Language: Mandarin Chinese
Source: Classical literature

Description

Guāndāo (關刀) is the commonly used name for an iconic Chinese polearm consisting of a large blade with an accelerated curve near the tip and a spike at the back.

The weapon is usually listed in period reference material as yǎnyuèdāo (偃月刀).

Yanyuedao

Ming woodblock illustration of a yǎnyuèdāo.
From Chóuhǎi Túbiān (籌海圖編) by Ruozeng Zheng, 1562.

The weapon has gone by many names throughout the course of history, including:

Yǎnyuèdāo (掩月刀): The 11th-century name used in its first appearance.1
Guāndāo (關刀): Appears in a Ming source of the late 16th century.2
Dàdāo (大刀): In some Ming military and martial arts treatises of the early 17th century.3
Chūnqiūdāo (春秋刀): In some Qing military regulations of the 19th century.4
Qīnglóng yǎnyuèdāo (青龍偃月刀): A mythical version of the weapon wielded by Guan Yu in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.5

For an elaborate overwiew, see yǎnyuèdāo.

Notes
1. Wujing Zongyao (武經總要) or "Complete Essentials for the Military Classics" written between 1040-1044.
2. Liu Xiaozu; Sì Zhèn Sān Guān Zhì (四鎮三關誌) or “Record of four Towns and three Passes”, published between 1574 - 1576. The author was deputy commander of an important northern strategic outpost along the Great Wall.
3. Jing Guo Xiong Luo (經國雄略) of 1585, and Cheng Zi Yi (程子頤); dàdāo (大刀), published in the Wubei Yaolue (武備要略) of 1636. Chapter 8.
4. Gongbu Junqi Zeli (工部軍器則例) of 1815.
5. Sanguozhi Tongsu Yanyi (三國志通俗演義) or "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Attributed to Luo Guanzhong who lived somewhere between 1315 - 1400. The first official printed edition of the work was in 1522 with a preface date of 1494.

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