This is the penultimate match that I'm going to write up, wrapping up my ideas. What makes this match a great one is not only the types of weapons used, but the fact that it's a water battle. How awesome is that? Well, let's introduce the contestants. First up, there are the wokou. They were legendary Japanese pirates. Their crew consisted of smugglers, stray samurai, and soldiers wanting money and glory. The Haida were native americans who had their origins further up than the states, reaching towards Canada. The Haida got their fearsome reputations for being able to launch an attack at the coast from the water. They were excellent seamen, and their ruthlessness earned them the nickname, "Vikings of the North West Coast". In addition to this, many women fought alongside the haida, often as nobly as their husbands.
The Wokou launch their assault with a frightening spiked weapon called the sodegarami, or "sleeve catcher". Their designs were so effective that they were later used by the Japanese police force.
The purpose of this weapon was, as you may have guessed, to catch an opponent by the loose clothing. Now that the individual was restrained, he could easily be disarmed or killed. This weapon could also probably have been used to carve a hole through a passing ship.
The Haida had their own mid range weapon to counteract this and keep the Wokou at bay. It was their spear.
Two pronged and considerably long, this tool could be used to hunt more than just animals. The man in this picture isn't a haida warrior, however, as his armour is absent.
For longer range, the Wokou would use a special arrow to instill fear in whoever passed by. It was called the karimata.
Karimata arrows were famous for whistling through the air as a form of intimidation, or just a warning to back off. The karimata could also be a hunting weapon.
The Haida, like the Inuit, also used cable backed bows which functioned on the same incredible power principle.
The bows looked a bit different from the Inuit's, but were every bit as powerful nonetheless.
The Wokou seemed to have no end to scary weapons. But what will win, intimidation or decption and distaction? Well, the Wokou will see through all of the Haida's clever gimmicks with the nodachi.
When it came to getting in close, the Japanese pirates sliced away with this two-handed weapon. It's name is translated to "field sword", although the nodachi is a Japanese greatsword. THe only drawback is that it takes a considerable amount of strength to wield, like a heavy claymore.
So what do the Haida have to counter such a malicious weapon? They had a stone mace with some very unique properties.
Not only could this be used to smash an opponent's head at close quarters, but could also be thrown at the opponent. That and the feathers. An opponent wouldn't see the blow coming with a distraction like that.
The shaft was often as long as the blade. (The blade was two feet, the shaft was three.)
When the Haida wanted to get in close, they used a knife of their own design, and it is larger than many other knives, the reason being that the intent is to increase the concentration of force with a powerful stab.
They all have designs in the back, mostly of animals, and the most commonly used one is the eagle.
Finally, one of my favorite parts of the article, armour. Look at what the Haida warrior wore to protect himself.
Wooden helmets, wooden breastplates, full body armour. It is thought that because the Haida were so far West, they had adopted the armour of Asian cultures near the Pacific.
The Wokou armour, as we can guess, differed from the indigenous Native American in many ways. Perhpas one might go so far as to say that it was superior to theirs.
As could be expected, the metal casing was the traditional Japanese one used at the time, and many of the pirates were ronin after all. Who will win?
The next article will probably be my last, and then I guess I'll do a back for blood where I pit the winners against each other. Stay tuned for then!