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An ōdachi
An ōdachi

An ōdachi (大太刀; "big/thick sword") was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi (野太刀 "field sword"), which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. Jump to: navigation, search Image File history File links Kanetsune_odachi. ... Jump to: navigation, search Image File history File links Kanetsune_odachi. ... Jump to: navigation, search Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century A sword (from Old English sweord; akin to Old High German swerd lit. ... The nodachi (野太刀) refers to a large Japanese sword. ...

The character for ō (大) means "big" or "great". The characters for da (太) and chi (刀) are the same as tachi (太刀), the older style of sword/mounts that predate the katana. The chi is also the same character as katana (刀) and the in nihontō (日本刀 "Japanese sword"), originally from the Chinese character for a knife, dāo. Jump to: navigation, search Katana of the 16th or 17th Century, with its saya. ... Jump to: navigation, search Katana of the 16th or 17th Century, with its saya. ... Jump to: navigation, search Various styles of Chinese calligraphy. ... Jump to: navigation, search Traditional Finnish puukko knife A knife is a sharp-edged hand tool used for cutting. ... Jump to: navigation, search Chinese Saber Dao (Chinese: 刀; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: tao1) is a category of single-edge Chinese swords primarily used for slashing and chopping (sabers), often called broadswords in English because some varieties have wide blades. ...

To qualify as an ōdachi the sword in question must have a blade length of 3 shaku (90.9 cm) or more, however, as with most terms in Japanese sword arts, there is no exact definition of the size of an ōdachi. For other uses of the word blade, see Blade (disambiguation) A blade is the flat part of a tool or weapon that (usually) has a cutting edge typically made of a metal, such as steel used to cut, thrust or strike like knife dagger sword sabre axe bayonet machete cleaver... Jump to: navigation, search It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Japanese unit. ...



The purpose of the ōdachi can be categorized as follows:

  • As an offering to a shrine or gods. Some ōdachi were dedicated with prayer to win a war, others were placed in shrines as legendary swords from mythology.
  • As a weapon. From explanations in old texts, such as Heike-monogatari, Taihei-ki tell us that ōdachi were used by soldiers during battles.
  • As a symbol for an army. Some ōdachi are too long for practical use. They cannot be used in a battle but it is said that they could have been used as a symbol of an army, such as flags and spears. Further research is needed to confirm this idea.
  • As a trend during a certain period. Some swords were also used for ceremonies.
  • To show the swordsmith's skill.

Most ōdachi were used for the first two reasons. Eastern Orthodox shrine Buddhist shrine just outside Wat Phnom. ... Jump to: navigation, search Kami (神) is the Japanese for god. The word is used to indicate any sort of god, beings of a higher place or belonging to a different sphere of existence. ... Jump to: navigation, search The word mythology (from the Greek μυϑολογία mythología, from μυϑολογειν mythologein to relate myths, from μυϑος mythos, meaning a narrative, and λογος logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to... A Norwegian soldier (a Corporal, armed with an MP-5) A soldier is a person who has enlisted with, or has been conscripted into, the armed forces of a sovereign country and has undergone training and received equipment to defend that country or its interests. ... Army (from French armée) can, in some countries, refer to any armed force (for example, the Peoples Liberation Army of China consists of ground force, navy and air force branches). ... Jump to: navigation, search The Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler. ... French Tricolore flag A flag is a piece of cloth flown from a pole or mast, usually intended for signaling or identification. ... Jump to: navigation, search Hunting spear and knife, from Mesa Verde National Park. ... A ceremony is an activity, infused with ritual significance, performed on a certain occasion. ...


Ōdachi are very difficult to produce. The requirements to make a good ōdachi are as follows:

  • A lot of steel is needed and it takes longer to make than a normal sword. However, to make a good ōdachi it is important to hammer the steel quickly. This requires great skill from the swordsmith.
  • An ōdachi is made with teamwork. Perfect teamwork is required to make a good one.
  • More skill is required in quenching and tempering than for a normal sword.
  • Special facilities are required. For example, the quenching tank must be bigger than that used for normal swords.
  • The method of polishing is different. Ōdachi need to be hung from the ceiling or placed in a stationary position to be polished, unlike normal swords which are moved over polishing stones.

