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Doug Humbarger
01-15-2012, 12:09 PM
Here is part pf a very good artical in the 1972 edition of Guns of the world. What better material to test your blade on than what it was intended to use it on? :3:

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a343/000oo/swordtest.jpg
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a343/000oo/chopchop.jpg

bubba-san
01-15-2012, 12:59 PM
Some swords were tested on live prisoners and were rated on how many bodies it would cut through . 1,2, or 3 in a single stroke . Some brutal stuff.....

Doug Humbarger
01-15-2012, 01:03 PM
bubba-san are the lines across the body where the cuts were to be made for certain test? Can you translate any of the writing for us? I would love to know what it says.

Doug

bubba-san
01-15-2012, 01:45 PM
Yes those lines are just that . notice the one that goes from the shoulder to the ribcage on other side of body ? that would clean you clock for sure I will try , my eyesite is not what it used to be , neither is my memory .

bubba-san
01-15-2012, 01:48 PM
It seems most of those are kind of naming the body part . Some kanji I dont understand . There are numerous dialects in japan . some Japanese can barely understand the other dialects because its mixed with chinese .Okinawa also has a different dialect. that is an old drawing
appears to be shinto period.

rob45
01-15-2012, 07:10 PM
Even if Doug didn't outright state the age of the article, the thing that caught my attention was the very last sentence under Care Of Swords.
"Japanese polishers charge from 2 to 5 Yen per inch."

IF ONLY!!

Tinker Pearce
01-27-2012, 11:01 AM
Some swords were tested on live prisoners and were rated on how many bodies it would cut through . 1,2, or 3 in a single stroke . Some brutal stuff.....

This is actually a myth- though some swords were tested on multiple bodies they were actually corpses and were cut one after another until the blade showed wear at the edge.

rhinoknives
01-27-2012, 11:30 AM
This is actually a myth- though some swords were tested on multiple bodies they were actually corpses and were cut one after another until the blade showed wear at the edge.

It sounds right to me! This comment is not directed at any our Knifedogs of Japanese Heritage.

During WWII In the Rape of Nanking China. Japanese soldiers with their officers Consent/ Orders?

Held beheading contests that went on for days, This was everyone! Civilian, men women and children.
Many Thousands were massacred in this manner.

I don't think that it's a far stretch to have them do this on live prisoners in their Shinto period to test swords..
Yep! Brutal stuff is right!

Laurence
www.rhinoknives.com/

Buck
02-22-2012, 03:52 AM
when the samurai were guards of the lords he enforced the law as he saw fit if his honor was insulted i.e. talking back to him by a commoner he held every right to behead the commoner by his leave. ref shogun, book of 13 rings, seven samurai, code of bushido. as with any story there were some less stringent than others to apply this. just by the way if a samurai committed hari-kari or seppaku it was an honor for his best friend to at the moment the man would be about to cry out or show weakness his friend cleved his head off leaving a small skin flat to hold the head so no vulgar scene was allowed to be permitted

Buck
02-22-2012, 04:10 AM
still the poise and position of samurai was at once very beautyful and terrorfying. he was a man in service, his honor demanded that in a fair battle if his lord lost. His life was forfeit a ronin a warrior with no master was a shame even more so if the master had been killed in battle. In all he lived by the sword and died by the sword as well.

bubba-san
02-23-2012, 09:01 AM
Japanese prisoners of war from several periods were subject to testing of swords for cutting ability . This includes WW2. In fact there are numerous references to this practice throughout Japanese history. The act of one commiting suicide was usually accomplished with the aid of a another swordsman. Samurai were usually eager to show off the cutting abilities of their swords. Contests would be held (tameshigiri) that would last for days .....

Kevin1050
02-23-2012, 12:10 PM
I don't see the file? Is it still there?

Doug Humbarger
02-23-2012, 01:00 PM
This is actually a myth- though some swords were tested on multiple bodies they were actually corpses and were cut one after another until the blade showed wear at the edge.

If this is a myth please explain the Japanese diagrams that are of Japanese origin that I posted.

bubba-san
03-07-2012, 08:51 AM
Here is an article about certain Tanto that were used for beheading an enemy . One of the many weapons used for beheading .

