The Samurai warriors used to fight on the battlefields using various types of deadly swords. One of the famous swords was known as the Katana, but there were also other notable swords that were utilized. Perhaps, another famous samurai sword was the Nodachi sword which was also a field sword. You should note that the Nodachi sword which was sometimes called the odachi, means a great or large sword. This article is a guide to help you to buy the Nodachi sword.
The Nodachi sword explained
The Nodachi sword was a Japanese sword that was traditionally made, and the Samurai class could only use it. The blade of the Nodachi was supposed to be three Shaku or at least 90 centimeters without including the handle.
It’s worth mentioning that the Chinese also had an equivalent of the Nodachi sword which was called the Miao Dao. But this sword was based on weight and length. When it comes to the west, the claymore is regarded as an equivalent to the Japanese Nodachi.
The terms Nodachi or odachi were used interchangeably, leading to most people thinking there were similar swords. But the major difference that was there between these two types of swords is their length. Nodachi in the Japanese language means wild while Odachi means big. Hence, the Nodachi was a wild and long Japanese sword that the foot soldiers used with great efficiency against cavalry on a battlefield. The Nodachi was usually used during the Heian period.
How the Nodachi sword was used
The Nodachi was a long and two-handed field sword that was used by the Samurai warriors on battlefields. The length of the blade was more than 90 cm long, so this sword was considered to be one of the longest Japanese swords during that time. The warriors liked to utilize this sword because of its accuracy and length.
But when compared to the other types of Samurai swords, the Nodachi wasn’t extensively used due to various reasons. Take note that only the most skilled warriors were allowed to wield and use the Nodachi sword. This was because it was quite hard to draw this long sword from a warrior’s back and utilize it against their enemy.
While the Nodachi swords were not used regularly because of their size, they still provided top-class performance. Their cutting accuracy was better than the other Samurai swords, such as the Katana. During that era, it was believed that the Nodachi sword could cut an opponent and their horse in half with just a single blow. But the size of the sword made it hard to use indoors.
The size of the Nodachi sword also made it a huge challenge for swordsmiths to make the right forging on it. The Nodachi sword was regarded as the most difficult to forge when it comes to the Japanese Samurai swords. The swordsmiths found it hard to apply either heat treatment or quenching uniformly throughout the length of the blade.
If the carbon steel utilized for a sword wasn’t uniformly spread, it lowered the efficiency of the sword. Most other Japanese swords, such as the Wakizashi and Katana were drawn from the waist, but the Nodachi used to be drawn from the back. This is the reason why samurai warriors found it hard to draw this long Japanese sword, especially during critical moments on the battlefield. As a result, Samurai warriors decided to hold the Nodachi by hand to fight attacks quickly.
The Nodachi was also required to be used by exceptionally skilled Samurai warriors. Most Samurai warriors were quite talented, but few of them were experts in handling a Nodachi sword. It was also a costly and time-consuming process to make the Nodachi, so these swords were not made in large numbers. When it comes to the polishing process, the swordsmiths have to hand the Nodachi sword from a ceiling or even keep it in a still position.
With the other small-sized Japanese swords, the swordsmiths could easily move them to polish the stones. On the other hand, the sword polisher needed to move the Nodachi to do their work.
Besides using the Nodachi sword in the open battlefields, it was also utilized for ceremonial purposes, especially when making an offering to a specific shrine. While their practical purposes on battlefields were reduced after a couple of years, the Nodachi swords were mainly utilized for ceremonial and religious purposes only. The Nodachi sword was also utilized to showcase the workmanship and talent of swordsmiths.
The Nodachi swords were not used often after 1615 because there were few battles during this period. Therefore, these swords were extensively used before this period. The good news is that you can purchase a Nodachi sword. There are some reputable Japanese suppliers that offer Nodachi swords. But before you decide to purchase a Nodachi sword, make sure that it’s authentic.