Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 26th August 2005, 08:48 PM   #1
lordraphael
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 7
Default A fictional axe: is it real-world based?

Hello everybody from a new member.
I'm a japanese graphic novel translator (very often) in distress...

Take a look at this picture (btw, it IS a copyright infringement, but it was not me to upload this picture on the Internet):

www.gianisa.com/blade/ art/random/japset1.jpg

Please look at the second weapon counting from the bottom, the oddly shaped battle-ax... The author claims this drawing is based on a Nepalese weapon, but I couldn't find any evidence of that.
What do you think, is this weapon based on some real-world example, or is it pure fantasy?

_____
Raffaele
from Italy
lordraphael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 09:14 PM   #2
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,646
Unhappy

Hi , the link is not working .
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 10:13 PM   #3
micas
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 30
Default

Link's not working for me either.

Are you referring to the weapon held by Anotsu Kagehisa in the manga: Blade of the Immortal?

From http://www.answers.com/topic/blade-of-the-immortal

Weapons of Blade of the Immortal
The weapons found in Blade of the Immortal are largely fictional, most created by Samura, who confesses he has no idea what some of them are supposed to do. Usually, major characters have unique and specialized weapons - hidden crossbows, throwing knives, poisoned blades, and even weapons meant to inflict maximum pain. Manji himself carries a number of blades - Sukehiro Amatsubaki ("Rain Camellia"), Kotengu ("Little Devil"), Okorobi ("Man Toppler"), Merabi ("Lady Gadfly"), Karasu ("The Crow"), Shido ("The Four Paths"), Imo-No-Kami Tatsumasa ("Sister Defender Tatsumasa"), a spear-like weapon called Aun, and an unnamed hooked weapon. Some of Samura's other creations include Giichi's thresher-like throwing blade, known as Kanetsura's Mito-No-Kami ("Guardian of the Three Paths"), which he uses to sever the heads of his enemies, and Anotsu's large Kabutsuchi battle-axe, which was based on an example from Nepal.
micas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 10:32 PM   #4
lordraphael
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 7
Default

Ooops, I'm sorry... this link should be working:

http://www.gianisa.com/blade/art/random/japset1.jpg

And yes, it is Kagehisa Anotsu's battle-axe from "Blade of the Immortal".
Thank you everybody who may provide a clue.

BTW, another character's sword is named either "Grand Turc" or "Grand Turk"... does anybody know of the word "turk" or "turc" ever being used to refer to a kind of European blade? I'm attempting to estimate the proper spelling...

___
Raffaele
lordraphael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 11:15 PM   #5
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 2,511
Default

Does not ring any bells for me.

A slap up the side of the head with that one would certainly ring my bell, though.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 11:51 PM   #6
Ferguson
Member
 
Ferguson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kernersville, NC, USA
Posts: 765
Send a message via AIM to Ferguson
Default

The only Nepalese weapon that is even close is the Kora. You can see one in this thread. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...&highlight=kora

Steve
Ferguson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 01:02 AM   #7
fearn
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
Default

I was thinking Kora too, Ferguson. Beat me to it.

If you want to go beyond Nepal, it could also be based on the Woodsman's Pal. These are quite handy little choppers.

F
fearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 10:36 AM   #8
Flavio
Member
 
Flavio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Italia
Posts: 1,243
Arrow

Ok, ok, I know that Bade of the Immortal is a manga
(a GREAT Manga!) and is placed in Japan, but maybe Mr. Samura leaf through some books or he have seen on the web some pictures of these african knives (see pics attached). They come from Cameroon (Boumali and Gbaya tribes). You know contamination is one of the most important factor for fantasy and the shape is very similar
Attached Images
   
Flavio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 11:56 AM   #9
lordraphael
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 7
Default

I have to admit I'm a little confused by the shapes of these weapons...

Which side is the "striking edge" in a Kora?
And in an African knive, when wielded as a weapon?


