One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Japanese sword shorter than a katana.
- ‘The wakizashi was the all-purpose sword and most Japanese military swords were of its dimensions, including those captured in such quantity towards the end of WW II and taken home as souvenirs by Allied troops.’
- ‘Beginning about the fourteenth century, samurai in civilian dress wore a daisbo (pair of ceremonial swords): a long katana and a shorter wakizashi.’
- ‘The Christmas of 1989 my wife gave me a set of katana and wakizashi (a short sword-like knife) for display in our home.’
- ‘Some bands hit you with it like a blunt object; Xiu Xiu wields theirs like a supersharp wakizashi.’
- ‘Tanto were frequently worn in place of the wakizashi (short sword), especially indoors.’
Japanese, from waki ‘side’ + sasu ‘wear at one's side’.
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