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Japanese Kwaiken Dagger

  • Medieval Asia
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

From 15th Century Japan, the series of blades known as Kwaiken Daggers were not considered weapons, but means to commit "Seppuku" (Hara-kiri) - or ritual suicide. The Kwaiken were reserved solely for the use of Noblewomen. They were folded metal blades that were double-edged (to increase effectiveness), and ranged from 8 to 12 inches in length. They were fitted to wooden or bone handles. Per ritual protocols, the Keaiken handle and nearly half the blade was wrapped in cloth. This served to produce a better grip and the smallest area of exposed blade. Thus enhanced one's ability to maintain control of the blade during one's disembowelment. Rarely completed due to shock and blood loss, a "Second" (Male Family member), stood at the ready, Sword in hand to immediately behead the participant.