Friday, May 5, 2017


Blades greater than 30 and less than 60 cm in length are known as wakizashi. During the Edo period, this was the shorter of the pair of swords worn by Japanese warriors, merchants were not permitted to carry katana, but were allowed to wear the shorter wakizashi.

Wakizashi was worn inserted between the hakama (the loose trousers in formal Japanese dress) and the obi (sash) on the left side of the body, with the cutting edge of both words facing upwards.
This customs of wearing one long and one short sword is known as nihonzashi (literally, “insert two”) and it started around the end of the Muromachi period (1333-1575).

Special terms are used for blades of unusual length: o-wakizashi (long wakizashi) and ko-wakizashi (short wakizashi).
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