Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Japanese tanto knife

In the early years of Japanese warfare, when samurai wore their long swords tachi style, they usually also carried a tanto. Tanto point was developed by the Japanese thousands of years ago to pierce samurai body armor.

Tanto was extremely heavy blade with a triangular cross section and was intended to be used to stab through armor. In the famous Moko shurai ekotoba, a narrative scroll depicting one of the Mongol attacks, there is a scene in which a Japanese warrior who has boarded an enemy shop appears to have pinned down a Mongol general by attacking him from behind and is shown about to cut his head off with a tanto.

Tanto of this period have no ridge, are mostly rather narrow, and are usually about 24 to 25 cm in length, with the line of the back curving slightly towards the edge.

In Japanese weaponry, a great many kinds of tanto exist. There is a lady’s knife which may be used for self defense, but has a reputation for being presents to protect her honor, by suicide.

Americans took the idea one step further and adapted it to smaller knives. The tip of the tanto blade is stronger than most because it maintains its full thickness almost to the end, which is not the case with most blade designs. That is what gives the tanto its superior piercing ability. Blade tips without this design are weaker.
Japanese tanto knife

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