View Full Version : Need help identifying something

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02-10-2003, 04:00 PM
Hello, friends! This is off-topic, but I haven't been able to find an answer anywhere else; and someone here is certain to know.

One of my all-time favourite films is 'Heaven and Earth', a 1986 Japanese film documenting the 16th century battles between the Samurai Kagetora Nagao and Takeda Shimkin. It's a wonderful movie; beautifully filmed, superb battles showing the planning, strategy and manoeuver of that age's warfare.
In the title of the film, however, there's something I don't recognize. The title - in Japanese - is superimposed over an object that looks like an odd kind of sword - a long blade; but out of the flat of the blade are several smaller 'arms', projecting out 90 degrees towards the tip. It's kind of hard to describe - its sort of a cross between a sword and a saguaro cactus - the type of cacti Wile E. Coyote always runs into.
Despite my terrible description, does anyone know white kind of weapon this is? Or indeed, if it as weapon at all? (It certainly looked sharp.)
Thanks, friends. :)
(BTW - if you haven't seen 'Heaven and Earth', I highly recommend it!)

Fred Little
02-11-2003, 09:27 AM
It's hard to say without seeing the picture, but it sounds like a "sodegarami/sode deppo" or "sleeve catcher," used to take someone down by tangling their clothing, an instrument used for non-lethal captures, generally by civil authorities rather than a standard battlefield weapon.

Fred Little

Jonathan Lewis
02-11-2003, 01:58 PM
Pictures to check on whether this is what you mean:

sasumata and sodegarami (http://www.e-budokai.com/exhibit/images/exhibit5.jpg) (from www.e-budokai.com website )

Sodegarami, Sasumata , Tsukubo (http://www.page-five.de/TENSHU/ha4.jpg) (from www.page-five.de/TENSHU/ website)

also check near the bottom ofthis page (http://maison.geisha.free.fr/dojo/kenjutsu/Kenjutsu%20art%20du%20samoura%EF.htm)

02-11-2003, 04:25 PM
Hi, guys; thnks for the help. Unfortunately, neither the sasumata or sodegarami fit the bill.

It's always possible it may not be a weapon at all; it could be a symbpl, religous perhaps, or something as mundane as a coatrack.

I'll try drawing a picture - that might help

02-11-2003, 04:45 PM
Maybe you're talking about a Jutte, Dave?

A defensive weapon used by Samurais and police of feudal era....

Plus Ki!

02-11-2003, 05:01 PM
That's closer, Otto; the object I saw had for 'arms' a side. :)

02-11-2003, 06:09 PM
OK friends; my drawing's terrible; but it should be enough for you to figure out what it's supposed to look like. ( :) )

The device was steel, with what looked like sharpened edges.


02-11-2003, 06:52 PM
A Great Fork of Doom !

02-11-2003, 07:27 PM
hummmm...I remember seeing something like that in some old nintendo game....

Maybe its some kind of multi pronged Yari (Bladed Polearm)??

Gee....now I'm curious about it too.

02-11-2003, 08:26 PM
Is that a standing coat rack?

Kelly Allen
02-20-2003, 02:26 AM
It looks like the directions to our dojo.

Jeff Tibbetts
02-21-2003, 11:08 PM
Ok, I've seen these before in a couple different places. From what little I know about them, they're actually religious tools. I'm not sure of the origins, but I know that they have connections to old myths, and are often used to describe gods who have something like "a sword with nine blades" or whatnot. Instead of rendering it as a sword with nine actual blades, they make one blade with eight other ones coming off. It's not always nine, that's just what I used as an example. Actually, it might always be a certain number, but I wouldn't know what that was off the top of my head. You can see them in old pictures and stuff of Kami, or sculpture or other things. I've seen them in two Anime that I can think of, namely Gasaraki and Angel Sanctuary. In Gasaraki there was an Oni, or demon, who had one of these swords, and in Angel Santuary it was an Angel that carried one. I think, but I'm not sure that the latter could have been a reference to a Revelations verse about an Angel with a multi-bladed sword. Anyway, I hope this all helps, I wish I knew what it was called off the top of my head. I could look into it, though, if you really want.