Everything to Know About Demon Slayer Sword Colours Pt. 2
Nichirin blades are special blades forged from a unique ore that constantly absorbs sunlight. Since this is one of the only major weaknesses of demons, these blades are used by demon slayers to kill demons. A demon slayer’s sword will take on a colour when first, with each colour having a meaning. There’s a variety of colours that the swords can have, and it’s said that each colour imparts certain properties to the blade related to the owner’s breathing style. There are 14 blade colours seen throughout the series, as each correlate to one of the 14 breathing styles demon slayers use. This post covers 7 possible colours that a nichirin blade can be. (To see the other 7 colours’ post, please visit here).
Please be aware that this post contains spoilers for the Demon Slayer manga.
Red swords are wielded by Flame Breathing Style users, such as the Demon Slayers Corps Flame Pillar Kyojuro Rengoku. Rengoku’s red blade is unique because it has a flame patten running down his blade.
Flame Breathing Style users mimic fire and flames in their combat and breathing style, especially the powerful burn of fire. Techniques are known to use singular strikes and intense movements. When used properly, the user sees shades or orange and red flames coming from their sword and/or body.
Amber swords are used by Sound Breathing Style users, such as Tengen Uzui who is the Sound Pillar of the Demon Slayer Corps. The style is known to imitate sound waves, specifically the disorientating loudness of it.
Techniques of this style include utilising an object that creates a massive amount of sound to use powerful attacks and effective confusion techniques to draw in close to opponents, accompanies by fast movements. If used correctly, the user will visualise amber sound waves coming from their weapon and/or body.
Lavender swords are owned by users of the Serpent Breathing Style, such as the Snake Pillar Obanai Iguro. Users of this style mimic serpents and snakes, especially their movements and bites, in their movements, techniques and swordsmanship.
The Serpent Breathing Style’s techniques and forms focus upon twisted and bending one’s sword like a snake and making use of non-direct attacks. When used properly, users will see white, red-like or purple-like serpents emitting from their sword or body parts.
Lavender-blue swords are wielded by Insect Breathing Style users, such as the Insect Pillar Shinobu Kocho. Users of this style imitate insect’s stings and movements with their techniques, movements and swordsmanship.
Techniques and forms of this style include stabbing, thrusting and making shallow cuts with a specially coated-made sword to inflict multiple wounds onto an opponent. This allows the user to inject various lethal Wisteria-based poisons to demons. When used correctly, users will see specific insects (mostly coloured purple) coming from their weapon and body.
5. Light Pink
Light pink swords are owned by Flower Breathing Style users, such as Kanao Tsuyuri. Users’ movements, techniques and swordsmanship mimics flowers and fruits, and the grace and beauty of them.
Techniques and forms of the Flower style require agility and flexibility of users and their weapons. This style is known to enhance one’s vision as well. When properly used, demon slayers using this style will visualise purple, pink and white petal and fruit-like patterns emitting from their body parts or sword.
Purple swords are used by Moon Breathing Style users, such as the demon Kokushibo. Kokushibo is the only user of this style and is a demon with the title of Upper Rank 1. He was one of the first Demon Slayers to use breathing techniques, and as a demon he has enhanced his style using his Blood Demon Art. This allows Kokushibo to create actual sharp crescent moons from his swings. The Moon Breathing combat and breathing styles imitate the crescent shape of the moon, and is expressed in the user’s movements, techniques and swordsmanship.
Moon Breathing techniques make use of powerful strikes and movements that follow the shape and pattern of a crescent moon. When used properly, users will see bright yellow or blue crescent moons coming from their weapon and/or body parts.
Black swords are very rare and demon slayers who wield black swords tend to not live for very long. Because of this, the symbolism of black swords is unknown. Tanjiro Kamado is a demon slayer who wields a black sword. Theories suggest that Tanjiro’s sword may be black in relation to his past job as a charcoal maker, or because he is a Sun Breathing Style user. Since black is all colours combined and the five main breathing styles are all derived from the Sun Breathing Style, it makes sense why Tanjiro’s sword would be black. Or Sun Breathing Style users may even have a black sword because black is the colour that absorbs the most sunlight, and sunlight is one of the demon’s only major weaknesses. It’s been suggested that the reason demon slayers who wield black swords don’t live long is because Muzan personally would ensure they were hunted down before they could become a threat to him like the first Sun Breathing Style user was. The Sun style combat and breathing style mimics the sun, especially its solar flames and users replicate this with their movements, techniques and swordsmanship.
Techniques and forms of this style are very varied and appear to have no set pattern, making it a versatile and effective style against demons. When used properly, users will visualise fairly dark shades of orange and red emitting from their sword or parts of their body.
Tags: demon slayer, kanao tsuyuri, kokushibo, kyojuri rengoku, nichirin blades, obanai iguro, shinobu kocho, tanjiro kamado
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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba
Obanai was born into a clan of thieves who lived off an excessive amount of riches that had been stolen from those who had been killed by the Demon that they worshipped. This Demon took the form of a woman with a snake-like lower body and face, and had a great taste for newborn babies, which is what the family sacrificed to her in exchange for their riches.
As the first boy born into the family for 370 years, Obanai lived out all of his days locked in a wooden cage being spoiled by his family, who insisted on bringing him so many plates of rich food that he became sick of it. The Snake Demon also took a liking to Obanai, since he was a rare male child with multicolored eyes, and would spend the nights slithering around his cage in the dark and staring at him, which frighted Obanai so much that he couldn't sleep.
