Kodachi Sword – Short Samurai Sword

Name:  Kodachi sword
Blade Length: Less than 60 cm
Handle Length: 23.45 cm
Weight: .45 to.90 kg
Used By: Samurai Class of Feudal Japan
Function: Companion sword for tachi; sword for adolescent
Place of Origin: Japan
Date Produced: Early Kamakura period

History and Origins of the Kodachi Sword

The Kodachi Sword was Produced only in certain time period by specific schools of sword makers, the use of Kodachi is unknown. Some say that this Samurai Kodachi was use as a companion sword for tachi. It is its resemblance to the shape of tachi that made them think this way. Japanese Kodachi sword is mounted in tachi style with a length of less than 60 cm. It is said to be a fusion of ninja and samurai sword styles but, has a style that is uniquely its own.  Kodachi when translated means short tachi or small tachi. Simply put, Kodachi sword is too short to be classified as long sword but, is long enough to be considered a short sword. Because of its size, merchants favor wearing these Kodachi swords. The Kodachi may be used after a Tachi is compromised in battle. It was said to be used by the samurai for seppuku. In comparison to a Katana both of these swords is wrapped with a nylon cord. Each uses a unique symbol on the handle. Both of these have blades that are forged with carbon steel and have a serrated design. This design is what gives this sword its high endurance and maximum durability. These are swords for a set of samurai lovers.

Kodachi vs Wakizashi

It is not just the tachi that this sword was compared to. The length of the Kodachi sword is similar to that of a wakizashi. Their blades are constructed differently as well. This sword has a set length while the wakizashi was forged to complement the height of whoever uses this sword.  The size and technique use are the same for both of these swords. Some say that these swords are the same however; facts show that they are different from each other.  Swords like this have different length. Some of these have the same size as that of the wakizashi while others has the same blade length as that of the tanto. Some experts say that the glaring difference between these two swords is that this sword can be used with a single hand because of its short tsuka. Both are popular as civilian weapons because they follow the Tokugawa length requirements and regulations. Because of their sizes it was easy to hid them even when carried.

Kodachi vs Tanto

In terms of length, Normally Tanto is shorter than Kodachi sword. Tanto is more of a dagger. Small Tanto were used by women as a form of self-defense. During war time women in Japan defend their home by using such blades like naginata. These were dangerous blades and it would be suicidal to invade homes. the Kodachi offered more reach than the tanto, and not much effort required to wield it.

Jutsu and Short Sword Techniques

Certain techniques were design to teach proper sword usage. The Jutsu technique of the Kukishinden Ryu Happo Biken. The short sword was primarily used as a secondary weapon. It was used for fighting indoors or as a main weapon. Martial arts teach not just the use of the sword but, teach grappling techniques like those found in jujutsu ryuha. Some fighting methods originate from Kenjutsu. This technique is referred to as nitoken. Nitoken teaches the use of two swords. This gives fighters the idea that they can use more than one sword when fighting. The technique is to use a long and short sword. The short sword is used to parry an opponent’s sword while he uses his long sword to attack. With the use of two swords, there are lot of possibilities in terms of defense and offense.

Kodachi in Fiction

These facts although fiction in nature will give people a view about its rich history.  In fiction and anime these swords were given names. Some known characters in manga use this sword. Some of the swords made for those featured in fiction have a single customized scabbard that resembles that of an odachi when sheathed. Characters in such movie as Twilight Samurai use this sword and techniques to the fullest advantage. This sword is also used for video games and to empower heroes. With such interest in this sword this will not go down in history forgotten.

Kodachi Sword Today

There are some makers of swords in the market that have created the first and most accurate fully functional version. The modern version of Kodachi was based on an anime or manga. When these swords are in their saya, they appear to be part of a single sheathed sword. This has a regular katana handle with fittings and fully wrapped. The difference between this two is on its size and use. These Kodachi swords are battle ready. Some experts refer to Kodachi as a sleeping samurai sword used as a shield. This sword can be used for hand to hand combat to attack. Its length does not exceed that of its non-samurai counterpart during the Edo period.

There are variables at play on how this sword is made. This will depend on the position and status of the sword owner. Collectors of today who are looking for unique swords can still find makers that can recreate this sword. There are times that the price is considered to be that expensive however, the customized product is a work of art. Depending on the customers’ order there are good quality mounts that are traditionally inspired. It also comes with a lively and special forge mokume hada.  Customized means owners can choose specific blades and length for this blade. This can be a good weapon to add to any serious sword collectors’ arsenal.