The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been sourced during the era of the British Empire, it documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world; the British Museum was established in 1753 based on the collections of the Irish physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. It first opened in Montagu House, on the site of the current building, its expansion over the following 250 years was a result of expanding British colonisation and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the Natural History Museum in 1881. In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997.
The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture and Sport, as with all national museums in the UK it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions. Its ownership of some of its most famous objects originating in other countries is disputed and remains the subject of international controversy, most notably in the case of the Parthenon Marbles. Although today principally a museum of cultural art objects and antiquities, the British Museum was founded as a "universal museum", its foundations lie in the will of the Irish physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane, a London-based doctor and scientist from Ulster. During the course of his lifetime, after he married the widow of a wealthy Jamaican planter, Sloane gathered a large collection of curiosities and, not wishing to see his collection broken up after death, he bequeathed it to King George II, for the nation, for a sum of £20,000. At that time, Sloane's collection consisted of around 71,000 objects of all kinds including some 40,000 printed books, 7,000 manuscripts, extensive natural history specimens including 337 volumes of dried plants and drawings including those by Albrecht Dürer and antiquities from Sudan, Greece, the Ancient Near and Far East and the Americas.
On 7 June 1753, King George II gave his Royal Assent to the Act of Parliament which established the British Museum. The British Museum Act 1753 added two other libraries to the Sloane collection, namely the Cottonian Library, assembled by Sir Robert Cotton, dating back to Elizabethan times, the Harleian Library, the collection of the Earls of Oxford, they were joined in 1757 by the "Old Royal Library", now the Royal manuscripts, assembled by various British monarchs. Together these four "foundation collections" included many of the most treasured books now in the British Library including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the sole surviving manuscript of Beowulf; the British Museum was the first of a new kind of museum – national, belonging to neither church nor king open to the public and aiming to collect everything. Sloane's collection, while including a vast miscellany of objects, tended to reflect his scientific interests; the addition of the Cotton and Harley manuscripts introduced a literary and antiquarian element and meant that the British Museum now became both National Museum and library.
The body of trustees decided on a converted 17th-century mansion, Montagu House, as a location for the museum, which it bought from the Montagu family for £20,000. The trustees rejected Buckingham House, on the site now occupied by Buckingham Palace, on the grounds of cost and the unsuitability of its location. With the acquisition of Montagu House, the first exhibition galleries and reading room for scholars opened on 15 January 1759. At this time, the largest parts of collection were the library, which took up the majority of the rooms on the ground floor of Montagu House and the natural history objects, which took up an entire wing on the second state storey of the building. In 1763, the trustees of the British Museum, under the influence of Peter Collinson and William Watson, employed the former student of Carl Linnaeus, Daniel Solander to reclassify the natural history collection according to the Linnaean system, thereby making the Museum a public centre of learning accessible to the full range of European natural historians.
In 1823, King George IV gave the King's Library assembled by George III, Parliament gave the right to a copy of every book published in the country, thereby ensuring that the museum's library would expand indefinitely. During the few years after its foundation the British Museum received several further gifts, including the Thomason Collection of Civil War Tracts and David Garrick's library of 1,000 printed plays; the predominance of natural history and manuscripts began to lessen when in 1772 the museum acquired for £8,410 its first significant antiquities in Sir William Hamilton's "first" collection of Greek vases. From 1778, a display of objects from the South Seas brought back from the round-the-world voyages of Captain James Cook and the travels of other explorers fascinated visitors with a glimpse of unknown lands; the bequest of a collection of books, engraved gems, coins and drawings by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode in 1800 did much to raise the museum's reputation. The museum's first notable addition towards its collection of antiquities, since its foundation, was by Sir William Hamilton, British Ambassador to Naples, who sold his collection of Greek and Roman artefacts to
A tang or shank is the back portion of the blade component of a tool where it extends into stock material or connects to a handle – as on a knife, spear, chisel, coulter, scythe, etc. One can classify various tang designs by their appearance, by the manner in which they attach to a handle, by their length in relation to the handle. A full tang extends the full length of the grip-portion of a handle, versus a partial tang which does not. A full tang may or may not be as wide as the handle itself, but will still run the full length of the handle. There are a wide variety of partial tang designs. In the most common design in full tang knives, the handle is cut in the shape of the tang and handle scales are fastened to the tang by means of pins, bolts, metal tubing, etc; the tang is left exposed along the belly and spine of the handle, extending both the full length and width of the handle. Partial tang designs include stub and three-quarter tangs, describing how far the tang extends into the handle of the tool.
