Sat. May 18th, 2024
Find Ways to Differentiate Between Odachi or Nodachi Swords

In the meantime, there was very little use or we can say no use of the swords. However, if we look over the ancient time, using a sword was a very essential skill. Nowadays, it is limited to Japanese and Chinese art culture. We explore the types of swords Katana is the most famous samurai sword, which everyone knows. There are some other famous types of swords including odachi and nodachi that are very similar. Now let’s explore how those swords are similar or different from each other. 

What is odachi?

Odachi is a traditional sword used by famous and well-trained swordsmen in Japanese history. Those swordsmen are commonly known as Samurai, Kenjutsu, and Iaido. These types of warriors are not available at the current time as well and they are also called mythical warriors. Odachi became famous in the period of Kamakura (1185-1333 AD). To make odachi swords smiths commonly use a few materials like wood, metal, ivory, fish skin, and silk. The odachi is very sharpened and heavy. The weight of odachi can be 2.2 Kg to 14.5 kg.

History of Odachi Sword

History of Odachi Sword

The discovery of odachi swords dates back to 1183 AD and in Japanese history, this time period is known as Kamakura. Till the middle of the Kamakura odachi was being used by high-ranked samurai only. As the new inventions arrived the use of it became more common in lower-grade troops or foot soldiers. Earlier they were using Naginata, which has a big curved sharp knife and big wooden handle to attack a little far.

The odachi gained a lot of fame in the 14th century the time period of Nanbuku-cho.  The main reason for being more popular was, the wide manufacturing, its large size, and they were the most sharpen at the time. Similarly, in that era, Soshu School produced the best swordsmen by providing the toughest training. 

Special features of Odachi

In Japanese history, there are multiple famous swords that contain a great history of action and legends. The use of odachi become common due to the stability of the sword as there are multiple other features of that sword. Let’s know the special features of the odachi sword.

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Material and Manufacturing of Odachi

The most famous sword in Japanese history, the Odachi the odachi was constructed by tamahagane, which is a high-carbon steel produced by clay smelters in Japan. The feature of this Japanese blade is, that is a soft steel core called shingane and has a hard outer steel covering or jacket which is called Kewagane.  It functions as a shock absorber, preventing the sword from breaking under hard blows, while it forms the blade surface.

Blade of Odachi

The blade of odachi is curved and single-edged however, some of the models of odachi are sharpened to the tip of the blade. 

If we review all of the traditionally made Japanese blades, the odachi looks like a hamon, a visual pattern along the edge of the sword, which means that the swordsmith makes the edge more than the remaining part of the sword.

Size and length of Oddachi

As per the Japanese legends the traditional odachi sword is a bit different which is available in the current time. The length of the sword is more than 90 cm and around 120 to 150 centimeters. As per some of the historical records odachi is tall as per the height of the warrior who is beholding it. It goes from 175 cms to 220 cms.

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Difference between odachi and nodachi

If we try to understand the Japanese meaning of odachi and odachi. Odachi means A Big/Large Sword and also can be understood as a great sword. The term no use for field and its meaning can be considered as field sword. However, the terms and use of way too similar so most historians call it they are the same sound.

There is one more thought behind it. When the odachi was being used by the top-ranked Samurai, Kenjutsu, and Iaido at that time the term odachi was in use. After becoming common in the trope and for the foot soldiers it got changed and the term nodachi started getting used. However, there are some conflicts about these ideas. 

Odachi sword available online

Nowadays, odachi is being used to show the plays the action they are not being used for fights. Now artists use this weapon for tameshigiri which is a Japanese art form and actition play of combat skills and review. Commonly, odachi is being used for test-cutting practice, cosplay, and LARP in the meantime. There are some of the swords which can be purchased online. 

  • Odachi Samurai Sword
  • 1095 Clay Tempered Nodachi 
  • 1060 Corban Steel Nodachi 
  • Nodachi Foam Sword for LARP

A Famous Term called aja-no-Ontachi

There was another sword which is way too similar to odachi, which is the Haja-no-Ontachi (Great Evil-Crushing Blade) the length of it is around 465 cm (183 in), and the overall weight of 75 kg. There are a few written or seen records of it. In the year 1859, this odachi was donated to the Hanaoka Hachiman Shrine in Yamaguchi. This event happened during an imperial memorial ceremony which was held by parishioners. Which was empathized with imperial patriots. As per the records sword is kept in the Treasure House and it is not open to the public.

 Summing Up

The most famous sword in Japanese history which is called an odachi is mentioned and drawn in the historical legends. The the 11th to 13th century it was used for the top-ranked Samurai, Kenjutsu, and Iaido. Later the invention of a new weapon odachi became common in foot soldiers or troops. Nowadays, is getting used in tameshigiri which is a skills show or cosplay.

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