Named weapons have a long tradition in wuxia stories. In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the famed Green Destiny is one such sword.
Green Destiny is a jian sword. Unlike the dao sword, the jian sword has a double-edged blade and a straight grip. Jian swords are traditionally known as “the gentleman of weapons.” Though two-handed jian swords exist, they were designed for martial arts rather than as combat weapons; one-handed jian swords were the norm.
Throughout the course of the movie, we learn that this exquisitely crafted sword is 400 years old. Its custodian tells the audience that it is “seven-tenths of an inch thick” and was crafted with techniques that had been lost to time.
Though not usually as thin and flexible as Green Destiny, jian swords are quite light compared to dao swords. Jian swords date back four-thousand years to the Shang Dynasty, and were used by everyone from merchants to emperors. Today, they are still a treasured part of Chinese culture.
If you’d like to check it out, Man At Arms did a replica of Green Destiny using the precise descriptions used in the movie:
Be sure to keep an eye out for a uniquely colored jian sword in our Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen!