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ōdachi, also known as nodachi, is a traditional Japanese sword invented during the feudal period of Japan. It has a curved single-edged blade-similar to the blade of a katana. However, its average length is 35.8 inches (90.9 cm), but it is much longer than the katana. Most importantly, ōdachi is a multifunctional sword with many different uses.
Like many traditional Japanese swords, Odachi swords are mainly used as weapons on the battlefield. The samurai would use them to engage their opponents, usually with horizontal slashing or downward cutting blows. However, due to the extremely long blade, the Odachi cannot be hung on the samurai's waist. Instead, the samurai either carried it on his back, or simply carried it—with a sheath—in his hand.
However, you cannot use ōdachi with one hand. In order to use ōdachi effectively, the samurai must hold it with both hands. This gives the samurai more influence, which leads to more powerful attacks. But this comes at the cost of lower mobility, which makes it easy for the samurai to be attacked between swings.
In addition to being used on the battlefield, Odachi is also used in religious and spiritual ceremonies. When preparing for battle, the samurai will visit the shrine to provide offerings, hoping to be protected. Some samurai will provide money, while others will provide swords like Odachi. Other swords were also used as offerings, but in feudal Japan, Odachi was a particularly popular offering.
Over time, Odachi was eliminated and replaced by Katana. There are several reasons for this, one of which is that katana is easier to make. Due to the longer blade, Odachi swords require more materials than katana. In addition, the differential heat treatment of the Odachi sword is more cumbersome and difficult than the samurai sword. The swordmiths needs to touch a large pool of water or oil to quench the ōdachi blade. The traditional water source used for katana is too small for the huge blade of ōdachi.
According to Wikipedia, after the Battle of Osaka, the use of Odachi changed. As the Japanese government banned the use of long swords, Odachi was no longer used on the battlefield. On the contrary, it is used almost exclusively for spiritual and religious ceremonies.