Historical Weapons - Wakizashi
The wakizashi was always carried along with the katana, tomake a
or pair. The wakizashi was, esentially, a shorter katana that could be wielded with one hand. One of the mainuses of the wakizashi was to fight indoors, where the low ceilingsof feudal japan would make use of the long katana nearlyimpossible.The katana-bearing samurai of the Genpei war period and theWarring States Era would never leave behind their wakizashi,which was often used as a backup weapon if the katana waslost or damaged. The wakizashi came in handy when, at manytimes, the katana's length was a disadvantage.The wakizashi was also used to perform
the ritualsuicide of a member of the warrior class who felt he or she wasliving with great shame, from disappointing one's master or from being humiliated in a number of other ways.The following description is graphic and certainly not for thesqueamish. Please do not allow children to read it. The samurai,when asked to, or granted permission to, commit seppuku,would kneel in the traditional manner with his wakizashi at hisside. He would take the short sword from it's
and thrustit deeply into his own torso, cutting himself open vertically. Hewould then continue on his ritual, in spite of the pain, by cuttingonce more horizontally across the original wound. The samurai,having disemboweled himself, will have then died an honourabledeath. It was permissible to have a close friend or trusted allyto act as a second, meaning that he or she would stand behindthe samurai and strike his head off with the
after thefirst cut had been made. If a female samurai were to commitseppuku, she would only cut her own throat, a much simpler and cleaner ritual.