A Novice's Guide To Forging One's Own Nodachi Sword
Nodachi have the same general appearance and design of a tachi though they have been longer. The Nodachi has been carried by foot soldiers and has been designed like a weapon for war versus cavalry and receptive field obligations. Nodachi were generally utilized on open battle fields as their span made their use indoors or close-quarters difficult. They were also an effective weapon against cavalry, though they were not commonly utilized. Nodachi were rarely employed for several reasons:
The blade has been difficult to forge compared to some normal-sized Sword
The nodachi demanded greater power to properly wield
During times of reassurance that the sword was worn slung throughout the rear for a symbol of status. That is identifying because many Japanese swords like the katana, wakizashi, and tachi were worn at the belt or waist; yet it wasn't "drawn" from the trunk. The Odachi was more challenging to wield due to its unnatural dimensions and weight, but like almost any weapon, could possibly be exceedingly deadly in the event the warrior believed it was skilled. The magnitude of the blade left the nodachi a fearsome weapon wielded by a skilled warrior. Its cutting capability and range exceeded that of a katana, because of its weight and size. Legend claims that a nodachi could cleave a warrior and his horse in half with one blow.
The point of Nodachi
The intention of Nodachi can be categorized as follows:
A) As an offering into some Shrine or Gods. Some Nodachi were dedicated with prayer to win a war, others were placed in Shrines as mythical swords.
B) As a weapon.
From explanations in older texts, such as "Heike-monogatari, Taihei-ki" let's Odachi were used by soldiers during battles.
C) As a sign for an army.
Some Odachi are too long for practical usage. They cannot be used in a conflict nonetheless it is said they could have already been used as a sign of a military, like signs and spears. Further research is needed to verify this idea.
D) As a trend during a certain period. Some swords have been used for ceremonies.
E) To show the swordsmith's skill.
The production of Nodachi
Nodachi are very difficult to produce.
A) A large amount of steel is required to create a Nodachi and it takes longer to make than a normal sword. However to make a good Nodachi it is important to hammer the steel quickly. This involves great skill from the swordsmith.
B) A Nodachi is made out of teamwork. Perfect teamwork must make a good person.
C) More power is expected in quenching and tempering a Nodachi than a normal sword.
D) Special facilities are demanded. For instance the quenching tank has to be bigger than that employed for ordinary swords.
E) The process of polishing is different. Odachi have to get hung from the ceiling or placed in a static position to be glistening, unlike ordinary swords which are moved across the polishing rocks.
How to use Nodachi
Nodachi which were used as weapons were too much time for Samurai to transport on their waists like normal swords. There were two ways in which Odachi might be performed. One method was to take it in your back. This was faked nevertheless, as it was impossible for the Samurai carrying the samurai sword to draw it immediately. The other way was simply to carry the Nodachi by hand. The trend through the Muromachi era was for the Samurai carrying the Nodachi to have a follower to help him draw on it.
Nodachi sword play styles centered on downward chops and differing wields compared to that of blades.