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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Daito Reply with quote
What is the difference between a Daito and a Katana? Is it just size, or is it a different shape?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:41 pm    Post subject: daito Reply with quote
Hi Kitsuno, Daito is the larger sword that meets or exceeds 2 shaku in length. The Shoto is the companion sword of less than 2 shaku. Daisho refers to the set of two. Big and short. A katana is the Japanese reading for the tsurutu, ken or daito. They are synonymous. Previous to the adaptation of the daisho the daito was the tachi and then the uchigatana with the development of the wakizashi being the shoto. John
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: daito Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
A katana is the Japanese reading for the tsurutu, ken or daito. They are synonymous.


Actually, "Daito" is "Big Katana" - I guess you seem to be saying that a daito is a katana that is bigger than usual?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Kitsuno, Not exactly. There are quite a few ways to say sword with Hon and Kan pronunciations. Katana is used to refer only to the daito. The same as wakazashi only refers to the shoto. Blades of longer than 60 cm were called tachi (using the kanji dai & to) the shorter swords were still pronounced tachi but using a different kanji. I can't print them but if you wish I can draw them. Apparently there were 4 different kanji for different types of tachi. All known as chokuto and worn edge down. During the Muromachi period tachi worn edge up were referred to as katana, same kanji, and were 70 to 73 cm long (cutting edge). At this time the uchigatana developed of around 60 to 70 cm long. After the Koji era the uchigatana lengthened to 73 cm. It was during this period that the tachi were replaced by by katana and the uchigatana became the norm. By the end of the muromachi the long katana developed. The Muromachi period is also when the wakizashi developed. So katana and daito are interchangeable. John
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
So katana and daito are interchangeable. John


Ok. So a "daito" wouldn't be considered a "longsword" then? It's just another word for "katana".

大刀 - Daitou

刀 - Katana
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The kanji for sword came from dao in Chinese which was pronounced to in Japanese. Katana would have the dai kanji with it otherwise it would be any sword from tachi to tanto. The big swords of the Nambokucho were called odachi or seoidachi and were 120 to 150 cm long (cutting edge). Being great and shoulder respectively. John
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
The kanji for sword came from dao in Chinese which was pronounced to in Japanese. Katana would have the dai kanji with it otherwise it would be any sword from tachi to tanto.


Well, "刀" is read "katana" - so are you saying that 刀 ("katana") is/was just a catch-all word meaning "sword"?

EDIT: I know that "katana" is "katana", I'm just trying to clarify what you're trying to say.


Last edited by kitsuno on Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Without the single kanji being modified it just means sword. If you saw that used alone as a description you wouldn't know if it referred to a full sized sword or a kitchen knife. Maybe in literature it is used abbreviated and understood contextually but not in the nihonto community. John
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: daito Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
A katana is the Japanese reading for the tsurutu, ken or daito.


Actually 剣 is read as either as ken or tsurugi. 刀 is tou or katana. Both mean "sword," but "katana" is the Japanese reading for "tou," from the Chinese "dao." You're confusing two different characters.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
Without the single kanji being modified it just means sword. If you saw that used alone as a description you wouldn't know if it referred to a full sized sword or a kitchen knife. Maybe in literature it is used abbreviated and understood contextually but not in the nihonto community. John


So the Japanese character "katana", which is read "katana", doesn't mean "katana". I'm not buying that, but I'll wait for a second opinion.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
And, back to the original question:

Daito vs Katana.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Reading this thread has been extremely confusing. My head is wobbling. That's so nuts I'm having a seizure!

This is enough to make me seek solace in my bottle of Kubota Senju!

Weebles wobble but they don't fall down... No more!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Reading this thread has been extremely confusing. My head is wobbling.


What he said Runaway! Runaway!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Etymology aside there is no difference between Daito and Katana. Even poor old wiki refers to this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daish%C5%8D
These are the kanji I was refering to.

