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Encyclopedia > Daisho
An Edo-era daisho on its stand. The long-sword is generally stored above the wakizashi, curving upwards, with the handle ponting left.
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An Edo-era daisho on its stand. The long-sword is generally stored above the wakizashi, curving upwards, with the handle ponting left.

The daishō (大小, lit. "big and small") are the traditional weapons of the samurai, composed of the katana (刀) and the wakizashi (脇差). The etymology of this word becomes apparent when the terms daito (大刀 - meaning big sword) and shoto (小刀 - meaning small sword) are used; daito + shoto = daishō. The katana, the longer of the two swords, was typically employed in man-to-man combat. The wakizashi made an effective main gauche or close-combat weapon. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2064x1524, 240 KB) Daisho Work by Rama File links The following pages link to this file: Daisho ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2064x1524, 240 KB) Daisho Work by Rama File links The following pages link to this file: Daisho ... Japanese samurai in armour, 1860s. ... Katana of the 16th or 17th Century, with its saya. ... Wakizashi style sword mounting, Edo period, 19th century A wakizashi (脇差, Japanese for sidearm) is a traditional Japanese sword with a shōtō blade between 30 and 60 cm, with an average of 50 cm (between 12 and 24 inches), similar to but shorter than a katana and sometimes longer than... The word daito refers to Japanese long swords. ... Shoto is a length designation for Japanese swords. ... The word daito refers to Japanese long swords. ... Shoto is a length designation for Japanese swords. ...


The daisho were limited exclusively to the samurai class and were a symbol of their rank. They came into vogue during the Muromachi Period. Prior to this, the bow and horse were considered marks of the samurai class and the sword of lesser consequence. It was during this period, too, that the katana switched from a slung weapon with blade down (known as a tachi) to one thrust into the sash with the blade up. This change allowed for a much faster overhead draw while on foot. Japanese samurai in armour, 1860s. ... History of Japan Paleolithic Jomon Yayoi Yamato period ---Kofun period ---Asuka period Nara period Heian period Kamakura period Muromachi period Azuchi-Momoyama period ---Nanban period Edo period Meiji period Taisho period Showa period ---Japanese expansionism ---Occupied Japan ---Post-Occupation Japan Heisei The Muromachi period (室町時代, also known as Muromachi era...


In addition to the pair suggesting status, they were occasionally used in tandem. Miyamoto Musashi, author of the Book of Five Rings, became one of the more well-known founders of a two-sword style. Musashi's Niten-Ryu, or Two Heavens School (Often known as "Nito-Ryu" [Two Sword School]), used the Daisho in combination. Nito-ryu is currently employed in modern kendo as a variant style of fighting. While seemingly highly effective, the use of only one hand on each blade reduces speed, and forces the swordsman to compensate through technique or strength training. Nito-ryu was and is an uncommon form of swordfighting. Miyamoto Musashi killing a nue, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861). ... It has been suggested that Kumdo be merged into this article or section. ...


In sum, the daisho were little more than a symbol worn by members of the samurai class. The use of the weapons individually or in tandem was a matter of individual taste and training.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Daisho - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (279 words)
The daisho were limited exclusively to the samurai caste.
Other bushi and ashigaru might carry one or the other, but the matching set were only (intended to be) worn by a true samurai.
Miyamoto Musashi, author of the Book of Five Rings, became one of the more well known founders of the two-sword style.
JAPANESE SWORD DAISHO TSUBA (216 words)
Daisho can refer to any set of blades, koshirae, tsuba or other fittings which were made by the same maker (or sometimes by the same school).
The use of daisho swords began sometime in the Muromachi period and could have included any pair of swords in similar koshirae.
Today many of the daisho tsuba are actually marriages of two separate pieces by the same maker or school which depict the same, complimentary or similar themes and styles.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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