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Old 4th April 2020, 07:24 PM   #1
drac2k
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Default Chinese Dao

I just picked up this Chinese dao; I would guess the vintage to be between WW1 and WW2. What is really exciting to me is that it came with the original scabbard.
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Old 4th April 2020, 09:04 PM   #2
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Nice one.
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Old 4th April 2020, 11:42 PM   #3
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Thanks, it is the only one that I have with a scabbard.
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Old 5th April 2020, 05:38 AM   #4
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Very nice!
and how to carry it.
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Old 5th April 2020, 07:10 AM   #5
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The fourth pic from the top shows some inscriptions.
The upper on 191.. . May it be part of the date 191(0...9)?
The lower on hieroglyphs . Perhaps RenRen can decipher them.
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Old 5th April 2020, 01:48 PM   #6
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Photo is turned upside down. I see the numbers "151" and the family character 謝 Xie (means "Gratitude"). The arsenals built by Europeans in China and Japan sometimes continued to use European numbers for marking.
I also really liked the scabbard. I think the buttons can tell you something about production time.
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Old 5th April 2020, 02:13 PM   #7
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Great picture!
Ren Ren, once again thank you for your translations and insight!
One might wonder how an archaic weapon would fare in 20th-century warfare?
Were they issued to boost the soldiers' confidence or a romantic holdover and as effective as lancers going against tanks, barb wire, and machinegun nests?
I have never heard of any encounters of these being used in battle, however, I have seen some eerie and gruesome actual pictures of a post battlefield in the Pacific where American and Japanese soldiers were frozen in numerous death embraces; they were interlocked, with knives, swords, spades and anything else that could render harm. The hand to hand combat must have been ferocious based on the number of bodies and their agonized and contorted expressions; it looked like a scene out of Dante's Inferno. I am sure that in such close quarters, these dao could be effective.
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Old 13th April 2020, 03:18 PM   #8
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Below are are quotes taken from Peter's Mandarin Mansion site. The dadao was specifically made with the warfare of the 20th century in mind. It is designed to be effective against unarmored opponents, and also to be hefty enough that it can easily be turned out in large numbers without worry about small forging flaws or other small imperfections lowering its combat ability.



"When the Central Martial Arts Institute was established, those in the intellectual class each had their doubts, considering this to be an era of firearm warfare and that there is no necessity to encourage this antique and obsolete learning. But fortunately, due to many years of effort, Chinese martial arts has spread throughout the army so much that large saber units can be seen fighting the enemy. They charge right in, unstoppably advancing with bold shouts, like thunderclaps in the midst of a hurricane, causing the enemy to not be able to turn his horses around fast enough or have a chance to fire his guns. The blades rip open skin and sever fingers, hack off arms and pierce through chests, and within a mere ten paces, blood is already flowing enough to make a river." 1

-Zhang Zhijiang, Shanghai, Oct, 1932

One of the most famous uses of the dadao was during the so-called Marco Polo incident. It was in July of 1937 that the 29th Route Army lead by colonel J Xīngwn (吉星文) faced a Japanese troop force of 5600 men on the Marco Polo Bridge or Lgōuqio (盧溝橋) in Northern China.

J Xīngwn's men numbered about 100, carrying their ddāo alongside modern rifles and grenades. Among the Japanese were cavalry armed with katana. The Japanese crossed the bridge without permission to look for a soldier that had apparently gone missing on the other side.

Soldiers of the ROC raided the bridge, ddāo in hand, and repulsed the Japanese losing all but four men. Casualties on the Japanese side are unknown but were high enough for them to retreat. This went into history as the Marco Polo Bridge Incident which in turn is seen as the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The event was a huge boost to the Chinese soldier's morale. The victory of the simple ddāo over the mighty katana had great symbolic value.
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Old 13th April 2020, 04:34 PM   #9
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Helmets and Dadao donated by a women's group to the Chinese war effort.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:59 PM   #10
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Thanks for the picture and the account of the "Marco Polo Bridge Incident," as well as the fighting philosophy of this weapon; I suspected that this could be the case.
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Old 13th April 2020, 08:50 PM   #11
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A view from the other side.....
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Old 14th April 2020, 03:21 PM   #12
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the Photo of the dadao carry looked odd to me. Hilt over the right shoulder looks better....

?
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Old 14th April 2020, 07:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
the Photo of the dadao carry looked odd to me. Hilt over the right shoulder looks better....

?



Look at the rifle bolt, the original posted photo is the right way round.
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Old 14th April 2020, 09:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh stout
Below are are quotes taken from Peter's Mandarin Mansion site. The dadao was specifically made with the warfare of the 20th century in mind. It is designed to be effective against unarmored opponents, and also to be hefty enough that it can easily be turned out in large numbers without worry about small forging flaws or other small imperfections lowering its combat ability.



