Tsurugi (sword)

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Tsurugi (剣, 日本剣)
Ken double edge straight sword Kofun period 5th century.jpg
A tsurugi double-edged straight sword from the Kofun period (5th century)
Type Sword
Place of originJapan
Service history
Used by Samurai, Onna-musha
Production history
Produced5th century Kofun period till 9th century.
Specifications
Blade lengthoverall approx. 100 cm

Blade  typeStraight, double-edged
Hilt  typeMetal, wood
Scabbard/sheath Lacquered wood

A tsurugi () or nihonken (日本剣) is a Japanese sword. The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword used in antiquity (as opposed to curved, single-edged swords such as the katana). [1] In Japanese the term tsurugi or ken, ja:剣 is used as a term for all sorts of international long, double-edged swords.

Contents

History

The term tsurugi (剣) designates a straight, double-edged, bladed weapon from Japan. [2] The tsurugi were usually forged from the 5th century (Kofun period) to the 9th century (Heian period). It is a sword, which means that this weapon has two edges, one on each side of its blade, unlike the tachi, katana, wakizashi or odachi, which have only one cutting edge, on one of the two sides of the blade. From the 9th century, the development of the curved tachi began, from which the katana emerged. After the 10th century, it was occasionally dedicated to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.

Nowadays it is mainly associated with very remote historical times, as well as legends and mythology. There are some similarities with the Chinese Jian (called Chugokuken (中国剣) in Japanese), but the Jian has a different design with a wider shaped blade.

Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi

The most famous example is the legendary sword "Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi" which is one of the Three Imperial Regalia of Japan.

Tsurugi-tachi

The Tsurugi-tachi -剣太刀, a straight sword with only one side of the blade sharpened throughout, was similar to the Tsurugi or Ken . The other (back) side was only worked into a second cutting edge in the front part near the tip.

Literature

See also

Related Research Articles

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Iaijutsu

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This is a list of types of swords.

<i>Jian</i> Chinese double-edged sword

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<i>Dao</i> (sword) Single-edged Chinese sword primarily used for slashing and chopping

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<i>Tantō</i> Japanese dagger

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Classification of swords

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<i>Chokutō</i>

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<i>Uchigatana</i> Type of Japanese sword

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<i>Kogarasu Maru</i> Japanese sword

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Japanese swordsmithing

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<i>Katana</i> Samurai sword

A katana is a Japanese sword characterized by a curved, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip to accommodate two hands. Developed later than the tachi, it was used by samurai in feudal Japan and worn with the blade facing upward. Since the Muromachi period, many old tachi were cut from the root and shortened, and the blade at the root was crushed and converted into katana. The official term for katana in Japan is uchigatana (打刀) and the term katana (刀) often refers to single-edged swords from around the world.

Glossary of Japanese swords Wikipedia glossary

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.

References

  1. Tanaka, Fumon (2003). Samurai Fighting Arts: The Spirit and the Practice. Kodansha International. ISBN   9784770028983.
  2. Robinson, B. W. (1961). The arts of the Japanese sword. Faber and Faber. p. 28.