Likes Likes:  7
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4
Results 46 to 60 of 60

Thread: Kodachi versus Shoto?

  1. #46

    Default

    Well, if you guys really are interested, you might find this article by Guido Schiller interesting.

    http://www.geocities.com/alchemyst/k...e/koshirae.htm

    There are also a couple other really good article on Rich's site. Blade shapes changes over time is also a really good article. Then there's the article on Niku I wrote years ago that I sometimes regret since I've seen so many, um, "interesting" interpretations of what I wrote over the years. I can't count how many times I've said "what?" when finding myself quoted to support something I absolutely would never agree with...

    The reality is that all these terms in use have subtle variations in meaning. Most assume many mean the exact same thing, but the reality is that meaning is a very fluid thing with many of these terms. As I wrote originally, context is everything. I personally find it very interesting in part due to how some groups end up with, well, "interesting interpretations" of things based on subtle misunderstanding of terms. And often this happens with perfectly legit folk. It is subtle stuff and the path is a minefield...

  2. #47

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam Cognet
    ... It may be easier to call a sword by it's length and mountings. For example, "a n cm blade mounted in xyz fittings".
    The reality is that among collectors and sword historians the terms wakizashi, tanto and katana are for the most part just descriptive of length of swords. Less than one (tanto), more than two (katana), and in between (wakizashi). Tachi are an earlier case of earlier history with longer and more deeply curved blades (with lots of exceptions of course). Tachi made for that purpose long ago were also generally signed "tachi-mei" meaning the signature of the smith is on the "other" side from where you normally see them on a katana (ura and omote become difficult concepts to discuss when comparing katana and tachi -- there's another discussion -- Omote and Ura on blades assume you have the orientation of the edge correct to begin with...). A katana is generally signed "katana-mei" katana omote with the smith's name. But you shorten that tachi and you'll find a sword that is shorter, lost some of the curve, and it looks a lot like... an unsigned katana. But it is still a tachi. O-suriage tachi, but tachi. But it could be mounted uchigatana style. Is anyone still paying attention? There will be a test later.


    Sometimes the best thing to do is point and say "that sharp pointy thing over there."

  3. #48
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Atlanta - USA
    Posts
    712
    Likes (received)
    6

    Default

    "subtle misunderstanding"

    That's a keeper Keith!
    Doug Walker
    Completely cut off both heads,
    Let a single sword stand against the cold sky!

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    869
    Likes (received)
    35
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Hi, Keith. Glad you checked in on this issue, minuscule though it may be.

    I've come to the conclusion that there is just no definitive way to name any particular length of weapon that won't offend somebody. I was at another local dojo a few weeks ago, & happened to mention the kodachi versus shoto question to a sensei I know. He laughed & gave me his definition, which was overheard by another sensei who totally disagreed with the first, & that started an almost-argument with a dozen people chiming in. It was actually pretty funny! I managed to sneak away before they started blaming me....

    Rich's Web-site is a treasure trove of info, & I've had it bookmarked for many a year. But I've somehow managed to miss the article you mentioned, "Blade shapes changes over time." Can you point me to the right URL? I've long held the opinion (for whatever it's worth ) that blade shapes through the centuries reflected current fighting styles & battlefield conditions, but haven't found much info to confirm or deny that assumption. His article sounds like it might help me on this.
    Ken Goldstein
    --------------------------------
    Judo Kodansha/MJER Iaido Kodansha/Jodo Oku-iri
    Fencing Master/NRA Instructor

    "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it'll annoy enough people to be worth the effort."

  5. #50

    Default

    Sure enough, no problem.

    http://www.geocities.com/alchemyst/sugata/shape.htm

    You might also like this one on Paul Martin's website. His site is here:

    http://www.thejapanesesword.com/

    Click on the link for The Japanese Sword on the left then click on History. The link at the top of the page references a very cool image of "representative" daito of various time periods. The rest of the page lists the period and some of the why and wherefores of the shape.

  6. #51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Walker
    "subtle misunderstanding"

    That's a keeper Keith!
    Yeah, I'm full of those. Subtle misunderstandings that is...

    Thankfully I have friends who have a habit of calling me on it whenever I stick my foot halfway down my oesophagus. Honestly I can't count how many times I've received either public or private notes saying "Um, no, you're wrong." from folk like Guido Schiller, Ted, and any number of other folk. And even when I feel I'm on solid ground after all these years trying to figure out these things I am still nervous posting on many topics. I just keep waiting for that follow up "you dipstick -- you have it totally wrong" note.

    I was briefly involved with a project a few years ago with translation of a pretty famous sword kantei book. The idea was great -- one Japanese speaking sword expert with okay English skills. Another Japanese sword expert with better English skills. One English speaking sword expert with decent Japanese. Then me with my appalling skill level trying to do the new book layout and desktop publishing. It took forever just to get part way through a few pages. Grammar issues, translation issues, heck even sizing/layout problems going from very compact kanji to the much less compact English. What a hassle just getting all those words on a page aligned with photos and graphics. And last I heard the project was put on hold.

