Military Review

Samurai and katanas: truth and fiction

82
About the benefits of Japanese cold weapons and the incredible valor of its owners - a lot of samurai was written. Thanks to the Meiji revolution and the subsequent active military-political expansion of Japan in the Asia-Pacific region, the whole world learned about samurai and their weapons, about the military traditions of this very interesting country. The growth of interest in Japanese melee weapons occurred as Oriental martial arts were popularized outside of Japan and East Asia as a whole. Jiu-jitsu (jujutsu), judo, aikido, karate (although this is not purely Japanese, but the Okinawan form of martial arts) have gained worldwide fame. But if the effectiveness of Japanese martial arts is beyond doubt, then experts and amateurs still argue about the quality of Japanese swords.


Samurai and katanas: truth and fiction


Like martial arts, the first iron swords appeared in Japan due to cultural and economic ties with China. In the 2 of the 3rd century AD Chinese merchants brought the first batch of iron swords to Japan. Nowadays, archaeologists find in the mounds both Chinese specimens and later Japanese "imitations." By the eighth century. AD in Japan, its own iron production reached perfection, which led to a real revolution in cold arms. Now the Japanese warriors no longer needed to import imported Chinese products - local blacksmiths, having mastered the secrets of the Chinese and Korean masters, began to produce their own swords. If the Chinese blacksmiths - gunsmiths made swords from a single strip of iron, the Japanese forged steel and iron plates. Gradually, Japanese swords acquired a characteristic curved shape. According to tradition, the Kogarasu-Maru (Little Crow) sword is considered the first curved sword. He forged it in 703 AD. blacksmith Amakuni.

Further development of the Japanese cold arms occurred in parallel with the development of martial arts. The military component in the life of Japanese society has always played a huge role. This was facilitated by feudal fragmentation and constant conflicts between the princes and the samurai who served them. Subsequently, the pages of the Japanese stories were mythologized to a considerable degree, with the result that the West developed a rather superficial and idealistic perception of all Japanese - and cold arms, and samurai, and samurai codes of honor, and in general - the nature of relationships in Japanese society. Such a notion was promoted to a large extent by popular culture, which brought a vogue to the Japanese military theme among Europeans and Americans.

In Japanese culture, the sword played a huge role and was endowed with sacred value. There are several types of Japanese swords. The most famous, of course, is katana. A curved sword, more like a saber, the katana appeared around the 15th century and quickly turned into a “classic” samurai weapon. The katana was used in combination with a wakizashi - shorter sword. If the length of the blade of the katana was from 2 to 2,5 to shaku (60,6-75,7 cm), then wakizashi - from 1 to 2 to shaku (30,3-60,6 cm). Swords with a blade length less than 1 shaku were classified as tanto, i.e. daggers.

Katana and wakizashi made one blacksmith in the same style, since swords were considered a pair and were collectively called “dysho” - “long - short”. And if the swords were made by different masters, then they did not belong to dysс anymore. Because samurai swords had a special, sacred significance, the blacksmith profession was considered very honorable in Japan. Blacksmiths stood out among the rest of the artisans. As early as the 13th century, the emperor Go-Toba introduced the classification of blacksmiths according to their skill. The first class of blacksmiths had special privileges, because he had great skill. It was believed that the blades made by great masters have supernatural power. In fact, as in any feudal and estate society, belonging to the first class of masters was determined not only and even not so much by skill as by origin.

Many modern experts claim that the quality of Japanese swords was in fact far from perfect. At least they were no better than European, Middle Eastern or Indian swords. However, then spread the idea of ​​the almost magical nature of the Japanese katana.



In many ways, the spread of the myths about the unprecedented quality and strength of Japanese weapons was contributed by the samurai themselves, especially in the period following the Meiji revolution. About the unprecedented military valor of the samurai went the most incredible stories, although they could well be pretty exaggerated. First, the entire history of the Japanese samurai’s combat path is replete with struggle with obviously weaker opponents. Only in the twentieth century, Japan faced with world powers - Russia, and then the United States and allies. Before this war, the Japanese state had a regional character. But is there any special prowess in defeating the Okinawan peasants or a weak army of fragmented Korea? The same Okinawan peasants resisted the Japanese conquerors very actively because they did not want to lose their independence (before the Japanese conquest, the islands of the Ryukyus archipelago were an independent kingdom with its own rich history and culture).

The history of the same karate dates back to the period of the struggle of the Okinawan population for its independence. I must say that the samurai dealt with the people of Okinawa very cruelly. Okinkaans were forbidden to have any weapons under the threat of death, after which, during the uprisings, the local population began to use a whole range of items of agricultural implements as weapons. It turned out very interesting - for example, the same tonfa. It was precisely for this reason that the improvement of methods of unarmed combat took place - the people of Okinawa wanted to confront the Japanese invaders by any means, including their bare hands and feet. On the other hand, it is clear that not so great masters of martial arts were the samurai armed to the teeth if they could be resisted by unarmed Okinawan residents.

Secondly, the stories about the unprecedented honor and loyalty of the samurai to their overlords, the daimyo, look somewhat exaggerated. In fact, when samurai were required, they could go on various actions, including even killing their overlord. Samurai troops could easily "change the owner" if the other prince was willing to pay them more salary. By the way, unlike the European tradition, treason was not considered something reprehensible. The samurai "ran" from one prince to another in whole detachments. In some cases, they were even divided into small detachments and offered their services to the opposing sides. By the way, the samurai “got it, too” not bad - from the Korean patriots, from the peasants of Okinawa, from their own Japanese peasants, who were raising powerful uprisings against feudal exploitation.

There was a special group of samurai - ronin, i.e. samurai who lost their master. As a rule, the ronin turned into wandering warriors, hiring bodyguards to noble and wealthy people, taking part in armed conflicts. But there were quite a few of those ronin who finally focused on criminal activity and turned into professional criminals "from the high road". This circumstance also speaks not in favor of the unprecedented nobility of the samurai class.
Thirdly, the idea of ​​samurai’s rampant high literacy is also wrong. To begin with, the samurai for the most part were very young people, as professional warriors rarely lived to mature years. Learning literature, poetry, history, and philosophy for young samurai was simply problematic. After all, most of the time they devoted to honing military skills. No, of course, there were literate people among the medieval samurai, but the majority were either completely illiterate or professional soldiers who could barely write and read. There was nothing reprehensible and strange about this - just as many European knights were illiterate, not to mention professional landsknechts.

