Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Tachi, katana and wakizashi

Expand Messages
  • Melissa Hoy
    I am considering purchasing a sword for my Lord and was just curious which one I should get. I have heard that katana are late period, or out of period and
    Message 1 of 22 , Mar 19, 2001
      I am considering purchasing a sword for my Lord and was just curious which
      one I should get. I have heard that katana are late period, or out of period
      and tachi are period. Is this correct?

      Second question. The name he wants is Homaru. Not spelled correctly I am
      sure, and I have no idea where he got it. Is this a real Japanese name? Any
      ideas? Comments?

      Hatakeyama no Kaede
      "The Herald formerly known as Mara"
      _________________________________________________________________
      Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
    • J. Badgley
      ... Tachi are period and used up through the Edo Period by some (I ve seen a reference to Musashi wielding a tachi but I don t know if that was supposed to
      Message 2 of 22 , Mar 21, 2001
        On Mon, 19 Mar 2001, Melissa Hoy wrote:

        > I am considering purchasing a sword for my Lord and was just curious which
        > one I should get. I have heard that katana are late period, or out of period
        > and tachi are period. Is this correct?

        Tachi are period and used up through the Edo Period by some (I've seen a
        reference to Musashi wielding a 'tachi' but I don't know if that was
        supposed to be a straight sword, or just a sword).

        However, the katana as we know it (for the most part) has been around for
        a while as well, and from my own, limited research it seems to have taken
        over as the dominant weapon of the buke around the 13th Century.

        What period does he plan on emulating? That may help determine what kind
        of sword he would carry around.

        > Second question. The name he wants is Homaru. Not spelled correctly I am
        > sure, and I have no idea where he got it. Is this a real Japanese name? Any
        > ideas? Comments?

        Homaru? Honmaru? The latter is actually the name of the inner most area
        of a castle. I've not heard Homaru before, and it isn't listed in the
        name book I have; why does he want that particular name?


        -Ii
      • BamboOni@aol.com
        In a message dated 3/21/2001 11:05:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... I believe it is spelled Haomaru. It is a character in a video game called samurai
        Message 3 of 22 , Mar 21, 2001
          In a message dated 3/21/2001 11:05:48 AM Eastern Standard Time,
          mara_von_turlin@... writes:


          The name he wants is Homaru. Not spelled correctly I am
          sure, and I have no idea where he got it.


          I believe it is spelled Haomaru. It is a character in a video game called
          samurai showdown....   :)

          Takabayashi Genpachi
        • Blkrose@aol.com
          In a message dated 3/21/2001 3:11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, fsjlb4@aurora.uaf.edu writes: Konichiwa, ... Both are period for SCA. The katana is a slightly
          Message 4 of 22 , Mar 21, 2001
            In a message dated 3/21/2001 3:11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time,
            fsjlb4@... writes:

            Konichiwa,


            > I am considering purchasing a sword for my Lord and was just curious which
            > one I should get. I have heard that katana are late period, or out of
            period
            > and tachi are period. Is this correct?


            Both are period for SCA. The katana is a slightly shorter [usually] slightly
            curved blade that was beginning to worn by the Samurai and Ashigaru in the
            middle of the 16th Century. The tachi was more of a calvary mens sword, being
            more curved and somewhat longer for reach off horseback, and lighter for ease
            of manipulation. The tachi was suspended edge DOWN and the Katana was worn
            thru the obi edge UP !!


            Tachi are period and used up through the Edo Period by some (I've seen a
            reference to Musashi wielding a 'tachi' but I don't know if that was
            supposed to be a straight sword, or just a sword).


            The straight sword in Fuedal Japan was fairly rare in my understanding. They
            were called Ken and usually double edged. As above, the tachi is curved. From
            what I know of Musashi, he would have used anything available, especially if
            it would have gained him an advantage. :0)




            However, the katana as we know it (for the most part) has been around for
            a while as well, and from my own, limited research it seems to have taken
            over as the dominant weapon of the buke around the 13th Century.



            As above, the kat came into full use only into the middle 16th Century.

