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The Norimitsu Odachi, a 3.77 meter-long sword: A sword for a giant?

Ancient History

The Norimitsu Odachi, a 3.77 meter-long sword: A sword for a giant?

Forged as ONE piece, the Norimitsu Odachi is a 3.77 meter-long sword that weighs 14.5 kilograms.

Believed to have been crafted in the 15th century, many people have been left confused by this MASSIVE weapon, raising questions such as who its owner was? And what was the size of the warrior who used this sword for battle?

Today, if a person exceeds 2 meters in height it is considered by the majority as being extremely tall, however, have you ever wondered if this was always so?

Do you think that in the antiquity there were beings that were much taller than that? Throughout the years, numerous controversial items have been discovered around the globe which have given rise to numerous speculations and conspiracy theories that suggest Giants may have existed on Earth.

It is well-known that in the past Japanese swords were made with a great precision and were worshiped and filled with symbolism. Their design and dimensions was not something that was unimportant.

Japanese swords contain within themselves an entire philosophy and are related to the values of struggle and honor of the samurai, who for centuries gave their lives for Japan and its people.

One of the most curious weapons to have ever been forged on Earth is without a doubt the “Norimitsu odachi” which weighs 14.5 kg and measures 3.77 meters.

The sword of a giant? Nope.

The sheer size and weight of the sword gave rise to numerous speculations. “If these are the dimensions of this formidable sword, what was the size of the warrior who used it in battle?

Many would agree that its owner must have been a true GIANT of unproportionate measures, standing tall and imposing, striking terror into enemies that must have stood in awe only by seeing the sword.

However, the truth is that its owners wasn’t a giant and it wasn’t meant for one either.

In fact, the Norimitsu odachi is a ceremonial sword. In the distant past, a sword like this made a clear statement. It showed off that its owner had incredible resources and that it was created by a skillful craftsman, because only a skilled one could produce a weapon like this.

Interestingly, similar swords are known to have existed in medieval Europe, and were also considered as ceremonial swords.

Looking back into history we learn that high-quality steel wasn’t something that was available in large quantities in Japan. In fact, the process of smelting was long and tedious and the forging was equally difficult, and required an exceptional weapon smith who was able to make sure that the blade is straight, firm and robust.

In fact, he who was able to forge something of similar size made sure that his name was remembered.

Furthermore, its owner impressed anyone who was able to afford it, because trust me, making something this ‘perfect’ and of similar size wasn’t cheap.

The Odachi are difficult to produce because their length makes traditional heat treatment more complicated: The longer a blade is, the more difficult (or expensive) it is to heat the whole blade to a homogenous temperature, both for annealing and to reach the hardening temperature.

Furthermore, polishing the Odachi was another challenge, unlike traditional swords—which are moved over polishing stones— the Odachi was hung from the ceiling or placed in a stationary position to be polished.

Thanksk for reading!

Ivan is editor-in-chief at, he also writes for Universe Explorers. You may have seen him appear on the Discovery and History Channel.
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