Japanese sword: name, types, production, photos
In Japan, it was invented a lot of martial arts. Many of them require treatment with machetes. To mind immediately come samurai - warriors who fought mostly in this way. Today, Japanese sword fencing is quite popular, especially in a country where this art appeared.
And here is the question: "What is the Japanese sword" - a clear answer can not be. However, if you ask it the ignorant man, in most cases the answer will be: "Katana". This is not entirely true - Japanese sword can not be limited to one name. It should be understood that there are a large number of representatives of the cool weapons. Types of Japanese swords can be a long list, of which there are dozens, then they will be given the most famous of them.
swordsmanship tradition goes into the distant past, in the days of the samurai. Dangerous weapon - a Japanese sword. Making it - is a science, which is passed from master to master. Of course, fully share about how to generate real work of blacksmiths in the hands, it is practically impossible, everyone uses a different technique and special additions and tweaks. Overall, however, all adhere to the next.
It is mandatory to use a multilayered steel with controlled carbon content. This gives the sword a special plasticity and strength simultaneously. Refined steel is cleaned under high temperatures, it becomes pure iron.
Absolutely all Japanese swords have a characteristic bend, called sori. It can be made in different embodiments. The age-old evolution of this type of bladed weapons, and at the same time and the equipment of the samurai, it possible to find almost ideal.
Sword - extension of the hand, while the fencer is almost always a little bent, so there is a bend and weapons. It's simple, but at the same time wisely. Sori appears partly due to the special processing, which uses huge temperature. Tempering is not uniform, and the zonal, some parts of the sword are much more exposed. By the way, in Europe, masters used just this method. After all the procedures, the Japanese sword has a different hardness, the blade - 60 units of Rockwell, and the reverse side - a total of 40 units. So the name of a Japanese sword?
To get started is to identify the simplest of all Japanese swords. Bokken - a wooden gun he used in training as cause serious injury to them is difficult, but master the art can kill them. For example it is possible to identify aikido. Sword is created from different types of wood: oak, beech and hornbeam. They are native to Japan and have sufficient strength, so the choice is clear. For safety and appearance often resin or varnish is applied. bokken length is about 1 m, the handle - 25 cm, the blade - 75 cm.
Weapons should be strong enough, so the production also requires skill. Bokken withstand heavy blows with same sword and jo, wooden pole. The most dangerous is a tip that can seriously harm.
As mentioned, the professional is able to deal a fatal blow, using Japanese wooden sword. For example, it suffices to take a swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, who often used a wooden sword fights, often fighting ended with the death of the enemy. Therefore, in Japan, with great respect, not only to these blades, but also to the bokken. For example, when entering the plane he always gives up the luggage. And if you do not use a case, it is equal to the carrying of bladed weapons. Dangerous this Japanese sword. The name can be attributed to all of the swords made of wood.
Interestingly, there are three varieties of wooden sword: male, female and training. But do not think that only the fair sex use the second. Women's most popular, as it has a special curved and easily. Male - thick blade and directness. Training also simulates the steel blade, the blade is particularly great thickening, meaning weight of iron. What has more types of Japanese swords?
Literally translated the name "big-small". This is the main weapon of the samurai. Long sword called Daito. Its length is about 66 cm short Japanese sword (dagger) -. Shoto (33-66 cm) serving as a secondary weapon samurai. But a mistake to believe that the names of certain weapons. Throughout history, a bunch of varied, using different kinds. For example, until the early Muromachi period as a long sword used by thieves. It was then replaced katana, which was in the sheath enshrined with tape. If thieves used a dagger (short sword), Tanto, then it usually took wakizashi - Japanese swords, photos of which can be seen below.
In Europe and in Russia it is believed that the Katana - Long sword, but it is not so. It really is such a long time, but its use - a matter of taste. Interestingly, in Japan strictly observed daishō use only samurai. Military leaders and shoguns sacredly honored this rule and issue relevant decrees. Samurai themselves with trepidation treated to arms, he was kept at his side, even while you sleep. The long sword was shot at the entrance to the house, and the short was always with him.
Other classes of society had no right to use daishō, however, could take them separately. A bunch of swords is a major part of the samurai costume. That it is a confirmation of social class. Warriors were taught from an early age to take care of their weapons to master.
And finally, perhaps the most popular of representing the best Japanese swords. Katana in modern language denotes any absolutely representative of this type of weapon. As mentioned above, it was used as a long samurai sword, the more often it goes in tandem with vakadzi. Weapons are always in the sheath, in order to avoid accidental injury to others and yourself. Interestingly, the angle at which the katana is usually located on the belt, it allows you to hide the true length of the rest. Sly and easy way to have appeared in the Sengoku period. At that time, the weapon is no longer necessary, he was more used for the sake of tradition.
