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Bladed Weapons of the East  
 
     
 

Nodachi

The nodachi is a large two-handed Japanese sword. Thus, while the original use of the term may have been to refer to any type of long battlefield sword (daito), it currently is misapplied to any type of oversized Japanese sword.

Nodachi were generally used on open battlefields as their length made their use indoors or close quarters difficult. They were an effective weapon against cavalry, though they were not commonly used. Nodachi were infrequently used for several reasons:

* The blade was more difficult to produce
* The nodachi required more strength to use
* Weapons such as the naginata or nagamaki were arguably more effective for the same role on the battlefield.

During times of peace the sword was worn across the back as a symbol of status. The nodachi was more difficult to wield due to its abnormal size and weight, but like any weapon, could be extremely deadly if the warrior wielding it was skilled. Legend says that a nodachi could cleave a warrior and his horse in half with a single blow.