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Japanese Traditional Weapons

The history of Japan is very rich and so is the history of its weapons. Today the traditional Japanese weapons are part of the countries treasury and the masters that make traditional weapons are talented craftsmen since birth. Besides talent a sword craftsman should be wise and patient since his work requires a lot of knowledge and contemplation.

One of the most famous Japanese weapons is the Katana sword. It is a work of art the goal of which is to easily cut without hesitation. Katana is just as beautiful as it is sharp. Apart from other swords Katana has a blade which is very thin and at the same time able to cut hard objects. The blade is slightly curved and its edge is very sharp. These represent the main beauty of Katana. Many Japanese warriors were proud to have in their arsenal such remarkable weapon.

A sword that is somewhat shorter than Katana is called Wakizashi. Its length is about 68 cm. In order to be able to fight inside a small room Samurai worn this sword indoors.

Besides swords, the traditional Japanese weapons include knifes. One of such is called The Tanto. It represents a small Japanese knife made from the same hard steel as the famous sword - Katana and its younger brother - Wakizashi. Tanto was a weapon which the Samurai sometimes worn instead of the Wakizashi.

The Kama is a weapon that originally served as a farming tool, used to weed plants. It became a weapon because Japanese farmers could not carry weapons with them and thus they used their tools to defend themselves. The Kama is known to be one of the weapons that ninjas used.

The weapon that was used for self-defense was called the BO. It was a large staff, the length of which was about 2 meters. Mostly common people used this weapon. Ordinary people could not carry weapons which is why this instrument served for defense. Another weapon, which is shorter than the BO is called the Jo. Its length is about 1.35 meters and common people used it for the same self-defense purpose.

A rather small traditional Japanese weapon is Keibo. It represents a small stick, the length of which is about 35 cm. It came in handy while fighting in small rooms or areas. A stick that is smaller than Keibo is called Ebo. It has about 15 cm and its main purpose was defense. Its size and weight made it very comfortable to wear.

In order to replace the police stick, many forces started using a special stick with a handle. The handle made the use of this weapon easier and more effective. The special stick was called the Tonfa.

A famous Japanese weapon is Nunchaku. It is made of two sticks that are connected with the help of a cord or, most often, chain. It was firstly used as a farming tool. Nunchaku served to thresh grain. For defensive reasons farmers started using this tool as a weapon, which is why Nunchaku is considered today to be a traditional Japanese weapon.

The weapon by the name Shuriken is a small dagger that can be easily hidden in a palm. This is why the word Shuriken is translated as "a dagger hidden in a palm". In fact all daggers of such small sizes were called in Japan Shuriken. There are a lot of shapes and sizes of Shuriken and they are used for various purposes.

A Shuriken may have a star shape. When it is thrown it spins in the air. Other shapes include needlelike, which is thrown just like a dagger. Although this type of traditional Japanese weapon could penetrate armor protection with difficulty ninjas used it on unarmed targets. Sometimes venom was applied for a better effect.

A traditional Japanese weapon with a very rich history is called Naginata. It represents a pole arm on the end of which there is a curved blade. The blade was the main part of the weapon. With its help the warrior could produce a powerful strike. The blade could be of various sizes depending on the warrior's demands as well as the area in which it will be used.

Weapons of Japanese warriors today represent a great value and an enormous social heritage of Japan. This country continues maintaining its traditions that are kept for many centuries.



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