The kubikiri (kubigiri) is an unusual form for a Japanese tanto. On a kubikiri, the cutting edge is on the inside curvature (extreme uchi-sori); most are of the kiri-ha shape and have no kissaki (point). There were several possible uses and many "tall tales" about kubikiri. The term "kubikiri" is traditionally translated as "head cutter". This style of tanto may have been carried by attendants to high ranking samurai whose job was to remove the heads of dead enemies as "trophies of battle". While this usage was possibly real in ancient times, in later eras it would have been largely a ceremonial sword used possibly as a badge of rank. These are also referred to as bokuwari tanto which means wood splitter. They may have been used to cut charcoal for sumi or incense for either the tea ceremony or incense game. Some people also call this style of tanto a "doctor's knife". As there is no point (kissaki), it supposedly could not be used offensively and was therefore carried by those persons of stature who were entitled to wear a sword, but who were "non-combatants". It is also possible that this style of tanto (hanakiri) was made for wealthy individuals as tools for trimming bonsai and doing garden work or ikebana, similar to the saw tanto below. Another possibility is that they were used by forestry officials for taking trimmings or cuttings for propagation. Tanto of this type date from the Meiji to early Showa eras, a period when most sword makers and koshirae artists had little work making traditional swords. Whatever the usage, this style of tanto is relatively rare in Western collections. Here is a good link for questions about Japanese history and any questions you may have about japanese anything. http://forums.samurai-archives.com/search.php?search_id=unanswered&sid=45b80dbebb8733c946d9f331931379f8

rhinoknives
03-07-2012, 10:42 AM
Here is an article about certain Tanto that were used for beheading an enemy . One of the many weapons used for beheading .

The kubikiri (kubigiri) is an unusual form for a Japanese tanto. On a kubikiri, the cutting edge is on the inside curvature (extreme uchi-sori); most are of the kiri-ha shape and have no kissaki (point). There were several possible uses and many "tall tales" about kubikiri. The term "kubikiri" is traditionally translated as "head cutter". This style of tanto may have been carried by attendants to high ranking samurai whose job was to remove the heads of dead enemies as "trophies of battle". While this usage was possibly real in ancient times, in later eras it would have been largely a ceremonial sword used possibly as a badge of rank. These are also referred to as bokuwari tanto which means wood splitter. They may have been used to cut charcoal for sumi or incense for either the tea ceremony or incense game. Some people also call this style of tanto a "doctor's knife". As there is no point (kissaki), it supposedly could not be used offensively and was therefore carried by those persons of stature who were entitled to wear a sword, but who were "non-combatants". It is also possible that this style of tanto (hanakiri) was made for wealthy individuals as tools for trimming bonsai and doing garden work or ikebana, similar to the saw tanto below. Another possibility is that they were used by forestry officials for taking trimmings or cuttings for propagation. Tanto of this type date from the Meiji to early Showa eras, a period when most sword makers and koshirae artists had little work making traditional swords. Whatever the usage, this style of tanto is relatively rare in Western collections. Here is a good link for questions about Japanese history and any questions you may have about japanese anything. http://forums.samurai-archives.com/search.php?search_id=unanswered&sid=45b80dbebb8733c946d9f331931379f8

Bubba-San,

Please awnser a question for me if you may?
I have heard and read conflicting accounts about the Tanto Tip as it's called in the USA? The Americanized Tanto.

Did this blunt angle tip at the appox 45-35% angle exist in Japan? I have heard that a American saw a older knife tip that had been resharpened many times and he said that it must be for piercing Armor!

I have heard that even armor piecing swords in Japan were still curved and the tip was with belly. Not the immediate angle change we see in Americanized Tanto Knives?

Please advise if you can understand my question? lol.

Laurence

www.rhinoknives.com/

bubba-san
03-07-2012, 03:02 PM
The Line you speak of is called yakote. Yes it did exist but, only on swords ie: Katana, wakizashi only .Japanese Tanto did not have yakote.
The americanised version is Quite different from japanese blades although it looks something like a japanese sword tip. The Japanese armour piercing blades were triangular in cross section .Some older japanese blades were straight , they found the curved edge would cut better . The older blades did not have a yakote line , they believe that the "chisel tip" as some folks call it , came about as an easy way to sharpen a broken sword. here is a good link for japanese blade styles . Hope I answered your question .http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/styles.html........ Bubba

rhinoknives
03-07-2012, 07:04 PM
Thanks for the link and clearing up this question.

Laurence

Tinker Pearce
07-09-2012, 09:33 AM
My statement was incomplete and I should have clarified which part I was referring to as 'myth.' They could and did kill live prisoners to test their swords but this was seldom a formal thing. There were incidents (like the one from 'Shogun' if I remember correctly) where a fellow had just gotten a new sword and took the first opportunity to strike down a 'peasant' to test his sword.