The most common partial tang design found in commercial knives is on folding knives, where the tang extends only as far as the pivot-point in the handle. Scalpels, utility razor blades, a number of other knives are designed with short partial tangs that are easy to fasten and unfasten from the handle so that dull or contaminated blades may be exchanged for fresh ones, or so that one style of blade may be exchanged for another style while maintaining the same handle. Hollow-handled knives incorporate a partial tang. Many inexpensive knives and swords designed for decorative purposes incorporate partial tangs and are not intended to be used for cutting applications. A full tang knife or sword allows for increased force leveraged through the handle against the resistance of material being cut by the blade, an advantage when used against harder materials or when the blade begins to dull. A full tang increases the amount of stock metal in the handle of the tool which can be beneficial in altering the balance point of the tool since the blade of a knife or sword is quite heavy compared to the handle.
Adding weight to the handle of a knife or sword to offset the weight of the blade moves the rotational balance point back toward the hand where it can be more manipulated to great effect, making for a nimble, agile tool. In general, a forward-balanced blade excels at chopping but sacrifices agility and ease of manipulation. Knives and swords intended for specific purposes will incorporate whichever design is most suited to how the tool will be handled for that specific purpose. A partial tang knife or sword is not able to leverage as much force against the resistance of material being cut as a full tang design would allow; this limits the amount of force. Such designs may be optimal in light-weight knives or swords designed to be kept sharp and used to cut less-resistant materials. Scalpels and Japanese samurai swords are the most well-known examples of such tools. Most of these design styles can be used with full or partial tangs and the use of one does not exclude the use of another. For example, a sword may have a hidden, rat-tail tang.
Push tang the tang is fastened in place. Encapsulated tang handle material is fastened in place. Hidden tang the tang is fastened within the handle such that neither the tang nor the mechanism by which it is fastened is visible on the surface of the handle. A hidden tang may be accomplished in a number of ways; the simplest way to accomplish a hidden tang is with epoxy. A more sophisticated method is to construct the tang with a small protrusion which fits into a notch in the handle, preventing the blade from being withdrawn from the handle. Another common method is to cut bolt-threading into the end of the tang whereby a pommel-nut screws into place. Inexpensive decorative knives and swords feature a hidden false tang consisting of a separate thin bolt welded to a stub tang on the blade, the bolt is inserted through the handle and fastened in place by a pommel-nut. Stick and rat-tail tangs the transition from blade to tang involves an abrupt decrease in the amount of stock metal such that the tang is narrower than the rest of the tool, more so when the transition resembles that between a rat's thick body and its thin tail.
This style of tang is used in decorative swords and blades, which are never intended for actual use and therefore do not require a strong, functional tang. Tapered tang the width of the tang decreases in one or more dimensions along its length. Tapered tangs may feature thinning along the spine from blade to pommel, thinning from spine to belly, or hollowing from the edges toward the midsection of the tang-stock; this is an uncommon but sophisticated design used to reduce the amount of material in the handle of the tool without significant sacrifice of strength. Skeletonized tang large sections along the tang are cut away, reducing the amount of stock material to a basic framework while still providing structural support; this is another sophisticated, modern method of reducing the material weight of the tang without sacrificing significant material strength or support. Skeletonized tangs are commonly utilized to provide storage space in the handle of the tool. Extended tang the tang extends beyond the grip of the handle.
In knives, the extended tang may function as a hammer-pommel. Hafting Handle
Statism in Shōwa Japan
Shōwa Statism was a political syncretism of Japanese extreme right-wing political ideologies, developed over a period of time from the Meiji Restoration. It is sometimes referred to as Shōwa nationalism or Japanese fascism; this statist movement dominated Japanese politics during the first part of the Shōwa period. It was a mixture of ideas such as Japanese ultranationalism and state capitalism, that were proposed by a number of contemporary political philosophers and thinkers in Japan. With a more aggressive foreign policy, victory over China in the First Sino-Japanese War and over Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan joined the imperialist powers; the need for a strong military to secure Japan's new overseas empire was strengthened by a sense that only through a strong military would Japan earn the respect of Western nations, thus revision of the "unequal treaties" imposed in the 1800s. The Japanese military viewed itself as "politically clean" in terms of corruption, criticized political parties under a liberal democracy as self-serving and a threat to national security by their failure to provide adequate military spending or to address pressing social and economic issues.
