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Thread: WWII da dao

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Queensland, Australia

    WWII da dao

    Hi there,

    I am an Australian currently in China trying to put together a research proposal for PhD work on Chinese military history. I am hoping someone can help me with a few queries I have regarding use of the 'broadsword' (da dao) by Chinese forces during WWII.

    1. Firstly, does anybody know if has anything been published regarding the military use of the 'dadao' 大刀 during the 1900's (i.e. war against Japan, communist/nationalist struggles). If so, would you be kind enough to pass along any bibliographical details you have. Anything you have regarding primary sources would also be of great benefit.

    2. Also anything people know about the Japanese military swords during the same period would also be great.

    Thank you any help you can provide would be extremely appreciated.


    Douglas Eacersall....

  2. #2

    Thats an intersting set of questions and I would like to hear what others have to say. I mostly collect kukris myself, but recently I have become interested in the dadao as well. The only article I am aware of is:

    Brian L Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo. "Bridges and Big Knives." Classical Fighting Arts. Volume 2 number 14. (2009) pp. 55-60.

    Hope this helps,
    Benjamin Judkins

    P.S. You may also want to check out this historic film on youtube, seen here.
    Last edited by Benjamin Judkins; 10-14-2009 at 03:41 PM.

  3. #3
    I was recently rereading Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo's book "Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals" and ran across some information that might add to this discussion.

    In 1933 an instructor named Yin Yu Zhang wrote a book called "Slashing Saber Practice" in which he outlined the method and usage of this sword in combat both in the late Ching and the Republic period. It also includes two short saber forms. Apparently the book has been translated into English and is available under the following title:

    "Classical Baguazhang Vol. XIV – YIN YUZHANG'S BAGUAZHANG" (ISBN 978-1-929047-46-8) translated by Joseph Crandall

    I also ran into a post on a similar topic on the Chinese History Forum and one of the posters there suggested looking at a book entitled "Red Star Over China" by Edgar Snow which also includes some period accounts of Muslim troops using large double handed sabers during the time period you are interested in.


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