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Thread: Japanese Axes

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    Default Axes?

    What axes are used in traditional Japanese martial arts? I have heard of the Ono and the Masakari, what ryu taught the use of these weapons? Also, often a short axe is carried in the bowcase by many Asian archers, with the composite short bow, equivalent to regular kyu rather than yumi. Was this ever done by Japanese archers?

    Jesse Peters

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    Default axes

    I was not aware Japanese Budo used axes in combat. I think I saw an old MAM where one of the Bushi was carring an axe. But other than that the only ones I am aware of are from China, and they are many. Being a weapons maker this has me a bit intriged at the moment. Can you list some sites where I might go to see possibly a larger array of Koryu Nihon Buki? Arigato!

    Sensei Hank Irwin

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    Jesse:

    What do you mean by "regular kyu rather than yumi"? "Yumi" and "kyu" are, respectively, the native Japanese and the Sino-Japanese pronunciation for the same Chinese character which means "bow". The short Japanese bow was called a "hankyu", or "half-bow", but Japanese bows were never made of horn and sinew composites like they were in Asia, the Japanese not having access to the necessary materials.

    Earl Hartman

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    To my mind, the axe was not a combative weapon in japanese history. Axes and hammers was used to destroy fortifications, walls or doors in castles but not to kill enemies. So it was only a instrument of lower warriors. If you see an important samurai with axe or hammer on a painting - that is only fiction and not reality in history times. It was a symbol of strength or daemon-killer.

    regards
    Ulf Lehmann

  5. #5
    Paul Madory Guest

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    The Ohno (bo-length battle-axe) was in fact used by the Shinden Fudo Ryu. Although not widely practiced today in the Bujinkan (or Genbukan?), Hatsumi Soke has demonstrated some techniques for using it in 1-on-1 combat.

  6. #6
    Nick Guest

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    I hate to bring this off the subject, but is the axe seriously called an "OhNo"?

    Just thought that was funny, sorry...

    Nick

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    Default OhNo Axe

    Originally posted by Nick
    I hate to bring this off the subject, but is the axe seriously called an "OhNo"?

    Just thought that was funny, sorry...

    Nick
    Dunno!
    Hank Irwin
    www.geocities.com/bushinoji
    A.O.A.
    Academy of Okinawan Arts

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    Sorry, Mr. Madory - be careful to use connections between Ninjutsu and Bujutsu. Some weapons of Ninjutsu are not a part of "legal" warrior traditions in Japan (poison, blowguns, needles...). Maybe also the Ono?

    The japanese book "Nihon no jitten" describe the Masakari as a part of warrior equipment in the Kamakura and Heian period. The hilt was binding like the old Nagemaki and the form of the blade was not too big. Some axes have had a decorative Ino me (hole) in the blade and a ishi zuki end like spears. So some historians believe, the most Masakari was ceremonial weapons. You can see some Masakari in http://www.tenshukaku.de/sturm.htm

    regards

    Ulf Lehmann

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    Wow..this is kind of eerie. I was thinking of the same thing the other night. Specifically that in Europe's feudal era there was such a wide variety of weapons (maces, flails, war hammers, halberds, and of course axes), as well as various siege engines while the Japanese seem to have concentrated on fewer classes of weapon. I thought this strange as axes were used quite extensively in China (China seems to have used a truly astonishing variety of weapons!)..as were crossbows, both of which seem to be lacking on the Japanese side of the house. I did see an illustration of a type of yari with a tiny axehead on one side of the main blade though.
    David F. Craik

  10. #10
    Paul Madory Guest

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    Hi Ulf Lehmann -

    "Ninjutsu is budo."
    - Masaaki Hatsumi

    Furthermore, historically ninjutsu always had a very high standard of ethics, including legal and illegal aspects within the laws of the era. Gikan Ryu, for example, translates into "school of high regard for justice". Mainstream bushido contained many things that are morally repugnant to modern people, whereas ninjutsu was first and foremost for the affirmation of human life and survival of its practitioners and their allies.

    As best as I understand it, the more rare weapons like the ohno battle axe were not explicitly outlawed, just unheard of.

  11. #11
    Paul Madory Guest

    Default axes

    Whoops! Hit the wrong button. Same thread, sorry.

    - Paul

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    Default Fu/Ono

    It’s Ono not Ôno/Oono/Ouno/Ohno!

    Nelson’s #2382
    斧 Fu・Ono ‘axe, hatchet’
    斧鉞 Fuetsu ‘axe; battle-axe, curtailment’

    As for which Ryûha in the Bujinkan Paul, I have heard either Kukishin-ryû/Kukishinden (both of which are 総合武術 Sôgô Bujutsu) or Shinden Fudô-ryû. Both have some connections to Ninjutsu!

    Large wooden hammers "Ôzuchi" were also used in squads to smash threw fortifications and gates, so the common Koryû weapons were not the only thing used in battle/attack!
    Eric Weil
    "Kuji first, Taijutsu last"

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    Smile Axes

    Seems logical to have technique for a tool that might very well be the only weapon you have to defend yourself. I'm sure they probably carried other weapons with them, but they would have to be of a somewhat smaller variety. I don't know, maybe you could still carry your blades and still be agile enough to weild an Axe efficiently. I would imagine there were quite a few AxeMen that had to use their "demolition implements" as weapons. Seems like an awfully vunerable position in life to have. But then again, a battle axe in the hands of an experience AxeMan would be a site to see. Seems like these guys would have been at the front of the attack, too, or at least close by. I wonder to what degree of training they went through. Were they trained like the rest of their peers? Or were they "specilized" in a particular field of combat along with regular training? Or were they all required to fulfill different positions? I know rank made a difference in your position in life along with Family name. I guess this would affect your status also, as to what role you played in the actual combat. "Samurai Swat Teams" maybe?
    Hank Irwin
    www.geocities.com/bushinoji
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    Academy of Okinawan Arts

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    Default Japanese Axes

    Hi
    I know there are Axe techniques taught in the bujinkan, Ive heard them attributed to Shinden Fudo Ryu and Gyokko ryu, could anyone give me details on this?
    Im also looking for pictures of the ono (photographs preferably) as Ive been able to find very few.
    Also, what books or DVDs show the Ono in use?
    THanks!

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    Default

    Not an axe, but a blade like one - the Musashi Kaiken/tekken:



    From this website, which mentions the ryu you mention:

    http://korisuya.wordpress.com/2010/1...9%84%E6%8B%B3/

    And an interesting modern take?



    From Tops Knives:

    http://www.topsknives.com/product_in...roducts_id=223
    Kit Leblanc

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