An odachi, meaning “big/thick sword”, was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or “field sword”, which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of odachi.
The character for o means “big” or “great”. The characters for da and chi are the same as tachi, the older style of sword/mounts that predate the katana. The chi is also the same character as katana and the to in nihonto (“Japanese sword”), originally from the Chinese character for a knife, dao.
To qualify as an odachi, the sword in question must have a blade length of 3 shaku (90.9 cm) or more. However, as with most terms in Japanese sword arts, there is no exact definition of the size of an odachi.
The purpose of the odachi can be categorized as follows:
As an offering to a shrine or gods. Some odachi were dedicated with prayer to win a war, others were placed in shrines as legendary swords from mythology.
- As a weapon. From explanations in old texts, such as Heike-monogatari, Taihei-kitell us that odachi were used by soldiers during battles.
- As a symbol for an army. Some odachi are too long for practical use. They cannot be used in a battle but it is said that they could have been used as a symbol of an army, such as flags and spears.
- As a trend during a certain period. Some swords were also used for ceremonies.
- To show the swordsmith’s skill.
- Used on the front lines of battle to cut through the enemies horses legs. Mostly held by two people.
Most odachi were used for the first two reasons.
This odachi that we have procured from Rittersteel is a fully functional sword of war. A fully sharpened high carbon steel, full tang blade is sure to make any odachi enthusiasts or practitioners eyes widen. Fully leather wrapped, the tsuka is handmade out of wood and wrapped in the traditional method by leather. The saya of this huge samurai sword is also made out of wood and covered in leather including the leather back strap.
Giant 67″ Odachi Features:
- Hand forged, sharpened, high carbon steel blade
- Full tang
- Wood tsuka bound with leather
- Two red bell tassels attached to blackened steel pommel
- Copper habaki
- Blackened “double ring” steel tsuba
- Wood saya covered in leather with leather backstrap
- Made by Rittersteel
- Fully Functional
Blade: 40″ Handle: 26″ Overall: 67″ Weight: 5.6 Lbs