When he turned twelve, Obanai was finally allowed to leave his cell. He was taken into a room that appeared to be an expensive shrine, and put face to face with the Snake Demon for the first time. The Demon remarked that Obanai was very small, and wondered to herself if she should wait to eat him until he was a little bigger. Deciding that she would, she organized his mouth to be cut wider, all the way to his ears, to match hers. The blood that he shed from this procedure was collected into a chalice that she then drank from.
Back in his cell with his wound now covered by a bandage, Obanai began only to think of escape and survival. He began to scratch away at the lattice of his cell with a stolen hairpin during the night, and by day he would be in a constant state of worry for fear that they could discover it. The only being he could trust was the snake that had strayed into his cage, Kaburamaru.
After a while of doing this, Obanai finally made his escape. As he ran, the Snake Demon began to pursue him, almost catching up to him and killing him before the Flame Pillar by chance came to his rescue. Because of Obanai's escape, the snake Demon had killed all fifty of his relatives and the only surviving member of his bloodline was his older cousin, who had also been saved by the Pillar. When they were reunited, however, Obanai's cousin rejected him, blaming him for their family's death.
Due to the effect his cousin's words had on him, Obanai joined the Demon Slayer Corps and decided to turn all his rage onto Demons, figuring that he'd feel like a better person if he risked his life for others.
Obanai is a very harsh and strict individual who shows no concern for those who do not abide the Demon Slayer conduct. His expectations for his fellow Demon Slayers are nigh-unrealistic, berating Tengen Uzui for suffering heavy wounds against the "weakest" Upper Moon and telling him to "fight to the death" when Tengen insists on retiring. In reality, the Demon Slaying Corps had gone 113 years without killing an Upper Moon, and Shinobu Kocho later estimates that each Upper Moon is equal to three Pillars in strength.
Obanai's devotion to the future of the Demon Slaying Corps comes close to being at others' expense, such as when he tries to force Tengen to stay with the Demon Slayers even after losing an eye and arm, and when he ties up lower-ranked Demon Slayers and uses them as obstacles during Pillar Training for relatively petty reasons. He also sees the newer Demon Slayer recruits as weak and incapable of improvement, expressing surprise when Tengen informs him that Tanjiro Kamado survived the mission.
Despite his merciless personality, there are two people he cares deeply about: Kagaya Ubuyashiki and Mitsuri Kanroji. He is implied to have a crush on Mitsuri, which is implied by most of their companions save for Tanjiro and Mitsuri herself; even giving her her green socks she wears as a present. He threatens Tanjiro for growing too close to her (for his tastes) and he is the first person to meet up with her in the Dimensional Infinity Fortress.
Abilities and Powers
As a Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps, Obanai is a very powerful swordsman.
Master Swordsman: Being a Pillar of the Demon Slaying Corps, Obanai is one of the most powerful and skilled swordsmen in the entire organization.
Enhanced Strength: Obanai possesses incredible physical strength, as shown when he pins Tanjiro to the ground with great force, with Tanjiro stating that he couldn't move or breathe.
Enhanced Endurance: After being hit by Muzan's attack and being injected with his blood, he was able to keep on fighting alongside Giyu, unlike his other fellow Hashira, Mitsuri, who was greatly affected by the same attack.
Kaburamaru: Obanai, having always been partially blind in his right eye, developed a combat technique utilizing his snake Kaburamaru. Kaburamaru is able to read enemy attacks and then relay that information to Obanai. The full extent of this technique is demonstrated when Obanai is completely blinded by Muzan, but he is still able to continue fighting as if nothing happened.
Crimson Red Nichirin Blade: During the battle against Muzan, after manifesting a Demon Slayer Mark and remembering how Muichiro turned his blade red, Obanai puts all of his strength into gripping his blade, turning it to crimson red. Though by doing this, he put too much strength into his grip and almost fainted. Crimson Blades are extremely powerful, as they dampen a Demon's powers and regeneration.
Demon Slayer Mark: During the battle against Muzan, Obanai awakened his own mark. That took the form of three snake like tattoo patterns with large dots, stretching from his right arm to the right side of his chest that then boosted all of Iguro's natural abilities, as seen where he was able to land powerful sword slashes against him, swiftly dodge and maneuver himself to avoid all of Muzan's immensely fast attacks, increase his physical stamina and durability allowing him to fight despite being severely injured and greatly enhancing all of his physical sense to the point that he could easily fight despite being blinded.
Transparent World: During the battle against Muzan, after being instructed by Gyomei, Obanai managed to briefly access the Transparent World.
Unique Weapon: Like his fellow Hashira Mitsuri, Gyomei, Shinobu, and Tengen, Obanai wields a unique Nichirin Blade. His blade is similar in appearance to an Indonesian Kris Sword, with the sword's shape modeled into waves to complement Obanai's Serpent Breathing techniques.
Serpent Breathing: A breathing style that focuses on twisting and bending the sword like how a serpent slithers. It bears resemblance to Mitsuri's Love Breathing Style, but his sword is much more like a typical sword with a blade that is shaped like how a snake slithers, while Mitsuri’s is long, soft, and more like a cutting whip.
First Form: Winding Serpent Slash - Iguro rotates and releases a circular slash in front of him.
Second Form: Venom Fangs of the Narrow Head - Obanai goes behind his opponent at blinding speed and lops off their head.
Third Form: Coil Choke - Obanai curves his sword like a slithering snake and quickly decapitates his opponent.