It is worth noting that the samurai martial arts had a purely utilitarian purpose. In contrast to the numerous styles of Chinese wushu, which almost all were formed and developed in Buddhist and Taoist monasteries and were not only martial arts, but also techniques of human psychophysiological improvement, in medieval Japan for a long time not enough attention was paid to hand-to-hand combat. It is quite understandable - why should samurai learn to fight without weapons if they were constantly with weapons? No, of course, there were some skills that could be passed on from senior to junior, but in general, the flowering of hand-to-hand combat began in Japan rather later than the story of “bujutsu” - the samurai martial arts proper. And the opponents of samurai — peasant rebels, wandering monks, criminal and political robbers, hired killers — made the greatest contribution to it. It was for them that possession of unarmed combat techniques or improvised objects was of much greater interest than for well-armed samurai.



Of course, it was not necessary to talk about some fantastic nobility of the samurai. They were distinguished by cruelty to the defeated opponents, and given that Japan is not a Christian country, this cruelty was not softened by religious ideas. If a samurai could commit ritual suicide, then killing another person, including the defenseless, was not difficult for him. Even in the twentieth century, the Japanese army was distinguished by extreme cruelty to enemies, which was reported by almost all opponents who had to fight with the Japanese troops.

What the Japanese occupation forces were doing in China and Korea is known to the whole world. Mass killings of civilians, executions and sadistic torture, rape and violent treatment of women in prostitutes - such actions remembered the Japanese troops in neighboring countries. Prisoners of war of the Allied forces who were in Japanese camps were subjected to the most severe torture. But after all, the backbone of the Japanese officer corps was made up of representatives of noble samurai surnames, who had noble origins and were proud of their heroic ancestors. It turns out that they also supported this behavior of their soldiers and did not consider him reprehensible.

Of course, what the samurai do not take away is the idea that honor is a more valuable category than life. Hence the samurai tendency to sacrifice. In addition, ritual suicides were fairly common in Japanese society and were based on the specific worldview of the samurai. It was more preferable for them to give up their lives in some situations than to preserve them, but to lose their honor. The host’s order to commit ritual suicide also played a major role. Most of the samurai could not afford to disobey such an order.



Harakiri or seppuka was seen as a worthy end to the life of a samurai, especially if he found himself in a losing situation in battle, was deprived of his master, was ill. When Japan lost World War II in 1945, there were a huge number of suicides in the country that were committed by military and civilian officials of various ranks and levels. It was the samurai tradition - to die from ritual suicide. Conviction of the need to commit harakiri / seppuki strengthened a kind of samurai code of honor, loyalty to which self-respecting samurai sought to maintain to the end.

It is noteworthy that many samurai traditions were subsequently transformed into a specific Japanese business culture. In Japanese companies, there is a completely different model of work organization and relationships between employees than in American or European corporations. When choosing a company, the Japanese most often make a choice almost for life, and the figure of the boss plays a very important role for him - maybe not the same as the daimyo of a medieval samurai, but also clearly different from the role of the boss in the American or European tradition.

The image of the Japanese samurai largely turned out to be mythologized. The division in Japan itself is a thing of the past, but the vitality of the samurai myth was striking. And almost the big adherents of this myth, than the Japanese themselves, are residents of other countries. The fashion for Japanese culture began to spread in the West in the twentieth century and rather quickly took root among the part of the Western intelligentsia, which was seduced by myths about noble warriors - samurai, their incredible martial art, the remarkable qualities of the Japanese cold weapons.
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  1. Amurets
    Amurets 30 October 2017 15: 23
    12
    The image of the Japanese samurai largely turned out to be mythologized. The division in Japan itself is a thing of the past, but the vitality of the samurai myth was striking. And almost the big adherents of this myth, than the Japanese themselves, are residents of other countries. The fashion for Japanese culture began to spread in the West in the twentieth century and rather quickly took root among the part of the Western intelligentsia, which was seduced by myths about noble warriors - samurai, their incredible martial art, the remarkable qualities of the Japanese cold weapons.

    I completely agree with this conclusion of the author about samurai.
    Regarding the receipt of Japanese damask steel, there is a modern opinion of metallurgical scientists. "Already in our time, a chemical analysis of steel was made, from which Japanese weapons of the XNUMXth – XNUMXth centuries were made. And ancient weapons revealed their secret: molybdenum was found in steel. Today it is well known that steel alloyed with molybdenum has high hardness, strength and viscosity. Molybdenum is one of the few alloying elements whose addition to steel increases its viscosity and hardness at the same time. All other elements that increase the hardness and strength of steel contribute to its brittleness.
    Naturally, in comparison with Damascus blades made of iron and steel containing 0,6–0,8% carbon, Japanese swords and sabers seemed like a miracle. But does this mean that the Japanese were able to make alloy steel at that distant time? Of course not. They did not even know what alloy steel was, just as they did not know what molybdenum was. The metal molybdenum was discovered much later, at the very end of the XNUMXth century, by the Swedish chemist K.V. Scheele.
    Apparently, this was the case. Japanese craftsmen received critical (recovered) iron from the ferruginous sands of loose deposits. These ores were poor in iron, and the content of harmful impurities in the steel obtained from them was rather high. But the sands, in addition to iron oxides, contained alloying elements. They provided the metal with a high level of properties. "Yu. Gurevich. Mysteries of damask pattern.
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 30 October 2017 15: 44
      +2
      Good day, Nikolai. You wrote a good explanation. I will read on this subject.
      1. Amurets
        Amurets 30 October 2017 16: 03
        +2
        Quote: Reptiloid
        You wrote a good explanation. I will read on this subject.

