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Thread: Katana

  1. #46
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    Of course metallurgy has improved

    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro_ronin View Post
    Our modern process can give as much better blades then those of the past.
    This is true but no one is really doing that. There's no market for it. The cost of manufacturing a sword this way is prohibitively high and in the end, high-end sword buyers will opt for sword crafted by a reputable artisan. There are a few craftsmen exploring this, mostly in the knife making circles, but given the market, it's easier to go traditional here. Of course, there's always Big Giant Swords...

    We could build a machine to mass produce top quality swords, but it would never pay for itself. The market just isn't that big for swords nowadays. This is in regards to all sword manufacturing - Japanese, Chinese and European. I've been selling swords as part of my living since the late 80s and people are always asking why there aren't sword making machines. I usually say 'there could be, but you aren't going to pay for it.'

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCo KungFu View Post
    Yes. Frankly the katana is a rather inferior sword. I'm sure that will get a lot of flames.
    Almost bit at that, but won't.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCo KungFu View Post
    You ever wonder why Chinese sword techniques devised around the height of Japanese imperialism focused so much on attacking the hand?
    All sword schools focus on attacking the hand. In Kendo, the kote is primary target. Same is true for Western Saber and Epee. Even in Escrima espada y daga, hand attacks are emphasized.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    All sword schools focus on attacking the hand. In Kendo, the kote is primary target. Same is true for Western Saber and Epee. Even in Escrima espada y daga, hand attacks are emphasized.
    And which of those were redesigned over the years to protect said hand? And how did usage change over the years when sophisticated sword guards were developed?

    The hand is certainly a target, but realistically you have about as much chance of cutting the hand through a later period basket or full swept hand guard as you do slicing a katana through a set of plate.

    Espada y daga you have a second weapon to close the line to the target hand. You're also dealing with improvised tools functioning as weapons as opposed to a fully formed battle sword so its not really a good comparison.

    Yes, the hand was a target in all schools. But which of those changed over the years away from a point of emphasis as opposed to that remaining a valid tactic against say, the samurai? All the more reason a katana is an inferior weapon really. Take out any hand see how well it can be wielded from then on. The same applies to longsword, but those at least carry about 7 extra inches of length.

    And kendo is hardly Japanese swordsmanship. Same with sport sabre. At least epee kinda, if you squint hard, resembles small sword.

  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCo KungFu View Post
    Yes. Frankly the katana is a rather inferior sword. I'm sure that will get a lot of flames. It's just a 2 handed sabre with crap blade length and point so thick it wouldn't pierce but the most basic of armaments and a jacked blade weight. A British Cavalry sabre has the same weight, longer blade and can be wielded with one hand. The Europeans were heat welding high carbon edges to low carbon bodies long before the Japanese. The Chinese were as well for that matter. The Japanese only stuck with it because steel was a rare commodity due to crappy natural resources and isolated trade environment.

    Edit: Oh and that total lack of hand protection. You ever wonder why Chinese sword techniques devised around the height of Japanese imperialism focused so much on attacking the hand?

    Thanks. I assumed that was the case. I was thinking don't pull the hand forged ones out of the showcase .

  4. #49
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    All sword schools focus on attacking the hand. In Kendo, the kote is primary target. Same is true for Western Saber and Epee. Even in Escrima espada y daga, hand attacks are emphasized.
    By Hand Gene means wrist and arm more so the the actual hand and he is quite correct.
    The lack of a hand guard was never really an issue for the way of fighting with the katana (kenjutsu).
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  5. #50
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    You don't want to argue western fencing with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCo KungFu View Post
    And which of those were redesigned over the years to protect said hand? And how did usage change over the years when sophisticated sword guards were developed?
    Only the western saber and epee really developed the guard significantly. In fact, one of my fellow provost master candidates wrote his thesis on the evolution of sword guards, all the way up to modern pistol grips. The tactics didn't change significantly in terms of attack. Fencing is very well documented in the literature and you don't see that much change from the renaissance until the last century. The only other outstanding sword guard might be the basket-hilt, unless you want to get into the Indian and Chinese exotic bladed weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCo KungFu View Post
    Same with sport sabre. At least epee kinda, if you squint hard, resembles small sword.
    Modern saber is scored electronically but that change only came in the last two decades. Until WWII, you still saw discussion of pushing and pulling the cut, just like with bladed saber. Epee is essentially the final incarnation of the dueling weapon. All you need to do is sharpen the point. No right of way. Double touches count.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #51
    That's right Gene. I read you were a fencer. Really cool.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Only the western saber and epee really developed the guard significantly. In fact, one of my fellow provost master candidates wrote his thesis on the evolution of sword guards, all the way up to modern pistol grips. The tactics didn't change significantly in terms of attack. Fencing is very well documented in the literature and you don't see that much change from the renaissance until the last century. The only other outstanding sword guard might be the basket-hilt, unless you want to get into the Indian and Chinese exotic bladed weapons.
    So you're really going to argue that even a basic knuckle bar didn't change the way those swords were used from say, an arming sword? Or a cage hilted backsword from them? You don't need to be an expert in classical fencing to see that even the basic guard positions changed. And since guard position dictates you options for receiving a blade...