There was a profession in ancient Japan, a 'guild' of sword-testers that were very skilled at cutting with swords who would cut corpses in a systematic way to test swords. The prisoner would be killed by beheading and then certain very specific cuts were made as shown in the diagram you presented. The idea was to try to 'standardize' these cuts so that all testers made the same cuts each time to insure that all testers adhered to the same standards. If a sword was still properly sharp after finishing all of the mandated cuts on a corpse then they would kill another prisoner and start over. The sword would be rated by the number of cuts completed and how many bodies had been used in the tests. The professional tester would also prepare a detailed report for the sword's owner and report, often in poetic terms, his impressions of how the blade handled and cut. The blade that was tested would have to be re-polished and the tang was sometimes marked with how many bodies were needed to fully test the sword. Naturally with people being people these tang inscriptions were sometime counterfeited.

Does this mean that no one in ancient Japan ever cut through multiple living bodies with a single cut? Who knows? I can pretty easily envision some drunken psychopath trying it. Maybe even succeeding though the mechanics of cutting apart multiple human bodies with a single blow using a 26-28 inch long blade would make this quite challenging.

It's interesting to note the change in the Japanese perception of Samurai post WWII; in the 1953 movie 'Zatoichi' all but one of the Samurai depicted are presented as unwashed thugs with swords possessing comparatively little skill. Over the course of the 1950s though they were increasingly depicted as super-warriors. The historical Samurai probably fell between these two extremes.

kevin - the professor
07-09-2012, 09:52 PM
Actually,
the military during the 1920's until the end of WWII instituted formal torture, raping, and killing of civilians because they thought it made the troops better. Troops that proved their ability at killing prisoners, parents, children, etc. with bayonets and bamboo spikes were eventually invited to join in the real fun of raping then killing with swords. There were also contests in the Japanese papers about which troops could behead the most enemies. These enemies, of course, were not combatants (you didn't take your sword agaisnt 50 or 100 guys with rifles or machine gun nests). You can read Beevor's history of WWII (good book but will make you have some doubts about humanity).
This is all well documented. However, it was not really, "testing," swords. It was seen as part of troop training. People always thing about killing of prisoners and criminals with swords to have been in some long-forgotten era. That is why I mention this, it was much more recent than most expect.

kc

bubba-san
07-10-2012, 07:29 AM
Kevin , you are correct . It was a brutal part of japanese history but, true none the less. When I lived In Japan in the late sixties and early seventies , the old timers would tell me these facinating stories about beheadings and testing of swords on prisoners . I even saw some photos
they were stacked up like cord wood ....... The Legasy left by the Samurai is still with us today , in thier swords and the martial arts they developed. Contrary to a lot of "movies: The real samurai were great Calvary , swordsman , Artists and proficient in hand to hand combat .
You can see some of what they left , all you have to do is watch MMA.......... They were never defeated in war... except by the U.S.
Oh yes they were dedicated , focused , and always trying to improve what technologies they possessed. Movies never made the Samurai
famous they were already there ......... There are some exceptions but, who doesn't want a good japanese sword ......

etorix
01-09-2013, 11:01 PM
i saw a reference recently to one of those 'professional testers' already mentioned above

cant find the linkie just now, but it did matter who it was

and it wasnt really necessary to use bodies, it was his opinion that counted

etorix
01-09-2013, 11:06 PM
heres a blade with documented 3 Body Cutting Test http://www.samuraisword.com/nihontodisplay/CUTTING_TEST/gold_inlay/Ippo/index.htm


The Cutting Test was performed at Bushu (Musashi Province), Itomachi (City, District), Kiru (Cut at place) during the middle of December 1687 (320 + years ago). The tester wielded the sword very quickly with great strength that it effortlessly struck completely through all three bodies in one easy motion with great speed. During the cutting test he experienced denko (a brilliant flash of celestial light similar to that of lighting). These statements are inscribed (in Japanese) with the remainder of the cutting test "SAIDAN" data. The remainder of the test details are captioned with the images of the nakago. It is also said that some person's can easily site the feeling of "Keiki" ( A psychic feeling of the presence of another person) when handling a blade such as this.


The blade possess the following features, and (translated) statements; by the tester "Yoshisada". The personification of the blade by giving it the name, Fujimi; indicates that its abilities are "IMMORTAL", and can never be lost (never die). "Hairu", means that this has been embodied into the blade. It is believed in the Japanese Culture that many Japanese Swords have their own spirit. It is very well known amongst many collectors that some have experienced this "IMMORTAL LIFE" almost to a sense where they could feel the hairs on their neck raise up - as if the spirit of the Japanese Sword is actually present.

To encounter a (Tameshigiri or Saidan) blade with these attributes (especially as stated by the sword tester) is one of the rarest occurrences in the realm of the Japanese Sword.

Doug Humbarger
01-25-2013, 09:16 PM
Thanks for those links etorix. Very interesting reading.