        Dima. Hey. Even the secrets of medieval metallurgy, this is already something. Beckert wrote well on this subject: "Iron. Facts and Legends." And V.S. Emelyanov. He has a trilogy. About time, about comrades, about myself. This is about the production of special steels in the USSR. Books from the series "Years and People" are read with interest. This is not technical literature, namely, memories of how certain problems were solved.
        1. Basil50
          Basil50 30 October 2017 16: 25
          +9
          My grandfather had four swords, trophies from samurai. In 1945, many such trophies appeared. So grandfather, with the grin of a samurai, didn’t even remember - “With two hands and a blade. Only basmachi, with their scream and pressure, were simpler cutters.”
          Former colleagues also had blades but were not popular. Zlatoust blades were most valued.
          1. bandabas
            bandabas 30 October 2017 18: 28
            +2
            I don’t want to say anything bad about your grandfather. Mine ended the War in the West and were not in the Far East. But, he stopped them with a bullet, not a saber. Or am I wrong?
          2. Weyland
            Weyland 30 October 2017 22: 41
            +2
            Quote: Vasily50
            “With two hands and one blade. Only the basmachi, with their scream and pressure, were simpler cutters.”
            Former colleagues also had blades but were not popular.

            Samurai all were killed 80 years before WWII. What kind of samurai ... Kenjutsu officers were taught quite well, but sergeants - only a dozen basic strikes! Yes, and sergeant katanas - from used rails!
          3. Mikhail3
            Mikhail3 28 December 2017 08: 03
            0
            A saber sword is not an adversary. Almost anyone who had a saber of a continental finish, or a sword, plus the very initial level of fencing training, could kill a samurai. All the wild ravings about the incredible BI in the 70 years were fashioned by American marketers.
            1. Pancher88
              Pancher88 15 May 2018 10: 09
              0
              Have you personally checked? Did you attend a real duel of a real samurai and the owner of a "continental dressing"?
    2. saigon
      saigon 30 October 2017 16: 33
      +8
      Wonderful reading in terms of metal science! Forging IRON and STEEL together just a delight!
      The alloying of steel by eye is simply amazing, but what a couple of degrees in temperature was wrong and goodbye the magical properties of the blade is a trifle, the main thing is the Japanese they can.
      And how did the Japanese clean metal critical of interspersed foreign elements, by which technologies?
      And then in our time, metal gardens come up with inventions, there are no Japanese to bring order, but just special achievements in metallurgy are not visible in japs
      1. Weyland
        Weyland 30 October 2017 22: 47
        +4
        Quote: saigon
        The alloying of steel by eye is simply amazing, but what a couple of degrees in temperature was wrong and goodbye the magical properties of the blade is a trifle, the main thing is the Japanese they can.
        And how did the Japanese clean metal critical of interspersed foreign elements, by which technologies?

        Japanese great masters deserve respect for the fact that the most sloppy equipment make decent blades! The technology of cleaning kritsa (burying in a swamp) is very effective, but slow - and newer ... This technology is only 4 thousand years old - it originated simultaneously with the metallurgy of iron (by the way, the smelting of metal from ferrous sands is most ancient technology). Tradition...
        1. Amurets
          Amurets 31 October 2017 00: 51
          +3
          Quote: Weyland
          The technology of cleaning kritsa (digging into a swamp) is very effective, but slow - and even newer ... This technology is only 4 thousand years old - it originated simultaneously with the metallurgy of iron (by the way, smelting of metal from ferrous sands is the oldest technology). Tradition...

          What has this technology been used in both Russia and Sweden and in a number of places. By forging, damask steel was cleaned in the East and it was not for nothing that high-quality blades were forged for up to a year to squeeze slag inclusions and impurities. This is only one forging without other operations. Forging was carried out at night and in dark forges in order to determine the temperature of the metal by the colors of the hot metal and an error in determining the temperature by several degrees led to an irreparable marriage.
      2. Eight
        Eight 30 October 2017 23: 09
        +2
        Saigon, are you a metallurgist?
        1. saigon
          saigon 31 October 2017 03: 10
          +2
          rather a blacksmith (art forging) like a hobby
          1. Reptiloid
            Reptiloid 31 October 2017 08: 35
            +1
            Quote: saigon
            rather a blacksmith (art forging) like a hobby

            The blacksmith’s craft is one of the oldest, requiring special knowledge and incomprehensible to others. Therefore, both in the tribes and later, the blacksmith was treated not only with respect, but also with fear. He was credited not only with secret knowledge and power over metals, fire and the elements, but also shamanism. Surnames: Kuznetsov, Koval, Kovalev, Kovalsky, Smith, Schmidt, Lefebvre, as well as other surnames in various other countries. Deities possessing blacksmithing skills are noted in different religions, folk, and other, creativity of various nations.
      3. Amurets
        Amurets 31 October 2017 01: 07
        +2
        Quote: saigon
        Forging IRON and STEEL together just a delight!

        Yes. In this way, Damascus Steel is obtained, a composite of steel and iron with different carbon contents.
        "The main secret of Damascus production technology is a multilayer billet, which consists of alloys with different carbon contents. Damascus steel is one of the first composite, that is, composite, materials in history. Damascus is welding technology, forging when there is a diffusion approach of layers of two, three or more steels, at high temperatures, by pressure. The main part of the package, which consists of steels rich in carbon, gives special hardness to “damascus.” The source of elasticity of the future product is alloying addition ki and iron. Thus, the alternation of metal layers with a very high and very low carbon content gave the new material: hardness, elasticity and toughness (resistance to impact loads). " http://sekach.ru/oruchie/damask
        1. saigon
          saigon 31 October 2017 03: 24
          0
          I would like to note a small nuance of steel starting with 03 percent carbon content, but all that with a lower percentage of carbon is cast iron.
          So for the interest of ST-3, steel 3 most common does not in any way boil.
          1. Amurets
            Amurets 31 October 2017 05: 13
            +3
            Quote: saigon
            I would like to note a small nuance of steel starting with 03 percent carbon content, but all that with a lower percentage of carbon is cast iron.