The complicity of the politicians with the zaibatsu corporate monopolies came under criticism. The military tended to favor dirigisme and other forms of direct state control over industry, rather than free market capitalism, as well as greater state-sponsored social welfare to reduce the attraction of socialism and communism in Japan; the special relation of militarists and the central civil government with the Imperial Family supported the important position of the Emperor as Head of State with political powers, the relationship with the nationalist right-wing movements. However, Japanese political thought had little contact with European political thinking until the 20th century. Under this ascendancy of the military, the country developed a hierarchical, aristocratic economic system with significant state involvement. During the Meiji Restoration, there had been a surge in the creation of monopolies; this was in part due to state intervention, as the monopolies served to allow Japan to become a world economic power.
The state itself owned some of the monopolies, others were owned by the zaibatsu. The monopolies managed the central core of the economy, with other aspects being controlled by the government ministry appropriate to the activity, including the National Central Bank and the Imperial family; this economic arrangement was in many ways similar to the corporatist models of European fascists. During the same period, certain thinkers with ideals similar to those from shogunate times developed the early basis of Japanese expansionism and Pan-Asianist theories; such thought was developed by writers such as Saneshige Komaki into the Hakkō ichiu, Yen Block, Amau doctrines. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles did not recognize the Empire of Japan's territorial claims, international naval treaties between Western powers and the Empire of Japan, imposed limitations on naval shipbuilding which limited the size of the Imperial Japanese Navy at a 10:10:6 ratio; these measures were considered by many in Japan as refusal of by the Occidental powers to consider Japan an equal partner.
The latter brought about the May 15 Incident. On the basis of national security, these events released a surge of Japanese nationalism and resulted in the end of collaboration diplomacy which supported peaceful economic expansion; the implementation of a military dictatorship and territorial expansionism were considered the best ways to protect the Yamato-damashii. In the early 1930s, the Ministry of Home Affairs began arresting left-wing political dissidents in order to exact a confession and renouncement of anti-state leanings. Over 30,000 such arrests were made between 1930 and 1933. In response, a large group of writers founded a Japanese branch of the International Popular Front Against Fascism, published articles in major literary journals warning of the dangers of statism, their periodical, The People's Library, achieved a circulation of over five thousand and was read in literary circles, but was censored, dismantled in January 1938. Ikki Kita was an early 20th-century political theorist, who advocated a hybrid of state socialism with "Asian nationalism", which thus blended the early ultranationalist movement with Japanese militarism.
His political philosophy was outlined in his thesis National Policy and Pure Socialism of 1908 and An Outline Plan for the Reorganization of Japan of 1928. Kita proposed a military coup d'état to replace the existing political structure of Japan with a military dictatorship; the new military leadership would rescind the Meiji Constitution, ban political parties, replace the Diet of Japan with an assembly free of corruption, would nationalize major industries. Kita envisioned strict limits to private ownership of property, land reform to improve the lot of tenant farmers, thus strengthened internally, Japan could embark on a crusade to free all of Asia from Western imperialism. Although his works were banned by the government immediately after publication, circulation was widespread, his thesis proved popular not only with the younger officer class excited at the prospects of military rule and Japanese expansionism, but with the populist movement for its appeal to the agrarian classes and to the left wing of the socialist movement.
Shūmei Ōkawa was a right-wing political philosopher, active in numerous Japanese nationalist societies in the 1920s. In 1
Mongol invasions of Japan
The Mongol invasions of Japan, which took place in 1274 and 1281, were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese archipelago after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. A failure, the invasion attempts are of macro-historical importance because they set a limit on Mongol expansion and rank as nation-defining events in the history of Japan; the Mongol invasions are considered a precursor to early modern warfare. One of the most notable technological innovations during the war was the use of explosive, hand-thrown bombs; the invasions are referred to in many works of fiction, are the earliest events for which the word kamikaze is used, originating in reference to the two typhoons faced by the Mongol fleets. After a series of Mongol invasions of Korea between 1231 and 1281, Goryeo signed a treaty in favor of the Mongols and became a vassal state. Kublai was declared Khagan of the Mongol Empire in 1260 and established his capital at Khanbaliq in 1264. Japan at the time was ruled by the Shikken of the Hōjō clan, who had intermarried with and wrested control from Minamoto no Yoriie, shōgun of the Kamakura shogunate, after his death in 1203.
