GM Word of the Week: Katana

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I know you don’t want to hear this – what with them being all awesome – but a katana is just a sword. But it is a symbol of the history, culture, and land that forged it.

The GM Word of the Week is produced and performed by Fiddleback of The Mad Adventurers Society and written by The Angry GM of this site right here that you are reading.

One thought on “GM Word of the Week: Katana

  1. It’s been pointed out that I made an error in discussing the derivation of the word bushido. Bushi was originally a borrowed word for “warrior” and bushido refers to “the way of the warrior.” Over time, bushi and samurai became synonymous in the Japanese language. Samurai is derived from the word saburai, which means “retainer” or “to serve.” Sorry about that.

    A few folks pointed out that they feel I may have gotten several other details wrong. After looking into their assertions, I don’t agree with their assessments and I stand by my research, particularly the transition in the style of wearing swords. It’s actually a very interesting point because it is one of the rare instances in history when a perfect storm of traditions made it very easy for historians to pinpoint such an overt change in fashion. The move of the signature from one side of the sword to the other is extremely well-documented.

    Now, I have removed all the comments from this article and am closing it to further comments and I have also banned one user from posting on my site further. This is not due to disagreement, but it is due to the nature of the disagreement and the way that individual chose to voice the disagreement. I make mistakes and I will address those mistakes. I am only human. Such as the derivation of bushi as opposed to samurai. But I also stand by the research and the general length and breadth of my knowledge. I don’t post anything I don’t believe I have put a reasonable degree of fact checking and research into. And, more than once, I have scrapped an idea for an episode when I discovered through research that something I thought I knew was incorrect. I take pride in my work. Of course, whenever you are dealing with history, culture, and mythology, there are multiple interpretations of events and there are many disagreements between scholarly sources. I try to call attention to these things when they crop up, but there will always be differences of interpretation.

    That said, if you come at like an asshole, I’m going to shut you down. And if you come at other users like an asshole, I’m going to shut you down hard. If you think something might be incorrect, call my attention to it. But don’t be a hyperbolic shitstain about it. If you ever utter the phrase “this single mistake makes me wonder whether everything the person ever said was wrong,” congratulations, you’re an asshole. And you get to go away forever.

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