            And what is less than 0,3 is iron. "Iron alloys are called iron alloys containing more than 2,14% C, depending on the form in which the carbon is present in the alloy, white, gray and malleable cast irons are distinguished.
            "https://studopedia.ru/9_32650_im-vi-lenina.html
    3. Mih1974
      Mih1974 1 November 2017 00: 40
      +4
      good Here it is, moreover, the "magic" swords were made by several masters from one village and from ONE deposit !! That is, the blacksmiths were able to understand that this ore is much better than all the others, but they did not have the slightest understanding of HOW these qualities were achieved. And of course, with the expenditure of this deposit - the "magic" ended. tongue
      Something similar happened in China with porcelain: expensive thin-walled porcelain was made in only one region from certain deposits !! in all other provinces - they could not repeat the "miracle". And only at the time of Lomonosov, he and one European managed to "bite through" the technology of pharmaceuticals and overwhelmed the whole of Europe. Moreover, in fact, this moment can be called the “invention of china”, as well as damask steel, “Damascus steel” and much more that hundreds of years ago they did without understanding Technology.
      1. Amurets
        Amurets 1 November 2017 00: 47
        +1
        Quote: Mih1974
        Moreover, in fact, this moment can be called the “invention of china”, as well as damask steel, “Damascus steel” and much more that hundreds of years ago they did without understanding Technology.

        Very clear wording. I can’t put a bunch of pluses. but I put one. It was the development of technology that was a sore spot in Soviet industry.
        1. Reptiloid
          Reptiloid 1 November 2017 02: 57
          +1
          Good afternoon, Nikolai. I remembered reading comments that there is a book at home, "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Antiques," "There are weapons there too .. As I get back, I'll start with it, and then your advice.
          1. Amurets
            Amurets 1 November 2017 04: 42
            +1
            Quote: Reptiloid
            ..How to get back, I'll start with her, and then your advice.

            Dima. Hey. Very often, we forget about what we have and begin to search, then we remember what we forgot.
  2. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 30 October 2017 15: 32
    +3
    Thanks for the article, Ilya. Summed up. Well, what about double standards. Already mythologized, mythologized .......
    About cruelties and savagery was here in detail, also with you.
    I thought, As it is written, without a master a samurai is bad, hara-kiri is necessary .. Well, you have found a master, in the person of the USA and you don’t have to worry, ......
    1. kalibr
      kalibr 30 October 2017 22: 12
      +4
      Dmitry, in order not to refer to himself, I will refer to the best book in the USSR on samurai. Author SPEVAKOVSKY "Samurai-military estate of Japan." To read about weapons and armor in it is like peeing against the wind. But here is everything that is described there in relation to seppuki and its origin deserves attention. What is written in the article ... no. We will probably have to return to this topic. What kills me most is that the authors of such articles are too lazy to even contact the Tokyo National Museum and get really worthwhile photos. People still spend their time reading, expecting something new. It is clear that not everyone here is Japanese, but still.
      1. Reptiloid
        Reptiloid 31 October 2017 02: 25
        +1
        You see, Vyacheslav, I wrote 3 Japanese authors below, but this is a certain amount of irony. After all, it’s not about those former samurai, but about their descendants who lived in the 20th century. It can be said about their degeneration. And the Japanese themselves. Most Konzaburo Oe read. It turned out that there were a lot of his books at home.
        So in due time I read 2 of your books --- KNIGHTS and INDIANS. I just wanted to read them. While I glance at the list of your books online, from time to time. At the same time, I just read the SECOND DISCOVERY OF AMERICA. Humbolt. And then I’ll read other books about the Great Journeys, also of the old blue Mogidovich, who was recently lucky for cheap. Also I slowly read the HISTORY of the 19th CENTURY and also Fursov. And also the Egyptian language. And also Pervushina. And I’m also going to take about space from friends, about socialism. And still LENINGRAD Utopia I read. Also about the Leningrad metro.
  3. algonquin
    algonquin 30 October 2017 16: 04
    +7
    empty article.
    Samurai did not run in whole squads. In general, in the era of the shogunate, from about the 15-16th century, whole villages were completely corresponded and it was possible to go beyond the borders of their region only by permission.
    Permission is a document in which the external signs of a “person” are indicated.
    So no one ran the herds.
    The overlords - this is a European concept often could not be betrayed.
    Because again there was a hierarchical clan system: daima, clan, clan of his assistants, adjacent to the district of the school of martial arts and dojo - everything was tied to one district. and everything was taken into account, in the city in each district there was a foreman, many areas were blocked by gates for the night. So they knew each other "in person." a system of clothes and accessories was regulated (hats, hairstyles, color, obi-belt, etc.) who can ride horses and so on.
    That is, the detachments knew "by sight" either by first name, last name, or by the eyewitness accounts system. These with such an accent from such and such a district serve such and such a prince with such and such a prince. And they have servants / troops recruited from a certain clan.
    In the event of a “failure” / fault, the entire clan is punished, so that the warrior can escape, but his family and relatives will be executed.
    Bujutsu included from the very beginning: horseback riding, archery, possession of a spear, a sword "for the field" (no-dati) and various auxiliary types - jutte, kama, nunchaku, combat fan, hand-to-hand combat also turned on, or rather the art of throwing, binding and striking - bu-jutsu, ju-jutsu.
    Katana has become the main weapon already after the era of mass battles, when the art of "fencing" and "fights" began to spread. There’s nowhere for fencing in the massacre - therefore, the Vikings also had the main weapon for a long time - an ax and an ax, and not a sword.

    The blades are indeed multi-layered and are effective due to baited ore and a lack of iron
    Katana first (in bronze weight) and iron bIt was direct, like the Chinese source - jian.
    Weakness arose later, due to technology - it’s bad to poke and stab with a katana, but it’s good to cut and chop.
    Katana is enough bends well, but not very durableSo the blade is not sharpened to the point, so as not to break off

    After the establishment of the shogunate, “fighting” samurai practices began to disappear, hence the appearance of fencing with semantic aesthetic and so on. load - kendo, bushido, school such and such, with one sword, two swords and so on.
    When there was free time from battles.
    Later, somewhere around the 17-18th century, samurai could never enter fights, because it became an estate.
    It was in the "peace period" that the pseudo shogunatasamurai began to study the arts - calligraphy, playing music, composing and so on. at the same time, treatises began to be written on "codes of samurai" - Zen Buddhism, Tao, Takuan Soho's Idle Evening Talk, and so on.

