This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Liuyedao" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
A 17th–18th century liuyedao with gilt iron fittings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art[1]
Traditional Chinese柳葉刀
Simplified Chinese柳叶刀
Literal meaningwillow leaf knife

The liuyedao or willow-leaf saber is a type of dao that was commonly used as a military sidearm for both cavalry and infantry during the Ming and Qing dynasties. A descendant of the earlier Mongol saber the liuyedao remained the most popular type of single handed sabre during the Ming dynasty, replacing the role of the Jian in the military.[2] Many schools of Chinese martial arts originally trained with this weapon.[2]

This weapon features a moderate curve along the length of the blade. This reduces thrusting ability (though it is still fairly effective at same) while increasing the power of cuts and slashes. The hilts are typically straight, but can be re-curved downward starting in the 18th century.[3] It weighs from 2 to 3 lb (0.91 to 1.36 kg), and is 36 to 39 in (91 to 99 cm) long.

Many examples will often have a decorated collar at the throat of the blade called a tunkou, which are stylistic holdovers from the preceding designs.[2]



  1. ^ Tom 2001, pp. 217–219.
  2. ^ a b c Tom 2005, pp. 77-78
  3. ^ Tom, Philip (2019). "Of Geese and Willows". Mandarin Mansion.