            IMHO.... Just try-in to help. :0)

            Theo
          • J. Badgley
            ... Sorry, I believe you are correct, and I am confusing in my own terms. I need to track down where I saw tachi as the Chinese sword, but you are right in
            Message 5 of 22 , Mar 22, 2001
              On Thu, 22 Mar 2001 Blkrose@... wrote:

              > > Tachi are period and used up through the Edo Period by some (I've seen a
              > > reference to Musashi wielding a 'tachi' but I don't know if that was
              > > supposed to be a straight sword, or just a sword).
              >
              > The straight sword in Fuedal Japan was fairly rare in my understanding. They
              > were called Ken and usually double edged. As above, the tachi is curved. From
              > what I know of Musashi, he would have used anything available, especially if
              > it would have gained him an advantage. :0)

              Sorry, I believe you are correct, and I am confusing in my own terms. I
              need to track down where I saw 'tachi' as the Chinese sword, but you are
              right in that the 'straight, double-edged' sword was the ken or tsurugi.
              The tachi was a long, slung sword that worked well as a cavalry sword.
              The tachi was shortened and straightened into the katana. Also, the
              katana is thicker, possibly to deal with the iron armours that were more
              prevalent.

              Wow, I don't know what I was misremembering at all. The above information
              comes from "Introduction to Japanese Swords" by W. M. Hawley, published in
              1973 as a basic guide for collectors.

              I thought that the katana had come into being before the 16th C, but I
              don't know if the katana and wakizashi combo came into being together. At
              the moment I can find no sources that point to the actual development of
              the katana itself. Do you have any sources?

              Thank you for correcting me. I think that I was calling the tachi
              'straight' because it seems straighter than the katana, because of it's
              length. However, it is more curved, you are correct.

              Gahh. Just when you think you know something. Thanks for sending me back
              to the books! :)

              -Ii
            • Chris Gregory
              Weaponry is where I put my secobdary focus (music is my primary.) Katana were civilian swords, tucked blade-up through the obi. They were the longer of the
              Message 6 of 22 , Mar 22, 2001
                Weaponry is where I put my secobdary focus (music is my primary.)

                Katana were civilian swords, tucked blade-up through the obi. They were the
                longer of the pair of katana and wakizashi.
                Tachi were armour swords, worn blade down, hung by a chain from the obi
                while in armour. They were the longer of the pair of tachi and tanto.

                The difference in the mounts is very defined. The tachi's scabbard had two
                rings for the chain. The katana, on the other hand, had a plain scabbard,
                or one with a small amount of binding around it, to allow it to be easilly
                pushed through the obi and removed.

                The katana was worn outside, while the wakizashi was worn at all times; upon
                entering a building, the man (usually a man in any case) would remove the
                katana and leave the wakizashi in the obi, as it was shorter and less
                cumbersome. I'm not sure as to the custom of wearing or removing the tachi
                and tanto, however. (In the SCA, you should probably only wear the
                wakizashi around, and remove it before court unless you have an AOA.)

                While blades were often passed down for generations, the mountings were
                changed to fit the fashion of the times. I've heard that the reason for
                this was the lower quality of the Japanese steel, and the amount of time it
                took to make a good blade.

                The Tsuba is the guard on a katana. Often, tsuba were cut out in elaborate
                designs to augment the beauty of the weapon; this leads me to believe that
                the katana were not intended for extensive combat but more for self-defense.
                Tachi however were not as elaborately decorated, and were designed to
                withstand the rigors of day-to-day combat.

                Any corrections? Please let me know if I screwed up in the interpretation
                of the information.

                Richard
                --
                "A monk in all seriousness asked Joshu 'Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?'
                Joshu retorted 'Mu!'"
                Koan 1, Mumonkan, Wu-men
              • Melissa Hoy
                ... Oh no. *lol* A video game? I asked him about it last night and he said it was spelled Haomoru. If that makes any difference. Hatakeyama no Kaede
                Message 7 of 22 , Mar 22, 2001
                  > > The name he wants is Homaru. Not spelled correctly I am >
                  >
                  >I believe it is spelled Haomaru. It is a character in a video game called
                  >samurai showdown.... :)
                  >
                  >Takabayashi Genpachi

                  Oh no. *lol* A video game?

