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Wo Long
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:31 am    Post subject: Kodachi? Reply with quote
I read the Japanese Swords article and it just mentions that it's a smaller version of a tachi. How much smaller was it? When did it dominate the battlefield (or, when was it popular, if it ever was)? What were the pros and cons?

I know I ask lots of questions here, but I'm pretty ignorant. =/
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Akaguma
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
A kodachi 小太刀(little tachi) is usually another name for wakizashi 脇差. Its length is between 1shakuー2sun and 2 shaku (36-60cm)

As far as the wakizashi are concerned, there is three kinds of them :

- ko-wakizashi (little wakizashi) 小脇差:from 1shaku to less than 1shaku-3sun (30 to 39cm)
- chû-wakizashi (medium wakizashi) 中脇差:from 1shaku-3sun to less than 1shaku-8sun (39 to 54cm)
- ô-wakizashi (great wakizashi) 大脇差:from 1shaku-8sun to less than 2shaku (54 to 60cm)

Also, the word kodachi, when written 木太刀 means "wooden sword"; It can also be read kidachi. It's another name for bokutô 木刀 or bokken 木剣.
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Tsubame1
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Kodachi? Reply with quote
Wo Long wrote:
I read the Japanese Swords article and it just mentions that it's a smaller version of a tachi. How much smaller was it?


From just a few bu to more then an half-the-size
according to the personal preferences.
There were no Tokugawa regulamentations when Kodachi
were used and it was a backup sword to use when the
main one was over and no Kerai available to give
another longer one..

Wo Long wrote:
When did it dominate the battlefield


It never dominate the battlefield as it was a
3rd choice weapon, considering the bow (or the spear)
the first one and the Tachi the second one.

Wo Long wrote:
(or, when was it popular, if it ever was)?


Kodachi were for wealty men, not really so popular.
As regards the timeframe, I think the explanation of
what Kodachi's Nemesis is should help, especially in
the meaning and writing.

Alexander Takeuchi about wakizashi :

http://www2.una.edu/Takeuchi/DrT_Jpn_Culture_files/Nihon_to_files/Historical_classification_of_wak.htm

Wo Long wrote:
What were the pros and cons?


Pros : you have another sword (even if smaller) to
face off the enemy when the main one has gone.

Cons :
a) you've to kick the ass of your favourite
swordmaker (you can make it because you're a wealty
Samurai) in order to have the Kodachi made in time
for the next siege and
b) to wear a weight that is transported by your
horse.

Kodachi in Itomaki no Tachi mounting from the
Castello Sforzesco Museum in Milano (missing
Ishizuki):



The same, from the catalogue :



Kodachi, Kamakura (mounting NOT actual):


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Wo Long
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for all the help, but I don't know those Japanese measurements. Could you give me a couple translations so I know exactly what you mean?

Bu
Shaku
Sun

Thanks.


Oh, and Carlo, I mean pros and cons like for how it was designed. Sort of how the Japanese quit using straight swords because curved ones were more efficient. Was there anything particularily unique about this sword which gave it some sort of advantage over other swords of it's size? Or, was there something (other than it's size) that made it worse. But this may be answered in that link you posted which I haven't read as of yet.

Edit: Actually, I think I figured out Shaku and Sun. Am I correct? Shaku=30 cm roughly, sun=3 cm roughly? I just did a little math using this sentence:

Quote:
...katana to be 2 shaku 8 to 9 sun (= 84.84cm - 87.87cm), and wakizashi to be 1 shaku 8 sun to 9 sun (= 54.54cm - 57.57cm)...


From that link Carlo posted.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Japanese Measurements
http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/measure.htm
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've started creating a "Japanese Measurements" page:
http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Japanese_Measurements

But I'm confused about "Bu" - the sword index shows it as pretty small, but the japanese wikipedia says it is over 1.4 meters. Can anyone clarify?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The sword index is correct. I just confirmed those measurements from John Yumoto's book "The Samurai Sword: A Handbook (chap2, p46)" which is the starter reference book for most western nihonto enthusiats.

bu = 0.119305 inch
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It must be a different "bu" - the Japanese wikipedia article: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%AD%A9_%28%E5%8D%98%E4%BD%8D%29
Says that it is 6 or 8 shaku (the exact size changed over time), and came from the estimated measurement of one adult stride (歩 bu) - it also says it is AKA Tsubo (坪). I'm not sure which is the more common term.

