Japanese Weapons

From Past to Present

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The Epitome of Fame: The Katana

The Katana is arguably the best known sword across America. Whenever you search up "sword," the Katana will be one of the first results. Not only is the Katana one of the best-known swords in the world; it is also one of the best swords in history, as you will learn from books and informative sites like this. The katana is a light sword and can be wielded easily. The handle is long, designed for a two hand grip, although you could use one hand. The blade is hand-forged and is definitely one of the strongest blades around, due to the Japanese sword making technique. The blade is layered over 1,000 times. The sword smith will make thin layers of metal that continue to overlap until they have 1000+ layers. The Katana is also one of the sharpest blades in the world. There is a tale that, in the midst of battle, one samurai's sword was so sharp he cut a man in half from top to bottom. The man continued to walk for 7 or so paces before falling in half. The katana is, no doubt, a truly amazing sword. The katana is indefinitely among the brightest and greatest swords in history.
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To Share the Fame: Tachi and Wakizashi Sword

The Tachi and Wakizashi are different versions of Japanese swords, along with the Katana. The Tachi/Wakizashi were shorter than the Katana, the Wakizashi being the smallest among them. These swords were often paired with the Katana in battle, Japanese style. This was called "Daisho." Both of these swords shared common characteristics with the Katana. They were made of hard steel, yet were very light and very sharp. These swords could be used as a backup sword when a Samurai lost his Katana in battle. A Samurai could also wield the Katana in one hand, and a Tachi/Wakizashi in the other, although this was not as common. The most common use for these smaller swords was to mutilate.desecrate the dead, which is not exactly appealing, but true. These swords may not have the same fame as the Katana, but were just as good.
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A Bow You Should Watch Out For: The Yumi

The Yumi; A powerful and formidable bow. This was the same bow that Japanese carried into combat every day. They were usually used on horseback while riding. This took deadly accuracy and a lot of practice. This was a giant, wooden bow, designed for use from horseback. It is larger than most Samurai. Samurai's preferred to put their hands on the lower part of the bow. This gave an edge to the bow's power; how, no one really knows. The skill of using one of these bows was considered more important than learning how to use the Katana! This bow is usually over 66 inches, or 5 1/2 feet. This is another important Samurai weapon, although, like the Tachi and Wakizashi, it is not exactly famous.
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A Weapon of the Dark Arts: The Shuriken

The Shuriken is another famous Japanese weapon. This was a star shaped throwing blade used by the Ninja themselves. The Ninja's were assassins, hired to kill. Unfortunately, most were killed battling the Samurai. The Shuriken was a very important Ninja Weapon. The Shuriken was used because it was much easier to use than the Ninja throwing knife. At this time, Shurikens are very common. Most people know what a Shuriken is. They even have origami Shurikens. The art of using one of these is called shurikenjutsu, although it was not a required skill at the time. However, it was important to the Ninja. This could be used for throwing, slashing, or stabbing. The Ninja used it to kill quietly, as that is what their job required them to do. The Shuriken is no doubt a very important weapon, and would be any ancient assassin's choice. Unlike the Tachi, Wakizashi, and Yumi, this is a well known weapon.
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The Beginning of the Gun: The Japanese Matchlock

A matchlock is a gun in which squeezing the trigger fires priming powder, which sets off the main gunpowder charge, launching the bullet/minnie ball. The Japanese had been exposed to gunpowder since around the 13th century, yet continued to use swords and bows. However, there were Samurai rocket launchers and such. Then in the late 1500s, a group of Portuguese sailors. The Japanese welcomed them, and learned of guns. Even when the Japanese had their matchlocks, they were behind Europe. However, Japan began advancing quickly through guns. This eventually led to the end of the Samurai. It was bound to happen, but it did not happen until guns were used. This was the beginning of a new era.
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The Gun That Took 3 Million: The Arisaka Japanese Rifle

The Japanese advanced quickly through technology. Japan participated in WWI, and fought a war against Russia before they invaded China in 1937. 2 Years later, Germany invaded Poland. This led France and Britain to declare war on Germany. Meanwhile, Japan took Hong Kong, British territory, and advanced quickly through Asia, fighting the British and the Australians. Then, it happened. In 1941, December 7th, Japan attacked a U.S. base in Hawaii, damaging most of the U.S. fleet. they quickly advanced through U.S. held islands. The Japanese Arisaka was the standard issue Japanese rifle during WWII. It was a bolt-action rifle with a 5 round magazine. Unfortunately, it fell behind the new U.S. M1 Garand which was a semi automatic rifle with an 8 round magazine. The Arisaka is once again one of the Japanese weapons that is not recognized for its fame, even though it played such a giant part in history. It was truly a historic weapon.
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The Metal Monster: The Chi Ha Japanese Tank

