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Wo Long
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:13 pm    Post subject: Zanbato? Reply with quote
Does anyone know of any historical fact or specific legends of zanbato actually existing or even being used?

I read the Wikipedia article (I know, shame on me), but it's nothing more than tons of speculation. I would hope that with all of the knowledgable people here at SA, you could help me learn a bit more about this weapon.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Zanbato? Reply with quote
Wo Long wrote:
Does anyone know of any historical fact or specific legends of zanbato actually existing or even being used?

I read the Wikipedia article (I know, shame on me), but it's nothing more than tons of speculation. I would hope that with all of the knowledgable people here at SA, you could help me learn a bit more about this weapon.


Of all the crazy weapons I've seen. I wouldn't be surprised if they were used somewhere.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi, Thats a new one on me. Prior to that article the only time I've seen the forte of the sword wrapped like that was on European long swords, like the claymore. But I'm willing to learn, though I believe it is a shrine sword never meant to be used. John
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
I believe it is a shrine sword never meant to be used. John


Probably right. Many extra long swords of that nature were usually meant to be offerings at shrines more than useful weapons of battle due to their straight up impracticality in the field. The leverage wouldn't really be adequate to be effective. I would think... Confused
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Wo Long
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah, but even Nodachi were used in battle, so would it be crazy to think that one of these might've been used at some point in time? I remember reading that someone used a 5 foot nodachi at Anegawa (I really wish I could remember who used it and where I read that) which is pretty massive for a sword. So, though pretty unwieldly, I wouldn't be surprised if a zanbato had at least a slight history of battle (even if only once in which case it was deemed impractical).
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wo Long wrote:
Yeah, but even Nodachi were used in battle, so would it be crazy to think that one of these might've been used at some point in time? I remember reading that someone used a 5 foot nodachi at Anegawa (I really wish I could remember who used it and where I read that) which is pretty massive for a sword. So, though pretty unwieldly, I wouldn't be surprised if a zanbato had at least a slight history of battle (even if only once in which case it was deemed impractical).


This reminds me of the scene from Furin Kazan where three guys are holding a nodachi and spinning around in place in a battle.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've done some research into the subject, and from what I've seen the theory on the Japanese pronunciation of Zhan-ma-dao (斬馬刀) would explain the existance of the "zanbato" (斬馬刀【ざんばとう】). HOWEVER, just what the zhanmadao actually is, is subject to some debate. In terms of "oh it's a big sword...resembling a nagamaki" and the existance of several polearms of this type in China, Wiki's entry is plausible. On the other hand, since the article sites no sources for the information, the only way to verify it would be to look somewhere else. One of my sources* states that it's a variant of the standard Dao (saber...the associated pic has it looking similar to a tachi) which was "the precursor to the Katana was imported to Japan from China during the Chinese Song Dynasty (960-1280 A.D.)" and states that this weapon is also known as the Pu Dao. And while the entry is sited in reference to another book, the book is listed in Chinese.

*Ancient Chinese Weapons A Martial Artist's Guide by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. Personally, I'm not too sure I'd vouch for Dr. Yang's veracity, especially since I find the claim that the sword is the precursor to the Katana, and imported to Japan in the Song Dynasty to be a little unbelievable (among a few other odds and ends that I'm iffy on).
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi KS, Although the nagamaki is a truncated form of naginata I consider it more akin to the pole-arm than the sword. There are so many big choppers in Chinese military history, although the Kwan dao strikes me s one of the largest and could be wielded by only a very strong man (ie. Gen. Kwan). The Pu dao is a short version of this. I would like to know the actual length and weight of the Zhan ma dao, designed to take out horses, and compare it to the Japanese example. Surely not as big, who could wield it? As to curved single edged swords, they were known about long before the Song dynasty, but the method of manufacture of Nihonto was new and revolutionary. I know about Dr Yang and he is a knowledgeable Chinese martial artist and Sifu but mistaken in this respect. John
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Although the nagamaki is a truncated form of naginata


The nagamaki YOU know are not the nagamaki *I* know.

A nagamaki, from all that I have seen, is essentially a katana-length blade mounted to a 3-foot hilt, for an overall c. 6' weapon.

Naginata tend to have wakizashi-sized blades, and are mounted to very long shafts making for essentially a c. 6' weapon.

I don't see any "cut down" in the nagamaki -- if anything, a nagamaki is a naginata with the blade on steroids; or a naginata is a nagimaki where the budget ran out for the metal and they made do with wooden shaft. Wink


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't see any "cut down" in the nagamaki -- if anything, a nagamaki is a naginata with the blade on steroids; or a naginata is a nagimaki where the budget ran out for the metal and they made do with wooden shaft. Wink


Tony[/quote]

Nagamaki= The Pimp.

Naginata= Ghetto Nagamaki.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yang, Jwing-Ming and one of my old teacher's teacher trained side by side. A Qwan Dao and a Pu Dao are often referred to as horse cutters and were seen as a way of cutting down mounted warriors by cutting at the legs of their horses. They would be more suitable because they offer the leverage necessary to make the proper cuts. They are more similar to a naginata than a sword. They're pole arms with long shafts and broad blades on the end. I've heard the term zanbato before... wasn't it used in Rurouni Kenshin by Sanosuke? I believe it it's supposed to just mean a big sword that often requires two people to wield it. Is it possible that this term was coined in modern times which is why we're having trouble finding historical references?
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Kuseru Satsujin
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Okay, I see my reply generated quite a bit of confusion, unsurprising, I pointed out that there's confusion as to just what the weapon is. So, to clarify, I'm going to provide some images.