                  I asked him about it last night and he said it was spelled Haomoru. If that
                  makes any difference.

                  Hatakeyama no Kaede
                  _________________________________________________________________
                  Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
                • Melissa Hoy
                  ... So, was the tachi worn without armor? And if yes, does it hang from a chain or belt worn over the clothing? Hatakeyama no Kaede
                  Message 8 of 22 , Mar 22, 2001
                    >Tachi were armour swords, worn blade down, hung by a chain from the obi
                    >while in armour. They were the longer of the pair of tachi and tanto.
                    >
                    >The difference in the mounts is very defined. The tachi's scabbard had two
                    >rings for the chain. The katana, on the other hand, had a plain scabbard,
                    >or one with a small amount of binding around it, to allow it to be easilly
                    >pushed through the obi and removed.

                    So, was the tachi worn without armor? And if yes, does it hang from a chain
                    or belt worn over the clothing?

                    Hatakeyama no Kaede
                    _________________________________________________________________
                    Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
                  • Anthony J. Bryant
                    Okay, here s the poop on tachi and katana. A tachi is a sword hung edge down from the waist. A katana is a sword worn edge up. The fittings on the scabbard are
                    Message 9 of 22 , Mar 23, 2001
                      Okay, here's the poop on tachi and katana.

                      A tachi is a sword hung edge down from the waist.

                      A katana is a sword worn edge up.

                      The fittings on the scabbard are different, but by and large the blades are
                      identical. If you take the fittings off the sword, if it's not signed, 90% of the
                      time there's no way to tell if it's a tachi or a katana. In fact, I've seen many
                      "tachi" blades fitted with katana mounts and V-V.

                      How can you tell what it was intended to be? The signature is on the "outside" --
                      that is, hold the blade edge down facing away from you. A tachi will have the
                      signature on the left side of the tang. A katana's will be on the right.

                      There are times and styles that favored heavier blades just as those that favored
                      narrower blades. The amount of curve, length of the blade, width of the blade--
                      all are irrelevant in determining what makes a tachi and what makes a katana. It
                      is solely the fittings of the blade and how it is meant to be worn.

                      There are both straight and curved tachi; what do you think all those court
                      nobles are wearing with their formal clothes? Tachi. They've been wearing tachi
                      since the 800s and before. The thing is, we have to keep separate civilian tachi
                      (traditionally straight, single-edged weapons, at least until the 1200s or so)
                      from the military tachi (curved, single-edged). Due to the predominance of the
                      military class, curved tachi came to be worn with court robes as well, albeit
                      with different fittings than the conventional military models.

                      The katana is really a 16th century weapon, essentially just a modified weapon, a
                      combination of the size of the tachi with the fittings of a koshigatana (a long
                      dirk, like a big tanto, worn stuck through the sash when in armour).

                      In fact, there were little doohikies made to allow one to sling the katana at the
                      side like a tachi, as that was considered the proper way to wear a sword. It
                      wasn't until really the end of our period that katana predominated on the
                      battlefield so much. On the field generals and those of rank still wore tachi,
                      while those who didn't have tachi-fitted swords just stuck the sword through the
                      sash.


                      Effingham
                    • Anthony J. Bryant
                      ... Yes, by the aristocracy with their court robes, but it hangs from a belt. See the following: Early Heian period civil official:
                      Message 10 of 22 , Mar 23, 2001
                        Melissa Hoy wrote:

                        > >Tachi were armour swords, worn blade down, hung by a chain from the obi
                        > >while in armour. They were the longer of the pair of tachi and tanto.
                        > >
                        > >The difference in the mounts is very defined. The tachi's scabbard had two
                        > >rings for the chain. The katana, on the other hand, had a plain scabbard,
                        > >or one with a small amount of binding around it, to allow it to be easilly
                        > >pushed through the obi and removed.
                        >
                        > So, was the tachi worn without armor? And if yes, does it hang from a chain
                        > or belt worn over the clothing?
                        >

