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Comment count is 17
SolRo - 2016-06-24

All these katana vs sword xyz arguments are dumb.

they use a much heavier sword vs a katana, and the physics are just too dissimilar for a proper comparison.

You could do the exact same thing with sledgehammer vs gun...'oh look, the gun barely damages the sledge hammer but the sledge hammer destroys the gun, thus sledgehammer is a better weapon.'

Anyhow, the katana is a good weapon for the purpose it was designed for, which is basically to cut through as many unarmored peasants (either conscripted fighting in an enemy army or rebelling) as quickly as possible. You'd tire out swinging a big sword around that much.

Old_Zircon - 2016-06-24

That's kind of part of the charm in this case.

garcet71283 - 2016-06-25

Well, considering that the modern katana was developed during a time of extended political stability when firearms were commonplace, its primary purpose was for ceremonial garb and honor duels. Basically the katana is the Japanese fencing foil.

EvilHomer - 2016-06-25

>> cut through as many unarmored peasants


Old_Zircon - 2016-06-25

While we're at it, modern Zen Buddhism was invented around WWI by various Japanese hucksters looking to cash in on the Western executive class's obsession with all things oriental and quasi-spiritual, and has very little to do with historic Zen Buddhism. It's essentially the forerunner of the more new-agey wing of the modern self help industry (Freud's followers -the ones who turned psychotherapy into a rigid, dogmatic, highly profitable industry were the other big forerunners).

gmol - 2016-06-25

Japan's lack of enthusiasm for religion seems to stem from their common knowledge that Buddhism was always a tool of the state.

memedumpster - 2016-06-24

Joerg, stop lowering yourself to the level of savages and nerds.

No sling, no stars.

Cena_mark - 2016-06-25

Katanas have the equivalent of blast processing for swords. None can touch it.

EvilHomer - 2016-06-25

I'm genuinely surprised you've picked the weeaboo position on this, but OK, I'll bite. You're wrong.

Or rather, you're right, but for the wrong reasons. Katanas are indeed the sword equivalent of blast processing - which is to say, they're overhyped and crappy. European swords FTW.

Cena_mark - 2016-06-26

I learned swordsmanship on katanas. I'll always love them.

EvilHomer - 2016-06-26

So did I, and so will I. Unfortunately, as 1 Corinthians 13:11: "when I became a man, I put away childish things".

Katanas are made of poor-quality metal, serve only for cutting, and have an awful crossguard design. Even the best swords are but poor cousins of polearms of course, but ignoring that for a moment, we must face the facts: katanas are objectively inferior to the more specialized designs of European swords.

Cena_mark - 2016-06-26

It's funny you say I picked the weeaboo position, when it's an even nerdier brand of nerd who started the backlash against the katana in favor of European swords. Katanas aren't made of poor metal, only if you buy your katana at the flea market. Made only for cutting? Yeah only made for cutting, limbs, heads, armor, broadswords, etc.
What do you mean more specialized? Why would a more specialized sword be better, when specialized means it has a narrow degree of use? Wouldn't a versitile kanana be better?

EvilHomer - 2016-06-26

No, they WERE made of poor metal. Japan has very little iron, and the steel they could produce from it had extremely low carbon quality. The "legendary folding-steel technique" that fans of katanas always go on about was necessary *precisely because* the metal available to Japanese swordsmiths was junk. (it's also worth pointing out that this was a technique mastered - even surpassed! - by Saxon smiths nearly a thousand years before the Japanese got the hang of it) The "coolest thing" about katanas was how the Japanese managed to get more use than they should have out of shittier hardware (ironically, similar to the NES in the great NES/Genesis debate)

All good weapons are specialized; if you want a weapon that'll be good in any fighting situation, then you'll be killed, because your opponent (assuming he's not a weeaboo) will always pick a weapon that's better suited than yours. That said, swords tended to be used as sidearms, rather like pistols today - the "best" swords were the ones that were light enough to be worn all day long. The katana sort of fits this bill, but you'd be much better off with a rapier or a backsword or a basket-hilted claymore; hell, even the war-oriented arming swords of the Middle Ages were more practical for day-to-day use, given that they had two cutting edges, better thrusting points, and much broader quillons than the katana. The difference between a katana and an arming sword is like the difference between a flintlock pistol and a Colt 1911; of course you're better off with the latter!

Cena_mark - 2016-06-26

All this anti-katana bunk sounds like shit off of white suprecist sites. "Oh, of course white people made the best swords".
The steel isn't the issue. Make a katana out of the finest steel and you have the best sword.

EvilHomer - 2016-06-26

Again, its not JUST the steel. It's the design, too. The katana has one cutting edge. It's very poor as a thrusting weapon (which is a bad thing, as thrusts are the most lethal of blows), and the crossguards don't provide adequate protection for a swordsman's hands (also bad, as hands are the most exposed part of your body in a sword-fight).

It's not just white people, either - Indians, Iranians, and later Arabs, all made better swords than the Japanese, too.

Old_Zircon - 2016-06-26

EVilhomer, if you're a sword guy, there's been a rack of 6 or 7 mostly European swords that look like they could be reasonable quality to my non sword guy eye in the window of a pawn shop I pass on my way to work and I know you're within two hours of here. It's right near Classical High School in Providence.

Hello, my future gang stalkers.

EvilHomer - 2016-06-27

Thanks for the heads up! I don't know if I'd call myself a "sword guy" (I'm more of a casual HEMA nerd, and I don't have the credentials for proper sword guy status), though it would be neat to buy a proper sword one of these days! As a non-driving recumbent bicycler, two hours for anyone else is like ten hours for me, but I'll keep that store in mind next time I'm around Providence!

That said, if I DO buy a sword, it'll be a katana.

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