Make your own free website on
Bladed Weapons of the East  


A kodachi was too short to be considered a long sword but too long to be a dagger. Because of its size, it could be drawn and swung quickly. It was frequently used as a guarding weapon. Since this sword was shorter than 2 shaku in length, it did not exceed the blade length limits of non-samurai during the Edo period and could be worn many.

The length of th kodachi is similar to that of the wakizashi, and though the blades differ in construction, the kodachi and the wakizashi are similar enough in size and technique that the terms are incorrectly interchanged.

The prefix "ko" means short, and can be attached to any of the names of the swords to indicate something shorter than "normal". As the prefix "o-" means great/long, it follows that the opposite end of this length spectrum of the tachi is the odachi.