* A clueless Raffaele *
lordraphael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 08:12 PM   #10
Ferguson
Member
 
Ferguson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kernersville, NC, USA
Posts: 765
Send a message via AIM to Ferguson
Default

On a kora, the concave shaped edge is the striking side. Not sure about the African weapons shown.

Steve
Ferguson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 02:15 PM   #11
lordraphael
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 7
Question I still need help with the axe...

I'm sorry I'm still bothering everybody...

About the (fictional) axe shown in picture (link somewhere above), I'm trying to translate a piece of Japanese text which literally appears to say it's a "ONE-something AXE", or a "SINGLE-something AXE"... or a "ONE FOLD -something AXE", or even more literally a "ONE/SINGLE/ONE-FOLD STRIKE AXE"... All of which doesn't really make any sense to me.
I thought it might just mean "one-edged", but then I discovered the Japanese usually say it another way.
The way it says "one" is a word normally reserved for counting thin, sheet-like items (such as paper, leaves, etc.)
The wording is similar to an expression which means "carved from a single piece" (of wood, etc) - an expression also used when speaking of knives, but I don't know what it really means about a knife.

Help me out and get a free cup of coffee (next time you get by my place, here in Italy)!

____
Raffaele
lordraphael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 02:29 PM   #12
Mark
Member
 
Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 988
Unhappy

Hi Raffaele,

I doubt that I can help, but I tried the link anyway, and it appears to be dead.

Mark
Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 03:29 PM   #13
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Smile

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA AS TO THE SIZE OF THIS AXE? IF IT IS FAIRLY LARGE IT WOULD APPEAR TO HAVE A GRIP DESIGNED FOR TWO HANDS. THE ONE SIDE WOULD ACT AS A BLADE WITH THE SIMULAR TYPE STRIKE AS A PHILIPPINE PANABAS OR IF STRIKING WITH THE PICK LIKE END THE STRIKE WOULD PIERCE ARMOR OR PERHAPS COULD BE USED TO PULL SOMEONE OFF BALANCE OR HOOK A SHIELD. THE BACK EDGE COULD BE USED FOR A MACE OR CLUB TYPE OF STRIKE. THE HANDLE FORM ALSO LOOKS MORE PRIMATIVE THAN NORMAL JAPANESE WEAPONS, REMINDS ME OF SOME HANDLES MADE FROM A HUMAN FEMUR.

PERSONALLY I DOUBT THAT IT IS BASED ON A TYPE OF JAPANESE WEAPON UNLESS IT WAS SOME TYPE OF TOOL MODIFIED INTO A MAKESHIFT WEAPON. IF THAT IT IS THE CASE IT WOULD PROBABLY BE ONE OF A KIND, WHICH IS A DEVICE OFTEN USED IN STORY TELLING THE HERO ALWAYS HAS SOME STRANGE WEAPON DIFFERENT THAN EVERYONE ELSE AND CANNOT BE DEFEATED. THESE KIND OF THINGS ARE INTERESTING BUT MANY TIMES WERE NOT REAL BUT LEGENDARY WEAPONS.
THE SECOND LINK HE PUT IN IS STILL WORKING IF YOU WANT TO LOOK AT IT MARK.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 04:09 PM   #14
fearn
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
Default

Hi Raffaele,

Another possibility is that the term "ONE/SINGLE/ONE-FOLD STRIKE AXE" refers to how it was made. As we know, katanas were made from folded steel, and there are articles elsewhere on the vikingsword site that discuss the various types of folded/patterned steel.

Under this interpretation, the axe was simply forged from a single piece of (presumably perfect) steel, without the complex composition seen in many blades (or for that matter, in other axes). In real life, single-piece forging is not necessarily a good thing. European axes, for instance were often made by mating a hard steel edge (to cut with) to a soft steel back (to take the force of impact without shattering).

Does this help?

