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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

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PostPosted: Tue 10 Apr, 2007 8:33 pm    Post subject: Drawing the no-dachi?         Reply with quote

Can anybody here help me to find sources regarding how the users of the no-dachi (I've also seen it referred to as the choken) would draw their swords? Mitsuo Kure's book on the samurai mentions that the sword is too long to be drawn without the help of an attendant, but he doesn't mention specifically where he got this statement from so I'd be grateful for a reference to a primary source on this matter (or a translated quotation from one)--or maybe a statement by a koryu practitioner?
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Gabriel Lebec
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Location: NY, NY
Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Reading list: 32 books

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PostPosted: Tue 10 Apr, 2007 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't know if you've seen these, but I'd suggest checking them out:
http://japantrip.tripod.com/nodachi/nodachi.html
http://www.hyoho.com/
http://www.koryu.com/library/chyakutake1.html
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...=nodachi),

I don't really believe that any of the nodachi long enough to require more than a single person to draw were ever used in battle. Remember that most nodachi, especially most extremely long nodachi, were not really for practical use. I'm also a little skeptical of the statement that an attendant was required, since I've never heard this from any modern Japanese source or heard any reference to period literature or illustrations of this idea.

The question of how a usable nodachi (that was actually put into combat) was drawn is really a matter of how it was worn. The nodachi that I've seen with saya have all been relatively shorter examples. We have period illustrations showing nodachi wrapped in temporary scabbards of paper and slung on the back for purely transportational purposes; it is reasonable to assume that longer combat nodachi might would have been carried this way, and that drawing the sword was a simple process of removing the paper before a battle (not during).

I'm not really offering anything definite here though, and primary sources would be a great help in this respect.

Cheers,
GLL
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr, 2007 1:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm quite familiar with Colin Hyakutake's article, and as a matter of fact I'm thinking of writing to him with the specific question of how the no-dachi was drawn. But I'm lazy so I'm postponing it for as long as possible. Wink

My inquiry actually has nothing to do with the practicality of a no-dachi on the battlefield, since I'm curious about whether there is any primary evidence at all of a method for drawing a sheathed nodachi. BTW, you speak to period illustrations of no-dachi being carried in temporary paper scabbards--can you refer me to them? Or if not, may I impose upon you for a more complete description of these illustrations, especially the situation implied in their setting?
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Gabriel Lebec
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Location: NY, NY
Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Reading list: 32 books

Posts: 419

PostPosted: Wed 11 Apr, 2007 5:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unfortunately no, as I never seem to save anything or collect reference material. Blush But I'm 95% sure I've seen a painting or woodcut somewhere of a nodachi wrapped in a paper scabbard.

Sorry I'm not of much help here. Mr. Hyakutake will likely have much better information for you.
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