Characteristics of a Katana
One of the most common and widely known forms of the Japanese blades used by samurai warriors, a Katana is a single-edged, curved blade.
12:49 18 May 2020
The Katana sword is handled using both hands; thus, the grip of the sword is long, and it has either a circular or squared guard. A Samurai sword holds great significance in the Japanese culture and history and in the modern world, it holds massive importance to the martial arts community. Individuals who develop an interest in martial arts are eager to gather information and knowledge about the swords and their origins. Many individuals also love to collect the different varieties of these swords.
The Best Weapon
In times before the modern long-range weapons, a Katana sword was considered one of the most feared weapons. Each sword was crafted by a highly skilled artisan, and these swords are a massive part of the Japanese culture and history. Numerous wars were fought and won by the samurai fighters using these swords. In the modern world, however, they still hold great significance to the students and practitioners of martial arts as well as enthusiasts.
How Were the Swords Made?
However, the construction of the swords in the early days are surrounded by numerous myths and to have the best possible knowledge about these swords, and it is important to know the facts about their construction in the past. In times when the quality of the iron was not up to the mark, it was impossible to craft a good blade from it. Therefore, the iron was folded several times to increase the carbon content and make the blade stronger.
Why are Samurai Swords so Sharp?
Due to the ability of the katana swords in cutting through human flesh and bone, they were believed to have extremely sharp blades. However, in actuality, their blade might only be as sharp as the common kitchen knife. The illusion of sharpness of the sword and the exceptional ability to even cut through human bones with ease comes from the shape the sword is crafted in and the speed at which it is used.
The History of Katana
In 1876 it became forbidden to carry a sword in public apart from few chosen individuals such as the former lords of samurai, the police and the military. Many skilled swordsmiths had trouble finding a way to bring bread to their dinner table. A number of them moved on to crafting various other items such as cutlery and farm tools in order to provide for their families. The swords made a comeback in the Showa period, and their production on a large scale resumed. However, during World War II, all the Japanese officers were required to carry a sword. However, the increased demand meant the swords made during those times were made by blacksmiths who had limited to no knowledge of the methods of crafting a Japanese sword. The supplies of Japanese steel were also limited during those times; thus, other forms of steel were used to craft these swords. These swords were known as shōwatō. Currently, in Japan, shōwatō are not recognized as true Japanese swords and are confiscated if found. However, outside japan these swords are considered historical artifacts and are collected by many.