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Very Large and Heavy Yari


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I recently saw an extremely large hira sankaku type yari that was approximately 2" wide (2.54cm) across the flat side, with a nagasa of about 10" (25.4cm). It had visible hada and hamon, just like a normal yari, just much bigger. I estimate it weighed about 5 pounds (2.27 kg) 

My question is this...With it being so large and heavy, would it have been mounted on a pole and wielded by an absolute giant? Or maybe it was thrown down like a spear from high upon a castle, using the high kinetic energy to penetrate heavy armor, kabuto, or makeshift shielding.

Please help me figure this one out! My brain won't leave this one alone...maybe it was as simple as a temple offering. BTW, the one I saw was mumei, with one mekugi ana. There was a saya, as if it was mounted into something...just not sure what it was mounted to.

 

Thanks everyone!

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Dear Dan.

 

Bear in mind that a large number of yari and naginata spent their lives being carried to and fro from the home province to Edo. I don't think functionality carries as much weight, excuse the pun, as presence.  

 

All the best.

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Dan -

A lot depends on when it was made - bigger heavier spears were used from horseback - but as Geraint points out once you are in the Edo period polearms become billboards and not real weapons...

-t

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The mega yari's were most often shrine offering. They were sized to be wielded by the Kami. You'll find a similar thing with massive O-dachi that no human could possibly handle. 

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Benkei's secret pole attachment? 

 

I think there probably are pieces oversized because of the owners size.. like small swords for boys coming of age occasions.

 

Any photos of the piece?

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I had the item in hand this past weekend in Orlando, at the show. I kept thinking about it and decided, after the fact, that I wanted to purchase it. I want it for the fact that it is so different, and it appears to be well constructed with itame hada and notare hamon, in decent polish. And the fact that I'm supporting my two favorite sword dealers, Mark Jones and Grey Doffin! This will make the 6th item I have bought from them this year. lol

I will post pics as soon as I have it in hand.

I would love to hear opinions on possible mountings for it. It already has a saya, just need to figure out a suitable pole, etc. for it. Give me some ideas!

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So, on the topic of yari.....

 

This is almost a separate subject and one should not extrapolate from sword knowledge and make assumptions about it being a votive blade, etc. In Muromachi, it was common for some senior samurai to wield omi yari. In fact, I personally owned an omi yari by nidai Muramasa (see below), which was 51 cm in length and around 2.5cm in motohaba. Sue-Bizen (eg nidai Yoshimitsu,Tadamitsu), various Shimada guys (Yoshisuke), Muramasa (as already mentioned), Nobutaka (Seki),  etc etc particularly in the period 1450-1540 forged such larger weapons (over 50cm nagasa and often with motobaba 2.5-2.8cm). Many have been accepted at Juyo level. 

 

So, in the grand scheme of things, this post's yari is not so big, even if it is a larger and more impressive one in general. I do look forward to seeing some photos of it. Below, my former yari.

 

image.thumb.png.024781a52a3f1dd7c0ade2965606a365.png

 

image.thumb.png.3a3853222759c07163120e387d2f3b7a.png

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As regards mounting, here is what I have done with a couple of mine which had no poles.

 

Kiyohira1.thumb.jpg.209d42802210da27efd19308edd88d40.jpg

 

Makes everything much easier to handle but if you want to go for the full size pole then have at it!

 

Look forward to seeing the photographs.

 

All the best.

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This is the best representation, so far, of the size comparison of different types of yari. I really don't want to call the one I am getting an Omi Yari, since that seems to imply that it is very long. The one I am buying is resembles the thick one in the center of the picture, but in my opinion, may be a little thicker than the one shown.

yari.gif

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Came home from work today and it was here, waiting on me.

So the actual nagasa is 9" (22.8cm) the overall length is 24.5" (62.2cm) the width across the wide flat is 1.5" (3.8cm) the nakago is 11/16" (17.5mm) square, at the largest point and is 14.5" (36.8cm long)

That is going to be a huge pole to mount that monster!

 

IMG_20210717_232548012.jpg

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Hard to tell from the pictures, but the nakago is a brownish black, and the mekugi-ana is punched. I would guess early Edo period. Could it possibly be late Muromachi period?

IMG_20210717_234226910.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
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On 7/26/2021 at 4:39 PM, DTM72 said:

I found a very similar yari for sale at Yakiba. The proportions are very similar. Finding one mounted answers my question as to if it was actually pole mounted, or used in a different way.

 

https://yakiba.com/yari-kunihiro/

Would they bother using them as darts? Seems like a waste of tamahagane, but I did see a rather strange EDO period koshirae that looked like a missile...

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Dear Jake.

 

There was/is a Japanese dealer whose site always seemed to have two or three yari mounted as darts.  The clear suspicion is that a short koshirae, made yesterday, helps to sell a yari.  Normal yari koshirae are notoriously difficult to transport and poles are often cut down to ease this problem, most likely what happened to the yari in the link.

 

All the best.

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On 7/18/2021 at 3:14 PM, Shugyosha said:

A long kerikubi (the part between the blade and the tang) is usually an indicator of a koto yari. The one on yours is long so, yes, it could be muromachi. 

Do you have any resources on Yari that you could recommend?

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