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Thread: Reversed Katana - Real or Not?

  1. #1

    Reversed Katana - Real or Not?

    Recently purchased a Sword physically looking like a Katana. However, the edges of the sword are reversed. The blade type is Shinogi Zukuri and the Sori is a typical Tori-sori. But because the Ha and Mune are reversed, I am wondering if this sword is a replica of a "reversed Katana" or was some swordmaker having fun. (The Ha is actually on the concave edge of the Sori). Being a collector of unusual blades, I thought it an interesting weapon.

    If the Sword is actually a replica of one used in Japan, is there a particular difference in the techniques used to cut with it.

    Thanx: sojobow
    sojobow, Reflect on your training but don't spend more time analizing (yeah, I mispelled it on purpose) than training. Takezo (N.K.-M.K.

  2. #2
    The reversed katana or sakabatou is an Anime invention, which appeared in an animated series called Rurouri Kenshin.

    To my knowledge, there is no historical and real comparison.

    It has also been discussed a few times, I believe. Try the search function on this forum, it will provide you with plenty of information on reverse bladed katana or sakabou. I can advice you to use it in the future as most of the questions you have will most likely already be answered a few times.



    There, saved you the trouble: Reversed Katana. Most of these topics were moved to the Fantasy Sword forum. I think that explains enough... Hence there will also be no legitimate Ryu which explains the use of such a 'weapon'.

    Sojobow? I think I have heard that name before.. Can't remember from where.

    Regards,

    Tim.
    Last edited by Tim Geelen; 09-16-2005 at 07:46 AM.

  3. Originally posted by Tim Geelen
    Sojobow? I think I have heard that name before.. Can't remember from where.
    Do a quick google search (or just search on e-budo) and you'll find out quickly. I believe he's with "Dux Ryu" Ninjutsu.

  4. #4
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    It sure looks weird..
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  5. #5
    Originally posted by Erlend Løken
    It sure looks weird..
    Indeed, and quite useless too. I believe the "philosophy' behind that 'weapon' was that the user did not want to kill his opponent, as he wanted to preserve life as much as possible.

    Then why not use a bokuto? Or another weapon? A sword is designed to be cut with. In this case it is nothing more then a steel club, and there are far better designs for that.

    Just another example of Japanese Anime fantasy, I guess. I hope it moves to a very dark & forgotten corner of SFI, as there is no educational value what so ever, except from the fact that it is a fantasy sword..

    e-Budo? Dux Ryu? Oh heavens, now I remember.. Nevertheless, I hope my answer provided some information.

    Regards.

  6. #6
    Originally posted by Tim Geelen
    ..... as there is no educational value what so ever, except from the fact that it is a fantasy sword..

    e-Budo? Dux Ryu? Oh heavens, now I remember.. Nevertheless, I hope my answer provided some information.

    Regards.
    I did find the subjects links very educational. Your philosophy sentence is also somewhat educational. No need to look up "sojobow". Just the name of a Tengu with a "w" added. Greetings form DRN.

    Thanks very much for the links. Having fun with the Sword but I just can't get use to holding a weapon with two hands.
    sojobow, Reflect on your training but don't spend more time analizing (yeah, I mispelled it on purpose) than training. Takezo (N.K.-M.K.

  7. #7
    My pleasure.
    Regards,

    Tim.

    ps: As a side note, I think a fan of the Anime series once commissioned bladesmith Rick Barrett to make a functional reversed katana:

    Rick Barrett's Reversed Katana.
    Last edited by Tim Geelen; 09-20-2005 at 02:41 AM.

  8. #8
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    I really hate reverse blade katana they look really stupid. I think someone said a reverse blade is like have a gun with its barrel pointed towards the shooter.
    A Wise man knows his limits a Great man knows that he has none

  9. #9
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    I think a better analogy to the reverse katana would be the Gunblade weapon from Finaly Fantasy 8. It isn't necessarily dangerous to the wielder, but it is rather useless.

    The only thing that really comes close to it in history as far as I know are tanto with uchi sori called kubukiri. Like so.
    "The truth shall make ye fret."

  10. #10
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    I think sakabatou can´t really be compared to kubikiri tanto. First, ´cause they´re (or better: it´s) only fantasy, so there´s really no need to freak out about them (it). Nobody´s ever freaking out about lightsabers, no?
    Secondly, a kubikiri has its edge on the inner curve for a special purpose, to enhance special cuts. A sakabatou has its edge and spine swapped for another reason: to use the spine to hit the opponent, not the edge, thus not killing him/her(again, bear in mind, its fantasy, no need for logic).
    I think we should just treat the reverse katana as what it is: a classic fantasy sword.