  7. #52
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    This is quite an ancient thread necro, but it was one of the first results when searching 'Kodachi vs Shoto', so I will just put the information up here for future searchers of this question.

    Shoutou 小刀 is the short blade that goes with the ceremonial/authoritive Daishou 大小. Shoutou has a short handle, long enough to grip with one hand. Shoutou was the everyday short sword a Samurai/Merchant would carry with them in peace time.

    Kodachi 小太刀 is a short blade that goes with the battle Daishou 大小. Kodachi has a long handle, long enough to grip with two hands (literally a Daitou 太刀 handle on a short blade). Kodachi was the short sword Samurai would carry into battle.

    Wakizashi 脇差 are side-arms. Daishou, Katana, Tachi, Kodachi, Tantou, Shoutou etc. are all wakizashi. Arguably jutte and kabuto wari are also wakizashi.

    Daitou is not a wakizashi, as it was considered a main weapon (that's not to say you couldn't designate it as a wakizashi... if you wanted to)

    Tantou 短刀 is dagger or knife. Though a shorter shoutou may fall into this category if the Samurai in question is carrying say a Kodachi and Tachi.

    Tachi 太刀 is a cavalry sword.

    I hope that clears some things up.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    JAPAN
    Posts
    1,613
    Likes (received)
    106

    Default

    I am sorry but it clears nothing up. You have added total confusion and mixed up swordsmiths terms with the mountings.

    When a blade is forged and registered and licenced under the juto ho it falls into three categories:

    A tantō (knife or dagger) is less than 1 shaku.

    A Shōtō (小刀:しょうとう) (wakizashi or kodachi) is 1 to 2 shaku.

    A Daitō (大刀) (katana or tachi) is longer than 2 shaku.

    So then we get on to mounts. This is totally a personal preference. My shoto is in a tanto mount to pair with a 3.6 tachi. It's over 1 shaku but looks like a tanto.

    Tachi usually refers to a slung sword for cavalry but can be mounted Buke Zukuri style.

    So in actual fact there are only three classifications as per your licence. The rest are just styles/mounts.
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  9. Likes cxt, pgsmith liked this post
  10. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,225
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemuri Neko View Post
    Daishou, Katana, Tachi...are all wakizashi.
    I challenge you to provide an authoritative source that confirms this statement.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  11. Likes cxt, pgsmith liked this post
  12. #55
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hyaku View Post
    I am sorry but it clears nothing up. You have added total confusion and mixed up swordsmiths terms with the mountings.

    When a blade is forged and registered and licenced under the juto ho it falls into three categories:

    A tantō (knife or dagger) is less than 1 shaku.

    A Shōtō (小刀:しょうとう) (wakizashi or kodachi) is 1 to 2 shaku.

    A Daitō (大刀) (katana or tachi) is longer than 2 shaku.

    So then we get on to mounts. This is totally a personal preference. My shoto is in a tanto mount to pair with a 3.6 tachi. It's over 1 shaku but looks like a tanto.

    Tachi usually refers to a slung sword for cavalry but can be mounted Buke Zukuri style.

    So in actual fact there are only three classifications as per your licence. The rest are just styles/mounts.
    I was referring to the Sengoku period. During the Edo period swords were standardised into categories and lengths. Today, as you said, there are relatively strict rules to sword classifications, in the Sengoku period there was a far greater variety in flexibility in classifications. As I practice Sengoku era styles, I classify swords based on use rather any modern classification system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Owens
    I challenge you to provide an authoritative source that confirms this statement.
    Wakizashi 脇差 began initially to describe the companion sword of the katana 刀, and during various time periods described a range of swords and sword styles that accompanied the main weapon. As the use of the word became more popular, Samurai started to apply it to a range of weapons used as 'side-arms' carried along with spears, glaives and bows into battle.

    Eventually, during the Sengoku period, any bladed weapon carried as a side-arm was designated as a 'wakizashi' and were sometimes referred to as ko-wakizashi or o-wakizashi.

    Wakizashi is a relative term and refers to any side-arm.

    Mol, Serge (2003). Classical weaponry of Japan: special weapons and tactics of the martial arts. Kodansha International. pp. 1824. ISBN 4-7700-2941-1.

  13. #56
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    JAPAN
    Posts
    1,613
    Likes (received)
    106

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemuri Neko View Post
    I was referring to the Sengoku period. During the Edo period swords were standardised into categories and lengths. Today, as you said, there are relatively strict rules to sword classifications, in the Sengoku period there was a far greater variety in flexibility in classifications. As I practice Sengoku era styles, I classify swords based on use rather any modern classification system.



    Wakizashi 脇差 began initially to describe the companion sword of the katana 刀, and during various time periods described a range of swords and sword styles that accompanied the main weapon. As the use of the word became more popular, Samurai started to apply it to a range of weapons used as 'side-arms' carried along with spears, glaives and bows into battle.

