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The Swords of the 47 Ronin

 
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Wave Tossed
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:35 am    Post subject: The Swords of the 47 Ronin Reply with quote
This is an interesting site I've found, especially for those interested in the history of Japanese swords:

http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/ronin.htm
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msr.iaidoka
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wave Tossed,

That is very interesting. There are over a dozen listed that weild swords longer that 2.5 shaku. I am six feet tall and I weild a 2.5 shaku so either these people practiced styles that focused on longer blades or these were some abnormally tall nihonjin.


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Wave Tossed
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
msr.iaidoka wrote:
Wave Tossed,

That is very interesting. There are over a dozen listed that weild swords longer that 2.5 shaku. I am six feet tall and I weild a 2.5 shaku so either these people practiced styles that focused on longer blades or these were some abnormally tall nihonjin.


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Please excuse my complete ignorance. How long (in inches or feet) is a shaku? Confused
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nagaeyari
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I sure hope this information is correct...

http://www.japan-101.com/culture/shaku.htm
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bodart-Bailey noted in her book that Ako castle museum has many of the actual weapons attributed to the ronin on display, the vast majority of which are spears and naginata, an odd choice of weapons for a raid that would be entirely fought indoors in close quarters. She stated that there was an explanation posted with the weapons that stated, “these weapons were chosen by the loyal samurai because they were unable to use the traditional swords of the Japanese warrior effectively”. Their OWN MUSEUM posted this about the ronin! I found this almost too hard to believe, so on my last trip to Japan in October I made a side trip to the museum. And the sign really is there! It was hilarious. If my wife hadn’t been with me, I would have taken a photo of it even if it would have resulted in me getting escorted from the premises.
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msr.iaidoka
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wave Tossed,

A shaku is roughly one standard foot. In general a katana is made or selected in proportion to the person weilding it. By that reckoning some of these guys were using blades that were nearly three feet overall. Quite big for anyone less than six feet tall. Least of all anyone closer to five feet.


nagaeyari,

I would have to say that that is correct. To add to it there is a third measurement called bu which is 1/10th of a sun and thusly 1/100th of a shaku.


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Bethetsu
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Bodart-Bailey noted in her book that Ako castle museum has many of the actual weapons attributed to the ronin on display, the vast majority of which are spears and naginata, an odd choice of weapons for a raid that would be entirely fought indoors in close quarters.


In Nov. in the arms and armor section forum, someone asked about naginata as a woman's weapon, and the answer was that naginata were good for fighting indoors. Or would that be only for defense?
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:


In Nov. in the arms and armor section forum, someone asked about naginata as a woman's weapon, and the answer was that naginata were good for fighting indoors. Or would that be only for defense?


It seems logical to me that they'd want some yari in a home invasion, but at the same time it seems counterintuitive to the "Samurai" concepts that the Ronin are celebrated for.
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msr.iaidoka
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu,

A naginata would be good for both. The reason it is considered a woman's weapon is because (I believe) during the Edo jidai women were trained in the use of the naginata for the purpose of home defense when the men of the household were away and, since times to longer really required men to be skilled in every weapon imaginable, it gradually became associated with women.
The perks to a weapon like a yari or naginata in tight quarters is that it is very difficult to flank the person weilding it since the weapon can be used to pin, trap, or trip the attacker along with being able to generally cut and stab them at a distance.


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