    Modern saber is scored electronically but that change only came in the last two decades. Until WWII, you still saw discussion of pushing and pulling the cut, just like with bladed saber.
    Electronic scoring isn't the only problem with modern sabre.

    Epee is essentially the final incarnation of the dueling weapon.
    Yes, like I said, small sword.

    All you need to do is sharpen the point. No right of way. Double touches count.
    Right of way doesn't prohibit the problem with sport "fencing". Historical groups are at least getting there with rules like "afterblow."

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro_ronin View Post
    By Hand Gene means wrist and arm more so the the actual hand and he is quite correct.
    I know what he means. I'm referring to hand/wrist, not wrist/arm. Unless lopped off, fractured, or severed along certain muscle groups at the forearm, an arm can still function quite well with slashing or even penetration wounds for a short while, at least for gross motor movements. That's not my mediocre knowledge in historical fencing talking, but my time as a military medic.

    The lack of a hand guard was never really an issue for the way of fighting with the katana (kenjutsu).
    Yes, it actually was. Which is why the guard positions in kenjutsu are nearly identical to historical European longsword, to keep the hands away from attack range or if out front, behind the blade... Look at the progression in European fencing with the development of guards and the liberties they started to take with guard positions.

  9. #54
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    Meteorite sword

    The stuff of legend.

    There’s a katana in the Tokyo Skytree that’s forged from a meteorite!
    Fran Wrigley
    14 hours ago



    There’s a lot going on at the base of Tokyo Skytree. Not content with being the tallest structure in Japan and the tallest tower in the world, Skytree also boasts an entertainment complex the size of a small town. Hiding among the shops and restaurants is an aquarium, a planetarium, and a university campus…

    Well, sort of. The Chiba Institute of Technology’s ‘Skytree Town Campus’ is more science exhibition than campus – but it does have this badass Japanese sword made from a 450-million-year-old meteorite.

    The wonderfully named Sword of Heaven (tentetsutou 天鉄刀) is exhibited alongside the meteorite from which it was forged. This awesome sword is the work of modern-day master craftsman Yoshindo Yoshiwara, said to be the finest swordsmith in Japan.

    It is thought that humans’ first encounter with iron was meteorite iron – before the invention of smelting, meteoric iron was already being used to to make weapons and tools, including those owned by Inuit tribes first encountered by explorers in the early 1800s.




    ▼ The Gibeon meteorite (a fragment of which is exhibited alongside the Sword of Heaven) is an iron meteorite that fell in Namibia in prehistoric times.




    So what are you waiting for? Do what Twitter user Zan_Woo suggests:

    ▼ “Grab the Sword of Heaven, climb the Skytree and beat the last boss!”


    ザン・ウー @Zan_Woo


    千葉工業大学が東京スカイツリータウンで展示している、鉄の隕石で作られた日本刀「天鉄刀」。4億5千万年 前にアフリカに落ちた鉄隕石「ギベオン」を使ったんだって。これを装備してスカイツリー頂上のラスボスを倒 しに行くんですね。
    3:49 AM - 10 May 2015

    7,880 7,880 Retweets
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    Sources: Tokyo Skytree Chiba Campus, Daigaku Press Center, Twitter (Zan_Woo)
    Featured image: Twitter/Zan_Woo
    Gene Ching
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  10. #55
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    Slightly OT

    me want

    Driving just became so much more thrilling with this katana-handle shift knob
    Meg Murphy
    Jun 17, 2015



    A while back, we introduced a realistic ninja throwing star origami template for all of you ninjas-in-training, but if you’re more of a sword-wielding samurai-type (and you happen to drive a truck), you can now turn your shift knob into a samurai sword! Or, well, at least half of one…

    These katana shift knobs are hand-crafted by skilled sword craftsmen from Seki City in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, an area famous for its blade production and cutlery.