                        Yes, by the aristocracy with their court robes, but it hangs from a belt. See
                        the following:

                        Early Heian period civil official:
                        http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukusyoku/wayou/1.htm

                        Senior noble in full court dress, summer:
                        http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukusyoku/wayou/4.htm

                        Aristocratic military official, full court dress:
                        http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukusyoku/wayou/5.htm

                        Court noble in hoko:
                        http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukusyoku/wayou/9.htm

                        And even a shirabyoshi dancer:
                        http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukusyoku/wayou/40.htm


                        Effingham
                      • Hart, Steve
                        ... So was the bow and arrow quiver actually a part of the court dress? I would think that would be...awkward...to say the least. :D
                        Message 11 of 22 , Mar 26, 2001
                          > Aristocratic military official, full court dress:
                          > http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukusyoku/wayou/5.htm

                          So was the bow and arrow quiver actually a part of the court dress? I would
                          think that would be...awkward...to say the least. :D
                        • Anthony J. Bryant
                          ... Yup. That s why it s there. Effingham
                          Message 12 of 22 , Mar 26, 2001
                            "Hart, Steve" wrote:

                            > > Aristocratic military official, full court dress:
                            > > http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukusyoku/wayou/5.htm
                            >
                            > So was the bow and arrow quiver actually a part of the court dress? I would
                            > think that would be...awkward...to say the least. :D
                            >

                            Yup. That's why it's there.


                            Effingham
                          • Blkrose@aol.com
                            In a message dated 3/25/2001 9:02:03 PM Eastern Standard Time, SyrTheo writes: Hello Listka, I have kept my thoughts in red because of to many tracks to
                            Message 13 of 22 , Mar 26, 2001
                              In a message dated 3/25/2001 9:02:03 PM Eastern Standard Time, SyrTheo writes:

                              Hello Listka,

                              I have kept my thoughts in red because of to many tracks to follow. I hope
                              this does not upset anyone.
                              Theo

                              Greetings Edward-sama,

                              Where these doohickies a permanent part of the saya?, or add ons of some
                              type for just that occasion?

                              Proper way?, presumably by the nobility?!?





                              In fact, there were little doohikies made to allow one to sling the katana
                              at the
                              side like a tachi, as that was considered the proper way to wear a sword.
                              It
                              wasn't until really the end of our period that katana predominated on the
                              battlefield so much.




                              Sure because the way battlefield tactics had developed with the use of more
                              ashigaru, especially using the yari, and matchlock, [can't quite remember
                              the Japanese name] the more easily controlled [and held in place] obi
                              mounted katana became an important secondary weapon, and yet well out of
                              the way when using the primary infantry weapons of the day.


                              <<<<On the field generals and those of rank still wore tachi,



                              while those who didn't have tachi-fitted swords just stuck the sword
                              through the
                              sash.


                              Effingham>>>


                              It seems to me that the Tachi became more and more a symbol of rank, then
                              actually the std weapon for wear, by guards and other warriors who might
                              be put to task at a moments notice. Being an Iaidoka, I can attest to the
                              much simpler case of wearing the kat in the obi, instead of on a
                              longer-double hung- flop around if you don't hold onto it, tachi mounted
                              sword. :0)  This is speculation though, what is the fact in this matter?



                              Sincerely,

                              Theo [who is still working on a Japanese name] Thanks for the site. Very
                              helpful.  You know me some Edward, Any recommendations on a Name!? :0)



                            • Anthony J. Bryant
                              ... Permanent. The entire set of sword furniture would be changeable (scabbard, guard, hilt...) ... Unfortunately, I can t recall the context for proper
                              Message 14 of 22 , Mar 30, 2001
                                Theo wrote:

                                >>
                                >> Greetings Edward-sama,
                                >>
                                >> Where these doohickies a permanent part of the saya?, or add ons of
                                >> some
                                >> type for just that occasion?
                                >>
                                >
                                Permanent. The entire set of sword furniture would be changeable
                                (scabbard, guard, hilt...)