    Somewhere in the 17th century (under the author of Hagakure - Yamamoto Tsunetetomo) a decree was issued prohibiting the seppuku without the permission of the master and so on.
    In the “troubled era”, by the age of 12-14, the son of a samurai should have had the experience of “killing” so that he would not be afraid of blood. And be present at seppuku as kaysyaku (the assistant chopping off the head)

    Samurai watched the haircut because it was the hair bundle that was presented to the head to demonstrate execution / identification, etc.The main thing is not to be confused with a female head. therefore shaved forehead and so on.

    Check out Samurai Lee Westbrook and many other books.
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 30 October 2017 16: 34
      +2
      Other books, modern. The last century. Edogawa Rampo, Kanzeburo Oe. And of course Akutagawa. Well, very critical.
  4. ilimnoz
    ilimnoz 30 October 2017 16: 05
    10
    and not only the samurai turned out to be mythologized. almost everything in the modern world is fictitious and ennobled. and behind a beautiful picture of a noble pirate is always an ordinary robber, a robber and a murderer.
  5. algonquin
    algonquin 30 October 2017 16: 16
    +1
    PS: you can really beat off a bullet with a katana - it was checked in a science-pop film or the Science of martial arts or hand-to-hand combat, something like that or Destroyers of legends.
    The bullet seems to ricochet, but the swordsman doesn’t have time to track the salvo.
    1. Razvedka_Boem
      Razvedka_Boem 30 October 2017 17: 10
      +3
      I doubt it very much. I would like to see how they beat off with a sword not just an automatic, but a pistol bullet ..) And until then ..
      1. Weyland
        Weyland 30 October 2017 22: 50
        +2
        According to the scenario, there was a long battle "scourge against the sword." But all the actors from the local food had terrible diarrhea, and the episode was extremely reduced - it turned out not so spectacular, but believable and fun laughing
  6. The comment was deleted.
  7. Eurodav
    Eurodav 30 October 2017 16: 24
    +2
    "... The image of the Japanese samurai was largely mythologized ..."
    In significantly significant !!! Let's look at the size of modern Japan? This is all that the samurai with their aggressive spirit Bushido throughout history have been capable of! Until fig picked up ...
    1. Pancher88
      Pancher88 15 May 2018 09: 54
      0
      All the same, we will not forget that the Japanese are the only ones who were able to defeat Russia substantially inferior to it in power.
      As for the mythologization of Japanese samurai, the same can be said about European knights, Vikings, Russian warriors, sea corsairs, etc. We all live surrounded by myths. Especially when they amuse national pride.
  8. algonquin
    algonquin 30 October 2017 16: 32
    +1
    PS - 2
    The decline of the samurai also began due to the fact that they, as an estate, were forbidden to engage in other types of activities, and it was difficult to live on the "something like" coca.
    The samurai who decided to engage in torgolla - ceased to be a samurai.

    After contact with the Dutch - the 17th century (The Last Samurai of Tom Cruise), the Japanese government decided to isolate itself and forbade fishermen who were carried to the sea and "return to the mainland" with a bad European example. " About the capture of speech did not go. have heard the expression "iron curtain"? That Japan in the era of the 16-19th century was a kind of DPRK sanctioned and without the Internet / currency and other democratic values. And the samurai spirit, like the "English / Anglo-Saxon character" helped to rebuild the country after the most serious defeats.
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 30 October 2017 16: 49
      +2
      The last SAMURAI is clearly not about the 17th century ... (revolvers, capsule rifles, card cases, etc.)
      Here is the SHOGUN ...
  9. demiurg
    demiurg 30 October 2017 16: 46
    +3
    Why did everyone rest against swords? It has already been said here, I repeat for memorization: The main weapon has always been the spear of the rider and the ax, or again the spear of the infantryman. The cavalrymen seemed to have peaks even after the First World War.
    And swords, katanas, and so on, it went into fashion after the spear gave way to the main armament of firearms.
  10. hohol95
    hohol95 30 October 2017 16: 46
    +4
    Once they sent Vasily Ivanovich to the East martial arts to study. He returned a year later, and the comrades decided to check what Vasily Ivanovich learned. They left him alone in the room and began to launch a ninja at him one at a time. 10 launched - not one returned. It turns out that Vasily Ivanovich wipes his sword on his shoulder and says:
    - Well, who’s climbing a saber with a bare heel!
  11. parusnik
    parusnik 30 October 2017 17: 05
    +1
    If someone carefully watched the film "The White Sun of the Desert" should have paid attention to the second-lieutenant's cold steel (which flies out of the window of the Vereshchaginsky house) .. a samurai sword ... he ...
    1. Weyland
      Weyland 30 October 2017 22: 54
      +2
      Quote: parusnik
      Amurai sword ... he has ...

      I noticed this a long time ago, but I learned why he had a katana relatively recently. And this detail allows you to accurately determine where this Cossack came from: those white Cossacks who entered the Kwantung Army, since 1931 really armed with katanas.
  12. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 30 October 2017 17: 22
    +8
    In my opinion, the author faked. negative
    For example, such a picture would clarify a lot:


    And then the bootlegg begins about the cruelty of the samurai. It is true, but
    article about weapons.
    1. The comment was deleted.
      1. mar4047083
        mar4047083 30 October 2017 22: 04
        +4
        Whatever it was, but agree VN, the Japanese "pieces of iron" look wretched against the background of a real work of art. .
        1. Eight
          Eight 30 October 2017 22: 16
          +4

          You think that the presence of sawtooth gives the product aesthetics.
          1. mar4047083
            mar4047083 30 October 2017 22: 28
            +5
            Of course not. Sawtooth speaks only about the craftsmanship of a blacksmith and about more "advanced" technologies. Although in a normal product, sawtooth looks aesthetically pleasing.
            1. Eight
              Eight 30 October 2017 22: 51
              +6

