Original 17th Century Edo Period Japanese Naginata Polearm with Handmade Blade and Scabbard - 9 ft. Long

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The naginata (なぎなた, 薙刀) is a pole weapon and one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades (nihontō). Naginata were originally used by the samurai class of feudal Japan, as well as by ashigaru (foot soldiers) and sōhei (warrior monks). The naginata is the iconic weapon of the onna-bugeisha, a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese nobility. Naginata for fighting men and warrior monks were ō-naginata. The kind used by women was called ko-naginata.

This example dates from the early Edo period (江戸時代, Edo jidai) or Tokugawa period (徳川時代, Tokugawa jidai) of Japanese history. This is the period between 1603 and 1867, when Japan was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyo. There are many maruni chigai takanoha (丸に違鷹羽) Mon on the Naginata, both on the Saya (Scabbard) and on the Ebu (staff). The crossed hawk feathers are associated with several famous clans, specially the Asano clan.

The naginata measures 96” in overall length with an 80” long shaft (Ebu), so this example was almost certainly used for castle defense. Such a long polearm would usually be considered a disadvantage in the open field, though anything is possible. It has a typical design large wooden saya (scabbard). 

The blade has the following period correct features:

- Folded steel blade (fold lines are evident on the spine and body of the blade)
- hole in the tang is punched and not drilled
- Signature on the tang
- Blade wounds (kizu) or lamination artifacts are present on the blade. Both ware (lamination lines) and fukure (carbon pits) are visible.

The Blade of this example is 16 1/4" long, from the tip (kissaki) to the back notch (mune-machi), and the overall length including the tang is 28 3/8“. The tang is unsigned 無名 (mumei), or "anonymous". The blade has unfortunately saw much use and cleaning since the last polish, so the hamon is not visible. It has some staining, and removed light pitting, however the edge is still good. The tang is of the regular naginata style, with a Iriyamagata (asymmetrical pointed) nakago-jiri.

The fittings of the naginata are fairly typical, with a long pole (ebu) that has some semegane (rings) around it to help hold it. It has a fuchi at the end that holds the blade, which has a brass habaki around the end. The other end of the pole arm is missing bottom fitting (ishizuki), but has a small metal tip still intact. There is a single pin (mekugi), though it is definitely a replacement.

A nice early 17th century Japanese Naginata Polearm, ready to display, if you have the room!

Blade Length: 16 1/4" Edge - 28 3/8“ Overall
Overall length: 96“ (8 ft.)
Pole Length: 80"
Scabbard Dimensions: 19” x 6”

NOTE: Will be shipped with the blade removed from the staff. It is too long to ship otherwise.

It has been over one thousand years ago that the art of making swords appeared in Japan. The swordsmiths of the time may not have known it but they were creating a legendary sword. The Samurai sword has seen combat in many battlefields. From the early days of the Samurai warrior to the fierce battles in the South Pacific during WWII.

Each hand-made Japanese blade (日本刀 - Nihonto) is unique because it is forged from multiple pieces of folded steel stock. A tremendous amount of work is dedicated to creating these pieces. They were an instrument of war as much as a beautiful artifact to adorn a room.

The traditional Japanese blade and mountings have grown to be one of the most highly desired military antiques.

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