Fourth Form: Twin-Headed Reptile - Obanai leaps forward and performs a horizontal slash that slices through the target.
Fifth Form: Slithering Serpent: Obanai using his bending sword, curves it right to left at incredible speeds. This technique is capable of decapitating multiple targets at once.
Obanai Iguro (伊黒小芭内 Iguro Obanai) is a short young man who is part of the Demon Slayer Corps in the Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) series. He uses the Breath of the Serpent (蛇の呼吸 Hebi no Kokyu) and is the Snake Pillar. Obanai has straight black hair of varying lengths, the shortest stopping at his cheeks and the longest reaching his shoulders. He has sharp pointed eyes with unusual eye colors due to him having heterochromia. His right eye is yellow and his left eye is turquoise. Obanai's lower half of his face is covered in bandages to hide his mouth which was cut from the corners of his lips to his ears to appear snake-like. He wears the standard black Demon Slayer uniform and a black and white striped haori which covers his hands. Obanai is always with his white snake Kaburamaru which is wrapped around his shoulders.
“More importantly. What are we gonna do with Tomioka? I have a headache seeing him not bound there. How will we deal with him? How will we make him take responsibility? How are we gonna make him suffer?”
—Obanai to the Pillars, Demon Slayer Chapter 45
- Age: 21 years
- Height: 162cm
- Weight: 53kg
- Birthdate: September 15
- Manga Debut: Chapter 4 (Partial) Chapter 45 (Full)
- Anime Debut: Episode 22
- Japanese Voice Actor: Kenichi Suzumura
- Status: Alive
Obanai was born and raised in a cell by a family who worshipped a female snake-like Demon. The Demon's face and lower half of the body took the form of a snake and loved eating babies. His family sacrificed their own children in exchange for the stolen goods of the people the Demon had killed. As Obanai was the only boy born into the family for 370 years with eccentric eyes the Demon was especially interested in him and let him live until he had grown bigger before she decided to eat him. When he was 12 years old, Obanai was taken outside to be presented to the Demon and was forced to have his mouth cut by his family to look similar to the snake Demon. After being returned to his cell he lived in constant fear and worry while he planned his escape, the only one he could trust was a white snake, Kaburamaru, who he considered his close friend and not a pet. When he finally escaped he was chased by the snake demon and was almost killed but luckily he was saved by the Flame Pillar of the time. When he escaped the Demon killed his entire family leaving only one cousin alive who berated and blamed Obanai for the death of their family. With no proper outlet to direct his emotions, he decided to turn his rage and hate onto the Demons, feeling as though he was a better person whenever he risked his life for someone else's sake.
Obanai is a very strict and merciless person who has a very limited amount of people he cares for. During Pillar training he ties up the lower ranked Demon slayers for petty reasons such as annoying him and uses them as obstacles.
He respects Kagaya Ubuyashiki, the 97th leader of the Demon Slayer Corps by bowing down to him when he appeared for a meeting. He also respects Gyomei Himejima stating he couldn't even be Himejima's shield. He cares greatly for and has a crush on Mitsuri Kanroji, even gifting her green striped socks to wear as a present but because he possess an immense sense of self loathing he doesn’t confess his feelings. This self loathing comes from the fact that he was born into a selfish clan who would mercilessly sacrifice their own children to a Demon for riches. Obanai thinks of himself and his family to be so tainted that, only by defeating Muzan and dying would it hope to cleanse his corrupted blood. Only by first dying then reincarnating into a world without Demons would he be worthy of confessing his feelings to Mitsuri Kanroji.
Skills and Abilities
- Master Swordsman: As part of the Demon Slayer Corps and being a Pillar, Obanai is one of the most highly ranked swordsmen. Other Slayers would use his swordsmanship as reference, in which during the Pillar training, he taught sword skill revision training to the other Demon Slayers.
- Unique Weapon: Like Shinobu Kocho, Mitsuri Kanroji, Tengen Uzui, and Gyomei Himejima, Obanai wields a unique Nichirin Blade and uses a breath style that focuses on twisting and bending the sword like how a serpent slithers to complement Obanai's Breath of the Serpent techniques.
- Crimson Red Nichirin Blade: In the battle against Muzan Kibutsuji, after manifesting a Demon Slayer Mark and Obanai remembers how Muichiro Tokito turned his blade a color red. Obanai puts all of his strength and power into gripping his blade, turning it to crimson red which would nullify a demon's powers and regeneration.
- Enhanced Strength: Obanai possesses a great amount of physical strength seen when he pins Tanjiro to the ground with great force and Tanjiro stating that he couldn't move or breathe. Despite this, he is considered to be the second-weakest member of the current Pillars in physical strength after Shinobu.
- Demon Slayer Mark: During the battle against Muzan Kibutsuji, Obanai awakened his own mark. The mark takes the form of snakes winding around his upper arm and chest. When this mark is called upon, Obanai's physical speed, strength, and reflexes increased dramatically.
Total Concentration Breath of the Serpent
- First Form: Winding Serpent Slash (壱ノ型委蛇斬り Ichi no Kata: Ida Giri): Obanai rotates and releases a circular slash in front of him.
- Second Form: Venom Fangs of the Narrow Head (弐ノ型 狭頭の毒牙 Ni no Kata: Kyozu no Dokuga): Obanai goes behind his opponent at blinding speed and lops off their head.
- Third Form: Serpent’s Spiraling Hold (参ノ型 塒締め San no Kata: Toguro Jime): Obanai curves his sword like a slithering snake and quickly decapitates his opponent.
