Odachi Sword: The Gigantic Weapon of Japanese Samurai

Odachi Sword: The Gigantic Weapon of Japanese Samurai

Introduction to Odachi

The odachi is a special type of sword, vastly different from the classic katana most people imagine. This sword is enormous and is a variant of the tachi known as the odachi or ‘great sword’

Hand Forged 55inch Nodachi Japanese Samurai Long Sword Combined Material 1095 Steel+Folded Steel Iron Tsuba

Origin of the Tachi

The tachi was initially the saber of mounted samurai warriors. People used the odachi and later the katana on the ground, while the tachi was meant for horseback, so it was longer.

Difference Between Katana and Tachi

The typical katana is over two shaku (about 60 centimeters) in length but usually doesn't exceed two and a half shaku. In contrast, the tachi is significantly longer, generally between two shaku three sun and three shaku (about 90 centimeters). Tachis shorter than two shaku are called ko-tachi.

Design and Use of Tachi

Early tachis were used in horseback battles, and samurai often wielded them single-handedly. Therefore, the blade of the tachi was deliberately curved to make slashing more effective. This design evolved from the older Japanese weapon called the kenukigata tachi and was closely linked to the ‘single combat’ culture of the time.

Emergence of the Odachi

Over time, the tachi evolved into the gigantic odachi. Later on, lower-ranking samurai without horses also used tachis for ground combat, requiring greater physical strength. If you're curious about the odachi sword size and weight, read on for more details.

how long is a nodachi

Great odachis are only referred to as tachis over five shaku (150cm) in length. Due to their excessive length, samurai had to carry them on their backs rather than at their waists. When putting away their sword, samurai didn't hold the handle but grabbed three-quarters of the blade's back, shaping the sword and scabbard like the character ‘人’, thus called ‘hito’ shape sheathing.

Hand Forged 55inch Nodachi Japanese Samurai Long Sword Combined Material 1095 Steel+Folded Steel Iron Tsuba

Historical Odachi

According to historical records, the longest recorded odachi was nine shaku three sun. The longest surviving odachi, which could still use a bit of checking, is a whopping seven shaku four sun two bu (about 225cm) long! It's chilling out at Yahiko Shrine in Niigata Prefecture, and guess what? It's like a total national treasure of Japan

Hand Forged 55inch Nodachi Japanese Samurai Long Sword Combined Material 1095 Steel+Folded Steel Iron Tsuba

The odachi

The odachi, as a gigantic weapon of the Japanese samurai, boasts a unique design and rich history. Whether used in horseback or ground combat, the odachi demonstrates extraordinary functionality and the samurai's valor. If you're searching for an odachi sword for sale or interested in the odachi sword size and weight, we hope this article provides valuable information. Today, the odachi is not only a historical artifact but also a cultural heritage piece, attracting many history enthusiasts and weapon collectors.

 

Hand Forged 55inch Nodachi Japanese Samurai Long Sword Combined Material 1095 Steel+Folded Steel Iron Tsuba

 

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