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#112668 - 08/18/04 02:38 AM The art of the reverse blade

Any one who trains with swords and feels interested in learning a new sword art, the reverse blade is really one to try. I would suggest not trying jumping into it quickly though. It will take some time to master, but it is truly a noble way of training.

#112669 - 08/18/04 08:15 AM Re: The art of the reverse blade

Hey there...

When you say reverse Blade... Do you mean turning the Nagaso backwards and fighting with the spine or do you mean that cartoon creation from Rouruni Kenshin?


#112670 - 08/19/04 12:24 AM Re: The art of the reverse blade

HAHA, when I say rerverse blade, I mean a reverse blade. Yes, like the one kenshin has. [IMG][/IMG] It's an actual type of sword, it's not just made up. The purpose was so that you would injure your enemy enough to stay down, but not to kill kim. IN japanese, it's called a sakabatou.

#112671 - 08/19/04 12:45 AM Re: The art of the reverse blade
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
Just some quick questions for you.

1. If you don't intend on cutting someone, why use a sword at all?

2. Have you seen this "style" any place other than on cartoons? Not asking if your friends have seen it. Have YOU seen evidence of this sakabatou?

This subject has been covered before. It does not exist outside of anime.

#112672 - 08/19/04 04:46 AM Re: The art of the reverse blade

Few swordsmen dared to journey to the dark shores of the Imperial Sea to challenge the ancient master that dwelled there. An old man, he spent his lifetime protecting and studying the ocean's essence and is said to been able alter the tides and summon the dreaded beasts of the deep. A man of mysterious power, he has been challenged by many, and lost to no one. His legendary skill has surpassed even the knowledge of the most experienced masters, each returning home bruised and battered from his reverse blade. His weapon of choice, the oldest of the GOTAIYO Swords, a sword with a reverse blade that is simple yet elegant, claiming it's beauty from the depths of the ocean. The background is flowing water, the source of all life, and the wisdom of one man. This is an old quote from an OLD book which was translated by the same translator who translates miyamoto musashis's The book of five rings.

It's just a small peice, and whether the story about the man himself is true or not really isn't the point. The reverse blade has been around for quite some time. The book itself was written back in the mid 1600's.

What I'm trying to say is that their existed the thought and art of the reverse blade since then. From then, it has only grew. Now given, that it's not a well known art because of that fact, the blade itself was not meant to kill, but that is what makes it so beautiful. The ability to study the art and philosphy of the sword, without effecting the strength and spirit of the human soul. To maintain that inner peace within yourself, while not destroying such a delicate thing as human life. That;s the main point behind the study of the reverse blade. I hope I answered your question. And on a lighter note, yes, it actually is a REAL sword. I have my reverse blade whenever I train or meditate.

[This message has been edited by rianonse (edited 08-19-2004).]

#112673 - 08/19/04 07:26 AM Re: The art of the reverse blade

I can find no mention of an actual Ryu-ha in Japan (according to the Dai-Nippon Bujutsu Renmei) in reference to this weapon's use. So to paraphrase you, it sounds like the weapon saw very limited use ( maybe even limited to one man). When you say that you have the sword with you when you train...what system do you train in that allows the use of such a weapon? Do you train at an established school or club or do you train on your own?

Also, what is the name of this obscure book that you mentioned? I would like to check it out. Don't worry if is not written in English as I speak and read Japanese. I have a good number of Cleary's books ( the translator you spoke of) so it shouldn't be to hard to get this one...Big fan of Harvest book search.


#112674 - 08/19/04 08:23 AM Re: The art of the reverse blade
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA
Ah, if the idea is to put someone down without killing them?

Why not just use a bokken or jo?

Makes more sense than to carry around a non-edged metal blade--which would be just as potentially lethal as a bokken.

If you decided you had to kill them--well, history is full of people using a bokken to kill.

They can be very dangerous in the right or perhaps wrong hands.

Plus, would you not use a reverse blade sword pretty much the same way as you would a "normal" blade?

Handeling should not be that different. Weight/mass should be the same.

Weird question that does not make much sense.


What you have quoted above seems to be a Japanese "fairy tale" not a actual acoun tof a "real" swordsmen.

I can post a tale of a Japanese swordsmen fighting a spider the size of a house--does that mean there are spiders 20 feet tall in Japan?

Don't think so.

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 08-19-2004).]

#112675 - 08/19/04 08:23 AM Re: The art of the reverse blade
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
The name of the book would be nice. I asked for the resource, not a quote from it.

#112676 - 08/19/04 09:50 AM Re: The art of the reverse blade
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Sakabato never existed as shown in Kenshin. Period. It was an invention of the author of the series. I suspect that if your copy of the Book of Five Rings says otherwise that it is most likely due to a poor translation on the part of the translator.

Feel free to go to one of the more academic forums like or and search the archives. This topic has been discussed to death. I admire Kenshin for it's ability to inspire a new generation to look into the history of Japan and the koryu arts. That said it has been nearly as much of a headache as anything else, because it's tendency to mix fact with fiction makes it difficult for the Japanese history ignorant masses to distinguish between the two.

#112677 - 08/19/04 10:35 AM Re: The art of the reverse blade

I think there is a reference on one of the Rurouroni Kenshin / Samurai X DVDs that states the sakabatou was introduced into the series as an aid in storytelling.

If Kenshin were to fight these bad guy swordsmen with a bokken, chances are it would get chopped in half by a real sword. So the author came up with the sakabatou concept so his main chatacter could still fight and triumph over these bad guys.

The anime suggests Arai Shatku is the man that made both of Kenshin's reverse blade swords (the only two in the series). As far as I can tell, this was a fictional character not based off of any historical figure.

Hope that helps.


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