What is japanese Wakizashi ?
Katana is not the only world-renowned sword that originated in Japan. Another sword that is usually associated with Japanese history is Wakizashi. As shown in the photo here, it has a design similar to a samurai sword, including a curved single-edged blade. However, wakizashi is a completely unique sword with some major differences from the katana.
Description of Wakizashi
Wakizashi is a small "mate" sword with a curved single-edged blade. According to Wikipedia, the average blade length of wakizashi is usually 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm). Therefore, it is shorter and smaller than its katana.
The wakizashi is not only smaller than the katana; it also has a different cross section. Japanese swordsmiths often make Wakizashi with a narrower cross-section, making it a sharper and more lethal weapon. However, the disadvantage of this cross-section is that it increases the wear of the blade. The samurai who carries and uses wakizashi must maintain the blade by sharpening the sword with a stone regularly.
Why do samurai carry Wakizashi
You may wonder why Japanese samurai carry wakizashi. After all, the katana is undoubtedly a powerful weapon, even stronger than Wakizashi. Well, samurai usually carry katana or similar long swords, but they also need to carry smaller "companion" swords. In feudal Japan, there was a law requiring samurai to carry two types of swords, long swords and short swords. Therefore, in addition to katana, samurai usually also carry Wakizashi.
History of Wakizashi
Wakizashi is believed to have originated in Japan in the 15th or 16th century. Of course, this was the feudal period of Japan, when powerful warlords and their families, known as shoguns, ruled this land.
Over the next few years, Kosashi became more popular, partly because non-samurai citizens could use it. The law restricts members of the samurai class from using long swords. However, because the blade of Wakizashi is relatively short, it can be owned and carried by merchants and other citizens of the Tennin class. It is not uncommon for chonin to carry wakizashi when traveling. If you encounter a robber, you can use a short sword to defend yourself.