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Old 24th September 2021, 07:10 AM   #6
Vikingsword Staff
Ian's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,435

Hi Iain,

That's a very lovely and interesting sword. It is obviously influenced by Japanese style but it is, primarily, a very big dha/daab. The hilt with its plain thread-wrapped grip covered with black resin, and the scabbard similarly covered with black resin, point to this being a weapon and not a sword for display or ceremonial purposes. Such large swords were typically wielded by powerful warriors in the vanguard of an attack, cutting down man and beast.

What gives this sword a Japanese flavor is the habaki-like structure at the base of a pierced circular guard (tsuba). It is possible to find similar Japanese influence in swords of Thailand and Vietnam, but I'm less certain about Cambodia, Laos, or Burma.

As you point out, there has been a Japanese presence in Thailand for many centuries, including the employment of Japanese mercenaries. I had a Thai student 40 years ago whose family had been powerful landowners in Thailand for centuries. He told me that his great-great-grandfather employed two Japanese warriors as bodyguards in the mid-19th C.

Given the longstanding links to Japanese martial ways, I think Thailand is the most likely source for your sword, although Vietnam is certainly a possibility. Philip Tom could probably provide more information regarding Vietnam and Japanese influence.

I think your sword is quite old, and probably from the 18th C. Hard to date these, as we have discussed before.
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