Jump to: navigation, search The old steel cable of a colliery winding tower Steel is a metal alloy whose major component is iron, with carbon being the primary alloying material. ... Jump to: navigation, search A claw hammer A hammer is a tool meant to deliver blows to a target, causing it to move or deform. ... A swordsmith is a smith or blacksmith whose expertise is working on swords. ... Quenching is a general term for non-radiative de-excitation. ... Tempering is a heat treatment technique for metals and alloys, most often the toughening of martensitic steel. ...

How to use

Ōdachi that were used as weapons were too long for samurai to carry on their waists like normal swords. There were two methods in which they could be carried. A weapon is a tool used to kill or incapacitate a person or animal, or destroy a military target. ... Jump to: navigation, search Japanese samurai in armour, 1860 photograph. ...

  • One method was to carry it on your back. This was impractical, however, as it was impossible for the samurai carrying the sword to draw it quickly.
  • The other method was simply to carry the ōdachi by hand. The trend during the Muromachi Era was for the samurai carrying the ōdachi to have a follower to help him draw it.

Ōdachi swordplay styles focused on downward chops and different wields than those of normal swords. 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...

The ōdachi's importance died off after the Osaka-Natsuno-Jin war of 1615 (battle between Tokugawa Ieyasu and Toyotomi Hideyori). Since then it has been used more as a ceremonial piece. Events June 2 - First Récollet missionaries arrive at Quebec City, from Rouen, France. ... Jump to: navigation, search Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu Tokugawa Ieyasu (previously spelled Iyeyasu); 徳川 家康 (January 31, 1543 – June 1, 1616) was the founder of the Tokugawa bakufu of Japan which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. ... Grave of Toyotomi Clan at Mount Koya Toyotomi Hideyori (豊臣 秀頼 Toyotomi Hideyori), 1593-1615, was the son and designated successor of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the general who first united all of Japan. ...

Reasons for loss of popularity

After the law was put into practice, ōdachi were cut down to the shorter legal size. This is one of the reasons why ōdachi are so rare. Ōdachi were no longer of practical use, but were still made as offerings to Shinto shrines. This became their main purpose. Due to the amount of skill required to make one it was considered that their awesome appearance was suitable for praying to the gods. Events June 2 - First Récollet missionaries arrive at Quebec City, from Rouen, France. ... For the James Clavell novel, see Shogun or for the TV Miniseries. ... Genna (元和) was a Japanese era name after Keichō and before Kanei and spanned from 1615 to 1623. ... Events Change of emperor of the Ottoman Empire from Ahmed I (1603-1617) to Mustafa I (1617-1623). ... Kanei (寛永) was a Japanese era after Genna and before Shōhō and spanned from 1624 to 1643. ... Events September 30 - Nurhaci, chieftain of the Jurchens and founder of the Qing Dynasty dies and is succeeded by his son Hong Taiji. ... Shoho (正保) was a Japanese era after Kanei and before Keian and spanned from 1644 to 1648. ... // Events January 10 - Archbishop Laud executed on Tower Hill, London. ... Jump to: navigation, search A torii at Itsukushima Shrine Shinto (神道 Shintō) (sometimes called Shintoism) is a native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ...

External link

  • Pictures of some blades

  Results from FactBites:
Odachi Samurai Sword - MWArt.com (180 words)
Odachi Samurai Sword is 67" long, features a traditional hand braided leather wrap a flened steel tsuba and pommel along with beautiful red tassels.
Odachi Samurai Sword features high carbon steel blade which is hand pounded and forged over hot coals, using many of the original techniques passed down through the generations of ancient sword smiths.
Some odachi were too long for practical use and could not be used in a battle, therefore they were used just as a symbol.
Extremely Sharp:Naginata Spear and the Odachi (178 words)
30295B-An Odachi translates to "big/thick sword" and was a type of long sword used in Japan.
The Odachi, sometimes is incorrectly referred to as a nodachi sword or no-dachi.
Our Odachi is 68 inches long with a 50 inch carbon steel blade and a blood groove on the blade.
  More results at FactBites »



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