I was wondering, what are the Japanese names for Chinese swords like the Dao and the Jian, surely there is a Japanese pronunciation of the Characters for said swords.


1 Answer 1

  • The kanji 刀 is primarily read as かたな in kun-yomi, but とう (on-yomi) is also used in on-yomi compounds. Note that this word refers not only to Chinese ones but to single-edged swords/knives in general, including Western sabers and Japanese katana. To specifically refer to Chinese dao, we simply use 中国刀 (ちゅうごくとう).
  • The kanji 剣 (劍) is primarily read as けん in on-yomi, but つるぎ (kun-yomi) is common, too. This refers to double-edged swords in general, including something like this. To specifically refer to Chinese jian, we simply use 中国剣 (ちゅうごくけん).

Related: Can an odachi be called a katana?

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