The inner circle of the Hōjō clan had become so preeminent that they no longer consulted the council of the shogunate, the Imperial Court of Kyoto, or their gokenin vassals, made their decisions at private meetings in their residences. The Mongols made attempts to subjugate the native peoples of Sakhalin—the Ainu and Nivkh peoples—from 1260 to 1308. In 1266, Kublai Khan dispatched emissaries to Japan with a letter saying: Cherished by the Mandate of Heaven, the Great Mongol emperor sends this letter to the king of Japan; the sovereigns of small countries, sharing borders with each other, have for a long time been concerned to communicate with each other and become friendly. Since my ancestor governed at heaven's command, innumerable countries from afar disputed our power and slighted our virtue. Goryeo rendered thanks for my ceasefire and for restoring their land and people when I ascended the throne. Our relation is feudatory like a son. We think you know this. Goryeo is my eastern tributary.
Japan was allied with Goryeo and sometimes with China since the founding of your country. We are afraid. Hence we dispatched a mission with our letter expressing our wishes. Enter into friendly relations with each other from now on. We think. How are we in the right, unless we comprehend this? Nobody would wish to resort to arms. Kublai demanded that Japan become a vassal and send tribute under a threat of conflict. However, the emissaries returned empty-handed. A second set of emissaries were sent in 1268. Both sets of emissaries met with the Chinzei Bugyō, or Defense Commissioner for the West, who passed on the message to Shikken, Hōjō Tokimune, Japan's ruler in Kamakura and to the Emperor of Japan in Kyoto. After discussing the letters with his inner circle, there was much debate, but the Shikken had his mind made up; the Mongols continued to send demands, some through Korean emissaries and some through Mongol ambassadors on March 7, 1269. However, each time, the bearers were not permitted to land in Kyushu.
The Imperial Court suggested compromise, but had little effect in the matter, due to political marginalization after the Jōkyū War. The uncompromising shogunate ordered all those who held fiefs in Kyūshū, the area closest to the Korean Peninsula and thus most to be attacked, to return to their lands and forces in Kyūshū moved west, further securing the most landing points. After acknowledging its importance, the Imperial Court led great prayer services to calm local residents, much government business was put off to deal with this crisis; the Khan was willing to go to war as early as 1268 after having been rebuffed twice, but found that his empire did not have the resources to provide him with a sufficient navy at that time. With Mongol entry into the Korean court by marriage of the Korean crown prince to Kublai Khan's daughter, a mass construction of ships began on Korea's south-eastern shores, while the Mongols continued to demand Japan's surrender. Kublai Khan founded the Yuan dynasty in 1271.
In 1272, King Chungnyeol offered counsel to Kublai Khan. According to Goryeosa, Japan is yet to know. So dispatch emissaries and convey our military power to Japan. Battle ships and military rations are well prepared. If you appoint me, I encourage you to the extent of my power. According to the History of Yuan, King of Goryeo ask Kublai Khan for conquering Japan. I encourage your conquest of Japan. According to the Yuanshi, the Yuan fleet set out with an estimated 15,000 Mongol and Chinese soldiers and 1,600–8,000 Korean soldiers in 300 large vessels and 400–500 smaller craft along with several thousand sailors, although figures vary depending on the source and many modern historians consider the numbers exaggerated, they landed on Komodahama beach on Tsushima Island on October 5, 1274. Sō Sukekuni, governor of Tsushima, led a cavalry unit of 80 to defend the island, but he and his outnumbered unit were killed in the engagement; the Mongols and Koreans subsequently invaded Iki. Tairano Takakage, the Governor of Iki, fought the invaders with about 100 of his cavalrymen, but he killed himself after his unit
Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Middle Ages. In its classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof, feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility revolving around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs. A broader definition of feudalism, as described by Marc Bloch, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, the peasantry bound by manorialism. Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals, there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.
There is no accepted modern definition of feudalism, at least among scholars. The adjective feudal was coined in the 17th century, the noun feudalism used in a political and propaganda context, was not coined until the 19th century, from the French féodalité, itself an 18th-century creation. In a classic definition by François-Louis Ganshof, feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs, though Ganshof himself noted that his treatment related only to the "narrow, legal sense of the word". A broader definition, as described in Marc Bloch's Feudal Society, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, those living by their labour, most directly the peasantry bound by manorialism. Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals, there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.
