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Old 23rd August 2015, 04:51 PM   #1
estcrh
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Default A rare samurai weapon.

Here some detailed images of an authentic antique kanabo, one of two kanabo with detailed images that I know of. Authentic kanabo images are extremely rare, most available images are modern reproductions, there are a few period woodblock prints showing kanabo. There are a few additional kanabo images that may be authentic but they cant be authenticated.

This particular kanabo is 164.6cm/5ft 4in and 2.2kg/4.85lb. There is some writing carved into it which the owner says dates it to 1863. It has a wood shaft with the upper end covered with black lacquered iron strips with iron knobs, the wood areas are lacquered green.

I have included a few prints and a photograph showing kanabo.
The first image is an Edo period woodblock print showing a samurai wearing a chain armor jacket (kusari katabira) and wielding a kanabo.

The second image is an Edo period woodblock showing a kanabo being wielded by a samurai on horseback.

The last image is a photographic recreation showing a samurai holding a kanabo, from the book titled:MILITARY COSTUMES IN OLD JAPAN by KAZUMASA OGAWA, 1893. The title of the picture is "Knight of the Nanhoku-cho period".
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Last edited by estcrh; 23rd August 2015 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 23rd August 2015, 08:38 PM   #2
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for a milestone marker the smurai class was effectively abolished, a few years into the meiji restoration period, in 1873 when their right to walk about in public carrying their two swords designating their rank was revoked, and those of lower rank were allowed weapons.
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Old 24th August 2015, 06:23 AM   #3
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I HAVE SEEN A MODERN VERSION OF THIS WEAPON SO SOME SCHOOLS MAY STILL TEACH FORMS AND TECHNIQUE. ITS GOOD TO GET SOME HISTORY AND GOOD PICTURES OF THIS UNUSUAL WEAPON. I DID NOT FIND THE PICTURE OF THE NEW ONE, BUT FOUND A PICTURE OF SOMETHING SIMILAR IN A SMALLER SIZE AROUND 10 INCHES LONG. PICTURED WITH A JITTE, BOTH APPEAR TO BE ALL STEEL.
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Old 24th August 2015, 09:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
I HAVE SEEN A MODERN VERSION OF THIS WEAPON SO SOME SCHOOLS MAY STILL TEACH FORMS AND TECHNIQUE. ITS GOOD TO GET SOME HISTORY AND GOOD PICTURES OF THIS UNUSUAL WEAPON. I DID NOT FIND THE PICTURE OF THE NEW ONE, BUT FOUND A PICTURE OF SOMETHING SIMILAR IN A SMALLER SIZE AROUND 10 INCHES LONG. PICTURED WITH A JITTE, BOTH APPEAR TO BE ALL STEEL.
The largest version is a huge all wood club called "nyoibo", some sources say they were used to break the backs and legs of horses, now they are used for training and display purposes.
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Old 24th August 2015, 10:51 PM   #5
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Fabulous stuff, thanks for posting
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Old 24th August 2015, 11:22 PM   #6
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Real kanabo are indeed rare. 2.2kg is very reasonable weight for such length, it is lighter than a real (european) two-handed sword of similar length.
However, I looked up for the nyoibo and found one video - it looks extremely heavy and slow, very good weight and agility practice, but highly unlikely weapon for combat.
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Old 25th August 2015, 06:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadaxe
Real kanabo are indeed rare. 2.2kg is very reasonable weight for such length, it is lighter than a real (european) two-handed sword of similar length

I looked up for the nyoibo and found one video - it looks extremely heavy and slow, very good weight and agility practice, but highly unlikely weapon for combat.
Japanese weapons often seem lighter than similar European and Indo-Persian weapons, on the other hand, the only other authentic kanabo with detailed images that I know of is quite a bit heavier (3ft/7.17lb).

Nyoibo that were actually used as a weapon were probably not near as heavy as the modern ones, Edo period prints show large wood clubs with no spikes/knobs which probably more accurately represent what a nyoibo actually looked like.
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Old 25th August 2015, 06:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
I HAVE SEEN A MODERN VERSION OF THIS WEAPON SO SOME SCHOOLS MAY STILL TEACH FORMS AND TECHNIQUE. ITS GOOD TO GET SOME HISTORY AND GOOD PICTURES OF THIS UNUSUAL WEAPON. I DID NOT FIND THE PICTURE OF THE NEW ONE, BUT FOUND A PICTURE OF SOMETHING SIMILAR IN A SMALLER SIZE AROUND 10 INCHES LONG. PICTURED WITH A JITTE, BOTH APPEAR TO BE ALL STEEL.
Both of the weapons you show would be called jutte, the one without a hook is a naeshi jutte, the one you show appears to be copying the knobs of a kanabo.


There is a very small weapon that is quite similar in looks to the kanabo. The ararebo has a wood shaft with metal covering both ends, the head has metal knobs. Ararebo are quite rare, there are currently only two known examples, this one is 283.04 grams/14 inches.
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Old 27th August 2015, 07:44 AM   #9
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Here are a couple more kanabo from Ian Bottomleys book "Arms and Armour of the Samurai. These were in a Japanese museum which is now closed down, so no chance of additional images or learning more about them.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 10:22 AM   #10
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I mentioned that there are only two known authentic kanabo with detailed images, here is the second, the owner gave me permission to post it, recently found in Japan, it is 3ft/7.17lbs, with a thick band of iron around the top and a heavy iron handle, the rough lacquered wood shaft has iron knobs hammered into it.
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