"Tachi" means "Long Sword" but refers strictly to a sword that is fitted and worn in the fashion of jindachi zukuri. That it is worn blade-down, the saya has a mount on it that attaches to the belt. It was used primarily in the battlefield and was not very sharp as to bash people off horses.

"Katana" in itself refers to a sword defined by strict measurement between 3 and 2 shaku I believe. It also refers to a sword worn and fitted in buke zukuri, which classes it's koshirae(fittings) and is worn edge-up thrust through the obi or in some cases the himo.

There are other types of Japanese swords as well.

For example, a chisagatana is shorter than a odachi and shorter than a kodachi.

A Tsurugi is actually the Japanese word for a foreign broadsword. Straight and double-edged.

A Chokuto is the only indigenous Japanese straight sword which is single-edged and straight. It was a modified form of the Chinese Jian.

The Uchigatana was the ancestor to the Katana. It was worn as a Katana was, in jindachi zukuri and was slightly more curved with a slightly longer blade. In use, it was created in mind for a Iaijutsu/Battojutsu like attack called Battogiri "Draw-cut."

I cannot remember any more, but I know there are a few I missed.
9711 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Just a kamen ride...
Offline
Posted 7/28/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:

I posted this on another group. Might as well post it here since it seems to be a favorite weapon to many 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.


i got a new book on the evolution of samurai armor weapons and clothing, and in the early kamakura period if im not mistaken before the introduction of the katana there was a straight blade similar and could be confused with a katana or the "ninja sword", it might have been the tachi but i dont remember the name, it was used when samurai were mostly horsemen and it was more difficult to draw the weapon but was designed quite well for horse back fighting. It had a straight blade and a curved handle. I believe this is what is confused sometimes for a "ninja sword" Just a fact i recently learned
Owner
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 7/28/08

carlrules097 wrote:
i got a new book on the evolution of samurai armor weapons and clothing, and in the early kamakura period if im not mistaken before the introduction of the katana there was a straight blade similar and could be confused with a katana or the "ninja sword", it might have been the tachi but i dont remember the name, it was used when samurai were mostly horsemen and it was more difficult to draw the weapon but was designed quite well for horse back fighting. It had a straight blade and a curved handle. I believe this is what is confused sometimes for a "ninja sword" Just a fact i recently learned


A Tachi is a curved weapon slightly more so than a katana in fact.

You must be thinking of a chokuto, the only known straight sword type in Japan, which was based off of the Chinese jian. Though it's use had ceased by the advent of the Tachi which was invented during the Heian jidai. I have never seen a straight sword with a curved hilt aside from Christopher Lee's lightsaber in Star Wars. =P

So I would hardly call this unfounded bit of information a fact. You cannot even give us a name.
9711 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Just a kamen ride...
Offline
Posted 7/28/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:


carlrules097 wrote:
i got a new book on the evolution of samurai armor weapons and clothing, and in the early kamakura period if im not mistaken before the introduction of the katana there was a straight blade similar and could be confused with a katana or the "ninja sword", it might have been the tachi but i dont remember the name, it was used when samurai were mostly horsemen and it was more difficult to draw the weapon but was designed quite well for horse back fighting. It had a straight blade and a curved handle. I believe this is what is confused sometimes for a "ninja sword" Just a fact i recently learned


A Tachi is a curved weapon slightly more so than a katana in fact.

You must be thinking of a chokuto, the only known straight sword type in Japan, which was based off of the Chinese jian. Though it's use had ceased by the advent of the Tachi which was invented during the Heian jidai. I have never seen a straight sword with a curved hilt aside from Christopher Lee's lightsaber in Star Wars. =P

So I would hardly call this unfounded bit of information a fact. You cannot even give us a name.


i dont have the book on me right now cause im not at home but i will check to see exactly wat it said wen i have the book in front of me
Owner
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 7/29/08

carlrules097 wrote:
i dont have the book on me right now cause im not at home but i will check to see exactly wat it said wen i have the book in front of me


Well don't be throwing unfounded information around as fact if you have no sources to back it up.
That's the one thing I am most critical on when having a conversation.
9711 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Just a kamen ride...
Offline
Posted 7/29/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:


carlrules097 wrote:
i dont have the book on me right now cause im not at home but i will check to see exactly wat it said wen i have the book in front of me


Well don't be throwing unfounded information around as fact if you have no sources to back it up.
That's the one thing I am most critical on when having a conversation.


