I ran across an interesting variation of a Japanese polearm today. Specifically, an unusual naginata.
Naginata have an interesting history. They were traditionally intended to be used against opponents on horseback. Much like the European halberd, or pike. The naginata was so useful during the age of Japanese calvary, that they became a status symbol.
When the naginata was no longer useful as a battlefield weapon, the naginata was given to the wives and women of the Samurai class in order to protect the household while the Samurai were away at war. The naginata eventually because a status symbol for woman of the samurai class, becoming for Samurai women what the Samurai sword was for the male Samurai. A symbol of honor.
But all of that interesting history aside, I thought this particular design was interesting for a couple of reasons. First, the most common naginata design is essentially a modified mid sized sword on a spear shaft. This head of this naginata is actually closer in design to a broad sword, than a katana. Not completely out of left field, but not exactly standard naginata design either.
And another interesting difference is that the spine of the blade on this naginata has fins, for lack of a better word, which is equally unusual in a naginata, but not unheard of in a broadsword. Last, but not least, I liked the black treatment of the blade. Hey, it’s the details alright?
Dragon Naginata – [True Swords]