I guess if you are not talking about a daisho adding the 'dai' kanji is redundant. I looked at some kantei papers for some katana and they do not have the 'dai' kanji just the 'katana,to' kanji. Though I have two tachi mounted as katana that have on the papers no 'dai' since they are pre-prepared that way. John
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ok, can someone confirm or deny this:

A katana is a katana unless it is paired with a wakizashi, in which case, since it is longer than the wakizashi, it is refered to as a daito?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I should have just said it that way in the first place. All the rest was just background to show the derivation and ended up a confusing muck. Sorry for the confusion. John
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
I should have just said it that way in the first place. All the rest was just background to show the derivation and ended up a confusing muck. Sorry for the confusion. John


Ok, that makes sense. Is this a modern usage, or has it always been this way?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
To add some more confusion... search for the kanji
used for "Naginata" and "Tachi"... hehehehe....
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno,

Man, I am sorry I missed out on this one. Yeah, you got it right, generally daitou = katana and shotou = wakizashi.


平和,

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I was under the impression that the term Daito refered to the length of the sword (over 2 shaku I believe) and that Katana refered to the specific type of sword as opposed to the Tachi which would also be considered in the daito class. I think Shoto is used for less than 2 shaku blades such as Wakizashi and Kodachi. Odachi is a class of its own and refers to any sword three shaku or larger or bigger than a daito.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I always just thought daito generally meant "long sword" like a katana, tachi, or what have you. I've heard people call any number of swords daitos. I didn't know if it was specifically over two shaku. That's one of those words I never bother using because it's too general and I like to be specific when I talk so people think I know what I'm talking about, even though I almost never do. Embarassed
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Not so simple, as everything talking about
NihonTo.
A Chiisagatana is referred to as a Daito but is
less then 2 shaku and there are no specific
rules to fix the lenght for a Nodachi.

I think that before Edojidai a Chiisagatana carried
together with a Tachi was referred to as "Shoto".
If carried with a Tanto it begun a "Daito".

When the leght of swords were fixed in Edojidai
the categories and lenghts were as described in
Samuraiwiki article.

Swords longer then fixed (and variable according
to the periods in Edo) limits should be shortened
if intended to be carried (hence the great amount of
shortened Tachi).

IMHO before Edojidai the two therms were referred to
the relationships between lenght of swords in
relation with each other. After the therms took the
meaning we use today.

So before Edojidai anarchy was the rule and after
dictatorship took its place... Just Kidding
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:21 am    Post subject: Daito Reply with quote
I have heard it used several ways by different people depending on the ryu ha. I have heard of daito being used as "big sword" which makes perfect sense, but the word Nodachi is also used. Tachi is a whole different sword all together generally strait and a longer tsuka, used mainly before the Warring States period, during the warring states the village leader would be given a tachi showing his status in society. I find katana is not usually used by practitioners, but more by foreigners . I often hear "to" inparticularly when a swordsmen is talking about their own blade. The same applied to "Boken" I hear "bokuto" more than the later. I would hear boken used when someone was looking to purchase one, and bokuto used in terms of something you use (an example is in the dojo bukuto would be used by Sensei and my senpai(sempai) in dialog referring to when its going to be used in action). Though the mean the same thing its context slightly different right. Its like (forgive me I don't have Japanese on this computer) ~te oku and ~beki, both mean should, just in depending how its used context changes. Length does not really matter sense the Tokugawa outlawed swords bigger that 2.6 shaku. Schools that use long swords in the modern day are Kage Ryu, Kukishinden Tenshin Hyoho Ryu (not too big but longer), and Shindo Fudo Ryu Daikenjutsu (Hatsumi's school). Hijikata Tohe used a large sword but refered to it as "to" not daito or nodachi. As you know Japanese language hides many subtle details, stomach was once hara now its onaka. People in Japan clearly once understood what Kenjutsu was now they don't even know the difference between Kendo and Kenjutsu. frustrating I would have conversations with Nihonjin who did not understand the difference. Even when I clearly explained the difference the would have the blank stare, of I don't understand the difference. Similar to the patented "what the hell is a gaijin doing here" look. Frustrating best not to be caught up in it.

I hope this messy explanation helps
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Last edited by Bushikan on Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:27 am    Post subject: Re: Daito Reply with quote
Bushikan wrote:
katana is not usually used by practitioners, but more by foreigners

Which Ryu you belongs to ?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:41 am    Post subject: Ryu Reply with quote
This is the list of Ryu ha I train in:

Shindo Munen Ryu Kenjutsu
Shinto Muso Ryu Jojutsu
Shinmuto Ryu-Muso Shinden Ryu Iaijutsu
Shinken Shobu
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