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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:42 pm
I know I know, beyond the parameters of this forum.

But this is only an informational post to the effect that many fine small format books of the Men At Arms Series are available regarding the Samurai.

WE al know how difficult it is to distill the details from general historical texts, but in this case Osprey will do it for you.

If anyone else wishes to start threads on the Samurai and Samurai Culture I think it would be OK to start one here insofar as none of the other forums, I think, discuss warfare, tactics, arms and armor etc..

If I am wrong in this I will happily stand corrected.

Just an offer of a forum to open discussions on the Samurai as I am intersted in this area of scholarship---however, I will not start threads on the subject unless it appears to be acceptable to GEM and the other Forum Writers.

I do have a small library on the Samurai (real small) but given the fact that, my library contains more volumes on Eastern Martial Arts than the BPL did at the time of my last visit (10 for the BPL). Of course my visit was some time ago., small may be a relative matter. Also, I know way too little about the Samurai to write authoritatively on the matter without considerable research.

Again, posting here on the Samurai is ok with me but any wishing to write on the subject should consider the content of other forums and the feelings of other moderators please.

My comments and posts on war in the east are loosely limited to those areas where the militaries and or military theory East and West have blended or are in conflict.

An example of this might be the Opium Wars and the Tai Tung (sp) rebellion in China led by a Chinese convert to Christianity named Heung Tshwai Tshwuan (sp) the deadliest civil war ever fought. (twenty million perished, as a conservative estimate, in this war.

The Manchus triumphed ultimately in large part due to the organization and campaigns of "The Ever Victorius Army(s)' conducted by "Chinese" (Khartoum) Gordon.

The Arms and tactics of the Mongols might be just such a 'crossover' area for discussion due to the impact and occupation of large areas of 'the West' by Temujin and Subotai.

But, use your own judgement and/or let me know.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:33 am
by f.Channell
Hi John,

I spend a lot of time swinging a Katana lately. More interested in technique and the weapons themselves than Samurai in warfare.

I have discovered quite a bit, although just the tip of the iceberg.

I just visited the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury yesterday and was surprised to see two Katana and a Wakizashi. Also a childs full samurai armor in their collection. also tsuba, and Netsuke carvings. what a pleasant surprise. Also the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has a fantastic collection.

One point which may be of interest is how the original samurai swords were roughly 4' long and were suspended blade down and were meant to be swung from horseback primarily. Later in the 1500's or 1600's if memory serves they were shortened to be more useful in everyday use.

It was at this time sword style and techniques were changed for the new blade size.

Excellent reading is to be found in Draegers book on Iaido.

And here's one to drool over. $14,000 and it's all yours.



PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:56 pm
by gmattson
Its your forum.... you can write about anything you wish to write about. I am interested in all your topics although not qualified to write about most of the subjects. So.... have fun and so will your readers.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:51 pm
Hi Gem and Hello Fred:

Well, I am far from knowing enough on the Samurai to write about them, and I wished to offend no one.

Perhaps I can do some research and get some more books and give it a shot.

The worst that can happen is that I will be corrected.

Hugh does this to me all the time on matters concerning the Roman Military.

Fred, a question, is/was the older and longer design katana referred to as a "Daito"???

Just trying to visualize what you are saying.

I do recommend the swords from Hanwei/Paul Chen as being well made and offering a lot of bang for the buck.

I think I mentioned that my student busted off the plastic 'tsuka' from my Hanwei "practical Katana". (Hanwei also makes a Practical 'gim' and "Bud 'K" makes a copy of this)

He did not have a source for "ray" or sharkskin at the time. We replaced the Tsuba. He hand fashioned a new Tsuka from Poplar, covered that with a leather 'stippled' wrap, which looks ok.

He fashioned a 'jig' from instructions on the Web and is about the only person I know right now, close to hand, who can rewrap a Tsuka properly.

i will post a picture of the "battle ready" Gim I have as the Damascene/foldied forging is not polished out and can be seen and studied readily.

The 'fittings' are hardwood and Bronze as opposed to Soft wood and brass.

By the Way, do you know where the phrase "froze the balls off a brass monkey' originated.

It's not what you think---ha!!!

It stems from the days of the wooden warship.

I have not yet master Master Heung's "Gim" form--but hope springs eternal.



PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:14 am
by f.Channell
Daito is when you are wearing two swords, a long and a short.

The long sword was a tachi and was worn blade down and used on horseback. Many of them were shortened for use as Katana around 1600.

Hanwei just raised their prices 15% on their swords. One reason for me to have one would be for cutting. The other reason would be to own one as art or an investment to appreciate. Frankly the Japanese swords are better investments, if one purchases wisely. I still don't know enough about them to do this. Forgeries galor out there.

I more than likely will need another Iaito in a year, so I'm saving for one of those.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:00 am
by f.Channell
Sorry John,
Daisho is the wearing of two swords.

Daito refers to any sword longer than 2.0 shaku.

A Katana and the Tachi fall under this name.



PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:16 pm

That you for clarifying this for me.

Sometimes details immediately apparent and easily recalled facts can be recalled by excellent students in the Arts, such as yourself.

So, so glad for your continuing support and education.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:47 am
by f.Channell
A shaku is roughly a foot.

Non samurai were allowed to wear swords shorter than the 2.0 shaku, most wakizashi for instance. Higher members of society, not peasants.

Wearing the daito, and later the daisho, became the special entitlement of the Samurai.