Swords had their place in 20th cent. warfare even in Europe. The last recorded cavalry battle occurred at Komorov in the 1920s between Polish and Red Army mounted forces, and both sides carried sabers. The Soviet Red Cavalry kept the Imperial-issue System 1881 cossack style shashka in service until the end of World War II and some presumably saw use as Stalin's horsemen routed German forces in Ukraine in 1944. The Soviet-era weapon, with scabbard modified to take a Mod. 1891 spike bayonet, lacked the finesse and cunning balance of its Caucasus prototypes, but it was serviceable and more robust.
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Old 15th April 2020, 02:14 AM   #15
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A great example, drac! You are lucky to have the original sheath.
I have two daos, but they are sadly missing the guards. Any suggestions on how to replace? The best I've come up with is trying to carve an approximation from wood, in two halves, and sandwich the blade between. I'd love to hear if anyone has another way.
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Old 15th April 2020, 02:38 AM   #16
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Thanks.I'm not sure that all dao had guards; if you could post pictures of yours, I'm sure that some of the other better-informed forum members could comment on your items.
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Old 15th April 2020, 03:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
Look at the rifle bolt, the original posted photo is the right way round.


Correct. the Original photo is right way around, I still would prefer the hilt over the right shoulder tho.

It seems to be optional.

p.s. - Viet DaDao tend to have very abbreviated guards (and decorated blades).
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Last edited by kronckew : 15th April 2020 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 15th April 2020, 03:31 AM   #18
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Default guards

Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Thanks.I'm not sure that all dao had guards; if you could post pictures of yours, I'm sure that some of the other better-informed forum members could comment on your items.



Just about every example I've seen had a guard. The most typical are the type in the images at the beginning of this post -- made of iron, with stubby quillons curled forward, in a rams's-horn configuration. You also see S shaped ones either of forged iron or cast brass.

Replacing a missing guard is going to take some doing. When originally made, the bare blade had its flattened rectangular tang forged with a "rat tail" extension at the pommel end. The guard was slid on, then the rat tail was forged into the ring shape and the free end welded to the other corner of the tang. The wooden grip was made in two halves, butting the guard up against the shoulders of the blade, and bound tightly with thick braided cord.

A very basic construction, something that any village blacksmith who made farm implements could manage. The twin fullers on the sides of the blade may have been a bit above the pay grade of a peasant smith but the weapon would function just as well without them. This was the whole point behind these things -- a handy, easy-to-manufacture weapon for the masses. In use for centuries by commoners, the blade shape was inspired by hay knives common on Chinese farms until well into the last century and perhaps even today in some places.
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Old 15th April 2020, 03:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... Viet DaDao tend to have very abbreviated guards (and decorated blades).


Viet Truong Dao:
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Old 15th April 2020, 04:13 AM   #20
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A nice classic example of the genre, thanks for sharing the pic. It has a guard of sorts, rather small, serving more to keep the user's hand fro sliding up onto the edge. The appearance of such a rudimentary guard on a Vietnamese weapon may be influenced by small or absent guards on a number of other SE Asian edged weapons such as dhas, barongs, and the like.
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Old 15th April 2020, 08:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
A nice classic example of the genre, thanks for sharing the pic. It has a guard of sorts, rather small, serving more to keep the user's hand fro sliding up onto the edge. The appearance of such a rudimentary guard on a Vietnamese weapon may be influenced by small or absent guards on a number of other SE Asian edged weapons such as dhas, barongs, and the like.


I bought it on a whim, really cheap, listed at auction as a 'machete'. on arrival I fell in love with it, it feels great in the hand, well balanced, and sharp as anything. the blade has been cleaned a bit, grip is untouched. It is not the sword of a 'gentleman'. It'll scare the stuffing out of any intruder I am certain. I already had a more recent one mass-made in El Salvador by a 'Machete' company, with a wooden grip and a larger integral flat guard, I'd wrapped the grip a bit more appropriately. The Truong is a LOT better. I show the grip/guard here just for illustration. It's not high on my list of go-to's. Better to wait for a real one and save your money for it.
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Last edited by kronckew : 15th April 2020 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 16th April 2020, 04:30 AM   #22
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wow, imagine one of these made in Central America. Wonders never cease. I thought that I'd seen it all some years ago when a friend forwarded to me an eBay listing showing a decorative pair of Chinese brass-mounted shortswords (double edged straight blades) that could well pass for old (not that the originals were all that fabulous to begin with) EXCEPT -- that each blade was deeply stamped at the forte, "MADE IN INDIA".
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