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Ancient Weapon Terminology

 
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Algren-san
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:18 pm    Post subject: Ancient Weapon Terminology Reply with quote
I was looking up some information on ancient japanese armies (from the yayoi to kofun period) and just wanted to know if anyone knows the names of some of the early weapons of that era. For instance I have seen images from Nakanishi Ritta's book, The history of Japanese armor volume 1, that depict yayoi warriors with a short sword that resembles a small chinese straight sword or a roman gladius and on the same page several men are carrying what looks like a type of pick axe. Unfortunately I do not own this book (yet) so I do not know if my question is answered in it or not but was wondering if anyone knew what these weapons and their contemporaries would be referred to in Japanese. Thank you.
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The standard "short sword" that you are looking at is probably one of the Chinese style swords. I don't know if there is a name for them beyond "ken". Look here for a picture of a Yayoi period bronze narrow sword below a Chinese version of the same.

http://museum.city.fukuoka.jp/je/html/341-350/342/342_01.htm

As for the "picks", that sounds like the following. These are known as "hoko" or "KA" (or "ge" in Chinese): 戈

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tatsushu/284659671/in/set-72157600772093455/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tatsushu/284656944/in/set-72157600772093455/

I don't think this is what you are looking for, but in case you run across it, here is a picture of a "teboko", a rather intriguing polearm:

http://www.books.com.tw/exep/prod/lookinside.php?item=M010023021#t

Does that help?

-Josh
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Tsubame1
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
My essay starts with very early swords, so might be interesting :

http://www.webalice.it/tsubame1/
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Aren't these swords referred to as chokuto ('straight sword')? Or would there be a difference between these and ken?
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Tsubame1
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Tatsu.

FWIW usually the term Chokuto is associated with the single edged ones derived from chinese Dao while Ken derives from Jian and sometimes the term Chokuto is also erroneously used as replacement for Jokoto.
Being the meaning "straight sword" and being the Ken a straight sword as well, I think it's a matter of nuances. Smile

I Think Josh got what the original poster meant, as
he referred to Gladius, that's a two-edged swrod much like the Ken.
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the info, Tsubame. It's good to know the difference between the two.
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