    Similar sword-handle shift knobs have appeared on the market before, but nothing can compare to the authenticity of these, having been produced by expert sword makers.



    They are available in standard red or black, but can also be ordered in a number of other custom colors. Since they are made from authentic katana handles, you can feel like you’re ready to draw your sword against an enemy each time you go to change gears.



    Unfortunately though, these are only made to fit two-ton trucks or larger, so while the average driver may not be able to bling out their ride with this unique accessory, any truck driver out their can now turn their work vehicle into a battle field!

    Source and images: Japaaan Magazine
    too bad I drive a small honda.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #56
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    Those are a hoot
    "The perfect way to do, is to be" ~ Lao Tzu

  12. #57
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    cool as hell.

  13. #58
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    Sword donations not appreciated

    'Not the best donation': Huge Samurai sword seized by police after being left at charity shop


    Seized: The weapons were left outside a charity shop (Picture: Met Police)

    Ramzy Alwakeel

    Published: 14 July 2015

    Updated: 19:36, 14 July 2015

    A metre-long Samurai sword was among a haul of weapons seized by police after bewildered staff found them dumped outside a north London charity shop.

    Police today revealed how workers at the Finsbury Park shop had discovered the weapons dumped outside the premises, in Blackstock Road, last week.

    "Perhaps not the best of donations," tweeted Sgt Richard Burns from the Met's Hackney police team. "Now off the streets."

    A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said the knives - a metre-long Samurai sword and an eight-inch blade - had been brought inside the shop before workers realised what they were and called the police.



    Sgt Richard Berns @MPSBrownswood

    These weapons were left outside a local charity shop. Perhaps not the best of donations? Now off the streets.
    8:37 AM - 14 Jul 2015

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    It is not known who left them there, but they are believed to have been a good-willed if inappropriate donation rather than an attempt to dispose of evidence.

    "It wasn't the best place to leave them," the spokeswoman added.

    Samurai swords have been used in a number of crimes across the capital in recent years - including one last month in which a gang on mopeds used the alarming weapons to burgle six homes in a single morning.

    Under UK law, swords with blades over 50cm cannot be sold or traded - but it is not illegal to keep one in your home if you already own it.
    Actually, it's a crummy katana. You can clearly see the fake temper line. And it's not that huge.
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  14. #59
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    Crescent moon katana, one of Japan’s Five Swords Under Heaven

    There are a ton of pix but they are all lousy. It's something that has to be seen in person.

    Legendary crescent moon katana, one of Japan’s Five Swords Under Heaven, now on display in Tokyo
    Casey Baseel



    One of Japan’s most beautiful and important katana is proving popular with history buffs and young ladies alike.

    The Tokyo National Museum is, unsurprisingly, one of the best places to see Japanese works of art and historical artifacts. If you’ve got even a passing interest in either, the facility, located in the Ueno neighborhood, is a must-visit in Tokyo, but right now there’s an extra-compelling reason to stop by.

    While authentic katana are always a mesmerizing sight to see, experts say that none are more so than the Tenko Goken, or Five Swords Under Heaven. These five blades exhibit craftsmanship and cultural significance above all others, and the katana considered the most beautiful of the group, Mikatzuki Munechika, is currently on display at the Tokyo National Museum.

    ▼ The museum itself is no slouch in the looks department either.

    seiji_nakazawa
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    トーハクがこんなに良いもんとは知らなかった
    2 DAYS AGO
    If Mikazuki Munechika sounds more like a name for a person than a sword to you, you’re actually half right. Sanjo Munechika was one of the most skilled swordsmiths of Japan’s Heian period, which lasted from 794 to 1185. The Mikazuki Munechika, created in the late 10th century, is considered his masterwork, and bears his personal name.

    As for the rest of the sword’s name, mikazuki is the Japanese word for “crescent moon.” During the tempering and quenching process, katana often acquire unique markings along the flat of the blade. In the case of Mikazuki Munechika, marking called uchi no ke, shaped like crescent moons, were formed.

    The markings, unfortunately, are almost impossible to photograph from behind the sword’s protective glass, but the elegant curve of the blade and the shine of its steel are undiminished in their ability to captivate.

    Mikazuki Munechika has been in the hands of some extremely powerful people during its millennium-long history, including 16th century samurai warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the Tokugawa shoguns. Now an officially designated national treasure, the sword has become the property of the Tokyo National Museum.

