What is a Shinobi O-Katana?

by antonis
(Athens Greece)

Hello guyz i was thinking to get a custom made sword an in a book that i borrowed from a friend says tha shinobi most likely carried an O-wakizashi.

So is this a long wakizashi?

And how long is too long?

What are the limits so it can be classified as an O-wakizashi and not a katana. thnx and sorry for any spelling mistakes not a native english speaker 😁


Comments for What is a Shinobi O-Katana?

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Short and long answer
by: Paul

An O-Wakizashi is simply a Wakizashi with a blade closer in length to a Katana while a Ko Wakizashi is closer in length to a Tanto..

There is no hard and fast rule but generally a blade from between 20-24" would be classed as an O-Wakizashi..

As to what swords the Shinobi used - well, this is a bit controversial, but my own research conduced in Japan on this area suggests that the Shinobi used whatever they needed for the job at hand. If they were a Samurai, they would use the typical Daisho and Wakizashi, though often with some modifications, such as the Bujinkan style sword that has a long handle and looks like it will take a long time to draw due to a long saya, but actually has a short blade and has a strong element of surprise and unfamiliarity to the opponent when drawn..

If they were disguised as a simple traveler, the blade would be straight and concealed in a bamboo stick.. If they were in "full ninja mode" they would have a multipurpose sword, often made by themselves or a village smith, and that looks like the classic Hollywood sword - with a sharply tipped scabbard designed to stick into the ground, a hard leather square tsuba to stand on and avoid any clanking sound, and a long cord to retrieve the sword if it is stood upon to climb a wall as well as many other accessories (breathing tube, throwing spikes, etc).

While my own research is not yet complete, this is the direction it is heading - there was no such thing as a single "Ninjato" - there were several types, and which was used depended on the Shinobis needs and was more or less disposable..

Hope this helps!

- Paul

by: Antonis

Thnx Paul that helps alot.
And thnx for pointing out that shinobis
Tools changes depending the his needs.
Also thnx for pointing out some measurements
To chose from for the sword i would like to order
But anything for the handle? Should it be a standard wakizashi handle to be a wakizashi even if the blade is longer than the average wakizashi
Should it be longer?
But will this make it a katana
Or it doesn't matter at all and it could be whatever u see fit?
Thnx again for fast and detailed response

It is pretty much up to you..
by: Paul

No problems, glad to be of help.

To answer your question on the handle, in theory to quality as an O-Wakizashi it will need to be a standard 5-6" handle however a Ko Katana (wakizashi blade with Katana length grip) would also qualify..

Indeed, the Bujinkan Katana is basically a variation of a Ko Katana with a long 14" handle and long saya (but Wakizashi length blade) so any variation is ok..

Flexibility is a Shinobi trait. :)

You are the man
by: Antonis

Thnx once more Paul
Always fast and rich responce.
This settle things up
I think i will get both or at least i try
Keep up the good work paul😉

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