Daisho katana and wakizashi 1

The term Daisho refers to a pair of Japanese swords, one long and one short, generally used by samurai. The two best-known daisho are the Katana longsword and Wakizashi short sword, worn edge-up with civilian dress, and the Tachi longsword and Tanto dagger, worn edge-down with armor or court dress. Pairing the swords in this manner had several advantages. The culture and ritual surrounding the swords, almost to the point of being a religion ensured that a warrior always carried two well-maintained blades. If he lost one, he could simply draw the other and use it until he retrieved his primary weapon. The difference in size granted versatility in combat. The long sword, with its extended grip, could be wielded with both hands for maximum cutting power. If a warrior needed one hand free, it was also light enough to wield with one hand. In close quarters, the short blade was easier to draw and maneuver. Alternatively, the two blades could be wielded simultaneously, allowing a warrior to occupy his opponent's blade with one while attacking with the other.