The Naginata is one of the several traditionally made Japanese weapons that appear in the form of a polearm; it was originally utilized by the samurai warriors during the warring period of Japan, as well as the sohei (warrior monks) and the ashigaru (foot soldiers). If one asks what is Naginata, it is basically the iconic weapon utilized by the onna bugeisha archetype known as a female warrior who is part of the Japanese nobility.
Naginatas that were utilized by warrior monks and samurai were called the O-naginata, while the type that was by women were called the Ko-naginata; since these weapons were much heavier due to its pole, it was also considered slower compared to the traditional samurai sword. When comparing the blades of these two weapons, the one of the Ko-Naginata is smaller compared to the O-Naginata of the male warrior; this is to compensate for the diminished upper body strength and height of a female compared to a samurai male in armor.
Parts of the Naginata
A Naginata is made up of a pole that is sometimes made out of wood or metal; it has an arched single-edged blade on its end which is somewhat similar to the Glaive of the Europeans or the Guan Dao of the Chinese. Just like the Katana, this weapon usually features a rounded tsuba which is right between the shaft and the blade when it is fastened onto the koshirae.
This weapons blade is about thirty to sixty centimeters in length and it is forged just like how the traditional Japanese swords are created; the blade features a nakago (a long tang) that is inserted perfectly right into the shaft. Interestingly, the blade of the Naginata is removable but is tightly secured with the use of a Mekugi (a wooden peg) which goes through the Mekugi-ana in both of the shaft and the tang. When it comes to the shaft, its size ranges from a hundred and twenty centimeters to two hundred forty centimeters in length and also features an oval shape. The shafts area where the tang is positioned is called the tachiuke or the tachiuchi, and these are commonly reinforced with the Naginata dogane or the semegane both known to be metal rings; if not, the tachiuchi can also be reinforced with the sakawa then wrapped with the san-dan maki. When the blade is not being used, it should be kept and covered with a quality-made wooden saya.
Naginata The Martial Art
Aside from being a weapon, Naginata is also the name of the traditional Japanese martial art that exhibits both grace and power, and it also teaches practitioners how to utilize sword-like weapons that are similar to the European Halberd or Glaive. Originally, the Naginata appeared as a short sword that was fixed on a long staff or pole and was first utilized as a weapon for battle, then eventually, it was used by samurai women of the Edo period for self-defense, as well as self-development.
Today, a lot of Naginata practitioners in Japan are still females, yet in other countries, most of the practitioners who study the art are men. Naginata can be enjoyed greatly by everyone, as long as they are individuals who are interested in competitive fighting or in the art and beauty of practiced and choreographed motions which is called the Kata. Practicing this traditional form of martial art aids a person when it comes to mental and physical discipline, elegance, grace, and also their awareness of the self, as well as others.
Naginatajutsu is also a form of martial arts just like Jujitsu and Kendo; however, Naginatajutsu makes use of weapons during practice. There are certain styles in Jujitsu that also make use of the Naginata during practice, but the higher dan black belts are those who make use of these. Naginatajutsu is simply called Naginata today, and engaging in the martial art requires the practitioner to always wear protective which is called the Bogu.
After the Second World War, all martial arts were banned in Japan, yet in 1950, the ban was lifted and a contemporary type of Naginata training was created and this was called the Atarashii Naginata, which literally translates to new Naginata. Since then, the martial art has been practiced by a lot of people as a sport that primarily focuses on etiquette and discipline instead of battling and military training.
Naginata for Sale
For anyone who wishes to purchase the Naginata weapon for their growing collection of blades, it is best to remember that the naginata for sale that is available online are simply imitations of the original weapon. Specifically, these Naginata imitations also feature shorter and rounded shafts with blades that are much shorter than the original Naginata blades; additionally, these have sections that can be screwed together which is generally the most common way to determine if the weapon is an imitation or the authentic one.
Additionally, one should also remember that not all of these imitations are made from high-quality materials, so for those who are searching for the best Naginata for sale, they should thoroughly inspect and do some research on the weapon producers to see if the materials that they utilize to create their weapons are of high-quality standards.