JAPANESE SAMURAI LADIES NAGINATA EDO PERIOD
The Naginata is a pole weapon and one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class of feudal Japan, as well as by Ashigaru and Sōhei. The Naginata is the iconic weapon of the Onna-Bugeisha, a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese nobility.
This Naginata blade has been assessed by UK Japanese sword expert Bill Tag. A copy of his hand written notes which includes a sketch of the tang and blade characteristics accompany the blade. In extracts from his notes he states "Ladies small Naginata from the early Edo period. This size usually for Samurai women. They were kept in racks behind the door of the house. Women & Girls were trained with them to defend the home. A fine quality blade in original Japanese restored polish with attractive bumpy notare/midare temper line, this was in favour in the 1680's. Grain probably Muji Hada, resembles Pear skin. The blade has been shortened by grinding down the blade notches (Machi) and tang. This has caused some staining & darkening of the Tang with heat transference from the grinding wheel. This is now under the hilt and does not detract from the quality or looks of the blade. Unsigned, no name. In original Japanese Honoki wood Shira Saya which has the shaft and cover wrapped in split bamboo (nice effect). in his illustration of the blade and tang he states "cutting edge is just over 12 inches. very fine grain Muji Nashiji. Hamon notare mixed midare edged with Konie crystals. Naginata high grooves. New drilled hole and original hole. The Naginata blade in its wood measures 42 1/2 inches overall length