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The Japanese short sword, or wakizashi, could be considered a smaller version of the katana. This is not strictly true. Aapart from the size difference, the wakizashi was often forged differently, having a different blade cross-section. Wakizashi were usually worn as a side-arm to longer swords (This pair is called dai-sho, meaning "great" and "small", respectively), as they were better suited for use indoors, when a samurai would remove his long sword anyway. The wakizashi was generally paired with the tachi, which was worn with armour.

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