Based on agricultural knives, dadao have broad blades generally between two and three feet long, long hilts meant for “hand and a half” or two-handed use, and generally a weight-forward balance. Some were made for military use, but they were most commonly associated with civilian militias or revolutionaries. While not a particularly sophisticated sword, the weight and balance of the dadao gave it considerable slashing and chopping power, making it an effective close combat weapon for untrained troops.
Interesting to know:
The dadao was used by Chinese troops in the Second Sino-Japanese War. (WWII)
Fire Nation fashion/clothes are hugely influenced by traditional Thai clothing. The closer you look the more obvious it becomes. From Thai fisherman’s pants, to Thai wedding dresses, temple dancers etc.
The Hat Katara Wears as the Painted Lady is Called ‘Wei Mao’.
The 帷帽 wei mao style hat was created in the Jin dynasty, the style continued to be worn during the Tang Dynasty, but with a higher, conical top-hat like, hat. Click me for image.
The Jin Dynasty晋朝was a dynasty in Chinese history, lasting between the years 265 and 420 CE. There are two main divisions in the history of the Dynasty, the first being Western Jin (ch: 西晉, 265–316) and the second Eastern Jin (ch: 東晉 317–420). Western Jin was founded by Sima Yan, with its capital at Luoyang, while Eastern Jin was begun by Sima Rui, with its capital at Jiankang. The two periods are also known as Liang Jin (ch: 兩晉 lit, two Jin) and Sima Jin by scholars, to distinguish this dynasty from other dynasties that use the same Chinese character, such as the Later Jin Dynasty (ch: 後晉).
The shirt/jacket Zuko is wearing is a Tang Zhuang vest with a Mandaring collar and Chinese knot buttons.
Tangzhuang唐装 refers to the Chinese jacket that originated at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). Tangzhuang evolved from Magua (马褂), a Manchu clothing, which was in turn adopted by the Han Chinese during Qing Dynasty. At that time, only noblemen, aristocracy and government officials were wearing it, however, in modern times it was eventually adopted by common people.
The misconception that the Fire Nation is mainly based on Japan, and that Fire Nation Japanese elements make up the majority of the Fire Nation culture, has been around for a while. Since I get asked about this topic several times a week, I have decided to make this a feature. Please note that this post is not about what you do in you fanfic or fanart, which is your own choice, but about what we see in the show.
We are going to take a closer look at the Fire Nation’s language, clothing and armor, geography, political system, architecture, food, hairstyles, names, festivals, traditions, weapons and last, but not least, real world parallels.
Definition of ‘is’. I define ‘is’ in the terms of “The Fire Nation is Japan” to mean more than 50%, or at least the biggest or most influential portion of all influences. If by ‘is’ you mean, in the Sino-centric a:tla universe, the Fire Nation features a few references to Japan; congratulations, I agree with you.
Let’s for the sake of this essay assume that they are not speaking English, that we are just hearing it this way. Speaking English and writing in Chinese would be odd, to say the least.
We also have to assume that everyone in the A:TLA universe speaks the same language and that there are no distinct accents. No one ever points out an accent in the show, and Katara, Sokka, Toph and Aang pass as unnoticed in the Fire Nation, as Zuko and Uncle do in the Earth Kingdom.
Everyone in the Aang era A:TLA universe communicates in Mandarin, written in traditional characters.
No one writes in Japanese. Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji are not interchangeable. Even though Japanese Kanji originate from Chinese characters, their meaning, pronunciation and writing has changed over the centuries.
Official show title in Japanese: アバター伝説の少年アン
Official show title in Chinese: 降世神通
And just so that it cannot be argued that the writing I am using as an example was not intended for Fire Nation people, the examples used are from Fire Nation citizens to/for Fire Nation citizens.
Example one: Toph’s wanted poster from season three, episode “The Runaway”:
Toph’s wanted poster is written in Chinese, not Japanese.
Wanted — The Runaway.
Authorities are offering a reward of one-thousand gold coins for the arrest of this twelve year old girl. She is small and disguises herself as blind . (She is) extremely dangerous. Any information (leading to her arrest) will be rewarded.
Example two: Uncle’s letter to Zuko is also written in Chinese.
The Fire Nation’s Sages secret histories are hidden in the Dragon Bone Catacombs.