- Fourth Form: N/A
- Fifth Form: Slithering Serpent (伍ノ型 蜿蜿長蛇 Go no Kata: Enen Choda): Obanai using his bending sword, curves it right to left at incredible speeds decapitating multiple targets at once.
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Pillar sword snake
Ghost Slayer's Blade comic has been updated to Chapter 190. In the latest episode, Snake Zhu Yihei immediately turned his sword into a powerful sword. There was no trouble in this process! But the snake pillar Yihei, in the course of the battle without misfortune, found that he could not cut without misfortune anyway. This also made Yihe very wonder, what happened?
After Yihei stabilized his mood, he also discovered the clues. It turned out that in the process of turning on the knife, it took a lot of oxygen. As the oxygen became thin, it caused him to become hypoxic. Therefore, She Zhuyi Black is also the phenomenon of dim eyes!
saw the situation of Snake Zhu Yihei, the boss Wumai continued to launch his own shameless attack. Directly towards Yihei was a killer move. He tried to quickly let this eye-catching guy disappear from his eyes, so he launched a sudden attack. Directly use the puncture to obliterate the snake pillar Yihei. At this time, Yihei was so dizzy that he could not move 's body . Seeing that he was about to be concentrated without misery, he also thought of himself and Ganlu Temple. As promised, I tried to move the body again, but everything was at a loss, and the miserable attack was getting closer and closer!
Seeing that Snake Zhu Yihei was about to receive a lunch box, at this time Shuizhu Tomioka Yoshiyori launched a trick, trying to rescue Yihei, but after he finished the trick, he clearly felt that his defense was fundamental. Before he had time, when he turned to look at Yihei, he was stunned by the scene in front of him!
At this time, the snake pillar Yihei suddenly rose into the air. No misfortune saw Yihei in the air without a support point, so the dirty heart rose again and attacked again, but the snake pillar turned around, and there was no misery. His body was in severe pain, and it turned out that he was injured by an attack!
Just when there is no miserable stunned, the wind pillar immortal Kawa Shiya saw a chance, so he took a knife and slashed at Wu miser. At this time, Wu miser also began to wonder, who really hurt him, watching It's not like the pillars in front of me at all!
But these pillars in front of me made Wu miserable deal with it, and there was no time to think about it, but Wu Mier suddenly felt his body and was injured again. He was cautious about Mi Mi and finally couldn't help it, so he began to observe his injuries and suddenly found out The injuries he received were completely different from the attacks of these pillars. As an old fox, Wu Miu quickly realized that it was very likely that someone else was sneaking on him!
was not miserable at this time, and began to be careful, so he searched for details on the battlefield, and found that someone was not far away, so he followed the direction of the breath and began to use big moves to force these shadows behind the pillars. Show up!
Everyone has never escaped Wu Mier's cunning eyes. It turns out that these people are Shanyi, Chanel and Inosuke, who were fighting against Kaixian before. They used the method of invisibility to fight against Wu Mier. When they were invisible After the object was destroyed by Wu tragically, they also revealed their true body!
When the Zhus saw these people, they were also very happy, saying that they did not die, which is really great, and warned them that they are not miserable and difficult to deal with, otherwise there will be a risk of falling. Zhu’s warning, everyone did not dare to be careless. At this time, Wu Mi was also an anger, and once again, she tried to wipe out this group of people. Just when Wu Mi was preparing to attack, Yihei directly cut it off with lightning speed. A miserable arm!
At this time, Undying Chuan Shiya found that the arm that had been chopped off by Yihei’s sword had a very slow recovery rate, so he could conclude that the effect of the sword could inhibit the recovery without misfortune, so he told everyone to use the sword to correct Attacking without misfortune is the most effective!
Rock Pillar·Mingming Yuxingming heard the words of Immortal Chuan Shiya, so he made a decisive decision and turned his weapon into a powerful sword through collision, and then it was a hammer toward Wu Mi. Sure enough, this trick worked very well. Those who were beaten tragically also wanted to cry without tears!
At this time, the immortal Kawasaki saw this effect, so he ran to Shuizhu·Tomioka Yoshiyuki, Yelled for righteousness and bravery, and we quickly turned our sword into a powerful sword, righteousness and bravery was taken aback, and suddenly understood the idea of immortal Kawasiya!
The person directly touched the knife with the knife. In the fierce collision, the temperature of the knife reached the level of the knife, so the two also picked up the Sunwheel knife that had become the knife and began to fight against Wu Mi!
The story of this story is over here. With the time left for 1 hour and 3 minutes before the sun rises, the time left for a miserable battle should be running out. The emergence of this powerful sword directly suppressed Wuxian's regeneration technique is great news for eliminating Wuxian. At the same time, the appearance of all members of the protagonist group has created enough points for the next battle. What means will they use to do it? Defeating Wu Mian, and Wu Mian's shameless tricks to deal with it, has become a great attraction!
What do you think about the content of this passage, please leave a message to discuss!
Historically, all Chinese swords are classified into two types, jian and dao. Jians are double-edged straight swords while daos are single-edged, and mostly curved from the Song dynasty forward. The jian has been translated at times as a long sword, and the dao a saber or a knife. Bronze jians appeared during the Western Zhou period and switched to wrought iron and steel during the late Warring States period. In modern times, the ceremonial commissioned officer's sword of the Chinese navy has been patterned after the traditional jian since 2008.
Other than specialized weapons like the Divided Dao, Chinese swords are usually 70–110 cm (28–43 in) in length, although longer swords have been found on occasion. Outside of China, Chinese swords were also used in Japan from the third to the sixth century AD, but were replaced with Korean and native Japanese swords by the middle Heian era.
