Naginatas are polearm weapons. One of the traditional keshiki weapons, they are often wielded by samurai. While they share some characteristics with the spear and yari, they are closer to a glaive than anything else.

A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved, metal blade on the end. It also usually has a sword-like guard between the blade and the shaft. The shaft itself varies from five to seven feet in length. Unlike most polearms, its shape in cross section is an oval to better orientate the blade by feel. The blade itself varies from two to three feet in length and is usually curved with one sharpened edge. These blades sometimes come from recycled katanas.

A samurai wielding a naginata.



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