Outside a European context, the concept of feudalism is used only by analogy, most in discussions of feudal Japan under the shōguns, sometimes medieval and Gondarine Ethiopia. However, some have taken the feudalism analogy further, seeing feudalism in places as diverse as Spring and Autumn period in China, ancient Egypt, the Parthian empire, the Indian subcontinent and the Antebellum and Jim Crow American South; the term feudalism has been applied—often inappropriately or pejoratively—to non-Western societies where institutions and attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe are perceived to prevail. Some historians and political theorists believe that the term feudalism has been deprived of specific meaning by the many ways it has been used, leading them to reject it as a useful concept for understanding society; the term "féodal" was used in 17th-century French legal treatises and translated into English legal treatises as an adjective, such as "feodal government". In the 18th century, Adam Smith, seeking to describe economic systems coined the forms "feudal government" and "feudal system" in his book Wealth of Nations.
In the 19th century the adjective "feudal" evolved into a noun: "feudalism". The term feudalism is recent, first appearing in French in 1823, Italian in 1827, English in 1839, in German in the second half of the 19th century; the term "feudal" or "feodal" is derived from the medieval Latin word feodum. The etymology of feodum is complex with multiple theories, some suggesting a Germanic origin and others suggesting an Arabic origin. In medieval Latin European documents, a land grant in exchange for service was called a beneficium; the term feudum, or feodum, began to replace beneficium in the documents. The first attested instance of this is from 984, although more primitive forms were seen up to one-hundred years earlier; the origin of the feudum and why it replaced beneficium has not been well established, but there are multiple theories, described below. The most held theory was proposed by Johan Hendrik Caspar Kern in 1870, being supported by, amongst others, William Stubbs and Marc Bloch.
Kern derived the word from a putative Frankish term *fehu-ôd, in which *fehu means "cattle" and -ôd means "goods", implying "a moveable object of value." Bloch explains that by the beginning of the 10th century it was common to value land in monetary terms but to pay for it with moveable objects of equivalent value, such as arms, horses or food. This was known as feos, a term that took on the general meaning of paying for something in lieu of money; this meaning was applied to land itself, in which land was used to pay for fealty, such as to a vassal. Thus the old word feos meaning movable property changed little by little to feus meaning the exact opposite: landed property. Another theory was put forward by Archibald R. Lewis. Lewis said the origin of'fief' is not feudum, but rather foderum, the earliest attested use being in Astronomus's Vita Hludovici. In that text is a passage about Louis the Pious that says annona militaris quas vulgo foderum vocant, which can be translated as "Louis forbade that military provender (which they popular
Imperial Japanese Army
The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. An Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters, an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, the Inspector General of Military Training. In the mid-19th century, Japan had no unified national army and the country was made up of feudal domains with the Tokugawa shogunate in overall control, which had ruled Japan since 1603; the bakufu army, although large force, was only one among others, bakufu efforts to control the nation depended upon the cooperation of its vassals' armies.
The opening of the country after two centuries of seclusion subsequently led to the Meiji Restoration and the Boshin War in 1868. The domains of Satsuma and Chōshū came to dominate the coalition against the shogunate. On 27 January 1868, tensions between the shogunate and imperial sides came to a head when Tokugawa Yoshinobu marched on Kyoto, accompanied by a 15,000-strong force consisting of troops, trained by French military advisers, they were opposed by 5,000 troops from the Satsuma, Chōshū, Tosa domains. At the two road junctions of Toba and Fushimi just south of Kyoto, the two forces clashed. On the second day, an Imperial banner was given to the defending troops and a relative of the Emperor, Ninnajinomiya Yoshiaki, was named nominal commander in chief, in effect making the pro-imperial forces an Imperial army; the bafuku forces retreated to Osaka, with the remaining forces ordered to retreat to Edo. Yoshinobu and his closest advisors left for Edo by ship; the encounter at Toba–Fushimi between the imperial and shogunate forces marked the beginning of the conflict.
With the court in Kyoto behind the Satsuma-Chōshū-Tosa coalition, other domains that were sympathetic to the cause—such as Tottori and Hizen —emerged to take a more active role in military operations. Western domains that had either supported the shogunate or remained neutral quickly announced their support of the restoration movement; the nascent Meiji state required a new military command for its operations against the shogunate. In 1868, the "Imperial Army" being just a loose amalgam of domain armies, the government created four military divisions: the Tōkaidō, Tōsandō, San'indō, Hokurikudō, each of, named for a major highway. Overseeing these four armies was a new high command, the Eastern Expeditionary High Command, whose nominal head was prince Arisugawa-no-miya, with two court nobles as senior staff officers; this connected the loose assembly of domain forces with the imperial court, the only national institution in a still unformed nation-state. The army continually emphasized its link with the imperial court: firstly.
