The naginata was originally developed as a weapon for use against cavalry and
first appeared around the 10th century. The pole weapon was also a highly preferred
weapon of the Sohei or Japanese warrior monks.
Since the monks had limited access to horses they were often placed in a situation
of facing mounted warriors from on foot, and the naginata (due it’s great
length) was ideal for this situation.
The original use of this weapon was to cut off the legs of enemy horses followed
by an attack to the dismounted rider. However it became apparent that the length
of the naginata was a ferocious battlefield tool, both powerful & fast,
and with much greater reach than a katana.
When this weapon lost its usefulness during battle (around 1600) , the naginata
increasingly became a symbol of social status for samurai women. The naginata
gave a woman the advantage of greater length, and was not intended as a weapon
to be used away from home.
This Hanwei piece is hand forged in 1065 high-carbon steel and the traditional
clay method is used to produce a differentially hardened blade with great details
in the steel pattern as you will see on the detailed pics in the slideshow.
The protect the nice blade (and for yoru safety of course) a nice black lacquered
saya is included.