This tank was used during WWII in combat. Japan had some of the most advanced tanks in WWII. The Chi Ha was commonly used in combat by the Japanese during WWII. It was a Medium tank. The engine of this tank was a diesel with 170 horsepower, a V12. The gun was a 47mm which replaced the earlier 57mm gun. This tank was produced by Mitsibishu. Unfortunately for this tank, it was below the average Allied tank. For example, it would not be able to survive against a T-43 Russian tank. The American Sherman was not much better or worse than this tank. The newer 47mm came into production during 1942. This led to better and better tanks, until today, where we have the Japanese Type 10. As it was meant to be, Japan lost WWII, with its cities destroyed, bombed to a pulp by America, us. Total Japanese losses amounted to almost 3 Million, with almost 400,000 being civilians, where as we lost 6 people on the continent. Six people to 400,00. There is no comparison. We should be glad that such weapons and such a war shall not happen ever again.
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A New Age: Conclusion of Japanese Weapons

We have investigated Japan thoroughly, looking at the most important weapons in Japanese History. Japan has developed fast, regardless of starting far later than most countries. Japan currently has one of the best militaries in the world. They have invented the best trains, cars, computers, planes, etc. Examples of this are the bullet train, ASIMOTO robot, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Acura, etc. Japan has contributed to the world in ways we can barely imagine. Japan has given the world a glimpse of what is to come, a look at the future. Still, Japan advances in military technology. Very few nations can compete with them. A new version of the Arisaka came out as well, and is used by the Japanese military. Japan is now a U.S. ally, and a great one. Japan is truly one of the brightest nations of them all, with a rich, unmatched history.
Real Samurai Sword Technique - Cutting BB Gun pellet by Isao Machii - Japanese Katana Kenjutsu
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Japanese Weapons Presentation

Japan has a long and rich history. This beautiful history includes the many Japanese weapons that were used in many a fight. This includes WWII. Japan's most famous weapon by far is the Katana. It is the most recognized sword, and no one can/would argue with this unless they did not know much when it comes to swords. The katana is among the sharpest, and probably one of the strongest swords in the world. Commonly paired up with the Katana is the Wakizashi or Tachi. These swords share the beautiful characteristics of the katana; both are sharp and strong/light. Many Samurai also learned how to use a Yumi bow. This was a giant bow used by Samurai. Mastering the Yumi was considered greater than mastering the Katana. It was usually used from horseback. Over time, people called Ninjas came about. They were assassins, trained to kill. One of their common throwing weapons was the Shuriken/throwing star. This was easy to use, and, in the right hands, could be used to slash, stab, or throw. This was a weapon designed to kill silently. For a long period of time, Japan continued to use such weapons, even though they had been exposed to gunpowder. Then, in the late 1500s, a group of Portugese sailors from Europe showed the Japanese the English matchlock gun. Odu Nounaga was the first Japanese commander to have his men use guns. This proved to be very successful, and so, Japan learned of the gun. Time passed, and Japan advanced in weapons. They participated in WWI, which ended in 1918. Then, in 1939, WWII started. Japan invaded China in 1937. The Japanese standard rifle was the Arisaka. Japan also began using tanks. One of their main tanks was the Chi Ha. However, Japan never did get as far into tank technology as many other places during the war. Anyways, Japan's real problems in WWII started December 7th, 1941, when they attacked Hawaii. America pushed the Japanese back from the Philippines, Guadalcanal, etc. Soon, we began moving in on enemy land, like Peleliu and Iwo Jima, both very costly battles. After taking Okinawa, we dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. The next one was dropped on Nagaski. The loss of life was devastating, with Japan burned to ruin, incinerated, destroyed. Japan lost almost 400,000 civilians, while we lost 6 civilians on the continent. Six to 400,00. There is no comparison. Anyways, Japan is now one of, if not the most, advanced nation in the world. It has the most populous city in the world, Tokyo. It has made the Asimoto robot, one of a kind. It is the founder of Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Acura, Mitsubishi, etc. They have advanced greatly in military, as you can see in the picture above. Japan is a truly amazing place with a great history that I dare say is unmatched.
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What They Affected: Connection of Weapons to Japan

We have now gone over many key weapons to Japan, but now, we need to know why these weapons were so important. I will start with the Katan. What made the Katana so great/important to Japan was not only that it was one of the strongest and sharpest blades in the world, but because of its purpose. Japan had been experimenting with swords for a while, slowly advancing until they reached the Katana. This was the last sword, as the Katana was the best sword you could possibly have. It was a warrior's weapon, and caused devastation in the hands of the right warrior. The Katana forging technique is still used today for metals. It has really affected the world in this way. The Tachi and Wakizashi have taught many of the same lessons. They symbolized honor, as they were used to inflict an "honorable" suicide. The Yumi affected Japan as it provided Samurai a way to slice through their enemies' armor without putting themselves in harms way. This was comparable to the European Longbow. The Shuriken affected Japan, as it marked the start of Ninjas and assassination. This weapon was easy to use and effective in nearly everyone's hands. Moving on, the matchlock affected Japan greatly, as it granted Japan the power of guns, which probably allowed Japan to join WWII. The Arisaka led to 6 Million deaths, 3 Million Japanese deaths, and 3 Million Other deaths. This impacted Japan, as it lead to the destruction of Hiroshima, Nagaski, and Tokyo, etc. The Chi-Ha was much the same, leading to the same destruction and suffering that stayed in effect for an extremely long time. Now, I believe we can conclude this topic happily.
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The End: There Will Always Be One