it was an early version of the tachi used by archers and light infantry in the early kamakure period, it had a much straighter blade and the handle was curved more, my source is a book that i recently bought from the metropolitan art museum which i believe i said, the book is called Arms, Armor, and Costumes of the Samurai by Mitsuo Kure
Owner
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 7/29/08 , edited 7/29/08

carlrules097 wrote:


Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:


carlrules097 wrote:
i dont have the book on me right now cause im not at home but i will check to see exactly wat it said wen i have the book in front of me


Well don't be throwing unfounded information around as fact if you have no sources to back it up.
That's the one thing I am most critical on when having a conversation.


it was an early version of the tachi used by archers and light infantry in the early kamakure period, it had a much straighter blade and the handle was curved more, my source is a book that i recently bought from the metropolitan art museum which i believe i said, the book is called Arms, Armor, and Costumes of the Samurai by Mitsuo Kure


Either you read it wrong or the source is greatly incorrect.
It is common fact that the tachi is longer and more curved than the Katana.
Furthermore it was developed before the Heian-jidai, not the Kamakura-jidai.
Owner
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 7/29/08

carlrules097 wrote:
it was an early version of the tachi used by archers and light infantry in the early kamakure period, it had a much straighter blade and the handle was curved more, my source is a book that i recently bought from the metropolitan art museum which i believe i said, the book is called Arms, Armor, and Costumes of the Samurai by Mitsuo Kure



Here's my source: http://www.users.cloud9.net/~bradmcc/cgi-bin/vuImag4.pl?i=204
9711 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Just a kamen ride...
Offline
Posted 7/29/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:


carlrules097 wrote:
it was an early version of the tachi used by archers and light infantry in the early kamakure period, it had a much straighter blade and the handle was curved more, my source is a book that i recently bought from the metropolitan art museum which i believe i said, the book is called Arms, Armor, and Costumes of the Samurai by Mitsuo Kure



Here's my source: http://www.users.cloud9.net/~bradmcc/cgi-bin/vuImag4.pl?i=204


I did not misread the book it is sitting next to me now, couldnt it be possible that early in the kamakura it looked different, or in a different part of japan the style was different, or more then one style of tachi, or is another sword also considered a tachi
Owner
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 7/29/08

carlrules097 wrote:
I did not misread the book it is sitting next to me now, couldnt it be possible that early in the kamakura it looked different, or in a different part of japan the style was different, or more then one style of tachi, or is another sword also considered a tachi


You don't know much about weapons do you? Weapons are classified by the blade shape.

If you take a gladius and a scimitar, it doesn't matter what fittings they have, a scimitar is a scimitar and a gladius is a gladius.

They may have had straighter hilts than Katana. It could be a typo.

Moderator
6618 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 7/29/08
wow you are the warlord. I hear katanas can be really sharp. this is educational though
Owner
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 7/29/08

kiluanne93 wrote:

wow you are the warlord. I hear katanas can be really sharp. this is educational though


Most definitely, a proper Katana should be sharp enough to cut a leave with the slightest of force and strong enough to cut through 6 consecutive human bodies.

It is often considered the apex of cutting swords much as the smallsword is known to be the apex of thrusting swords.

Moderator
6618 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 7/30/08

Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:


kiluanne93 wrote:

wow you are the warlord. I hear katanas can be really sharp. this is educational though


Most definitely, a proper Katana should be sharp enough to cut a leave with the slightest of force and strong enough to cut through 6 consecutive human bodies.

It is often considered the apex of cutting swords much as the smallsword is known to be the apex of thrusting swords.



So are there different types of katanas? or I should ask whould the katana be considered a classification with all that has been said? Is it what it is in general and not something that is specifically classified? I dont know how to phrase the question...
Owner
4444 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / In your dreams...
Offline
Posted 7/30/08

kiluanne93 wrote:


Ice_Blue_Eyes wrote:


kiluanne93 wrote:

wow you are the warlord. I hear katanas can be really sharp. this is educational though


Most definitely, a proper Katana should be sharp enough to cut a leave with the slightest of force and strong enough to cut through 6 consecutive human bodies.

It is often considered the apex of cutting swords much as the smallsword is known to be the apex of thrusting swords.



So are there different types of katanas? or I should ask whould the katana be considered a classification with all that has been said? Is it what it is in general and not something that is specifically classified? I dont know how to phrase the question...


Not quite so. There may be many japanese swords [nihonto] however there is only one Katana which is a specific classification.

First  Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.