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I was looking to add this premise of a weapon for a character I'm writing. I remembered this style existed in Breath of the Wild as an Eightfold Blade. While it does have a hilt, it is only a very small circular guard with no ricasso. The main thing that I'm focusing on is the name of swords that have the little hook mini-blade near the hilt, similar to a hook sword in strategy yet more simplified.

Eightfold Blade

At first, I thought the hook was a Schilden, but Schilden tend to have their tips pointing perpendicular to the blade (below), and not like the Eightfold Blade in the picture.

Greatsword featuring a Schilden

Is there any historical name for this type of sword, or is it just fantasy? If so, what is the closest historical classification?

Eightfold Blade

2 Answers 2

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It resembles a dirk-type kabutowari (also known as hachiwari), a side arm used for parrying. The hook could be used to hook the cords of armour or for prying armour plates apart.1

Similar weapons include (as Steve Weigand says) the non-bladed jitte (with a single kagi).

Image Description
enter image description here Antique Japanese hachiwari with a nihonto style of handle.
enter image description here Late Edo period police iron jutte.

  1. Taiho-Jutsu: Law and Order in the Age of the Samurai
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  • The kabutowari jutte is still just a jutte, even though it has a point on the tip and resembles a blade. It was not fashioned in the same way as a samurai sword was. I already knew about that when I replied with my answer. But I didn't count it as a sword. Looks bad-ass, though. Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 4:26
  • The claim is that the kabutowari is not a sword. I don't have any expertise in these weapons, but from the wikipedia article, the description and image look like a sword to me.
    – mattm
    Commented Mar 18, 2023 at 16:04
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The sword in the last of the pictures you list shows a Japanese style blade with a "kagi" (hook) before the tsuba (guard). Hooks like this were not ever found on swords in Japan, I don't think.

And I wouldn't think it would even be possible to construct a blade with this as part of the same piece of metal as is shown in that picture. It would likely have to be part of the tsuba, attached separately. Either that, or the blade itself would need to be constructed using inferior methods, stamping it out from spring steel or something, and then polishing and sharpening. But I can clearly see from the picture that this is a Japanese style sword, including the curve which results from Japanese sword making processes.

Typically, a kagi would appear on Jutte (also spelled "Jitte"). Jutte were straight bars of solid iron with the kagi just above the handle. They were not swords and did not have any sharp edges. They were used a number of ways, mostly by police in Japan after swords were banned. Most people believe this was used to trap a sword and break it. But in reality, it was used to hook into clothing and pressure points.

In your video game sword, my guess is they wanted something that looked cool and could be used in the game to hook and trap either swords or chains.

I've seen hooks on the guards of other swords as well. Such as a butterfly sword popular in wing chun and hung gar kung fu. You'll see them using the butterfly sword by switching the hold from regular to reverse hold, back and forth. When switching to the reverse grip, the guard must allow it to be held that way. And that is perhaps the main reason for why the butterfly sword has that hook on it. It also adds weight to make the sword balanced. Less convincingly, it can be used to trap other swords.

Swords from Europe and the middle east might also have little or sometimes big hooks on them, usually curved with balls on the end. They're usually ornate and merely add to the appearance, not the function. They're not sharp, either. They can add weight to help balance the sword. And they can allow for a reverse grip more easily, in the case of short swords.

Just my thoughts. I'm not an expert on historical swords. Most of my knowledge is from Japanese swords.

Hope that helps.

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  • I agree this is trying to be an eastern style sword, but that's not my area of expertise. Maybe they just made something that "looks cool" and left it at that?
    – PipperChip
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 0:56
  • @PipperChip It would appear so. I don't recognize it at all. And like I said, it would be unlikely any traditional Japanese sword could be made that way as one piece of metal. You'll see all kinds of swords in anime and video games. They take elements from existing swords in order to create new, cool looking ones. Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 4:57

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