Jump to content

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Katana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


This article contains lots of information regarding the Katana sword and its history an origin. Also much more information is provided that gives the user information on myths, techniques and also has some very informative pictures on the finer points of this sword. There are good external links available and the user is given a real insight into Katanas by the time they have read the article.

  • Object:
    • To give you an idea about where I am coming from, I am a kobudo practitioner living in Japan.
    • First off, the main strength of the article seems to be in covering sword parts and styles. Kudos.
    • Generally speaking, there is quite a bit of good information, but there is also some not-so-good information. The way some of the information is given also seems a bit poorly written.
    • Error: The article claims that it is illegal to carry swords in Japan. That is incorrect. You have to register and get a license. The license must be kept with the sword at all times.
    • Poor turn of phrase: Kenjutsu has not turned into gendai budo. Any budo style is gendai(modern) if it was founded after the Meiji Isshin. It is kobudo if it was founded before that. As the article mentions, there are kobudo ryuha still around. Anyway, the relationship between modern budo and classical budo is complicated, and it is better to omit that topic than spend just one sentence on it.
    • Error: Emperor Jimmu, though traditionally attributed to the 6th century B.C., is considered to have lived closer to 400-600 AD. This is an error at the Jimmu page as well.
    • Sources: more, and better.
    • Someone below criticized "The Japanese Sword in Fiction" section. I think the point was supposed to be that it seems frivolous when nihonto are real objects, with a real place in history. I don't have too much of a problem with it so long as it stays after the sections with historical and technical information.
    • The fact that the article mentions "traditional japanese steel" without explaining how the steel is different than other steel, or using the actual term for it(tamahagane) speaks for itself.
    • Various other things. If I can scrape up some more free time, I will try to contribute to the article. -JD
  • Weak object looks really well done, but:
    1) needs references badly
    2) minimal coverage of fantasy and myths (like the famous "river leaf" story contrasting Muramasa and Masamune swords)
    better, but still needs more on myths/fantasy passed down over the years.  ALKIVAR 09:14, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    3) nothing about katana use by the kamikaze during ww2 or other ww2 officer use for that matter.
    4) nothing about katana use in modern video games either. what was added fills the bill on this.
     ALKIVAR 01:34, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
3) Katana were not typically used by the kamikaze, they used an ordnance sabre which is mentioned in the article ("katana were replaced by gunto: cheap sabers for navy officers."). Rama 10:57, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thats funny I own 3 former kamakazi swords all of them are curved and match the typical length/shape of a katana (and match the curve and shape of the 2 katanas I own)... years of martial arts tell me their katanas. They have such a similar heft and feel when swinging, I always assumed they were katanas. All of what i've previously read said that the kamakazi carried katana (and sometimes wakizashi) in a samurai fashion intentionally to show pride in the ancient warrior culture. This is definately news to me! thanks for clearing that up.  ALKIVAR 14:19, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This is a matter of term usage. In general English usage, it qualifies as a katana. However, it is not a genuine nihonto unless it was forged by traditional techniques(and by most accounts, traditional materials. I imagine that even if they are genuine kamikaze swords (historically speaking), they are almost certainly showa-to/gun-to. Mass-produced. Also, if I can point out that "katana" refers to how you wear it, technically speaking. -JD
On 4), I wrote a new section about works of fiction and katana with minimal informations intending to expand it into a full article. Because katana appears in so many fictions including video games, I think it deserves an article solely dedicated to it. On katana used for or by kamikaze, because pilots were all officers, they had to take katana with them as a part of their uniform. On those carried by army officers, they essentially served the same function as pistols carried around by officers in American and European armies, to point it to rally their troop. It was, of course, almost completely useless on the battlefield, so some simply reported to have "lost" their gunto(katana) and picked up a rifle instead. Revth 16:02, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This definately satisfies my request #4. I'd appreciate this information on #3 you mentioned being worked into the article somehow, you give more info here than I was able to learn reading the article regarding ww2 use.  ALKIVAR 16:08, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment Maybe some movies (and games) that focus heavily on this sword could be mentioned in the fiction section, for example Kill Bill, something like a mini list? Or would this list be too substantial and require a seperate article? -- 00:22, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Weak object. 1) References are my primary concern (I note some are used in the text - they need to be moved to reference section and possibly linked with notes. 2) Short, one sentnece paragraphs would benefit from merging 3) If rare words are used in lead (especially), they should be explained (buke is...?) 4) I'd like to see a section on famous historic katana users, and the section on schools of fighting could be expanded (and possibly merged with techniques?), but this is not an object per se. Good article, I am pretty sure it will make it. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:09, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Object:
