The Tonbokiri (蜻蛉切) is one of three legendary Japanese spears created by the famed swordsmith Fujiwara Masazane, said to be wielded by the daimyō Honda Tadakatsu, a leading general of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
The spear derives its name from the myth that a dragonfly landed on its blade and was instantly cut in two. Thus tonbo (Japanese for "dragonfly") and kiri (Japanese for "cutting"), translating this spear's name as "Dragonfly Cutter".
The weapon, along with Nihongō and Otegine, is listed as one of "three great spears" in the Kyōhō Meibutsucho, a listing of famous Koto blades made before the Nanbokucho period and compiled by the Hon'ami family during the Kyōhō era (1716–1735).
A Japanese sword is one of several types of traditionally made swords from Japan. Swords have been made from as early as the Kofun period, though most people generally refer to the curved blades made after the Heian period when speaking of "Japanese swords". There are many types of Japanese swords that differ by size, shape, field of application and method of manufacture. Some of the more commonly known types of Japanese swords are the katana, tsurugi, wakizashi, odachi, and tachi.
A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range and striking power. Because many pole weapons were adapted from agricultural implements or other tools in fairly large amount of abundance, and contain relatively little metal, they were cheap to make and readily available. When warfare breaks out and the belligerents have a poorer class who cannot pay for dedicated weapons made for war, military leaders often resort to the appropriation of tools as cheap weapons. The cost of training was minimal, since these conscripted farmers had spent most of their lives in the familiar use of these "weapons" in the fields. This made polearms the favored weapon of peasant levies and peasant rebellions the world over.
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head. The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with fire hardened spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as bone, flint, obsidian, iron, steel or bronze. The most common design for hunting or combat spears since ancient times has incorporated a metal spearhead shaped like a triangle, lozenge, or leaf. The heads of fishing spears usually feature barbs or serrated edges.
A dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, infraorder Anisoptera. Adult dragonflies are characterized by large, multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong, transparent wings, sometimes with coloured patches, and an elongated body. Dragonflies can be mistaken for the related group, damselflies (Zygoptera), which are similar in structure, though usually lighter in build; however, the wings of most dragonflies are held flat and away from the body, while damselflies hold the wings folded at rest, along or above the abdomen. Dragonflies are agile fliers, while damselflies have a weaker, fluttery flight. Many dragonflies have brilliant iridescent or metallic colours produced by structural coloration, making them conspicuous in flight. An adult dragonfly's compound eyes have nearly 24,000 ommatidia each.
Kukishin-ryū (九鬼神流), originally "Nine Gods Divine School" is a Japanese martial art allegedly founded in the 14th century CE by Kuki Yakushimaru Ryūshin. It is a sōgō bujutsu, meaning that it teaches several different weapons/arts such as taijutsu, bōjutsu, naginatajutsu, kenpō, hanbōjutsu, sōjutsu and heiho. Kukishin-ryū and its founder are listed in the Bugei Ryūha Daijiten or "The Encyclopedia of Martial Art Schools", a record of modern (gendai) and old lineage (koryū) Japanese martial schools.
Dao are single-edged Chinese swords, primarily used for slashing and chopping. The most common form is also known as the Chinese sabre, although those with wider blades are sometimes referred to as Chinese broadswords. In China, the dao is considered one of the four traditional weapons, along with the gun, qiang (spear), and the jian, and among them is called "The Marshal of Weapons".
Emperor Sakuramachi was the 115th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Sakuramachi's birth name was Teruhito before he became enthroned as Emperor in 1735, a reign that would last until 1747 with his retirement. As with previous Emperors during the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate had control over Japan. The Emperor's role was a religious figure who performed limited duties. This changed when Sakuramachi was granted permission from the Shōgun to restore some Imperial rites. Ceremonies such as the Harvest Festival that had previously been absent for over 250 years were now allowed. Sakuramachi had one wife and a concubine with whom he fathered 4 children. His first son would go on to become Emperor Momozono, while his second daughter would later be Empress Go-Sakuramachi. Sakuramachi died on 28 May 1750, which was almost three years after his abdication.
Emperor Nakamikado was the 114th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Nakamikado's birth name was Yoshihito before he became enthroned as Emperor in 1709, a reign that would last until 1735 with his abdication and retirement. As Emperor, Nakamikado had an increasingly warmed relationship with the shogunate in part due to his father's efforts. Relations warmed up to the point of family marriage talks but these fell through due to the sudden death of the potential Shōgun groom. Events that surrounded the Emperor included at least 2 major earthquakes, the largest Ryukyuan diplomatic mission of the Edo period, the Kyōhō Reforms, and the Kyōhō famine. It is unclear what role if any the Emperor had in these concurrent events as the role of "Emperor" was a figurehead at the time. Nakamikado's family included at least 14 children mothered by his wife, and 5 concubines. Nakamikado abdicated the throne in 1735 in favor of his first son, and died two years later.
Yari (槍) is the term for a traditionally-made Japanese blade (nihonto) in the form of a spear, or more specifically, the straight-headed spear. The martial art of wielding the yari is called sōjutsu.
A tantō is one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (nihonto) that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate. Tantō were used in traditional martial arts (tantojutsu). The term has seen a resurgence in the West since the 1980s as a point style of modern tactical knives, designed for piercing or stabbing.
The Kyōhō Reforms were an array of economic and cultural policies introduced by the Tokugawa shogunate in 1736 Japan, during the Edo period. These reforms were instigated by the eighth Tokugawa shōgun of Japan, Tokugawa Yoshimune, encompassing the first twenty years of his shogunate.
Masamune (正宗), also known as Gorō Nyūdō Masamune, is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. He created swords and daggers, known in Japanese as tachi and tantō respectively, in the Soshu tradition. No exact dates are known for Masamune's life. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords between 1288 and 1328. Some stories list his family name as Okazakii, but some experts believe this is a fabrication to enhance the standing of the Tokugawa family.
Honda Tadakatsu, also called Honda Heihachirō was a Japanese samurai, general of the late Sengoku through early Edo periods, who served Tokugawa Ieyasu. Honda Tadakatsu was one of the Tokugawa Four Heavenly Kings along with Ii Naomasa, Sakakibara Yasumasa and Sakai Tadatsugu.
Kyōhō (享保), also pronounced Kyōho, was a Japanese era name after Shōtoku and before Gembun. This period spanned the years from July 1716 through April 1736. The reigning emperors were Nakamikado-tennō (中御門天皇) and Sakuramachi-tennō (桜町天皇).
Okinawan Kobudō (沖縄古武道), literally "old martial way of Okinawa", is the weapon systems of Okinawan martial arts.
Hoko yari is an ancient form of Japanese spear or yari said to be based on a Chinese spear. The hoko yari came into use sometime between the Yayoi period and the Heian period, possibly during the Nara period in the 8th century AD.
This is the glossary of Japanese swords, including major terms the casual reader might find useful in understanding articles on Japanese swords. Within definitions, words set in boldface are defined elsewhere in the glossary.
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