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Looking for info on Naginata history...

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  • Ii Saburou
    At a recent naginata seminar a question arose as to when the naginata became a woman s weapon . I know that the naginata was traditionally the weapon of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 14, 2002
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      At a recent naginata seminar a question arose as to when the naginata
      became a "woman's weapon". I know that the naginata was traditionally the
      weapon of souhei and some of the lower classes early on, and by the 16th
      Century, from what I read, it is used in defence of the home. Somewhere
      during the Edo Period it seems to have acquired the reputation as a
      woman's weapon--where men do kendo, women do naginata--although that is
      not entirely accurate. For instance, Ten-ryuu and its descendant
      Tendou-ryuu include numerous naginatajutsu that are traced back to Saito
      Hangan Denkibo Katsuhide in 1582 (There is some more information at
      http://www.koryubooks.com/guide/tendo.html), and possibly apocryphal
      legends of Tsukahara Bokuden training in the style as well.

      Today, although many men do participate in the International Naginata
      Federation's Atarashii Naginata (New Naginata), it is still often seen as
      a woman's art from the outside. I'm looking for any sources that can
      point to this development--for instance, house records that discuss
      training the women in defence of the home, and possibly Edo period records
      of 'official' schools of martial arts that might give clues as to who was
      training in them.

      Does anyone have any suggestions?



      -Ii

      PS: If anyone in the Pennsylvania area is interested, the East Coast
      Naginata Federation will soon be starting up one or more naginata classes
      in the Philadelphia area--possibly on the Brynn Mawr Campus. For
      information, e-mail me privately or contact Nichibukan Naginata in New
      York at naginata@...
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