The Wakizashi is a traditional Japanese short sword that was paired with the Katana and used by the samurai class. It has a curved, single-edged blade that is typically between 30-60cm in length. The Wakizashi was used for close combat situations, as well as for ceremonial purposes.
During feudal Japan, the Wakizashi was worn by samurai as a backup weapon in case their Katana was lost or damaged in battle. It was also used in close quarters, where the long Katana could prove to be unwieldy. Samurai were trained in the use of both weapons, and their proficiency with both was considered essential.
In addition to its function as a weapon, the Wakizashi was also used as a symbol of honor and social status. Samurai were forbidden from carrying any form of weapon in certain locations, and the Wakizashi was the only exception. As such, it became a symbol of the samurai's social standing and the respect they commanded.
Today, the Wakizashi is still used in some forms of traditional Japanese martial arts, such as Kendo and Iaido, as a training weapon. It is also popular among collectors of Japanese swords and is often displayed alongside the Katana as a symbol of Japanese sword culture.