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A Naginata is a Japanese polearm consisting of a long pole about 1.2-2.4 meters in length and a sword blade similar to that of a katana or wakizashi, typically about 30-60 cm in length. The weapon is capable of being used as both a thrusting and a slashing weapon, however, it is often used for making wide slashes in a spinning or turning motion, taking advantage of the weapon's balanced center of mass. The naginata is often associated with female samurai such as Tomoe Gozen, as it was considered to be an ideal "woman's weapon" for both battle and home defense due to its reach and the greater leverage of the longer handle, which allows even a smaller user such as a woman to strike with greater force. As such, today, naginatajutsu is practiced mostly by women in Japan. In spite of the label of the naginata as a "feminine weapon", the weapon was also used by male samurai and other warriors, including ashigaru foot soldiers and peasant rebels such as the Ikko-ikki. The naginata started to be used less frequently after the arrival of firearms in Japan in 1543, as pike and musket formations to which the early tanegashima muskets were suited were more suited to the longer yari. Nonetheless, the naginata would last go into combat in 1876 during the Satsuma revolt.

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