Bronze age: Shang dynasty (c. 1600 BC–c. 1046 BC) to Spring and Autumn period (771–476 BC)
Knives were found in Fu Hao's tomb, dated c. 1200 BC.
Bronze jians appeared during the Western Zhou. The blades were a mere 28 to 46 cm long. These short stabbing weapons were used as a last defense when all other options had failed.
By the late Spring and Autumn period, jians lengthened to about 56 cm. At this point at least some soldiers used the jian rather than the dagger-axe due to its greater flexibility and portability. China started producing steel in the 6th century BC, but it was not until later on that iron and steel implements were produced in useful amounts. By around 500 BC however the sword and shield combination began to be regarded as superior to the spear and dagger-axe.
The early bronze swords are seldom over about 50 cm in length, and are sometimes referred to as "short swords". A rather sudden development, perhaps in the mid-third century B.C., is the bronze "long sword", typically about a metre long. An example, from the First Emperor's mausoleum... Most iron swords are also long, and the development of the long bronze sword is often considered to be related to the development of the long iron sword.
— Donald Wagner
According to the Yuejue shu (Record of Precious Swords), the swordsmith Ou Yezi forged five treasured swords for Gan Jiang and King Zhao of Chu, named, respectively, Zhanlu (湛盧), Juque (巨闕), Shengxie (勝邪), Yuchang (魚腸) and Chunjun (純鈞). He also made three swords for King Goujian of Yue, named Longyuan (龍淵), Tai’e (泰阿) and Gongbu (工布).
- Chungou/Chunjun (Purity) - Its patterns resembled a row of stars in a constellation.
- Zhanlu/Pilü (Black) - A sword made from the finest of the five metals and imbued with the essence of fire. It was said to be sensitive to its owner's behaviour and left of its own accord for the state of Chu when Helü's conduct offended it. When Helü became aware of King Zhao of Chu's possession of Zhanlu, he attacked Chu.
- Haocao/Panying (Bravery/Hard) - Said to have been imbued with the aspect of lawlessness and was therefore of no use to anyone. It was used as a burial object.
- Yuchang (Fish Belly) - A short dagger said to be capable of cleaving through iron as if it were mud. Used by Helü of Wu to assassinate his uncle, Liao of Wu. It was hidden in a cooked fish presented to King Liao at a banquet. As a result it gained a reputation for causing its user to be disloyal.
- Juque (Great Destroyer) - Said to be incredibly durable, being able to withstand even hitting or stabbing rock.
- Shengxie (Victor over Evil)
- Longyuan (Dragon Gulf) - Its shape resembled that of a high mountain and a deep gulf. Goujian used it to cut a gash in his thigh as self-punishment when he mistakenly executed an innocent person.
- Taie (Great Riverbank) - Had patterns like the waves of a flowing river. Was used by the king of Chu to direct his army against a Jin invasion.
- Gongbu (Artisanal Display) - Had patterns like flowing water that stop like pearls at the spine.
Among the names of ancient swords are Zhanlu and Yuchang. The character is pronounced zhan; [the name Zhanlu] refers to its clear - zhan zhan ran - black colour. [Lu means 'black'.]
The ancients used ji steel [see below] to make the edge and wrought iron to make the haft [jing] and 'trunk' [gan, i.e. the spine]. Otherwise they would often snap. In swords made of steel the edge is often damaged, and this is the origin of the name Juque ['Great Notch']. Thus one cannot use ji steel by itself.
Yuchang ['Fish Gut'] was what today is called a pan gang ['coiled steel'] or song wen ['fir patterned'] sword. If one takes a fish, bakes it, and strips off the ribs to reveal the guts, it has a distinct resemblance to the pattern on a modern pan gang sword.
— Shen Kuo
Gan Jiang and Mo Ye
According to the Spring and Autumn Annals of Wu and Yue, Ou Yezi was also the teacher of Gan Jiang, who was married to Mo Ye. King Helü of Wu ordered Gan Jiang and Mo Ye to forge a pair of swords for him in three months. However, the blast furnace failed to melt the metal. Mo Ye suggested that there was insufficient human qi in the furnace so the couple cut their hair and nails and cast them into the furnace, while 300 children helped to blow air into the bellows. In another account, Mo Ye sacrificed herself to increase human qi by throwing herself into the furnace. The desired result was achieved after three years and the resulting two swords were named after the couple. Gan Jiang kept the male sword, Ganjiang, for himself and presented the female sword, Moye, of the pair to the king. The king, already upset that Gan Jiang had failed to supply the swords in three months, but three years, became enraged when he discovered the smith had kept the male sword, and thus had Gan Jiang killed.
Gan Jiang had already predicted the king's reaction, so he left behind a message for Mo Ye and their unborn son telling them where he had hidden the Ganjiang Sword. Several months later, Mo Ye gave birth to Gan Jiang's son, Chi (赤), and years later she told him his father's story. Chi was eager to avenge his father and he sought the Ganjiang Sword. At the same time, the king dreamed of a youth who desired to kill him and placed a bounty on the youth's head. Chi was indignant and, filled with anguish, he started crying on his way to enact his vengeance. An assassin found Chi, who told the assassin his story. The assassin then suggested that Chi surrender his head and sword, and the assassin himself will avenge Ganjiang in Chi's place. He did as told and committed suicide. The assassin was moved and decided to help Chi fulfill his quest.