    • I think that the section on the use of katana's in anime, filmmaking, etc., (and the reference to role-playing) does more to define what sort of people write Wikipedia articles than anything else, and I think they should simply be dropped.
    • What's a sentence like "Okay, so now we've got a long iron stick. What makes it a katana?" in a Wikipedia article?
    • The article also could use some copy-editing to improve the overall quality of the writing (to avoid some less-than-stellar phrasings like "However, this also marked the beginning of the end for samurai in general, for guns had returned.")
    That said, I think that the article contains a lot of useful and interesting information, and that bringing the article up to featured standards is mainly a matter of cleaning up the writing a little bit and trimming excess information. Jun-Dai 08:41, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • Object to the objection. Especially, the first one. That's an awful POV to make an objection upon. What's wrong with that? Revth 14:54, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • <Jun-Dai 21:56, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)> My objection with regards to the first item has to do with the fact that we are, in effect, emphasizing material that is of particular interest to a particular group (one that overlaps more than a little with the body of people that are Wikipedians) that is not really relevant to the topic (even though the topic may be quite relevant to the group). Obviously this is POV, but so is the emphasis to which I am objecting (or any emphasis, really). Any reference to the use of katana's in fiction/anime/role-playing, etc. needn't be more than a sentence long, or put on a separate page and added to a "see also" section. </Jun-Dai>
        • Please back the claim "one that overlaps more than a little with the body of people that are Wikipedians" up with sources to make it a credible argument. How many Wikipedians do you think have seen katana in fiction? It's certainly not a few of people who are Wikipedians. In the particular culture group that you belong to, katana in fiction may not mean much but you need to keep that view to yourself. There is only six paragraphs out of the entire article that talks about it with the article (to be started) to discuss anything further. This is hardly an emphasis. Revth 01:04, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
          • <Jun-Dai 02:01, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)> That the two groups overlap more than a little I observe based on (a) the types of articles that get written (I do not have the power to summon up statistics on anime-related articles, articles related to pop-Japanese culture, role-playing, and computer games, but I'd bet that they are out of proportion to other topics of similar breadth, popularity, and general level academic research done, and definitely disproportionate to, say, print encyclopedias or other non-specialized reference works), (b) the amount of effort put into particular articles (Bishojo_game, Hentai, Samurai, Ninja, D20 System, to name just five), and (c) the conspicuous emphases placed in certain articles (such as this one). After all, what encyclopedia, other than this one, would include mention in an article about ninja that the jedi in Star Wars resemble them because they can jump and disappear? Clearly (to me, at least), the Wikipedian community has a disproportionate representation of anime fans, gamers, computer geeks, etc. One effect of this is that we have a tremendous (and disproportionate) amount of content in those areas, which is by no means a bad thing (on the contrary, I welcome it). Another effect of this, however, is that some of the other content, such as this article, is tailored (through emphasis) towards that community. This I see as a bad thing, because it will limit us.
          • In any case, this article is not ready for featured article status. It needs some improvements (two cases are noted above) in the writing in general, as well as in the prioritization of information for a more general audience. In its current state I am not prepared to vote in favor of this article representing the Wikipedia as an example of its finest work. </Jun-Dai>
Object Great article ... but needs references and bibliography to make the cut (no pun intended). Has the article gone through Peer Review? That is what peer review can do for an article... editors can make comments on how to improve the article before submitting it for consideration as a featured article. Some good copyedit (e.g. Katana#Distinguishing_characteristics, some more wiki-linking, and a related articles section with more than just one reference, are also needed. --Zappaz 03:39, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)