staff with slightly curved top; medium patina

Naginata practice weapon, 19th century

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The naginata is a halberd-like pole weapon comparable to the European glaive or fauchard. It has a single-edged blade in the size and shape of a sword that is mounted on the end of a wooden pole. In the 12th century, the naginata was regarded as a very effective weapon used by samurai on the battle field against cavalry. In the peaceful Edo period (1603–1868), the naginata became the iconic weapon for women and its study was a must for all women born into a samurai family.

Instead of lethal steel blades, wooden mock weapons (bokutō) were used for sparring and practicing the handling of swords as well as naginata. Antique wooden practice swords are very rare and even more scarce are wooden naginata. This is a beautiful example made from a single piece of red or white oak, seven feet in length. It shows the typical, elegant curvature of the real weapon and has a groove line where the sword guard would usually sit.

Naginata practice weapon
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staff with slightly curved top; medium patina