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Weapon type: sword
Use: Weapon, traditional weapon
Creation time: approx. 12th century
Working time: until now
Region of origin /
Japan , samurai
Distribution: Japan , today worldwide
Blade length: approx. 75 cm, variable
Handle: Wood, metal, fish skin, silk
Lists on the subject

The Tachi [ tatɕi ] ( Japanese ) is a long Japanese sword with a saber-like blade.

In ancient times , the Chokutō - single-edged, straight swords - used up to the Nara period (8th century) were also called tachi , but were written 大刀 , in contrast to the later curved tachi from the Heian period , which are written 太 刀 .

It is more curved and usually a little longer than the better-known katana (the blade length was usually over 2.5 shaku , i.e. more than 75 cm; the tsuka , the sword handle, was often longer and more curved ). The tachi was not pushed under the obi (fabric belt) like a katana with the cutting edge pointing upwards, but carried on the hip in a weir hanger , with the cutting edge pointing downwards. This is also evident from the placement of the swordsmith's signature ( mei ). This is usually on the side facing away from the wearer and is therefore different for katana and tachi (then also referred to as tachi mei). To protect against damage from armor, the sheath of the Tachi was often wrapped around.

This weapon was not only the early predecessor of the katana , but was also later used alongside the katana . First and foremost, the Tachi was the cavalry's preferred cutting weapon due to its greater range . The samurai wore the katana as part of civilian clothing, while the tachi when they appeared in full armor . As a second weapon, a tantō or aikuchi (a combat knife) was usually worn with the tachi , instead of the short sword belonging to the katana , called wakizashi . In addition, the mostly elaborately decorated Tachi found its place as a ceremonial pompous weapon at the side of daimyo (princes) and officials of the imperial court.

Later models of the Tachi were similar in shape and length to the katana and often only differed from it in the more splendidly processed saya (sword scabbard) and the different way of carrying it. Variants of the Tachi are the shorter, a Wakizashi similar Kodachi and the excessively long, mostly as ceremonial sword used Odachi . The longest Ōdachi still in existence today probably dates from the 15th century and has a total length of 3.77 meters (2.26 meters blade length).

See also

Individual evidence

  1. 太 刀 ・ 大刀 . In: Daijisen at kotobank.jp. Retrieved July 22, 2015 (Japanese).
  2. Kōkan Nagayama: The connoisseur's book of Japanese swords. Kodansha international, 1997, ISBN 4-7700-2071-6 , p. 71 ff.