              This is the Fudo Myo katana of the blacksmith Miyazaki Keishinsai. As for me, it’s also beautiful, albeit without teeth.
              1. mar4047083
                mar4047083 30 October 2017 23: 50
                +2
                A matter of taste V.N. I like European edged weapons more. There is no big sense in using both of them now, you can just look at them as art. Although, you can add (much more than in the article, you can read the relevant literature)) about the quality and effectiveness in the extermination of "people".
                1. Eight
                  Eight 30 October 2017 23: 56
                  +4
                  And I like any weapon, if this is a master’s product. Moreover, it does not have to be in gold and precious stones. It would seem a murder weapon, but it has some attractive power.
    2. Arkady Gaidar
      Arkady Gaidar 30 October 2017 18: 38
      +2
      And this author has all the articles with a catch and go from discussing a given topic on the personalities of performers. Objectivity and depth, no article shines. Alas. Everywhere the author reduces to politics and social contradictions. So to speak, branded horse)))
    3. Amurets
      Amurets 31 October 2017 01: 25
      +1
      Quote: voyaka uh
      For example, such a picture would clarify a lot:

      Yes. Very interesting. This layout of steel layers in Japanese weapons came to me for the first time. And it is very good, clearly. explains what a couple is. Because a good blacksmith works in the same style.
      Katana and Wakizashi were made by one blacksmith in the same style, since swords were considered a pair and were collectively called “daiso” - “long - short”. Moreover, if the swords were made by different masters, then they were no longer a daiso.
  13. kalabaha
    kalabaha 30 October 2017 17: 36
    +7
    There can be no nation that for centuries has boiled in its own juice - an expert on weapons technology. The Japanese fought mainly among themselves. Because they had a stagnant degradation. While the other nations on the continents in numerous battles came to a common denominator about the effectiveness of knives and equipment - the Japanese were bogged down in their retrograde traditions.
    By the middle of the 19th, the whole world realized that sabers were better for the foot and cavalry - nothing exists. Two-handed long swords have gone down in history; swords and akinaki have gone down in history. And only the Japanese were worn with long katanas.
    I saw the process of dressing in Samurai armor by NatGeo - this is FULL W ,,. PA !!!
    15 minutes, two pull on the third of these endless leather retuza and straps. A clad samurai - cannot even urinate - for taking off his armor - again, someone else's help is needed. They probably all walked around smelling and pissing.
    What is the point of these leather armor - if they were cut with a sword and pierced by an arrow?
    What prevented them from doing the same armor and chain mail as in the rest of the world?
    Haha, the Japanese used the huge two-meter wooden bow for centuries - when did the Mongols create a compact reverse composite bow?
    I look at Japaneseophiles as sick people.
    Dragging all over Japanese - like glass wool boas
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 30 October 2017 18: 44
      +4
      "I look at Japaneseophiles as sick people" ///

      This is you in vain. The Japanese have a lot to learn.
      For example: how to make organized from the deep Middle Ages
      rapid jump into the group of the most technically developed countries in the world.
      Agree, few have succeeded in this?
      And there are roots from the samurai swords too.
      The katana trim sword is the trim Toyota Corolla. Catch it?
      1. groks
        groks 30 October 2017 20: 46
        +3
        Few people. But even few people fell at that time a huge amount of Russian gold.
      2. Weyland
        Weyland 30 October 2017 23: 00
        +2
        Quote: voyaka uh
        The katana trim sword is the trim Toyota Corolla.

        Katan here just does not steer. In the 16th century, the Yapps surprisingly promptly introduced a firearm (the first arquebus was introduced there in 1, and after 1543 years they made 20 million of them according to this model! —Synchronous information source - Fernan Mendes Pinto, “Wanderings”), which allowed Japan to unite
        1. voyaka uh
          voyaka uh 30 October 2017 23: 56
          +2
          This is interesting about arquebuses. Did not know.
      3. Arkady Gaidar
        Arkady Gaidar 30 October 2017 23: 19
        0
        Yes, few people jumped into the industrial and technical leap, but still succeeded. The only question is the price of the issue and the circumstances in which it is implemented. The USSR of the beginning of the twentieth century, conducted it in international isolation, which was violated only for very good money. That is why, until the very beginning of WWII, strict exploitation of their own population was carried out, without any improvement in their living conditions (so as not to waste precious resources). Moreover, a breakthrough in the USSR was made almost from scratch, because modern machines and technologies were hardly supplied and had to be twisted out on our own.
        1. voyaka uh
          voyaka uh 30 October 2017 23: 54
          +2
          "a breakthrough in the USSR, was made almost from scratch, because modern machines and technologies were almost not supplied and had to get out on their own" ////

          And here you are fundamentally wrong. The pull into the USSR in the 1st Five-Year Plan was made by the forces of the United States of America by 90% and Germany by 10%.
          Read, google about: "Albert Kahn in the history of Soviet industrialization."
          His company built in the USSR more than 500 large and largest factories. All air, tractor, engines, defense with all the latest technology.
          The Japanese did not even dream of such massive help (for money). Although, after World War II, America also invested in their reindustrialization.
          1. Arkady Gaidar
            Arkady Gaidar 31 October 2017 13: 03
            +1
            Here hello, I'm mistaken)) The wrench was made on their own. More precisely for their own money, and not small. Yes, we hired foreign engineers, paid, often in gold and first-class wheat, for machine tools and equipment. This is a necessary step, because their engineers and scientists either died during the civil war, or (for the most part) emigrated. Japan, like destroyed Germany, rebuilt and developed with American money. And this is a well-known fact. And they paid by the fact that they conducted domestic and international trade. Through the Americans, they were integrated into the system of international trade agreements. and evolved.
            Naturally, when its lost, the Soviet government bought and built with the help of foreign firms and specialists. Which, incidentally, did not always fulfill their obligations under contracts (especially military).
            Conclusion: The USSR first hired foreigners and foreign companies for construction and development. But he did everything exclusively at his own expense, without the support of international financial institutions. And in most cases, he was deprived of the opportunity to conduct international trade, which allows to receive additional profits.
            1. voyaka uh
              voyaka uh 31 October 2017 14: 27
              +3
              "The dash was made on their own. More precisely, for their own money," ///

