NAGINATA is a long handled single cutting edged blade. Usually it has a unique shape that big curvature, broad width, and unokubi-zukuri or kanmuri-otoshi-zukuri style. The form is especially producted for the usage of large swing.

Sometimes the word "NAGAMAKI" also is used to mean long naginata blade. But, to separate NAGINATA and NAGAMAKI is difficult. The primary meaning of NAGAMAKI is "long wrapped handle". So "Nagamaki" is a matter of mount, not a matter of blades. That has long blade with long handle regardless of the blade shape. Some has a katana like blade, and some has a naginata like blade. Of course, the tang should be long.

Most of naginata have unique grooves that is called "NAGINATA-HI". Usually it is followed with a narrow groove (soe-hi).

One more example of naginata-hi, on kikuchi-yari type blade.

Some examples of naginata handle, usually it has a small tsuba.

Nagunata tsuba

It is a similar size to tanto tsuba, but round and no kozuka hole.
NAGINATA was popular in 12th to 14th century. But today original length long naginata is very rare. Because they were shortened to reshape to katana or wakizashi in the history. Such a reshaped blade is called "Naginata-naoshi" that means reshaped from naginata. Mainly they have a shobu-zukuri shape. (an example => wakizashi (Shikkake))

Naginata-naoshi style
On the other hand, we find blades those are originally made in Naginata-naoshi style from 16th century. They are not Naginata-naoshi in exact meaning, but Naginata-naoshi style blade. Probably that style was attractive for peoples eye.
Some examples of Katana in Naginata-naosshi style


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