Reversed Blade Similar to Rurouni Kenshin Sword Found in Japan

Reversed Blade Similar to Rurouni Kenshin Sword Found in Japan

Reverse blade

A short reverse-blade compared to a fictional sakabato in Rurouni Kenshin was found in Japan's Chiba Prefecture.

An unusual sword dating back to the Edo period was discovered in a family storage cellar of Shiroi City in Japan's Chiba Prefecture. Now donated to the prefecture's cultural archive, the discovered sword has been compared to the reverse-blade sakabato seen in the Rurouni Kenshin manga and anime series, according to the Asahi News.

Rurouni Kenshin tells the story of a former assassin named Himura Kenshin, who now travels as a wanderer. Wishing to kill no more, Kenshin uses a sakabato, a fictional sword that has a reversed blade. Instead of the outer edge of the sword, the side that faces the opponent, being sharp, the side of the blade facing the wielder is sharpened, making the opponent-facing edge dull.

Until now, there had been no record of such a sword existing in Japanese history. The blade was discovered in October to much confusion and surprise. Called a kogatana (short katana), the reverse-blade only measures 11 inches total, with the blade being 8.6 inches long. Found in an old cellar, the blade is engraved with dragons, and dates back to as far as the Edo period (1603 to 1868), the period before the Meiji Restoration in which Rurouni Kenshin takes place.

Reverse-blades found today are contemporary swords for collectors - except for this kogatana. They would have been unusual and even dangerous to use in reality, resulting in very different injuries for opponents while risking the wielder's safety.

Source: Asahi News via Kotaku

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Maybe it was a gag novelty gift, something to have a few laughs over with some friends? You know, kinda like ancient Japanese fart cushions?

what next, they find an ACTUAL zanbatou like Sanosuke used (though admittedly nodachi are huge, they're nowhere near as ridiculous as the zanbatou was)? History is often far stranger than fiction after all.

I just kind of figured that was a training sword thing, so that they could get used to the weight without actually hurting anyone. Learn something new every day.

Mcoffey:
I just kind of figured that was a training sword thing, so that they could get used to the weight without actually hurting anyone. Learn something new every day.

A training sword would have no sharp edges. This one has the edge on the opposite side.

I'm no expert on swords, but what makes them so sure the sharp edge would be towards the wielder? To me this looks like a tool designed to be easily concealed, with a cutting edge curved to make drawing across a throat easier...assassin blade?

Gag gift seems as good a guess as any.

Other other "practical" use i could figure for it was if you had a neighbor or enemy that had a style that disarmed your short sword and used it against you, or something. Short swords were generally indoor swords, some kind of anti ninja thing perhaps?

strange find to be sure.

A reverse grip style would be interesting with the curve like that. but any more interesting than a normal sword held normally in reverse grip? some mildly different parrying options maybe?

Interesting, but I wonder why something like this would be used?

Also, Ruruoni Kenshin aaah....

That takes me back...

The idea that it was meant to be a "reverse-blade" sword is pretty unlikely. More likely it was an attempt at a forward curving blade.

Wouldn't this have uses outside of warfare and such?

I mean woodcarving for example is, as far as I know, rather more precise (albeit more risky) when cutting towards yourself as opposed to away from yourself. Maybe some other craft where you'd have to cut towards yourself?

Wouldn't put it past some nobleman of the age to invest a lot of wealth into a fancy looking tool for a hobby of his or whatever. Maybe even an expensive gift for a lady of the time, if those used knives for whatever purpose?

Heh, new blacksmith in training failed his test by not knowing which side of the blade to make sharp.

I'm going to guess that it's an attempt at an inverse blade, much like the Turkish yataghan.

This just seems like a sword an apprentice smith really fucked up so they just gave it away :P

moggett88:
I'm no expert on swords, but what makes them so sure the sharp edge would be towards the wielder? To me this looks like a tool designed to be easily concealed, with a cutting edge curved to make drawing across a throat easier...assassin blade?

Actually a really good suggestion. With the curved blade towards the user all you need to do is slice it across the throat. Maybe we found an actual ninja weapon?

 

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