              These are two completely different things. smile .
              That's right: a jerk by US engineers for the money of the USSR.
              Further, the Soviet Union developed American technology and created
              own.
              .
              1. Arkady Gaidar
                Arkady Gaidar 31 October 2017 18: 22
                +1
                Warrior! You should know no worse than me the Russian proverb: "Whoever pays, he orders the music!" And the rest, we came to the same opinion. Having lost factories (due to destruction and plunder) during the civil war, as well as specialists who left Russia because of the revolution, the USSR nevertheless made a powerful leap in development. Which, in fact, was required to prove. And this leap was probably more powerful (in comparison with the effort-result) than the Japanese after the defeat in the war.
                Yours!
    2. Looking for
      Looking for 30 October 2017 20: 07
      0
      And it stands before my eyes, Robin Hood and the English archers with Mongolian bows.
    3. kalibr
      kalibr 30 October 2017 22: 04
      +2
      The answers to ALL your questions are contained in this book.
    4. Pancher88
      Pancher88 15 May 2018 09: 57
      0
      Do not be offended, but I think envy says in you
  14. bnm.99
    bnm.99 30 October 2017 18: 38
    +1
    The question is a little off topic: how is a saber different from a sword? And yet - why is a katana called a sword - is it a curve? Maybe she’s a saber anyway? By the way, contemporaries describing the attempt on Nicholas II in Japan called the katana a saber.
    1. Looking for
      Looking for 30 October 2017 20: 12
      -1
      Judging by the fact that the most important difference of a sword is a double-edged blade, well, this katana cannot be a sword.
    2. Weyland
      Weyland 30 October 2017 23: 02
      0
      Quote: bnm.99
      why is a katana called a sword - is it a curve?

      Oak translation from the Nagliyskiy (for the brazen sword it can mean both a straight and a curved blade - for example, they call a Caucasian sword a cavalry sword)
    3. Arkady Gaidar
      Arkady Gaidar 30 October 2017 23: 41
      +1
      In fact, in European languages, initially all long blades were called swords. And behind the curved two-handed, this name remains to this day. Later, under the influence of the East, various types of sabers stood out by their individual names. And yes, a cactana is a two-handed saber. Moreover, with an underdeveloped guard. And many modern fektovalschiki-restorers, do not praise the katana at all, for poor balance (without a counterweight in the handle) and a weak guard (they say that they tried for a minute, armed with a katana against a European two-handed, or one and a half, remains fingerless).
      1. Weyland
        Weyland 2 November 2017 22: 27
        0
        Quote: Arkady Gaidar
        a weak guard (they claim that they tried and within a minute, armed with a katana against the European two-handed, or one and a half, remains fingerless).

        designated tsuba not a guard at all and the emphasis is intended ONLY to prevent fingers from slipping on the blade, and in no way to protect against enemy attacks - kendo is not at all “sword-in-sword” fencing!
    4. dzuar saubarag
      dzuar saubarag 31 October 2017 06: 58
      +1
      Katana in European weaponry and everyday understanding was originally considered a saber. If my memory serves me, Winkler's katana is called a saber, the same can be found in fiction and magazine articles of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Only later - I suspect that from about the middle of the 20th century, the katana began to be considered a sword.
      1. algonquin
        algonquin 1 November 2017 12: 43
        +1
        in English Katana language - Japanese sword. "Japanese swords"
        in Japanese, everything that has a guard, a blade and a hilt is considered a sword. that is, hieroglyphs are written, read in different ways, pronounced too, but the meaning is a sword
        naginata translates as a sword on a long handle
  15. geologist
    geologist 30 October 2017 20: 05
    +2
    Watch the video about the Wendel weapon with Klim Zhukov. A blacksmith who made many weapons for reconstructing the Middle Ages says that making swords is not particularly difficult. Any good medieval blacksmith knew how to make them. It is interesting that the blank for the European sword and the Japanese is exactly the same - a horseshoe made of multilayer steel into which a bar of iron is inserted, only Europeans pulled the horseshoe in length, and the Japanese in width. Why this happened is unknown. Perhaps the secret to making the sword came to Japan and Scandinavia orally and the blacksmiths, having no sample, made completely different products from the same blanks.
    1. Weyland
      Weyland 30 October 2017 23: 05
      +1
      Quote: geologist
      Any good medieval blacksmith knew how to make them.

      Yeah, right now ... The then village blacksmith did not have textbooks at hand, unlike in modern times! In the 16th century, even very advanced (workshop) masters knew even about the elementary cementation process!
  16. Ahasverus
    Ahasverus 30 October 2017 20: 23
    0
    Japan is by the way a Christian country. There is a film, and Japanese about the civil religious war between the Hpists and Japanese pagans. Christians have lost.
    1. Eight
      Eight 30 October 2017 23: 01
      +5
      By the way, with a population of 127 million Christians in Japan, as much as 2,5 million, i.e. less than 2%.
      The traditional religions of Japan are Shintoism and Buddhism, and there is a kind of religious syncretism, since most Japanese refer to both of these religions. There have never been any civil wars between Christians and Gentiles in Japan.
      Do not misinform readers.
  17. kalibr
    kalibr 30 October 2017 22: 01
    +1
    Good material for the magazine SECRETS of the XX century, but for VO ... too popular, too. And then, what is this unprofessional manner of giving illustrations without signatures? In my opinion, this does not respect their readers. What kind of drawing, where, in which museum is located, what century ... This is an ELEMENTARY CULTURE of information. Especially in relation to historical artifacts.
    1. Eight
      Eight 30 October 2017 23: 04
      +3
      "Good material for the magazine SECRETS of the XX century" For Murzilka magazine, he is very good.
  18. M. Michelson
    M. Michelson 31 October 2017 04: 08
    +4
    Superficially and with an emphasis on exoticism.
    Samurai deified swords. And where did they not deify?
    Cheating. So in feudal society there was a contractual relationship. From low-ranking suzerain left the vassals in Europe.
    We fought with the weakest. And then for some reason, China and even Russia suddenly won.
    Japan is not a Christian country; this cruelty was not mitigated by religious beliefs.

    And what is widespread Buddhism in Japan, calling to spare everyone in a row, is this nothing? winked
    Fashion for Japanese culture began to spread in the West in the twentieth century and rather quickly took root among the part of the Western intelligentsia that was seduced by myths ...

