Wakizashi is a classic and elegant Japanese blade. It is smaller than the samurai sword, called a “kodachi sword” in the early 17th century. Samurais usually held both swords in tandem. The Wakizashi completed the katana blade’s task.
The length of such a sword might range from 12 to 24 inches. The shorter variant was known as a “ko-wakizashi,” while the longer version was known as an “o-wakizashi.” Let’s explore more about this amazing sword and see what made it an important part of a samurai’s blade set.
What Are Some Useful Facts About Wakizashi Swords?
Swords from Japan are widely known. Though virtually all Japanese blades are significant, the katana and wakizashi twin blades are more well-known than others because of their employment as a daisho by samurais. Even during the atmosphere of prosperity, this duo was a symbol of their grandeur. Except for the blade length, the Wakizashi was identical to the Katana in every aspect.
The samurais carried their wakizashi swords with them everywhere they traveled. Even weapon enthusiasts and martial arts professionals may be surprised to learn that some truths regarding the Wakizashi are rarely known.
Different Types of Wakizashi
There are two varieties of Wakizashi made in Japan: ko-wakizashi and o-wakizashi. The first had a longer blade than its katana equivalent, while the latter had a smaller blade comparable to the tanto. There were several ko-wakizashi and o-wakizashi variants.
Some had unique cross-sections, forging techniques, metal compositions, and so on. However, based on the overall length, most Wakizashi can be classified as ko-wakizashi or o-wakizashi.
The Daisho Set
Even though the Wakizashi is shorter than the Katana, Japanese fighters sometimes paired it with a small blade, such as a tanto. They even coined a phrase to denote the act of wielding two swords in this manner: daisho. It means “bit-little,” and it entails wielding both a little and a bigger blade. This allowed samurais to pick the best sword for the situation they were in at the moment.
The Customs and Traditions
A wakizashi blade was an indispensable weapon. According to Japanese custom, when a warrior enters a home or any other structure, he must deposit his Katana with a servant. The Wakizashi, on the other hand, can be worn at any moment and in any location.
The Wakizashi is commonly referred to as the samurai’s sidearm because of this. Because samurais usually placed it at the bedside table, the Wakizashi followed his lord even when he fell asleep.
The Wakizashi was generally carried on one’s thighs and wielded with one arm. The warrior held the Katana in the other arm. Warriors found the Wakizashi to be remarkably useful when the Katana’s size and heaviness made it difficult to use. The Wakizashi is more agile and requires less effort to slash the opponent.
Vendors and artisans (categories of tradesmen) who could not use a katana used the Wakizashi instead. This answers why there were more wakizashi swords discovered than katanas. There are more wakizashi swords found in Japan than Samurai Swords, despite the fact that katana swords had more cultural significance in Japan.