Double Edge Blades
The double edge blades are weapons that features two sharpened edges; literally, the sword can successfully cut either way. This kind of weapon is considered to be extremely versatile and can readily execute attacks in one or more angles. Numerous styles can also be executed with the sword unlike when wielding a single-edged blade such as the saber or katana. The double edge swords can readily chop, thrust, press, and even backslash, so with double edge blades, one can utilize every part and corner of it to attack. Most of the weapons from Europe were commonly double edge swords and they were greatly able to take advantage of their weapons abilities and excellence.
The Double Edge Katana
The double edged katana features double edge blades while also featuring two bohis. One of its edges goes all the way to the end of the blades tip while the other reaches up to one-third of the blade. Its combination of the Hi (grooves) and its shape provides an exceptionally functional and lightweight sword, making it easier for the wielder to move and execute attacks with the weapon. Generally, the double edge katana was created specifically to easily cut through light targets while also being fully functional when it comes to tameshigiri. The tough double edged blades will not crack or break due to the intense heat treatment of steel; and because of this, the uniquely-designed double edge katana (that had undergone great handling and superior heat treatment) is excellent for test cutting or tameshigiri.
The Double Edge Katana – Kogarasumaru
Amakuni Yasutsuna is known as one of the legendary swordsmiths who is said to have created the very first single-edged tachi. It featured a special curvature along its edge and it was produced in the year 700 AD in the Yamato province. Amakuni was the head of a group of skilled swordsmiths who were all employed by Japans emperor to create fine weapons for his soldiers. His son, Amakura, was the successor and replacement when it came to handling his work. Unfortunately, there are almost no modern samples of his works; legend states that the double edge katana, the Kogarasumaru, was forged by this amazing swordsmith.
The Kogarasumaru was designed and styled with arched double edge blades that measured approximately sixty-three centimeters in length. One of its blades edges is shaped in the regular tachi style but compared to the tachi, its tip is well-proportioned while both of its edges are sharp. The only unsharpened portion of the blade is about twenty centimeters of its concave edge that is located close to the weapons tsuka. One koshi-hi styled groove goes through the tang to the blades transition point where it eventually becomes double-edged. Due to the hardening method that the weapon has gone through, it yielded a sugaha hamon on both sides of the weapons blade.
Other Double Edge Swords
Another kind of nihonto that features double edge blades is the Ken or Tsurugi; the term is utilized in the West to refer to a certain kind of straight, double-edged Japanese sword that has been utilized in antiquity. The current name of this weapon, which is also considered as one of Japans Three Imperial Regalia, is the Kusanagi no Tsurugi which was originally referred to as the Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi or Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven. In folklore, the weapon depicts the virtue of valor.
The weapon is not really considered as a tanto but it is usually thought of as one. These weapons featured straight, double edge blades that were often utilized for Buddhist rituals; the blades were also commonly offered by swordsmiths whenever they visited a temple. The tsuka of the ken tanto may be created together with a Vajra a double thunderbolt that is connected to Buddhism. The ken, which is a weapon that features a straight, double-edged blade inspired from Chinese weapons, were utilized in Japan from the early third century until the sixth century. At the end of the said period, the weapon was gradually antiquated by the single-edged swords from which all later nihontos were developed.
Advantages of the Double Edge Blades
The double edge blades provide additional versatility to numerous effective cuts, and with the double edge swords, every stance and twisting movement can be altered into an effective thrust or cut without really having to worry about which side is facing the enemy. Weapons such as the double edge katana are more difficult to produce, most especially during the period when pattern-welding steel was still necessary. As a result, the weapon may be weak but despite this, the double edge katana can easily and quickly cut upwards then downward, a big advantage to anyone wielding this type of weapon.
A nihonto is among the several kinds of classically made swords from Japan, and some of these have been produced all the way back from the Kofun period. Generally, the nihontos that were created right after the Heian era were the pieces that featured curves, yet there were other different types of Japanese swords that exhibited various shapes, sizes, as well as the difference in the method of production and field application. Some of the more common and usual kinds of nihontos include the wakizashi, the katana sword, and the tachi. The katana was mostly utilized by the samurais in practice, especially when it came to training in various martial arts. In this day and age, there are still numerous contemporary martial artists who wield a variety of katana for training. Martial arts that require the use of the katana include iaido, iaijutsu, kenjutsu, kendo, battojutsu, and the Tenshin Shouden Katori Shinto Ryu.
Historically, these weapons were among the traditionally made nihontos that were utilized by the ancient samurai warriors during the warring period of Japan. It is depicted by its unique appearance having an arched, single-edged blade with either a squared or circular shaped guard. The weapon also features an extended tsuka to easily accommodate two hands when gripping the sword, and as for the weapons length, this varied throughout the course of history.