    Eventually, during the Sengoku period, any bladed weapon carried as a side-arm was designated as a 'wakizashi' and were sometimes referred to as ko-wakizashi or o-wakizashi.

    Wakizashi is a relative term and refers to any side-arm.

    Mol, Serge (2003). Classical weaponry of Japan: special weapons and tactics of the martial arts. Kodansha International. pp. 1824. ISBN 4-7700-2941-1.
    You can classify them any way you want but your licence will state otherwise. As I already mentioned I use a shoto as a tanto. Does it really matter what they are called? Do you actually declare this before your cut?

    https://acmebugei.wordpress.com/2010...-by-serge-mol/
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  14. #57
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,225
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemuri Neko View Post
    Eventually, during the Sengoku period, any bladed weapon carried as a side-arm was designated as a 'wakizashi' and were sometimes referred to as ko-wakizashi or o-wakizashi. Mol, Serge (2003).
    Okay, any weapon carried AS A SIDEARM may have been referred to as a wakizashi, but would a bushi carrying a polearm also have been wearing a daisho during the Sengokujidai?
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  15. #58
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hyaku View Post
    You can classify them any way you want but your licence will state otherwise. As I already mentioned I use a shoto as a tanto. Does it really matter what they are called? Do you actually declare this before your cut?

    https://acmebugei.wordpress.com/2010...-by-serge-mol/

    It does and it doesn't. In a practical sense, you can call your weapons anything you want and it won't make a difference to your opponent; however, it does become an issue if you survive the battle, write a denshou and hand it to your son with the wish of passing it on to further generations.

    Techniques in denshou are usually quite vague. For instance, if it says "use the handle of the kodachi to capture the wrist", doing it with a shoutou won't work because the handle is too short, but many practitioners will 'try' and make it work, changing the technique and passing on a version with a lack of understanding of the original purpose. Then it becomes like Chinese whispers and eventually you end up with a technique that looks nothing like was intended.

    This is where Kuden come in, but with so much vague and corrupted information flowing from all sides, it can even affect the Kuden.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Owens
    Okay, any weapon carried AS A SIDEARM may have been referred to as a wakizashi, but would a bushi carrying a polearm also have been wearing a daisho during the Sengokujidai?
    They may have, if they couldn't afford a proper set for battle. Samurai were expected to provide their own equipment and it wasn't uncommon for a Samurai to fall on hard times.

    I've read stories of Samurai taking bokken into battle, because they just couldn't afford damaging their primary daishou set or buying a main weapon.

  16. #59
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,225
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    I think you missed what I was saying. A daisho (big-small) is a two-sword set, generally in matching mounts and consisting of a long and a short sword. You said a daisho would be worn during the sengokujidai by bushi whose primary weapon was a polearm, and I am not aware of that being a practice. Can you cite your source?
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  17. Likes cxt liked this post
  18. #60
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    JAPAN
    Posts
    1,613
    Likes (received)
    106

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemuri Neko View Post
    It does and it doesn't. In a practical sense, you can call your weapons anything you want and it won't make a difference to your opponent; however, it does become an issue if you survive the battle, write a denshou and hand it to your son with the wish of passing it on to further generations.

    Techniques in denshou are usually quite vague. For instance, if it says "use the handle of the kodachi to capture the wrist", doing it with a shoutou won't work because the handle is too short, but many practitioners will 'try' and make it work, changing the technique and passing on a version with a lack of understanding of the original purpose. Then it becomes like Chinese whispers and eventually you end up with a technique that looks nothing like was intended.

    This is where Kuden come in, but with so much vague and corrupted information flowing from all sides, it can even affect the Kuden.



    They may have, if they couldn't afford a proper set for battle. Samurai were expected to provide their own equipment and it wasn't uncommon for a Samurai to fall on hard times.

    I've read stories of Samurai taking bokken into battle, because they just couldn't afford damaging their primary daishou set or buying a main weapon.
    I know what a densho is. I have densho. Densho are seldom hereditary. Details of waza are never written in densho. That's the whole idea. Teach a student physically and spiritually and giver him a peices of paper that says he is the new leader with names of what he does. The densho given to the Lord Hosokawa by Yagyu was a blank scroll. The sum total of a ryu written on paper.

    There is and always will be grey area as fundamentals are taught to then add ones own personal character and interpretation.

    A Katana kaji will tell you smiths used to forged out tons of roughly sharpened expendable blades to take into battle.

    On the other hand an archealogical pathologist freind of mine who examined bones from Sekigahara told us that most died as a result of rocks on the head.

    I think a points you may be missing is that a blade just over 1 shaku was and is thrown. This practice died down a lot during peaceful times. Also if you enter a normal size building you cant uses a tachi. That's why the jidai geki always have the actors maneuvering to get outside.

    Shoto can be used indoors. That nice curve is not to produce a superior cutting weapon. You can stab people with it so that the tip enters body cavities.
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  19. Likes cxt, pgsmith liked this post
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •