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Wakizashi

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The wakizashi (Kanji: 脇差 Hiragana: わきざし?) meaning "side inserted sword") is one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (nihonto) worn by the samurai class in feudal Japan.

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The wakizashi has a blade between 30 and 60 cm (12 and 24 in), with wakizashi close to the length of a katana being called o-wakizashi and wakizashi closer to tantō length being called ko-wakizashi. The wakizashi being worn together with the katana was the official sign that the wearer was a samurai or swordsman of feudal Japan. When worn together the pair of swords were called daishō, which translates literally as "big-little". The katana was the big or long sword and the wakizashi the companion sword. Wakizashi are not necessarily just a smaller version of the katana; they could be forged differently and have a different cross section.

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