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Bladed Weapons of the East  

Sword Length

A Japanese swords class depends on its length in units called shaku. One shaku is just under one foot.

The three main divisions of Japanese blade length are:

1 shaku or less for tanto,
1-2 shaku for shoto, and
2 shaku or more for daito.

A tanto is a small dagger.

Blades between one and two shaku are called shoto.

Japanese long swords are called daito. A daito is longer than two shaku measured in a straight line. However, there is no enforced maximum length for a daito. Blades such as the odachi and nodachi are among the longest.