Like any Japanese sword, roll has a complex structure. The manufacturing process can take several months, but leaves a work of art. Initially, pieces of steel, folded together, filled with a solution of clay and water and sprinkled with ash. This is necessary to ensure that the slag which is formed during the melting process, soaked. After a red-hot steel, pieces are connected.
After beginning the most difficult process - forging. Pieces repeatedly flattened and folded, thereby allowing carbon to be distributed evenly on the workpiece. If you add up to 10 times, you get 1024 layers. And this is not the limit. Why is it necessary? To the hardness of the blade is the same. If there are significant differences, in terms of large loads is likely calving. Forging lasts for several days, during which time the layers reach truly large quantity. Blade structure is created due to the composition of the metal strips. This is the first of its kind, then it will become part of the sword.
In order to prevent oxidation of the same is applied a layer of clay. Then hardening begins. Sword is heated to a certain temperature which depends on the type of metal. Thereafter the instantaneous cooling. The cutting edge becomes solid. Then produce the final work: grinding, polishing. Master carefully working on the blade a long time. At the end, when the edges of flat steel, it works with small stones, which are held by one or two fingers, some people use tablets. Today became popular engraving, which usually conveys scene with Buddhist themes. Produced work on the handle, holding a few more days, and the katana ready. Dangerous this Japanese sword. The name can be attributed to a large number of representatives of which are different from each other.
These Japanese swords must have not only a sharp blade, and strength, but also durability. They must not break bumps, as well as a long time without sharpening. Carbon gives hardness, but the sword loses elasticity and, therefore, becomes brittle. Kuznetsy in Japan have invented a variety of shapes that would be able to provide both flexibility and durability.
Eventually it was decided that solves the problem of multi-layered. The traditional technique involves the production of a blade core of low-carbon steel. The remaining layers have elasticity. Various combinations and ways to help create a Japanese sword. Warglaive should be convenient a particular soldier. Also, the blacksmith can change the type of steel, which greatly affects the entire sword. In general, roll may differ from each other due to the above reasons.
Design of blades because of the difficulty in manufacturing cost in different ways. For example, the cheapest one involves the use of steel grades. Commonly used to create tanto. But Sagami kitae - the most complex structure, it has seven layers of steel. Exemplary work created with its application, is a work of art. One of the first Sagami kitae started using smith Masamune.
In the house and on the street
As you know, in Japan there are many traditions, many of which are directly related to knives. For example, entering the house, the warrior never took a short Japanese samurai sword. Vakadzi remained in its sheath as a reminder of the combat readiness of the guest. With a katana (long sword) was different. His samurai was holding in his left hand, if feared for his own life. As a sign of confidence he could shift it to the right. When the soldier sat down, he also parted with swords.
On the street wearing a samurai katana in its sheath, called sai. Mounting of the sword called kosirae. If there was a need, the warrior never parted with a katana. However, in times of peace long sword was left at home. There he was kept in a special installation Shirasu, which was created from the raw wood magnolia. She was able to protect the blade from corrosion. If we compare the katana with Russian counterparts, it more closely resembles the sword. However, thanks to the long handle of the first may be used with two hands, which is a distinctive feature. Katanas useful property can be called that with its help also easy to apply thrusting, since a small bending blade and the blade sharp.
Katana always worn on the left of the body in its sheath. obi belt securely fastened a sword and does not allow him to fall. blade always be above the handle in the society. It is a tradition, not a military necessity. But in armed conflicts samurai holding katana in his left hand, that is in a state of combat readiness. In a sign of confidence, as already mentioned, the weapons passed into the right hand. Japanese katana sword tachi replaced by the end of the XIV century.
Usually, all chosen decorative elements of the handle, and ugly and raw nobody chose. However, at the end of the XIX century in Japan it was prohibited from wearing swords, all but the wood. And untreated arm began to gain popularity as a sheathed blade could not see, and the sword could be mistaken for bokken. In Russia, the katana is characterized as a two-handed sword with a blade of more than 60 cm.
However, not only katana used by the samurai. There are less well-known and popular types of Japanese swords. It is written about them on.
This is a short Japanese sword. The traditional view of bladed weapons was quite popular among the samurai. it was worn often paired just with a katana. Blade length actually makes it not a sword, but rather, a dagger, it is about 30-60 cm. All the wakizashi was about 50-80 cm, depending on the previous figure. Small curvature made him look like a katana. Grinding was one-sided, like most Japanese swords. Convex section is much larger than that of the katana, so soft objects were cut sharply. A distinctive feature is the handle of square section. Wakizashi was very popular, many schools of fencing taught their students to use it at the same time and the katana. Sword called the guardian of honor and treated him with great respect.