Dr. Yang's Zhanmadao/Pu Dao:


What we generally know to be a Pu Dao:


As we can clearly see, those are two distinctly different weapons.

Personally, I find the second weapon to be a more plausible explanation of the Zanbato, as the first, being imported into Japan would have used terminology like "chinese" tachi like its relatives, and not "zanbato."
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wo Long wrote:
Yeah, but even Nodachi were used in battle, so would it be crazy to think that one of these might've been used at some point in time? I remember reading that someone used a 5 foot nodachi at Anegawa (I really wish I could remember who used it and where I read that) which is pretty massive for a sword. So, though pretty unwieldly, I wouldn't be surprised if a zanbato had at least a slight history of battle (even if only once in which case it was deemed impractical).


Phisics laws applies the same way all over the world
and during every time period.

These laws limits the usefulness of some tools
(i.e. swords) to a fixed lenght/widht/weight
ratio. We have not the dimensions of the blade
shown in the Wikipedia article, but I'm not
aware of blades intentionally left unsharpened
more then a few inches (situation called "ubu-ha")
and this applies mostly to Katana/Tachi lenght
blades. AFAIK no ancient Odachi/Nodachi is still
in the "virgin" situation of Ubu-Ha, but I can be
wrong.
Swords used with a grip on the blade *were* present
in the past and *are* today too, but grip on the
blade DOESN'T MEAN WRAPPING. To cover the blade with
cloth in order to use the long blade in close combat
situations was an extrema ratio (you're MUCH more
comfortable with a shorter blade that you *should*
have but that, occasionally, you hadn't).
This use is still teached today with blades waaay
shorter then the one on wikipedia (that IMHO is an
unsharpened toy) :



Blades longer then a X length would be too heavy
or too weak to be used, not to talk about balance.
Likely this is the maximum a skilled man can use :



the right tool for the right thing.
You want to cut down horse's legs ?
Take a Naginata.

Hereunder a Shortened Nagamaki with elongated
handle. Naginata-like but wrapped all around the
Tsuka. Duckbokucho period.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tsubame1,

"Duckbokucho period" has to be the funniest thing I have seen in years. Smile Laughing


平和、

マット
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is the part where we bust out the pic for the Norimitsu:



http://japantrip.tripod.com/nodachi/norimitsu.html wrote:
This Ôdachi was made by Norimitsu of Osafune in August 1447.

Specifications are as follows:

Total length - 377 cm.

Nagasa (cutting edge) - 226.7 cm.

Sori (curvature) - 5.0 cm

Nakago (tang) - 151 cm.

Thickness - 2.34 cm.

Habaki (collar to hold blade in scabbard) - 5.85 cm.

Weight - 14.5 kgs.

Mei (name): Bishu Osafune Norimitsu.

Location: Kibitsu Jinja, Okayama.

Period: Muromachi (1447).

Sugata (shape): Shinogi-zukuri, maru-mune, bo-hi with maru-dome.

Hada (grain): Itame.

Hamon (temper pattern): Ko-gunome, choji with tobiyaki and kinsuji.

This Ôdachi is the longest in Japan.

What is so amazing about this Ôdachi is that it was forged the same way as a traditional Japanese sword. It was made as a complete sword and not simply made in sections and tacked together. It was forged with incredible skill, which is evident from looking at the hada.

Norimitsu was a popular line of swordsmiths that started in the Oei Bizen school (1394) and continued until the end of Bizen. No one knows much about the current owner of this Ôdachi, but it was recently polished and named "Kibitsu maru" by the priest at Kibitsu Jinja. This Shrine is one of the most sacred in the Kibi area (present day Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures).

This Ôdachi is real, the hada is real, the hamon is real. It is overwhelming to comprehend the creation of this Ôdachi. Truly a wonder.


No, this is not a weapon for actual usage, but it's still fun to look at.
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Last edited by Kuseru Satsujin on Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The nagamaki YOU know are not the nagamaki *I* know.

A nagamaki, from all that I have seen, is essentially a katana-length blade mounted to a 3-foot hilt, for an overall c. 6' weapon.

Naginata tend to have wakizashi-sized blades, and are mounted to very long shafts making for essentially a c. 6' weapon.

I don't see any "cut down" in the nagamaki -- if anything, a nagamaki is a naginata with the blade on steroids; or a naginata is a nagimaki where the budget ran out for the metal and they made do with wooden shaft.


Tony

Hi, I was refering to the functional aspects of the nagamaki being 'like' a shortened version of the naginata, which reaches towards 8 feet, in a general way. I should be more specific. John[/quote]
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi All, Someting of interest related to naginata and nagamaki under discussion.
http://www.militaria.co.za/nihontomessageboard/viewtopic.php?p=7470#7470
John
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
This may be interesting and possibly helpful to some people.

A Ninjutsu segment from a documentary on Budo. Ninja may be a taboo term amongst these forums, but you cant deny that they played a big role in the time of The Samurai.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssd7NxaQHZQ

Now that is a warm-up I would put utmost effort into!
Watch and find out, enjoy!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here is a picture of a rather large sword, it is from a game called FFXI, some of you may know it, some might not. But I was wondering wether anyone knows of a real life version of this sword, wether it is real and wether it was used by The Samurai or wether it is just fictional for the game.

It is of a butchers cleaver shape, check it out for yourselves: http://szeged.ninja.hu/content/fegyverek/kepek/s_zanbato01.jpg

Thankyou
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