    Cheers, Peter
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  11. #11
    Originally posted by Peter Rieder

    I think we should just treat the reverse katana as what it is: a classic fantasy sword. Cheers, Peter [/B]
    Tim Geelen posted 'I believe the "philosophy' behind that 'weapon' was that the user did not want to kill his opponent, as he wanted to preserve life as much as possible." Allthough I personally don't agree with this philosophy, some people in martial arts, I think, would agree (Aikido practitioners might agree).

    Not being a practitioner of Kendo, and, other than "cutting / slicing" motions, and using physics, would the sakabatou blade actually be stronger against attacks and actually more efficient than a conventional blade?

    It seems that the problem is that we use the phrase "Reverse Blade Katana." Therein lies tha problem - referring the blade to a Katana. Something likened to holding a Katana with the left hand on top - unacceptable, unless the fighter was an ancient Ninja.
    sojobow, Reflect on your training but don't spend more time analizing (yeah, I mispelled it on purpose) than training. Takezo (N.K.-M.K.

  12. #12
    Honestly, the design works, but its not done simply because its not traditional and a style would have to be developed to use it (okay, not really, but most people wouldn't use one unless there was someone to teach them how, and nobody really knows how). I've kept a lookout for one, but I have yet to see any historical reverse bladed Japanese swords, besides kubikiri.

    However, if you check through old topics regarding reverse edged swords, there have been accounts of there being a historical Korean weapon which is dangerously similar in design to a "sakabatou". I thank Mr. Suh for posting what I believe to be one, in this thread:
    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...threadid=56616
    Click on my website to see my gallery of blades that have a recurve. I've also got a gallery of historical Gunblades in there too.
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v405/NinjaNerd321/Gunblades/
    ^_^

  13. #13
    Hrm.. I think the edge of the sword in that picture is on the "normal" side. It's just that the handle is bent in an unusual way (for a dao)... It's like a Tachi.
    Iikka Keranen

  14. #14
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    actually, just 2 let yall kno...... the reverse blade katana was first invented to be a more advanced way for farmers to cut crops.first they used scythes, but the reverse blade can cut more at once, and if turned so the sharp edge is facing outward,is close to the shape of a scythe
    Alistair Corkett

  15. #15
    Originally posted by Joe Thompson

    However, if you check through old topics regarding reverse edged swords, there have been accounts of there being a historical Korean weapon which is dangerously similar in design to a "sakabatou". I thank Mr. Suh for posting what I believe to be one, in this thread:
    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...threadid=56616
    It does have the Shinogi Zukuri blade (not really since the blade is straight). Seems like the ancient Chinese have used just about every shaped blade one can imagine. There is an artical here showing what could be considered a Ninja-To artifact but it was dug up in China. Only difference is that of a metal loop at the base of the Tsuka. (No, I'm not trying to bring up the subject of the Ninja-to. Just that ancient China has some great blade artifacts (sp.l).

    I do agree with you though regarding the point that no one has developed a school for the reverse blade for those interested in its use. The point made by Alistair Corkett regarding the scythe is also interesting. But, we might as well just leave the blade to the works of cartoons.
    sojobow, Reflect on your training but don't spend more time analizing (yeah, I mispelled it on purpose) than training. Takezo (N.K.-M.K.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by J. Padgett
    I think a better analogy to the reverse katana would be the Gunblade weapon from Finaly Fantasy 8. It isn't necessarily dangerous to the wielder, but it is rather useless.

    The only thing that really comes close to it in history as far as I know are tanto with uchi sori called kubukiri. Like so.

    Useless is a rather good word to describe reverse katanas.
    A Wise man knows his limits a Great man knows that he has none

  17. #17
    Originally posted by Brandon D.
    Useless is a rather good word to describe reverse katanas.
    Well, not entirely useless.

    <places tongue in cheek>

    Get out your moto-tool and cut a kaudi in it and call it a "Buff Head Khukuri" and use it for those pesky Water Buffalos that show up every year around Dashain (the Nepalese Oktoberfest)

    Assuming of course that it is a proper alloy and well sharpened.

    Or use it for trimming weeds & small trees.



    <removes tongue from cheek>

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  18. #18
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    Re: Reversed Katana - Real or Not?

    Originally posted by P Warren
    Recently purchased a Sword physically looking like a Katana. However, the edges of the sword are reversed. The blade type is Shinogi Zukuri and the Sori is a typical Tori-sori. But because the Ha and Mune are reversed, I am wondering if this sword is a replica of a "reversed Katana" or was some swordmaker having fun. (The Ha is actually on the concave edge of the Sori). Being a collector of unusual blades, I thought it an interesting weapon.

