Will a long sword best a shorter sword? The “Nodachi” double-length sword.

Toshiro Mifune carries a nodachi in Seven Samurai. In Kurosawa’s film Seven Samurai, Toshiro Mifune plays the character Kikuchiyo, the seventh (and odd-ball member) of the seven samurai. For those not familiar with the film, the concept is that seven unemployed samurai (sometimes called ronin, literally “man of the wave”) are hired by a group of hapless farmers to protect the farmers’ village against a relentless band of marauders. Mifune’s character is shown hefting a sword so long that it has to be carried over the shoulder like a lance....

9 August 2015 · Katherine M. Lawrence