                                >>
                                >> Proper way?, presumably by the nobility?!?
                                >
                                Unfortunately, I can't recall the context for "proper way."...

                                >>
                                >>
                                >> Sure because the way battlefield tactics had developed with the use
                                >> of more
                                >> ashigaru, especially using the yari, and matchlock, [can't quite
                                >> remember
                                >> the Japanese name]
                                >
                                which one? <G> Teppo, tanegashima, hinawajuu, take your pick. <G>

                                >> the more easily controlled [and held in place] obi
                                >> mounted katana became an important secondary weapon, and yet well
                                >> out of
                                >> the way when using the primary infantry weapons of the day.
                                >
                                Makes sense!

                                >> It seems to me that the Tachi became more and more a symbol of rank,
                                >> then
                                >
                                I think that would probably be a safe observation.

                                >>
                                >>
                                >> > actually the std weapon for wear, by guards and other warriors who
                                >> > might
                                >> > be put to task at a moments notice. Being an Iaidoka, I can attest
                                >> > to the
                                >> > much simpler case of wearing the kat in the obi, instead of on a
                                >> > longer-double hung- flop around if you don't hold onto it, tachi
                                >> > mounted
                                >> > sword. :0) This is speculation though, what is the fact in this
                                >> > matter?
                                >>

                                What fact? <G> Seriously, I think you're pretty much on with the
                                situation.

                                >>
                                >>
                                >> Theo [who is still working on a Japanese name] Thanks for the site.
                                >> Very
                                >> helpful. You know me some Edward, Any recommendations on a Name!?
                                >> :0)
                                >

                                Well, I'm trying to think of something that comes across as "studly
                                fighter guy" but nothing springs to mind at the moment <wink>.

                                A "strong-sounding" surname might be "Yamagata" (mountain-form) or
                                "Motoyama" (first/original/basic-mountain).

                                Effingham
                              • Chris Gregory
                                My aunt Seiko is Japanese (well, she married into my Mother s side, which makes her my aunt.) Suppose I wanted to use her (documentably very old) family name
                                Message 15 of 22 , Mar 31, 2001
                                  My aunt Seiko is Japanese (well, she married into my Mother's side, which
                                  makes her my aunt.) Suppose I wanted to use her (documentably very old)
                                  family name in my name for my persona; is that Kosher? I would of course
                                  check with her regarding the ability to use it. I'm just wondering if we
                                  can use a family that is documented as existing for our name.

                                  If not, I'd need a family name all the way from 1200 (and no, NOT Minamoto!)

                                  Domo Arigato,
                                  Richard until further notice
                                  --
                                  "A monk in all seriousness asked Joshu 'Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?'
                                  Joshu retorted 'Mu!'"
                                  Koan 1, Mumonkan, Wu-men
                                • J. Badgley
                                  ... People do that all the time in the SCA. What is the family name? How old is very old ? How documentable? Those are the only truly necessary questions,
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Mar 31, 2001
                                    On Sat, 31 Mar 2001, Chris Gregory wrote:

                                    > My aunt Seiko is Japanese (well, she married into my Mother's side, which
                                    > makes her my aunt.) Suppose I wanted to use her (documentably very old)
                                    > family name in my name for my persona; is that Kosher? I would of course
                                    > check with her regarding the ability to use it. I'm just wondering if we
                                    > can use a family that is documented as existing for our name.

                                    People do that all the time in the SCA. What is the family name? How old
                                    is 'very old'? How documentable?

                                    Those are the only truly necessary questions, I would think. Well, and
                                    is the name presumptuous would be another.

                                    -Ii
                                  • Anthony J. Bryant
                                    ... When I was in college in Florida, there was a student I met briefly (an exchange student or something like that) from Japan whose surname was Tokugawa. For
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Mar 31, 2001
                                      "J. Badgley" wrote:

                                      >
                                      > Those are the only truly necessary questions, I would think. Well, and
                                      > is the name presumptuous would be another.

