A pole weapon traditionally used by members of the samurai class. A naginata consists of a wood shaft with a curved blade on the end; it is similar to the Guan Dao or glaive. Usually it also had a sword-like guard (Tsuba) between the blade and shaft. Unlike most polearms, the shaft is oval in cross section to allow easy orientation of the blade, and ranges from 5 to 7 feet (1.5 to 2.1 meters) long.
Naginata can be used to stab, but due to their relatively balanced center of mass, are often spun and turned to proscribe a large radius of reach. The curved blade makes for an effective tool for cutting due to the increased length of cutting surface.
The martial art of wielding the naginata is called naginatajutsu.
Historical Naginata (OOC)
A functional naginata was often a traditional part of a samurai daughter's dowry. Although they did not typically fight as normal soldiers, women of the samurai class were expected to be capable of defending their homes while their husbands were away at war. The naginata was considered one of the weapons most suitable for women, as it allows a woman to keep opponents at a distance, where any advantages in height, weight, and upper body strength would be lessened.
Real World Threat Range (OOC)
In the hands of a skilled practitioner, one 5-foot (1.5 m) tall wielder could conceivably cover and attack in 380 square feet (35 m²) of open, level ground with a 5 foot (1.5 m) shaft, 3 foot (1 m) blade, 3 foot (1 m) reach.
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