Day 4 did not go as planned. It turned out to be a catch up on sleep day. Although there were 4 classes at Hombu, I was only able to make one, but it was a great class.

It turned out that Someya Sensei couldn’t make class so it was covered by Shihan Steve Olsen. Steve had done a seminar at Todai sometime ago, and he as charismatic as he is skilled in ability and knowledge.

He began the class by displaying the evolution of Japanese weapons; the kodachi became the nagamaki, and the nagamaki lead to katana, naginata and bisento. He explained that this wasn’t a “clean”  history. Rather, there is much rumor and speculation surrounding it’s origins, such as Chinese influence.

We then began to explore the techniques of the giant Bisento, and talked about how slowly samurai moved because of the weight of armor.


It was a fascinating look into the warfare of the time, and how things can change depending on the weapon and context and added a whole new level of depth.

The rest of the day was spent catching up on sleep and preparing for an early day tomorrow…

2 thoughts on “May Japan Trip 2015: Day 4

  1. J.B. says:

    To whom it may concern,

    I’m researching on the Japanese weapons. Would you happen to know the shaft diameter as well as the length and the blade length etc. or if you could point me in the direction of where I could that information.
    Thank you very much!


    • Scott Hamilton says:

      Hi J.B! I don’t have that specific information. However, I can tell you that weapons were not very standardized historically speaking. Doing a quick google search found this page on the Bisento: Might be a good starting place to begin your research. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

[ninja_form id=8]