Some might think that Japanese swords were used only by male samurais. However, some short-length swords were also important for female, especially ladies in samurai families.
Typical ‘katanas’ or Japanese swords are usually 60-70 cm (23-28 inch) long and basically fighting tools used mainly outdoors, whereas ‘mamori-gatanas,’ ‘kaiken’ or Japanese daggers are shorter, usually 20-25 cm (8-10 inch) long, often carried by ladies in samurai class for mainly self-defense purpose used indoors.
It is said that a daughter of a samurai would carry a mamori-gatana in the belt of her wedding kimono when she gets married and that she continued to carry it for the rest of her life. A mamori-gatana was usually slim without a tsuka (hand protector) and usually put in a beautiful cloth cover.
Even nowadays, if a bride chooses wearing kimono as her wedding ceremony wears in Japan, she would carry it as it was in the olden time, although a modern mamori-gatana for a wedding ceremony is often a fake one.
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