    And that Japan reached the leading countries of the world by the end of the century, doesn’t that count either?
    In short, I did not expect such a weak review from Polonsky. negative
  19. algonquin
    algonquin 31 October 2017 10: 34
    +2
    In general, I understood that the author read an article about the period of the Ashikaga and the civil war before the climb of Togukagawa.
    Actually, the period of Ashikaga - the decline of imperial power, relatively speaking, officially lasted 170 years.
    then the old tribal ties collapsed, the soldiers could really leave some of the bosses and move on to others. This is similar to the phenomenon of mercenary Viking Vikings in the squads of European kings and princes, and Zoë of Constantinople.
    Well, or probably Swiss and other Landsknechts.

    Europeans appeared around 1553.
    coastal merchants began to buy up firearms and strengthen their influence.
    This is similar to the so-called phenomenon of "big bonds" in Scandinavia.
    when large landowners could hire / feed and maintain large groups of armed people.
    But at the same time, the bond was less honorable than the Viking, military leader, hersir, jarl, landrmann, etc.
    For example, a wealthy bond from the island of Leka passed off his daughter for Bjärnjolva, a relative of Kari from Berdla, as it was “forced”, because he could not refuse. The wedding was incomplete and because of this later the sons could not seize the inheritance. at Bard and the toll of the son of Scallagrim.

    In previous years existed military aristocracy kuge, but since there were many battles, a theoretically simple warrior could rise to the highest military leaders.
    Oda Nobunaga, Minamoto and Yoritomo were just the military leaders who managed to seize power.
    It looks like the period of feudal fragmentation in Europe 12th century, feudal fragmentation in Russia, the Time of Troubles or the collapse of the USSR in the 90s, however, the period did not last long and Samurai have not yet formed as the same famous class.
    A samurai with a strict hierarchy, tradition and a “code” was formed in the Tokugawa era, when the mass battles ended, but passionarity had to be put somewhere.
    Tokugawa introduced a rigid system of feudal society + most likely the influence of confessors - Taoists and Buddhists with the departure into mysticism and self-improvement increased.

    It was difficult for the samurai to be distinguished by their wealth and luxury, so they tried to cultivate their honor, fencing, spirituality and so on. less costly aspects. to be different from other layers

    There have been many similar periods in history and judging a samurai over a short span of 100 years is silly.
  20. Knizhnik
    Knizhnik 1 November 2017 12: 15
    +2
    One and the same act can be considered both a meanness and a military cunning, but for survival it remains “on the other side” (almost according to Nietzsche). I agree with previous commentators, samurai as an estate degraded even before the 20th century, and what was happening already during WWII IMHO was only bloody cosplay.
    Regarding the quality of the swords, it was different, and depended on the skill of the gunsmith, the materials available to him at that time (as we know, there were difficulties with the raw materials), and the time for manufacturing - there were cases when a blacksmith “on his knee” riveted a weapon for an entire detachment in 1 day. In such conditions, grinding and polishing were of great importance - here they excelled, you can’t say anything, and most importantly, they kept the tradition.
  21. algonquin
    algonquin 1 November 2017 12: 40
    +1
    Real Samurai Sword Technique - Cutting BB Gun pellet by Isao Machii - Japanese Katana Kenjutsu

  22. algonquin
    algonquin 2 November 2017 11: 00
    0
    If it’s really interesting, it’s difficult to go to YouTube and watch 5-8 videos.

    There are a couple of rollers in Japanese when they shoot a rigidly fixed katana first with a 9 mm pistol, then with a machine gun.
    The sword is set to "cut the bullet."
    The first 1-2 katana bullets cut, 6-7 shot breaks the blade completely

    There is still a video with the same Isao Machii, only a BBS employee shoots, an aunt from a pistol, the place of the experiment is a polygon in the air
    The master takes out his sword in one motion and cuts the ball

    There is a video “at the limit with Korotkov,” where they also shoot a katana, but over the entire area of ​​the blade, if you get into the same place twice, the blade breaks.

    Russian samurai "Vanya" also tries to hit the ball, out of the gun - he is late with a sweep for a couple of seconds, maybe less, but he throws it with his hand.
    But! The erroneous opinion that one should stand with a sword as with a revolver pistol. Just the sword loves movement and acceleration, so it’s more logical to shoot a few shots, during the first two the kendoist dodges, looks at the trajectory-speed-approximate point of “meeting” and prepares the swing, the shooter also shoots at the same time, so 3 bullets will have to beat off anyone, and modifying the upper or lower part of the blade diagonally to set a different flight path for the fragments, then the step-substep preparatory striking strike from the bottom up, and chopping down from the top position

  23. Weyland
    Weyland 2 November 2017 22: 21
    0
    Quote: Amurets
    What has this technology been used in both Russia and Sweden and in a number of places.

    Not just in a number of places - but throughout ALL Eurasia from Spain to Japan!
  24. The comment was deleted.
  25. K-50
    K-50 3 November 2017 09: 08
    0
    given that Japan is not a Christian country, this cruelty was not mitigated by religious beliefs.

    Yeah. Here's a Christian softener for more details. This is one of the bloodiest religions, if not the most. proof of? Think of the crusader’s campaigns that took us to the Middle East, to Russia, as well as the destroyed Indians of North and South America, blacks, Irish, Indians, victims of the Inquisition, and much, much more.
    In my opinion, Christianity is the MOST bloody religion !!
  26. Pancher88
    Pancher88 15 May 2018 10: 06
    0
    Unfortunately, modern domestic articles on samurai, Japanese military culture, and especially katanas are simply impossible to read. In all of them, under the slogan of fighting and overthrowing absolutely fictitious myths, indiscriminate watering of Japanese warriors, Japanese weapons and Japanese culture is carried out by streams of slops and feces. And the reason is simple: banal jealousy and jealousy for someone else's fame and someone else's popularity. Hence the desire to belittle, to prove "sho our drin tea is no worse than their katana."
  27. Pancher88
    Pancher88 15 May 2018 10: 14
    0
    Quote: bandabas
    I don’t want to say anything bad about your grandfather. Mine ended the War in the West and were not in the Far East. But, he stopped them with a bullet, not a saber. Or am I wrong?

    Yes, he invented, you don’t see))) A beautiful story, I do not argue, but it’s immediately obvious that it is fiction.