Tantō (short sword) is a generic term referring to a variety of dagger or knife types between 15 and 30cm long. They were forged in a variety of styles, could be single or double edged, curved or straight and could be tools as well as weapons, although the latter were mostly only carried by the noble caste.
The purpose and style of a tantō determined it's specific name.
Historic Tantō (OOC)
Tantō were most commmonly used for the ritual of seppuku.
Women sometimes carried a small tantō called a kaiken in their obi primarily for self defense but sometimes (rarely) for jigai (female seppuku). A woman received a kaiken as part of her wedding gifts. Many of these daggers had black-lacquered handles and matching scabbards. They could be carried in a pouch of brocade with a drawstring for easy access.
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