As we all know, the Japanese sword is famous all over the world. In fact, countless other regions, including China, have created their own swords. Although China has produced dozens of swords throughout its history, the most prolific of them is Zhanmadao.


What is zhanmadao?

Zhanmadao is a traditional Chinese sword that originated in the Han Dynasty (206-220 AD) in the country. The term "zhanmadao" translates to "cut sword", which is an accurate description of the characteristics of this sword. It has a single-edged curved blade and is mainly used for slashing attack and defensive exercises.

As shown in the picture above, zhanmadao is relatively long compared to other traditional Chinese swords. A typical zhanmadao measures over 78 inches (200 cm) in length, and the average blade length is about 59 inches (150 cm). This huge scale makes it a powerful weapon among Chinese soldiers. However, war Zhanmadao is especially effective when wielded by infantry, many of whom use swords to defend against cavalry units.


variant of zhanmadao

Although most of the basic designs of zhanmadao consist of single-edged curved blades, swordsmiths have produced many variations of this classic Chinese sword. For example, chandao has the same design but a larger scale. This is a dual-purpose sword, mainly used to deal with armored opponents. Other variants of Jimma Island include miadao and wodao.


Why zhanmadao is important

The zhanmadao is important because it has influenced swordsmanship in other regions, including Japan. Until the Kamakura period in Japan (1185-1333), katana were produced by swordsmiths in the region. Of course, this is many centuries after the production of zhanmadao in China. Therefore, many historians believe that Japanese swordsmiths borrowed some swordsmanship from their Chinese neighbors, paving the way for Japanese katana, wakizashi and other precious traditional Japanese swords.

Japanese cutlers discovered that the curved edges of zhanmadao make it a versatile weapon because the curvature of the blade allows for a hard edge and a soft spine. Eventually led to the production of differential heat treatment. Together with high-carbon steel (tamahagane), Japanese swordsmiths can also make the best swords in the world.

Unfortunately, there is no example of zhanmadao today. Over the years, most of them have been damaged, destroyed or lost. However, the few handles that do exist usually have complex designs and packaging.

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