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Thread: Difference "nodachi" vs. "odachi"

  1. #1
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    Default Difference "nodachi" vs. "odachi"

    Hi, I got a little question concerning "nodachi" and "ōdachi"...
    Searching on the internet -not the best resource, but the only I got in this matter, unfortunately- I found that "ōdachi" would be oftenly mistaken for "nodachi", but nowhere is there an explanation what a "nodachi" would be in that case.

    So my questions are:
    1. Is nodachi something else than ōdachi?
    2. Does nodachi exist?
    3. What is the difference between these weapons if both exist?
    Last edited by kennin; 26th July 2004 at 18:33.
    Achim Steigert
    Bujinkan Te-Nage Dōjō
    Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu
    Shodan - translated: beginners grade

  2. #2
    Josef Guest

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    Too try and answer your questions.

    Nodachi definately existed and were quite common for a short period of time 12th/13th century.

    Odachi might be something different to a Nodachi as the a broadsword might be something different to a longsword. It really depends upon the speaker, and in my experience their beliefs vary quite drastically. Some people use Odachi to refer to a really long sword 5-6ft and a Nodachi for the shorter 4-5ft. Other destinguish Odachi as being less curved than Nodachi reguardless of which is the longest. Some people use it to describe a swords function reguardless or length of curve.

    In other words, nobody knows.

  3. #3
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    Nodachi means "field sword" and always, as far as I know, refers to a very long sword never worn in the obi.

    Odachi, AFAIK, just implies "Big Sword" and is thus a more relative term. I know of one old, traditional ryu, for example, that uses the term odachi for the standard katana that others might refer to as a daito, while others use the term to describe the nodachi or another really big sword, the chokuto. So it does depend on the context/source of usage what "odachi" is refering to.

    HTH.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    True..I believe the Araki Ryu, Hokushin Itto-Ryu, and Katayama Hoki Ryu (as well as quite a few others) all refer to their daito as 'odachi'.
    David F. Craik

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the answers. This helps indeed!
    Achim Steigert
    Bujinkan Te-Nage Dōjō
    Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu
    Shodan - translated: beginners grade

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by kennin
    Thank you for the answers. This helps indeed!
    Kennin-san,

    Another, related, term you might find useful is kodachi. Among those schools that use odachi to refer to their standard long swords, they will usually use kodachi rather than shoto or wakizashi to refer to their short swords.

    HTH.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  7. #7
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    Well, though I know the term "kodachi" alright, this connection didn't occur to me at all yet.
    Thank you for pointing that out! Interesting stuff...
    Is there a related specific term for "tantō" as well, then?
    Achim Steigert
    Bujinkan Te-Nage Dōjō
    Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu
    Shodan - translated: beginners grade

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