Rus Articles Journal

Samurai sword? No, knife and even knives. What they are? Part 1.

Allow to ask you one interesting question. What second word you will call to the word samurai ?

Almost all to whom I asked this question, without reflecting answered sword . And still?. Someone remembered the code of honor, someone - samurai spirit, and one, only one person remembered a samurai knife - Tanta! And a sword - actually big knife. And knife history is much more ancient than a sword!

Besides, the knife always, along with a sword, remained the military weapon. Efficiency of a large knife concedes in skillful hands to a sword a little, but, for example, as the secret weapon the knife is almost irreplaceable.

So, we will begin with legends of old times Japanese the Most ancient Japanese knives are mentioned by

even in Kojiki ( Notes about affairs of antiquity about 700 AD) the oldest Japanese written source which reached up to now. Then the fighting knife had in length from 5 to 22 cm and was called to a tos . In a form he reminded a direct economic knife of a kogatan who, probably and is a lineal descendant of this nice weapon. Often several tosa of different length was carried in one sheath. By the way, swords in those gray-haired times were straight lines, and the word the Samurai did not exist in general!

In later times when a fighting armor appeared, fighting knives began to call the general name yory - Doce that in a free translation means protykatel of an armor . They were carried outdone behind. Is later than their steel to carry also and in front, having outdone.

From such protykatel also there were types of knives about which it is told below.

The best-known successor of family of yory - Doce, of course, Tanta !

The name of this weapon is written with two hieroglyphs of Tan - short, - a sword.

On the Japanese canons Tanta has all signs of a sword - the unilateral blade shaped with obviously visible line jamon, a removable tsuba (protection for a hand), a handle braid with all put details (the cashier, a menuka, fuch) and fastening between a blade and tsuby (habaka) which, actually, and is the main sign of a sword (without habaka any iron strip with the handle - just a knife). A sheath, as a rule, had pockets for kogay and kogatana (an economic knife and a wooden hairpin for removal of an armor).

Tanto, vakidzas and the katana is practically one sword, only the different " size;.

Tanto in ceremonial exits was carried in couple to a ceremonial sword the Tat. Then it was called mow - a gatana (I ask not to confuse to kogatany - a small economic knife).

Except Samurais, Tanta dealers, handicraftsmen, doctors just for self-defense carried.

By the way, according to information from Wikipedia, this type of weapon is very popular among the Japanese mafiosi now - the yakuza.

During the last 700 - 800 three types of knives Tanta were made, as a rule. The Tsuba - from a tsub, a hamadasa - a blade with shortened a tsuba and aykuch - a blade without hilt. Edge length Tanta varied from 5 to 12 inches (from about 13 to 30 cm). Blades more long than 33 cm carried the name to - vakidzas, or small short sword .

Hamadas - differs from Tanta in lack of a tsuba, but has pronounced transition from the handle to an edge even if in the form of a rim. Usually has a handle braid.

Aykuch (aykut) - a knife in style Tanta, but without tsuba in general. Transition from the handle to a blade is almost imperceptible. It is the main distinctive feature of an aykucha - lack of transition between a blade and the handle. It was actively used by Samurais up to the Tokugavsky era for striking a blow on the lying opponent who (under the samurai code of honor) could not be killed with a sword. As aykut was not considered as a sword as classical Tanta, was not forbidden to kill with it the lying opponent. Aykuta handles (by tradition) are never braided that nothing to remind a sword.

After end of the Era of wars (approximately since 1600) aykut was more work of art, than the weapon.

And all this?

No! To be continued