    While not constantly available for public viewing, the sword went on display July 19, delighting not only history buffs, but also fans of the Touken Ranbu anime and video game franchise.

    Touken Rambu’s hook is that it anthropomorphizes historical katana as delicately handsome young men, and the character based on Mikazuki Munechika, who shares his name with the sword, has become he franchise’s poster sword-boy.
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    ▼ Uncanny resemblance?


    As a result of Touken Rambu’s powerfully passionate female fanbase, crowds of young women are flocking to room 13 of the Tokyo National Museum’s main building, where Mikazuki Munechika is being displayed. While photography of the sword is allowed, in order to keep the line of shutterbugs moving visitors are asked to limit themselves to one photo at a time, and to line up once again if they want to take a second shot.

    The special slice of katana history will be on display until October 15.

    Museum information
    Tokyo National Museum / 東京国立博物館
    Address:Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Ueno Koen 13-9
    東京都台東区上野公園13-9
    Open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Admission 620 yen (US$5.60)
    http://www.tnm.jp/?lang=en
    Gene Ching
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  15. #60
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    cutting pigs for science

    I've been there and done this.

    Why Scientists Are Stabbing Pig Carcasses with Samurai Swords
    By Charles Q. Choi, Live Science Contributor | March 20, 2018 12:30pm ET


    The scientists experimented on male juvenile domestic pig carcasses that they'd purchased from butchers.
    Credit: Penny McCardle

    Pay no attention to the person wielding a samurai sword and hacking away at a pig carcass — he's doing it for science.

    The bloody exercise was done to analyze wounds from both machetes and Japanese samurai swords in order to better identify murder weapons from the cut marks they leave behind.

    Lest you think the research is purely academic, it actually started during the investigation of murder cases where the victims were slain using the Japanese samurai swords known as katanas, said study lead author Penny McCardle, a consultant forensic anthropologist to the Newcastle Department of Forensic Medicine in Australia.

    Because of legal concerns, McCardlecould not say too much about these cases. However, these murders occurred in the past 10 years or so, the murderers apparently used what they had at hand, and "the perpetrators were caught," McCardle said. [See the Difference between Katana and Machete Cut Marks]

    Rare and not-so-rare weapons
    When McCardle began analyzing the cut marks left on the victims' bones, she "realized very quickly that there was almost no research done on the cut marks made by katanas," she said. "So, I started doing more research into hacking weapons in particular."

    As she researched the topic, McCardle discovered there was also very limited research describing the cut marks machetes make on bones, despite the fact that the machete "is a readily available tool throughout the world and often used in violent crime, terrorist attacks and genocide," McCardle told Live Science. As such, she wanted to more thoroughly research the cut marks that both katanas and machetes leave behind to help archaeologists and forensic scientists better identify the kinds of weapons used against victims.

    The scientists experimented on male juvenile domestic pig carcasses each weighing about 100 to 110 lbs. (45 to 50 kilograms) that were all purchased from butchers. The carcasses were filled with Styrofoam packing peanuts to keep their internal cavities stable, and were hung from metal frames to simulate standing victims.

    The researchers used a factory-made machete, a factory-made katana and a katana forged using traditional methods. The volunteers wielding the machete and the factory-madekatana had no experience cutting with them and used hacking motions on carcasses, while the volunteer wielding the traditionally forged katana has 16 years of experience as a swordsman and performed expert slicing cuts, McCardle said. [In Photos: The Last Century of Samurai Swordsmen]

    "The inexperienced weapon users were really surprised at how hard hacking and cutting was and how tired they got," McCardle said. "Mind you, they did not have the adrenaline rush that I imagine people would get during an actual crime."


    The katana left unique marks on all three types of pig bones studied, which was a tiny bit of curving by the bone away from the entry point of the cut.
    Credit: Penny McCardle

    The scientists looked at the cut marks the weapons made on the ribs, flat bones such as the shoulder bone, and long bones such as limb bones. They found that a trait unique to the katana on all three bone types were tiny amounts of curving by the bone away from the entry point of the cut, while a feature unique to the machete on all three bone types was "chattering," or the breaking off of small chips of bone at the edges of each bone.

    The differences in the cut marks associated with each weapon may be due to "what the blades are made of, the way the blades are used, the angle of impact on the bone and the way the blade is removed from the bone," McCardle said.

    Future research can explore whether it is possible to deduce the experience of the sword user based on the cut mark traits, McCardle said.

    The scientists detailed their findings online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.
    Gene Ching
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