The assassin severed Chi's head and brought it, along with the Ganjiang sword to the overjoyed king. The king was however uncomfortable with Chi's head staring at him, and the assassin asked the king to have Chi's head boiled, but Chi's head was still staring at the king even after 40 days without any sign of decomposition, thus the assassin told the king that he needed to take a closer look and stare back in order for the head to decompose under the power of the king. The king bent over the cauldron and the assassin seized the opportunity to decapitate him, his head falling into the cauldron alongside Chi's. The assassin then cut off his own head, which also fell into the boiling water. The flesh on the heads was boiled away such that none of the guards could recognize which head belonged to whom. The guards and vassals decided that all three should be honoured as kings due to Chi and the assassin's bravery and loyalty. The three heads were eventually buried together at Yichun County, Runan, Henan, and the grave is called "Tomb of Three Kings".
Warring States period (475–221 BC)
Iron and steel swords of 80 to 100 cm in length appeared during the mid Warring States period in the states of Chu, Han, and Yan. The majority of weapons were still made of bronze but iron and steel weapons were starting to become more common. By the end of the 3rd century BC, the Chinese had learned how to produce quench-hardened steel swords, relegating bronze swords to ceremonial pieces.
The Zhan Guo Ce states that the state of Han made the best weapons, capable of cleaving through the strongest armour, shields, leather boots and helmets.
Wu and Yue swords
During the Warring States period, the Baiyue people were known for their swordsmanship and producing fine swords. According to the Spring and Autumn Annals of Wu and Yue, King Goujian met a female sword fighter called Nanlin (Yuenü) who demonstrated mastery over the art, and so he commanded his top five commanders to study her technique. Ever since, the technique came to be known as the "Sword of the Lady of Yue". The Yue were also thought to have possessed mystical knives embued with the talismanic power of dragons or other amphibious creatures.
The woman was going to travel north to have audience with King [Goujian of Yue] when she met an old man on the road, and he introduced himself as Lord Yuan. He asked the woman: “I have heard that you are good at swordsmanship, I would like to see this.”!e woman said: “I do not dare to conceal anything from you; my lord, you may put me to the test.” Lord Yuan then selected a stave of linyu bamboo, the top of which was withered. He broke off [the leaves] at the top and threw them to the ground, and the woman picked them up [before they hit the ground]. Lord Yuan then grabbed the bottom end of the bamboo and stabbed at the woman. She responded, and they fought three bouts, and just as the woman lifted the stave to strike him, Lord Yuan flew into the treetops and became a white gibbon (yuan).
— Spring and Autumn Annals of Wu and Yue
The Zhan Guo Ce mentions the high quality of southern swords and their ability to cleave through oxen, horses, bowls, and basins, but would shatter if used on a pillar or rock. Wu and Yue swords were highly valued and those who owned them would hardly ever use them for fear of damage, however in Wu and Yue these swords were commonplace and treated with less reverence. The Yuejue shu (Record of Precious Swords) mentions several named swords: Zhanlu (Black), Haocao (Bravery), Juque (Great Destroyer), Lutan (Dew Platform), Chunjun (Purity), Shengxie (Victor over Evil), Yuchang (Fish-belly), Longyuan (Dragon Gulf), Taie (Great Riverbank), and Gongbu (Artisanal Display). Many of these were made by the Yue swordsmith Ou Yezi.
Swords held a special place in the culture of the ancient kingdoms of Wu and Yue. Legends about swords were recorded here far earlier and in much greater detail than any other part of China, and this reflects both the development of sophisticated sword-making technology in this region of China, and the importance of these blades within the culture of the ancient south. Both Wu and Yue were famous among their contemporaries for the quantity and quality of the blades that they produced, but it was not until much later, during the Han dynasty, that legends about them were first collected. These tales became an important part of Chinese mythology, and introduced the characters of legendary swordsmiths such as Gan Jiang 干將 and Mo Ye 莫耶 to new audiences in stories that would be popular for millennia. These tales would serve to keep the fame of Wu and Yue sword-craft alive, many centuries after these kingdoms had vanished, and indeed into a time when swords had been rendered completely obsolete for other than ceremonial purposes by developments in military technology.
— Olivia Milburn
Even after Wu and Yue was assimilated into larger Chinese polities, memory of their swords lived on. During the Han dynasty, Liu Pi King of Wu (195-154 BC) had a sword named Wujian to honour the history of metalworking in his kingdom.
Qin dynasty (221–206 BC)
Sword dances are first mentioned shortly after the end of the Qin dynasty. Swords up to 110 cm in length began to appear.
Warring States bronze jians
Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD)
The jian was mentioned as one of the "Five Weapons" during the Han dynasty, the other four being dao, spear, halberd, and staff. Another version of the Five Weapons lists the bow and crossbow as one weapon, the jian and dao as one weapon, in addition to halberd, shield, and armour.
The jian was a popular weapon during the Han era and there emerged a class of swordsmen who made their living through fencing. Sword fencing was also a popular pastime for aristocrats. A 37 chapter manual known as the Way of the Jian is known to have existed, but is no longer extant. South and central China were said to have produced the best swordsmen. Han dynasty swords produced between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD have been found in Japan; a ring-pommel dao with an inscription "thirty-fold refined" and a jian with the inscription "fifty-fold refined". A jian in Nara Prefecture was also found with an inscription saying it was produced in the Zhongping era (184-189 AD) and "hundredfold refined."
