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A Brief History of the Wakizashi

This sword has the traditionally curved blade and was worn at the side of the Japanese Samurai. Foreigners refer to the Wakizashi sword as honor blades because the Samurai would save them as a back up weapon. As a means of displaying trust and respect, the Samurai would leave his main sword at the door with a servant.

Through a process of appropriate hand trades, the servant would take the sword in a fashion as to not allow the Jujitsu Samurai the opportunity to use the blade against his master.

Samurai Sidearms

In the old west the cowboys had their pistols. The civil war infantry, and world war soldiers had their bayonets. The presence of a sidearm is noted throughout all of history. The Japanese culture has noted the presence of many different kinds of swords and weaponry. The Samurai claim as their sidearm the Wakizashi, or Wakazashi. This sword got its acclaim during the Edo period with its first appearance sometime between 1332 and 1369.

Even though disarmed of his sword at the door, the Samurai would keep his Wakizashi with him at all times. A Samurai would wake in the morning and reach under his pillow where his Wakizashi rested. A short sword being more advantages than just a warriors Jujitsu, it made sense to always be prepared.

It was during the Momoyaya period, the length of the blades were categorised by length and regulations were put into place as to which one can be carried as a sidearm. The shorter blades were the only ones authorized to be carried as a sidearm.

In the telling of Japanese history, one of these noble warriors would wear his Wakizashi from the moment he woke in the early morning hours and keep it on until he went to bed. As he slept, it would lay under the pillow.

One Response

  1. A Brief History Of The Tanto | Japanese Jujitsu

    […] to kill themselves in what has been known as seppuku. Not so with men however, who generally used a Wakizashi to disembowel themselves or push up through the stomach into the […]

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