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My First Introduction And Study Of Nihonto


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Different period swords, that seem to reflect the style of fighting on the battlefield of their respective times. Could be wrong, but the Kunifusa seems lighter and thinner for faster movement and quick precise striking. More archers and horse back during this time , I believe.

While the Kinimichi is much wider thicker and heaver, for more infantry and a slower moving armored combat style.

Just thought it was intersting and wanted to pass along.

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Different period swords, that seem to reflect the style of fighting on the battlefield of their respective times. Could be wrong, but the Kunifusa seems lighter and thinner for faster movement and quick precise striking. More archers and horse back during this time , I believe.

While the Kinimichi is much wider thicker and heaver, for more infantry and a slower moving armored combat style.

Just thought it was intersting and wanted to pass along.

You might want to add that in the first post, otherwise we're just looking at two different swords with no explanation.

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Different period swords, that seem to reflect the style of fighting on the battlefield of their respective times. Could be wrong, but the Kunifusa seems lighter and thinner for faster movement and quick precise striking. More archers and horse back during this time , I believe.

While the Kinimichi is much wider thicker and heaver, for more infantry and a slower moving armored combat style.

Just thought it was intersting and wanted to pass along.

 

 Most introductory references books will explain that shape evolved as fighting methodology and technique changed over time. 

As a brief summary:

Originally the bow, not the sword was the primary weapon of the warrior classes. Swords were carried hanging from the side and were generally slim and relatively light.

As the sword became more prevalent in use blades became longer and as armour styles changed they also became heavier. By the time you reach the nambokucho period they have become massive and are designed to swing from horseback.

later fighting on foot became more common and these huge blades impractical. This resulted in many old blades  being shortened. At the same time Edo smiths trying to emulate the suriage shape of classic swords copied the shape in their original ubu work. 

later changes occurred as methods of drawing and fighting evolved.

As with much else the shape changes are a case of "form following function". 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Something else to consider (when judging the weight) is the health of the blade. Old swords are much thinner as they have been polished many times. As a result, they become lighter. Even Shinto period swords are still generally healthy as they weren't used as frequently as a sword of kamakura or muromachi. Nanbokucho swords were relatively large and as such carry a significant weight even til this day. Shin-shinto, gendaito and shinsakuto are obviously still healthy and heavy in comparison. I notice the lightest blades are heian, and early kamakura (oldest) and muromachi (most used). Coincidence?

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