By the way, what is the exact metric length of the smaller "bu" - I'd calculate it myself, but I'd rather just get it from a published source so I don't make a mistake.
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Wo Long
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
It must be a different "bu" - the Japanese wikipedia article: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%AD%A9_%28%E5%8D%98%E4%BD%8D%29
Says that it is 6 or 8 shaku (the exact size changed over time), and came from the estimated measurement of one adult stride (歩 bu) - it also says it is AKA Tsubo (坪). I'm not sure which is the more common term.

By the way, what is the exact metric length of the smaller "bu" - I'd calculate it myself, but I'd rather just get it from a published source so I don't make a mistake.


The link posted by Ranger states it's 0.0303 cm.
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Tsubame1
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
I've started creating a "Japanese Measurements" page:
http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Japanese_Measurements

But I'm confused about "Bu" - the sword index shows it as pretty small, but the japanese wikipedia says it is over 1.4 meters. Can anyone clarify?



BU = 分
I think it is no more used other then for NihonTo.
See the "To" character inside ?
You can safely rely on the link posted by Paul.
An even smaller measure is "RI" equivalent to 1,66
mm, but is a rare item to find, so rare that I've not
the Kanji available. I've to search deeper into my
sources. I'm even not sure it's a different thing
from the "Rin" of Rich's page (stated to be
nearly twice the lenght of RI..).

In a country in which a tatami measure is different
from Osaka to Tokyo even today, go figure to find
out what means such a small ancestral measure in
oblivion by centuries...
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Last edited by Tsubame1 on Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:36 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Tsubame1
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wo Long wrote:
Oh, and Carlo, I mean pros and cons like for how it was designed. Sort of how the Japanese quit using straight swords because curved ones were more efficient. Was there anything particularily unique about this sword which gave it some sort of advantage over other swords of it's size? Or, was there something (other than it's size) that made it worse.


Size is exactly what makes a Kodachi what it is,
together with mounting/signature.
So there were (are) no other different swords of the
same size. Ken were *very* rarely used in battle if
ever. The same sword with the same lenght but made
in a different period and in different mounting, if
not signed or signed on the Katana side of the
Nakago, would have been called Chiisagatana or
O-Wakizashi or something else.
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wo Long wrote:

The link posted by Ranger states it's 0.0303 cm.


Apparently 1 rin = 1 bu.
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Tsubame1
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
Wo Long wrote:

The link posted by Ranger states it's 0.0303 cm.


Apparently 1 rin = 1 bu.


Hard to suppose Rich wrong, but rhe existance
of "RI" of around half the lenght makes me wonder if
there is a typo in his website.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tsubame1 wrote:
kitsuno wrote:
Wo Long wrote:

The link posted by Ranger states it's 0.0303 cm.


Apparently 1 rin = 1 bu.


Hard to suppose Rich wrong, but rhe existance
of "RI" of around half the lenght makes me wonder if
there is a typo in his website.

Wo Long had it Wo Wrong ...

1 bu = 0.303 cm
1 rin = 0.0303 cm

10 rin = 1 bu

There was no typo in Rich's site.
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Tsubame1
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ah, ok, the typo was elsewhere... Just Kidding
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Wo Long
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ranger wrote:
Tsubame1 wrote:
kitsuno wrote:
Wo Long wrote:

The link posted by Ranger states it's 0.0303 cm.


Apparently 1 rin = 1 bu.


Hard to suppose Rich wrong, but rhe existance
of "RI" of around half the lenght makes me wonder if
there is a typo in his website.

Wo Long had it Wo Wrong ...

1 bu = 0.303 cm
1 rin = 0.0303 cm

10 rin = 1 bu

There was no typo in Rich's site.


It appears so. My bad. Embarassed
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