There existed a weapon called the "Horse Beheading Jian", so called because it was supposedly able to cut off a horse's head. However, another source says that it was an execution tool used on special occasions rather than a military weapon.
As far as we are aware today, all the ancient Chinese iron swords were of wrought iron or steel: none were cast. It seems clear enough that a competent smith could make a wrought-iron or steel sword of any reasonable length that the customer desired or could pay for. Lengths in the range 70-100 cm seem to be most common, bust swords as long as 1.2 m and even 1.4 m are known... The longer length of an iron sword must have given a warrior an immediate advantage over one with a short bronze sword.
— Donald Wagner
Daos with ring pommels also became widespread as a cavalry weapon during the Han era. The dao had the advantage of being single edged, which meant the dull side could be thickened to strengthen the sword, making it less prone to breaking. When paired with a shield, the dao made for a practical replacement for the jian, hence it became the more popular choice as time went on. After the Han, sword dances using the dao rather than the jian are mentioned to have occurred. Archaeological samples range from 86 to 114 cm in length.
An account of Duan Jiong's tactical formation in 167 AD specifies that he arranged "…three ranks of halberds (長鏃 changzu), swordsmen (利刃 liren) and spearmen (長矛 changmao), supported by crossbows (強弩 qiangnu), with light cavalry (輕騎 jingji) on each wing."
Han jian with elaborate sword guard
Three Kingdoms (184/220–280)
Swords of idiosyncratic sizes are mentioned. One individual named Chen apparently wielded a great sword over two meters in length.
Sun Quan's wife had over a hundred female attendants armed with daos.
By the end of the Three Kingdoms the dao had completely overtaken the jian as the primary close combat weapon. The lighter and less durable double edged jian entered the domain of court dancers, officials, and expert warriors.
Northern and Southern dynasties (420–589)
In the 6th century, Qimu Huaiwen introduced to Northern Qi the process of 'co-fusion' steelmaking, which used metals of different carbon contents to create steel. Apparently, daos made using this method were capable of penetrating 30 armour lamellae. It's not clear if the armour was of iron or leather.
Huaiwen made sabres [dao 刀] of 'overnight iron' [su tie 宿鐵]. His method was to anneal [shao 燒] powdered cast iron [sheng tie jing 生鐵精] with layers of soft [iron] blanks [ding 鋌, presumably thin plates]. After several days the result is steel [gang 剛]. Soft iron was used for the spine of the sabre, He washed it in the urine of the Five Sacrificial Animals and quench-hardened it in the fat of the Five Sacrificial Animals: [Such a sabre] could penetrate thirty armour lamellae [zha 札]. The 'overnight soft blanks' [Su rou ting 宿柔鋌] cast today [in the Sui period?] by the metallurgists of Xiangguo 襄國 represent a vestige of [Qiwu Huaiwen's] technique. The sabres which they make are still extremely sharp, but they cannot penetrate thirty lamellae.
Tang dynasty (618–907)
The dao was separated into four categories during the Tang dynasty. These were the Ceremonial Dao, Defense Dao, Cross Dao, and Divided Dao. The Ceremonial Dao was a court item usually decorated with gold and silver. It was also known as the "Imperial Sword". The Defense Dao does not have any specifications but its name is self-explanatory. The Cross Dao was a waist weapon worn on the belt, hence its older name, the Belt Dao. It was often carried as a sidearm by crossbowmen. The Divided Dao, also called a Long Dao (long saber), was a cross between a polearm and a saber. It consisted of a 91 cm blade fixed to a long 120 cm handle ending in an iron butt point, although exceptionally large weapons reaching 3 meters in length and weighing 10.2 kg have been mentioned. Divided daos were wielded by elite Tang vanguard forces and used to spearhead attacks.
In one army, there are 12,500 officers and men. Ten thousand men in eight sections bearing Belt Daos; Two thousand five hundred men in two sections with Divided Daos.
— Taibai Yinjing
Song dynasty (960–1279)
Some warriors and bandits duel wielded daos to break deadlocks in confined terrain during the late Song dynasty.
According to the Xu Zizhi Tongjian Changbian, written in 1183, the "Horse Beheading Dao" (zhanmadao) was a two handed saber with a 93.6 cm blade, 31.2 cm hilt, and ring pommel.
Song soldiers carrying daos
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
Under the Yuan dynasty, the jian experienced a resurgence and was used more often.
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
The dao continued to fill the role of the basic close combat weapon. The jian fell out of favor again in the Ming era but saw limited use by a small number of arms specialists. It was otherwise known for its qualities as a marker of scholarly refinement.
The "Horse Beheading Dao" was described in Ming sources as a 96 cm blade attached to a 128 cm shaft, essentially a glaive. It's speculated that the SwedeFrederick Coyett was talking about this weapon when he described Zheng Chenggong's troops wielding "with both hands a formidable battle-sword fixed to a stick half the length of a man".
Some were armed with bows and arrows hanging down their backs ; others had nothing save a shield on the left arm and a good sword in the right hand ; while many wielded with both hands a formidable battle-sword fixed to a stick half the length of a man. Everyone was protected over the upper part of the body with a coat of iron scales, fitting below one another like the slates of a roof; the arms and legs being left bare. This afforded complete protection from rifle bullets (mistranslation-should read "small arms") and yet left ample freedom to move, as those coats only reached down to the knees and were very flexible at all the joints. The archers formed Koxinga's best troops, and much depended on them, for even at a distance they contrived to handle their weapons with so great skill that they very nearly eclipsed the riflemen. The shield bearers were used instead of cavalry. Every tenth man of them is a leader, who takes charge of, and presses his men on, to force themselves into the ranks of the enemy. With bent heads and their bodies hidden behind the shields, they try to break through the opposing ranks with such fury and dauntless courage as if each one had still a spare body left at home. They continually press onwards, notwithstanding many are shot down ; not stopping to consider, but ever rushing forward like mad dogs, not even looking round to see whether they are followed by their comrades or not. Those with the sword-sticks—called soapknives by the Hollanders—render the same service as our lancers in preventing all breaking through of the enemy, and in this way establishing perfect order in the ranks ; but when the enemy has been thrown into disorder, the Sword-bearers follow this up with fearful massacre amongst the fugitives.