F
fearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 05:14 PM   #15
lordraphael
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 7
Arrow

Vandoo:
it states the axe is "not large, but quite heavy". I see the character wields it(mostly) as a one-handed weapon. It's longer than the wielder's shoulders are wide (he's not a large man) and longer than his forearm, but shorter than his arm. And yes, the "scythe-like" seems to be its (primary or only?) striking edge - as you people pointed out about the Nepalese kora.
And I agree it's not a Japanese weapon at all...
Man, this really looks like a clumsy weapon... I guess the only reason its been drawn that way is to show how cool the character is, defeating swordsmen DESPITE that terrible weapon he wields...

Fearn:
of course this helps, a lot. "Axe made from a single piece of steel"? BTW, it doesn't matter whether it's a good thing or not, as long as it makes it stand out as different from Japanese swords or other weapons in the comic (most of which are more sophisticated).
Now I wonder about the real-life knife-makers... Would "single-piece forged" be a good thing to say about a kitchen knife?

R.
lordraphael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 05:51 PM   #16
Tim Simmons
Member
 
Tim Simmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: England UK.
Posts: 5,320
Default

It looks rather like one of these clubs from San Cristobal Island- Solomon Islands called a Roromaraugi. Tim
Attached Images
 
Tim Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 09:17 PM   #17
fearn
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
Default

Hi Raffaele,

I'm glad that helps. So far as I know, having a weapon forged of a single piece of steel would probably not be a good thing, if we assume that the author knew something about Medieval Japan. The reason it's not a good thing is that it only works if the steel is of exceptional quality and carefully (and differentially) heat treated. Folding, on the other hand, performs two functions: it allows the smith to join two (or more) bars of steel with differing properties, and it allows him to control the size of impurities such as silica crystals that would weaken the blade. In the first case, it would be common to join a hard but brittle edge to a more flexible back, creating a sword that would not shatter on impact, but which would be hard enough to cut. In the second case, careful folding would allow the smith to use more inferior metal (i.e. one contaminated with silica, etc) to make a superior blade.

Making the *BIG* assumption that the Manga author knows this (which I doubt), this weapon would be inferior. However, it sounds cool and unique, which probably matters more in the context of the Manga.

Finally, I have to ask a dumb question: is this weapon an axe (ono) or a sickle (kama/gama)? The reason I'm asking is that the samurai carried a variety of "kama" as rank insignia, and some of them looked more than a bit like this weapon. If it is a kama, then it fits very nicely as a slightly exotic side weapon for a samurai type. Otherwise, its user is basically being weird.

This all assumes that it didn't just come out of the author's imagination. Fun to speculate, though.

F
fearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 10:13 PM   #18
lordraphael
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 7
Default

Thank you very much for your help.

The weapon is specifically called an "ono" (axe) in Japanese, and it's specifically a non-Japanese weapon.
The author states it "may come from somewhere around Nepal"... a statement people on this board don't support.

Anyway, it was the author's purpose to make it a weird weapon fit to a weird user. That guy's the leader of a rogue "fighting school/style" strongly contending against the formalism of (peace-time) Tokugawa Japan martial arts, on the ground that "exploiting any effective mean to win is the only true martial art".
Somewhere else in the series, he says something on the lines of:
"This cumbersome axe is not as sharp as a Japanese sword, I agree. However, you don't need to use strength to block it [meaning, I think, that he just lets it fall, then controls it by dexterity alone]. That's a crucial advantage to me, with my skinny arms and slight build."
Pure fancy?

R.
lordraphael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2005, 11:04 PM   #19
fearn
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
Default

Hi R,

Thanks. I suspected as much, but I thought there's a certain amount of irony in the situation. A lot of samurai favored the kusarigama, or various flavors of kama. By favoring a kama-like weapon, this character is a bit more tradition bound than his creator might have thought.

Actually, however you interpret the response, this "axe" that sounds like a kora, and I think most forumites would agree. While I've never swung a kora, you do hit point-down with the beak, and they are front-weighted like axes. In that sense the character is right. The part that's a little goofy is that you need decent muscles to recover after the swing, so presumably, he makes his first shot count each time?
F
fearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 09:55 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.