The Japanese samurai sword is very often called a katana sword or simply katana. The name katana often refers to Japanese samurai sword that has kind of standardized sizes and curvatures as older predecessors of the katanas featured blades with longer lenghts (most often the length higher than 23.6 inches) and had more curvature.
The Japanese samurai katana sword is known by its characteristic features such as a thin, single-edged and curved blade, long handle that easily fits two hands and circular or square guard. This samurai weapon is famous for its sharpness and it has been historically associated with the Samurai warriors of the medieval feudal Japan.
The katana sword originated during the Muromachi period (1392-1573). The reason behind its origin was the need for the ability to quickly draw the sword from its scabbard and cut the enemy in one single movement. In order to do this, the katana was worn with the edge of the blade facing up. Previously the sword was worn with the edge of the blade facing down.
The length of the katana sword featured differend lengths at different times. At the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century the katana's blade measured between 27.6 and 28.7 inches. In the early 16th century the length of the katana blade was a bit shorter and it was about 23.6 inches. At the end of 16th century the length of the blade want back to 28.7 inches.
Samurai warriors often were equipped with two swords. The main sword was the katana sword and the other one was a wakizashi sword which was similar to katana but it was much shorter. Often they also carried a similarly shaped dagger called tanto. When the katana sword is paired with the shorter wakizashi sword, such setup is called a daisho.
The Japanese katana sword is made from special steel called tamahagne. The characteristic curved shape of the katana sword is obtained during quenching. Before the quenching, the katana sword is straight. During the process of quenching the edge of blade of the katana sword forms martensite (steel crystals) which features a much tougher crystalline structure compared with the softer and thicker in the back of the blade. The Japanese swordmakers can achieve this by covering the back of the blade with paste made of clay mixed with ashes and rust. Only the edge of the blade is exposed to the quenching process and this results with the edge of the blade to become much harder. The root cause of the curvature achieved during quenching is the difference in density of the steel in the back of the blade and in the edge of the blade. The iron carbide in the edge of the blade has lesser density compared with the steel in the back of the blade.
Our website includes Japanese samurai katanas and also Japanese ninja swords. In addition to battle ready steel swords we also offer japanese wooden swords that are perfect for practicing sword fighting. Our Stage Steel line features samurai katana swords that come with blunt edges. These swords are meant for sword practice or theatrical play. Also, our catalog contains Japanese samurai figurines that will satisfy any collector that is into the Japanese culture and swordmaking.
The katana sword is characterized by its curved, thin, single-edged blade, squared or circular guard, and long handle that allows the warrior to use two hands. The katana sword has been associated with the Japanese samurai warriors, and has been famous for its sharpness and superior cutting ability. We offer various katana swords including hand forged samurai katana replicas, full-tang martial arts competiition swords, anime reverse-blade swords, decorative katanas and wooden and blunt-edge Stage Steel swords for practice and theatrical reenactment. Don’t forget to check our extensive collection of the samurai figurines.