— Frederick Coyett
Qi Jiguang deployed his soldiers in a 12-man 'mandarin duck' formation, which consisted of four pikemen, two men carrying daos with a great and small shield, two 'wolf brush' wielders, a rearguard officer, and a porter.
Ming whip, truncheon, and dao
Ming soldiers carrying a dao and jian
Ming soldier carrying a jian
Ming-Qing sword types
|Butterfly sword||Sometimes called butterfly knives in English. It was originally from southern China, though it has seen use in the north. It is usually wielded in pairs, and has short dao (single-edged blade), with a length is approximately that of the forearm. This allows for easy concealment within the sleeves or inside boots, and for greater manoeuvrability to spin and rotate in close-quarters fighting.|
|Changdao||Ming dynasty||A type of anti-cavalry sword used in China during the Ming dynasty. Sometimes called miao dao (a similar but more recent weapon), the blade greatly resembles a Japanese ōdachi in form.|
|Dadao||Also known as the Chinese great sword. Based on agricultural knives, dadao have broad blades generally between two and three feet long, long hilts meant for "hand and a half" or two-handed use, and generally a weight-forward balance.|
|Hook sword||The hook sword is an exotic Chinese weapon traditionally associated with Northern styles of Chinese martial arts, but now often practised by Southern styles as well.|
|Jian||The jian is a double-edged straight sword used during the last 2,500 years in China. The first Chinese sources that mention the jian date to the 7th century BC during the Spring and Autumn period; one of the earliest specimens being the Sword of Goujian. |
Historical one-handed versions have blades varying from 45 to 80 centimeters (17.7 to 31.5 inches) in length. The weight of an average sword of 70-centimeter (28-inch) blade-length would be in a range of approximately 700 to 900 grams (1.5 to 2 pounds). There are also larger two-handed versions used for training by many styles of Chinese martial arts.
In Chinese folklore, it is known as the "Gentleman of Weapons" and is considered one of the four major weapons, along with the gun (staff), qiang (spear), and the dao.
|Liuyedao||The liuye dao, or "willow leaf saber", is a type of dao that was commonly used as a military sidearm for both cavalry and infantry during the Ming and Qing dynasties. This weapon features a moderate curve along the length of the blade. This reduces thrusting ability (though it is still fairly effective at same) while increasing the power of cuts and slashes.|
|Miaodao||Republican era||A Chinese two-handed dao or saber of the Republican era, with a narrow blade of up to 1.2 meters or more and a long hilt. The name means "sprout saber", presumably referring to a likeness between the weapon and a newly sprouted plant. While the miaodao is a recent weapon, the name has come to be applied to a variety of earlier Chinese long sabers, such as the zhanmadao and changdao. Along with the dadao, miaodao were used by some Chinese troops during the Second Sino-Japanese War.|
|Nandao||Nandao is a kind of sword that is nowadays used mostly in contemporary wushu exercises and forms. It is the southern variation of the "northern broadsword", or Beidao. Its blade bears some resemblance to the butterfly sword, also a southern Chinese single-bladed weapon; the main difference is the size, and the fact that the butterfly swords are always used in pairs|
|Niuweidao||Late Qing dynasty||A type of Chinese saber (dao) of the late Qing dynasty. It was primarily a civilian weapon, as imperial troops were never issued it.|
|Piandao||Late Ming dynasty||A type of Chinese sabre (dao) used during the late Ming dynasty. A deeply curved dao meant for slashing and draw-cutting, it bore a strong resemblance to the shamshir and scimitar. A fairly uncommon weapon, it was generally used by skirmishers in conjunction with a shield.|
|Wodao||Ming dynasty||A Chinese sword from the Ming dynasty. Apparently influenced by Japanese sword design, it bears a strong resemblance to a tachi or ōdachi in form: extant examples show a handle approximately 25.5 cm long, with a gently curved blade 80 cm long.|
|Yanmaodao||Late Ming—Qing dynasties||The yanmao dao, or "goose quill saber", is a type of dao made in large numbers as a standard military weapon from the late Ming dynasty through the end of the Qing dynasty. It is similar to the earlier zhibei dao, is largely straight, with a curve appearing at the center of percussion near the blade's tip. This allows for thrusting attacks and overall handling similar to that of the jian, while still preserving much of the dao's strengths in cutting and slashing.|
|Zhanmadao||Song dynasty||A single edged long broad bladed sword with a long handle suitable for two-handed use. Dating to 1072, it was used as an anti-cavalry weapon.|
|This list is incomplete. There are many more types of both jian and dao|
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Lana asked. Yes, like a normal guy, although he often pointed at you and said that you don't like this evening, Natasha said. And he did not tell you about sex and that he really wants you. Lana remembered the argument with Vasya. Yes, it seems not, he said that they were engaged in boxing, and today Natasha said quietly on their day off.