A recent comment had me looking at polearms today. A reader commented on the possibility of wielding an Ōdachi as a melee combat weapon, like a Naginata or a spear. Now I have some serious doubts about the practicality of a super long Ōdachi for that particular application, but interestingly enough, as if on cue, I ran into this (not so little) oddity:
AHA! A Mt Fuji Spear!!… Now this is excellent!! Err… OK… I must admit that I have no idea what a “Mt. Fuji Spear” is supposed to be. But with a 38″ blade, and a 29″ handle, it seems to me that this is just a Katana with a really, really long handle. Not a spear.
The closest weapon I can think of to this would be a Naginata, which is basically a Katana mounted to a spear shaft. The Mt Fuji Spear doesn’t even have a long enough handle for that. But given that even the Naginata is not really considered a spear, how this weapon got classified as a spear is beyond me. They were probaby smokin’ something atop Mt Fuji when they came up with the name. Who knows.
Anyway, I thought it was a cool weapon, seeing that it might actually be easier to balance than a traditional Katana, and notwithstanding it’s confusion as to whether it’s a katana or a naginata, it could give you the extra range of an Ōdachi, or at least a Nodachi, without the risks of having to try and choke up on a bare blade for close quarters combat.
My only issue, was that I found a picture of the Mt Fuji Spear that showed that the blade is attached to the handle via a short, stubby threaded insert, rather than any kind of tang. And I mean virtually no tang whatsoever. Apart from this weird threaded stub, which seemed waaay to short to reliably survive any serious impact. So in my book, this particular design variation would not make for a great combat weapon.
But if I could get this in a black blade, with at least a good eight inch tang or so, I think this would make for a very interesting melee weapon. What? You don’t like black? Pffft! Too bad…
Mt. Fuji Spear – [True Swords]