To supply food and other supplies for the campaign, the imperial government established logistical relay stations along three major highways. These small depots held stockpiled material supplied by local pro-government domains, or confiscated from the bafuku and others opposing the imperial government. Local villagers were impressed as porters to move and deliver supplies between the depots and frontline units; the new army fought under makeshift arrangements, with unclear channels of command and control and no reliable recruiting base. Although fighting for the imperial cause, many of the units were loyal to their domains rather than the imperial court. In March 1869, the imperial government created various administrative offices, including a military branch; the imperial court told the domains to restrict the size of their local armies and to contribute to funding a national officers' training school in Kyoto. However, within a few months the government disbanded both the military branch and the imperial bodyguard: the former was ineffective while the latter lacked modern weaponry and equipment.
To replace them, two new organizations were created. One was the military affairs directorate, composed of two bureaus, one for the army and one for the navy; the directorate drafted an army from troop contributions from each domain proportional to each domain's annual rice production. This conscript army integrated samurai and commoners from various domains into its ranks; as the war continued, the military affairs directorate expected to raise troops from the wealthier domains and, in June, the organization of the army was fixed, where each domain was required to send ten men for each 10,000 koku of rice produced. However, this policy put the imperial government in direct competition with the domains for military recruitment, not rectified until April 1868, when the government banned the domains from enlisting troops; the quota system never worked as intended an
An ōdachi or nodachi was a type of traditionally made Japanese sword used by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The Chinese equivalent and'cousin' for this type of sword in terms of weight and length is the miao dao, the Western battlefield equivalent is the longsword or claymore; the character for ō means "big" or "great". The dachi here is the same as the older style of sword/mounts that predate the katana; the chi is the same character as katana and the tō in nihontō from the Chinese character for a blade, dāo. To qualify as an ōdachi, the sword in question would have a blade length of around 3 shaku. Speaking, the function/use of most ōdachi fall into the first two categories—as ceremonial objects and infantry swords; the possible functions of the ōdachi can be categorized as follows: As a votive offering to a shrine. Some ōdachi were used in prayer before a war, while others were displayed —reputedly as legendary swords from mythology. Like other trends, ōdachi were in vogue, most notably during the Edo period, so it was not uncommon to see the swords used in various ceremonies.
Ōdachi are difficult to produce because their length makes traditional heat treatment more complicated: The longer a blade is, the more difficult it is to heat the whole blade to a homogeneous temperature, both for annealing and to reach the hardening temperature. The quenching process needs a bigger quenching medium because uneven quenching might lead to warping the blade; the method of polishing is different. Because of their size, ōdachi are hung from the ceiling or placed in a stationary position to be polished, unlike normal swords which are moved over polishing stones. In the past, acquiring a sharpened ōdachi was difficult, as they required special custom orders. In modern times though, many forges in Japan and China are accepting such orders due to the renewed popularity and interest in ancient Japanese weaponry in the late 20th and early 21st centuries; as battlefield weapons, ōdachi were too long for samurai to carry on their waists like normal swords. There were two methods in which they could be carried: One was to carry it on one's back.
However, this was seen as impractical. The other method was to carry the sheathed ōdachi by hand; the trend during the Muromachi era was for the samurai carrying the ōdachi to have a follower to help draw it. An exception does exist, though; the Kōden Enshin-ryū taught by Fumon Tanaka use a special drawing technique for "short" ōdachi allowing it to be carried on the waist. The technique is to pull out the sheath rather than drawing the blade. While this move is used in other schools, for example, Yagyū Shinkage-ryū, Shin musō Hayashizaki-ryū and Iaidō, only Enshin-ryū seems to have used it to improve the drawing speed of an ōdachi, the other schools having used it with classical katana; the Kage-ryū style is used to draw from the belt, using blades of 2.8 shaku. Ōdachi swordplay styles differed from that of other Japanese swords. The ōdachi's importance declined off after the Siege of Osaka of 1615. Since it has been used more as a ceremonial piece; this loss of popularity is due to the Shogunal government setting a law which prohibited holding swords above a set length.
After the law was put into practice, ōdachi were cut down to the shorter legal size. This is one of the reasons. Ōdachi were still made as offerings to Shinto shrines. This became their main purpose. Due to the amount of skill required to make one, it was considered that their exotic appearance was suitable for praying to the gods. Greatsword Richard Stein's Japanese sword guide Ōdachi Tanto Blade Benefits Pictures of some blades