However, the main advantage of the katana is a free carrying vakidzasi everything. If you only have the right to use a samurai long sword, the short often took with them artisans, laborers, merchants and others. Due to the considerable length of the wakizashi was often used as a complete weapon.
Long Japanese sword, which replaced the katana, was once quite popular. The fundamental difference between them can be designated at the stage of creating the blade - to use different design. Katana has a much better performance, but the thieves and deserves attention. Wearing a long sword blade it was passed down to his belt, reinforcing a special bandaging. Sheath often were wrapped around to avoid damage. If the katana was part of the civil clothes, the thieves - exclusively military. Together with him went the sword tanto. Tachi also often used as a ceremonial weapon at various events and in the courts of the shoguns and emperors (the first can still be called princes).
If we compare with the same katana, the tachi blade in a curved and long, about 75 cm. The Katana is a direct and relatively not long. Handle tachi as the sword itself, it is quite strongly curved, which is the main distinguishing aspect.
Tati had a second name - Daito. In Europe it is usually pronounced "daykatana". Error due to incorrect reading hieroglyphics.
Paired with the thieves walked the short sword, which also can be attributed to the daggers. Tanto - a phrase, so in Japan, he is not considered a knife. Also, there is another reason. Tanto was used as a weapon. However, knife kodzuka worn in one scabbard with him. Blade length in the range of 15-30 cm. The most common blade was one-sided, but sometimes created double-edged, but as an exception. Interestingly, the wakizashi, katana and tanto are one and the same swords, only differing in length. There was a kind of eroi Doce, which had a three-edged sword. It was necessary to pierce armor. Tanto was not banned for use by ordinary people, so not only the samurai wore it, but also doctors, merchants, and others. In theory, tanto, as any short sword - dagger. Another variation was kaiken that differed at length. It is most often worn by ladies of high society in the obi belt and used for self-defense. Tanto has not disappeared, he remained in traditional wedding ceremonies royal personages. Some samurai wore it instead wakizashi in tandem with a katana.
In addition to these kinds of long sword existed less known and widespread. One of these is Odat. Often confused with the term nodati, which is described below, but they are two different sword.
Odat literally translated as "great sword." Indeed, the length of its blade exceeds 90, 9 cm. However, the exact definition does not exist, as observed with other species. In fact, each exceeding the value indicated above may be called Odat sword. The length of the order of 1, 6 meters, but often surpasses it, the Japanese sword hilt was considerable.
The swords are not used with the 1615 War of Osaka-Natsuno-Jin. After it has been issued a specific law prohibiting the use of cold weapons of a certain length. Unfortunately, today remained negligible amount Odat. The reason for this - the fact that the owners cut their own edged weapons, in order to meet the standards. After the ban swords were used as a gift, as they were quite valuable. This was their purpose. The high cost of due to the fact that the production was extremely difficult.
Literally, the name refers to the field sword. Nodati as Odat have tremendous length. Because of her creation it was difficult. Sword worn behind, since only this method was possible. Dissemination nodati not get just because of the complexity of manufacturing. In addition, at the battle he also demanded skills. Complex ownership technique causes a large size and enormous weight. Snatch from behind the sword in battle the heat was almost impossible. But where is it used? Perhaps the best application has been fighting with riders. Long and sharp end nodati allowed to use as a spear, with affecting both man and horse. Also quite effective sword was on damage to multiple targets at once. Nodati but totally unsuitable for the melee. Samurai, if necessary, cast the sword and took up a more comfortable katana or tachi.
The name translates as "the little thieves." Kodachi - Japan edged weapon that can not be attributed to long or to short swords. Rather, it is something in between. Due to the size of its quick and easy to grab and fence perfectly. The versatility of the sword due to size, you can use it in close combat, where movements are constrained, and at a distance.
Kodachi is best compared to a wakizashi. Although their blades are very different (at first it wider), possession of equipment is similar. The length of one and the other as similar. Kodachi was allowed to wear all because he could not relate to the long swords. It is often confused with wakizashi for the reasons described above. Kodachi was worn as thieves, that is bending down. Samurai, use it, do not take a second cold weapon daishō thanks to its versatility. Japanese sword fighting is not needed in the bundle.
a large number of swords were created in Japan, the exact definition of which did not exist. Some related to small, can be worn by all people. Samurai usually chose the types of swords that are used in conjunction daishō. Swords displaced with each other, as new had better characteristics, are vivid example thieves and rolled. Qualitatively made great masters, these swords were real works of art.