This large Miao Dao is a two-handed Chinese battlefield saber which can slice and cleave with great power and surprising speed. Though it is a large sword, its balance and long grip make it quite a responsive and agile weapon. The blade has geometry that is similar to a Katana; a thick spine with an elongated wedge-like cross section designed for efficient and powerful cutting.
The blade is forged from 5160 high carbon steel; the intricate dragon-headed blade collar is well-cast from brass and the guard and pommel are antique-finished stainless steel. The large and rounded guard not only gives protection to the hand, but when in close contact with the leading hand it acts as a pivoting point for informed techniques. The long wooden grip is bound with a tight wrap of spiralled leather.
Included with the sword is a wooden scabbard which is finished with textured lacquer and antiqued stainless steel fittings and a matching hanging ring.
The Miao Dao is a two-handed Chinese saber with a name meaning sprout saber – a reference likening the shape of a plant sprout to the sword blade. Its history is somewhat convoluted with some experts claiming its origin in the 20th Century Republic of China whilst others believing that its 20th century appearance was merely a revival of a much older weapon that was popularized by the soldiers of 16th Century general Qi Jiguang and their battles with Japanese pirates. The Miao Dao, or a sword similar to it also seems to have been a notable weapon in the military of the Ming Dynasty.
Regardless of its origins there is a long tradition of two handed swords in China with several distinct variants. Many have dimensions akin to a longsword, whereas others such as the reproduced example shown here by Dragon King are a bit larger in their overall dimensions. Many Miao Dao in particular are interesting by having blades that look like Katana blades to a casual observer. This has caused a great degree of speculation as to whether the Katana influenced the Miao Dao or whether it was an independent development based on Chinese swords which predate the Katana itself. Some purport that Chinese contact with Japanese pirates in Qi Jiguangs day influenced the development whilst others say that such speculation is untrue.
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