                                      When I was in college in Florida, there was a student I met briefly (an
                                      exchange student or something like that) from Japan whose surname was
                                      Tokugawa.

                                      For some odd reason, I envied the hell out him for just that little fact.


                                      Effingham
                                    • Barbara Nostrand
                                      Noble Cousin! There is no problem with using your Aunt s maden name provided that it is documentably pre-1601. As for Minamoto, why not Minamoto? It is a
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Apr 1, 2001
                                        Noble Cousin!

                                        There is no problem with using your Aunt's maden name provided that it
                                        is documentably pre-1601. As for Minamoto, why not Minamoto? It is
                                        a perfectly fine family name. About the only pre-1601 family name that
                                        you need avoid is Toyotomi.

                                        Your Humble Servant
                                        Solveig Throndardottir
                                        Amateur Scholar
                                        --
                                        +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                        | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM |
                                        | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                                        | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
                                        +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                        | Ignored domains: bestbiz.net, pop.net, hotmail.com, aibusiness.com |
                                        | vdi.net, usa.net, tpnet.pl, myremarq.com |
                                        | netscape.net, excite.com, bigfoot.com, public.com |
                                        | com.tw, eranet.net, yahoo.com, success.net |
                                        | mailcity.com, net.tw, twac.com, netcenter.com |
                                        | techie.com, msn.com |
                                        +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                      • Blkrose@aol.com
                                        LOL :0D If I knew how to say it in Japanese I would........ You da Man!! ... I was once told that I should translate thunder-stick and take that as a
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Apr 2, 2001
                                          LOL   :0D

                                          If I knew how to say it in Japanese I would........" You da Man!!"




                                          Well, I'm trying to think of something that comes across as "studly
                                          fighter guy" but nothing springs to mind at the moment <wink>.

                                          A "strong-sounding" surname might be "Yamagata" (mountain-form) or
                                          "Motoyama" (first/original/basic-mountain).

                                          Effingham


                                          I was once told that I should translate "thunder-stick" and take that as a
                                          name. :0)    Any suggestions?

                                          Thanks My Friend.

                                          Theo

                                        • Anthony J. Bryant
                                          ... ... Not as such, I m afraid.... Gotta think about this one. Effingham
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Apr 3, 2001
                                            Blkrose@... wrote:

                                            > LOL :0D
                                            >
                                            > If I knew how to say it in Japanese I would........" You da Man!!"
                                            >
                                            >

                                            <G>

                                            > I was once told that I should translate "thunder-stick" and take that
                                            > as a
                                            > name. :0) Any suggestions?

                                            Not as such, I'm afraid....

                                            Gotta think about this one.


                                            Effingham
                                          • Blkrose@aol.com
                                            In a message dated 4/3/2001 6:28:52 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... OK, Thanks! Theo
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Apr 3, 2001
                                              In a message dated 4/3/2001 6:28:52 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                              ajbryant@... writes:


                                              Gotta think about this one.



                                              OK, Thanks!
                                              Theo
                                            • Anthony J. Bryant
                                              ... Nope, not a bit. Very common name pattern, and not very upper class. Effingham
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Jul 13, 2001
                                                Nate Ledbetter wrote:

                                                > Hiraizumi-dono e moushi agemasu* (or anybody else who
                                                > knows):
                                                >
                                                > I was re-reading through your miscellany section on
                                                > naming practices and I had a question. You cover the
                                                > "don'ts" of naming like not using titles such as
                                                > Naninaniemon and Naninanisuke and Naninaninokami.
                                                > Gotcha. However, you didn't say anything about
                                                > Naninanibei....for instance, Takenaka Hanbei, or
                                                > Kuroda Kanbei, for example. I know that these men had
                                                > other nanori that aren't typically given as their
                                                > popularly known names. Does the --bei fall in the same
                                                > category as the above no-no's?
                                                >

                                                Nope, not a bit. Very common name pattern, and not very upper class.



                                                Effingham
                                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.