    If the Sword is actually a replica of one used in Japan, is there a particular difference in the techniques used to cut with it.

    Thanx: sojobow
    This is not a katana but a Korean sword--another historical piece--that appears to have a reverse blade or more accurately a reverse sword point (kalkut or kissaki for those more familiar with Japanese swords). I don't know much about the sword except that it's one owned by Yi Song-gye, or T'aejo, who founded the Choson Dynasty. Originally a general of Koryo Dynasty, he was ordered to invade Liaotung and finish off the remnents of the Mongols but diverted his expeditionary force at the edge of Yalu River, near Sinuiju, and dethroned the last King of Koryo. This ended a very tulmutous period in Korean history when the Korean kingdom was first wrecked by nearly one hundred years of military rule under a Ch'oe Clan, the emergence of large estates ruled by powerful clans with private armies of retainers, the Mongol invasion, and the end of Buddhism as the state religion.

    The sword is at the Doksu Royal Palace Museum. My feeling is that this was a more of a display sword and not a battle sword given the pommel has an elaborate dragon's head carving. Also, the sword does not have a guard (kodungi or tsuba).
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Sam Suh; 09-23-2005 at 09:19 PM.

  19. #19

    Re: Re: Reversed Katana - Real or Not?

    Originally posted by Sam Suh
    <snip> My feeling is that this was a more of a display sword and not a battle sword given the pommel has an elaborate dragon's head carving. Also, the sword does not have a guard (kodungi or tsuba).
    Coming soon to a Korean Swordstore and Finest Kind Theatre:
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  20. #20
    Thank you for the pic Mr. Suh. However, the lack of guard and exquisitely ornamented handle don't mean it wasn't a battle sword. Why the dhas and whatnot that were popular in all the surrounding countries didn't have them, and Japanese handachi were often with hilts carved look like dragons and such.
    Click on my website to see my gallery of blades that have a recurve. I've also got a gallery of historical Gunblades in there too.
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v405/NinjaNerd321/Gunblades/
    ^_^

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Joe Thompson
    Thank you for the pic Mr. Suh. However, the lack of guard and exquisitely ornamented handle don't mean it wasn't a battle sword. Why the dhas and whatnot that were popular in all the surrounding countries didn't have them, and Japanese handachi were often with hilts carved look like dragons and such.
    Good points. However, I was only pointing out that this sword did not have a guard as it was designed which is a separate point from my personal "feeling" that the sword with such an elaborate decoration would have been treasured. While some Korean swords, especially the ones from the Samguk Period (the Three Kingdoms Period) have beautiful gilt bronze fittings and gold wires on battle swords, later period swords appear to be more practical in decoration. Another basis of my guess about the sword which I did not discuss earlier post is that similarly elaborate swords (five I believe) that Adm Yi Sun-shin received from the Chinese emperor (Ming Dynasty) for defeating Japanese naval forces were never used and served as "presentation swords" if I could use them term. Here's a picture I took of one of the swords (top) that Adm Yi received which looks similar to the one that I posted earlier attributed to Gen Yi Song-gye. Again just a personal conjecture here and nothing more.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  22. #22
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    You know if Kenshin didn't want to kill his enemies he should have just used a bokken.

    Actually come to think of it that could still be deadly. Didn't Musashi once kill someone with a bokken? Maybe Kenshin should have used a shinai.
    "The truth shall make ye fret."

  23. #23
    Yeah, but that's like telling Vash the Stampede to use a wooden gun.

    And thanks for the pics Sam, Korean swords are very interesting, but info on them is scarce.
    Click on my website to see my gallery of blades that have a recurve. I've also got a gallery of historical Gunblades in there too.
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v405/NinjaNerd321/Gunblades/
    ^_^

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by J. Padgett
    You know if Kenshin didn't want to kill his enemies he should have just used a bokken.

    Actually come to think of it that could still be deadly. Didn't Musashi once kill someone with a bokken? Maybe Kenshin should have used a shinai.
    I think musashi killed more then one person with a bokken, but i think he might have used his shoto sometimes, and also, ive seen alot of rurouni kenshin and i dont think he could have used a bokken lol, if it were more realistic and he was that skilled then maybe, but since they pretty much tear the earth up and cut through anything they want with swords i doubt a wooden sword would be suitible to protect others against super strong oponents, infact he broke his first sakabatou in the series, then he had to get the Shin-uchi, just another sakabatou made by the same smith.

    Basicly he cant use a bokken on strong opponents..... unless he wants to die.
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    actually he used a sharpened boat oar
    Alistair Corkett

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