Hachiwara


Hachiwara

In pre-industrial Japan, the nihongo|hachiwari|鉢割, or "helmet breaker", was a type of blunt, knife-shaped weapon, resembling a jutte in many respects. This weapon was carried as a side-arm by Samurai, and was used to parry an opponent's sword or hook into an opponent's helmet.

The blade of a hachiwara was a curved triangular rod with a hook on its backside. In combat one could parry and catch a blade with that hook, as with a jutte. Hachiwari were usually around 350mm long. Some larger versions are around 450mm long and resemble a tekkan.The mounts of the Hachiwara were mostly of carved wood or carved cinnabar lacquer. [ [http://www.paralumun.com/swhach.htm Hachiwara Helmet Breakers ] ]

The mounting of a hachiwara is often designed to look like a tantô and some few haciwara are knives, rather than blunt metal cudgels.

Similar weapons were known in Europe, where they are called 'left-hand daggers' or 'sword-breakers '. The form of these weapons is very different from hachiwara, although their use and purpose is the same. Left-hand daggers are double-edged knives with spring-loaded sub-blades which jut out on each side of the blade. The left-hand dagger could parry and catch a rapier and with a twisting movement cant it, to get an advantage in combat.

It would appear that tales of samurai breaking open a kabuto (" jap. Helmet") of Ô-yoroi ("jap. Big armour") are more folklore than anything else. The hachi(helmet bowl and central component of kabuto) of kabuto on Ô-yoroi was made of pie-piece shaped pieces of steel or iron riveted together at the sides, at the top to a large, thick grommet of sorts called a tehen-no-kanamono, and at the bottom to a metal strip that encircles the hachi. [ [http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/katchu/katchu.ch08.html Kabuto page of Nihon Katchû Seisakuben, An Online Japanese Armour Manual] ] This would require enormous pressure to split open. However, it would appear to be possible to hook a helmet with the hachiwara and use it as a lever, to strain the internal structure or split off a section of the helmet.

Nowadays there is no Ryu ("School, Style") known to train with hachiwara, although certain dojos within Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu still train with them, as an extension of juttejutsu. A number of weapons retailers in Japan still sell usable hachiwari.

References

External links

* [http://www.arco-iris.com/George/hachiwara.htm Hachiwara]
* [http://claudiospage.com/dolche.htm Left Hand Dagger with 'saw back' ]
* [http://claudiospage.com/dolche2.htm Left Hand Dagger with spring-open sub-blades]
* [http://www.wholesaleknives.co.uk/japanese_armour_information.htm Kabuto]
* [http://www.e-budokai.com/articles/weapons.htm Defensive Weapons of the Samurai]


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