If you are interested in the history of weapons, Samurai swords are some of the most intriguing and beautiful instruments ever to be used in battle. The word "Samurai" is translated into English as “one who serves." The Samurai class was developed when Japan was still a tribal society, and it came to represent warrior nobility. 

In ancient times, members of this class were expected to abandon their own family name and take on a new one representing their lord's family. To show that they had no interest in worldly goods, they wore only what was required for modesty (typically a loincloth) and carried no money or possessions.

The first swordsmiths in Japan are believed to have produced the katana and wakizashi, which were developed from earlier Chinese and Korean blades. A katana is a long, single-edged sword used by the samurai class. Wakizashi has a similar blade shape but is shorter than a katana.

Important Components of Samurai Swords

Samurai swords were made using various methods and materials depending on the technology of the time and region. The most important part of the blade was the long, thin tsunami, or fittings of the sword. This component would include a saya (scabbard), which held the sword while in use.

In feudal times, these real swords were the most important possessions of the warrior, who had to be able to own one at all times and ensure they were ready to fight immediately upon need. The katana was considered to be an integral part of a samurai's status, as he is defined by his long sword. 

However, as technology became advanced and more efficient weapons began to be replaced in combat and general use, it became less imperative for samurai to own one due to better equipment available for purchase.

Famous Samurai Swords

Even now, samurai swords hold a significant place in Japanese culture. The types of swords vary, but most have curved blades. This is because this sword was designed for slashing and stabbing, not for cutting downwards like many knives. This sword's length is also important to how it can be used effectively; the longer the blade, the more powerful and destructive it can be.

Traditionally, this sword was only used by the samurai, the elite warriors of Japan. This was because it was too powerful to be used by commoners, who didn't have enough training to handle it effectively. The sword was made of pure iron, so a sword made from steel would not have been able to hold up against how hard and aggressive the blades were. 

Many of these swords were actually forged from single pieces of metal which were heated until red hot and then pounded with anvils until they stuck together. Here are some famous samurai swords:

1. Katanas

The Katana is the most famous of all the samurai sabers. Katanas are commonly known as "samurai swords," though the term actually refers to any sword carried by a samurai. This is because it was used more than any other kind of sword, and it was mostly used by lower-level samurai and their attendants. Katanas are almost always between 70 and 90 centimeters long and are curved for slashing instead of straight for cutting.

Katana often featured a square guard called a tsuba, which helped protect the hand from an enemy's blade. The hilt was wrapped in a cloth to ensure a firm grip. The blade could be either straight or curved, depending on the purpose. The katana is so popular that it is still used today with the same design as its ancient counterpart. 

The only thing that has changed is the steel it's made of; today, katanas are made from a higher grade of steel than what was used in ancient times because of advances in technology. However, many enthusiasts choose to collect and use antique katanas instead of modern ones because they prefer being able to use authentic weapons rather than replicas.

2. Tachi

The tachi is very similar to the katana. Just like the katana, the tachi was used by samurai; however, it wasn't used as often as the katana and was more of a replacement for a spear than a sword. This is because the tachi is noticeably longer and heavier than a katana.

Tachis were more often used by higher-ranking samurai, such as generals. Tachis is between 80 and 100 centimeters long and is straighter than a katana. The blade is also slightly wider, though it's not curved like a katana's blade.

3. Tanto

The tanto is a shorter kind of medieval swords, oftentimes only around 20 to 25 centimeters long. However, this didn't make it any less powerful or dangerous. The tanto was often used in conjunction with the katana and the wakizashi, a sword between 30 and 60 centimeters long that was often worn by lower-ranking samurai.

They were used as tools to finish off wounded enemies, cut down enemies instead of killing them with one quick slash, and perform ritual suicide if their master's honor had been tainted. The tanto is commonly paired with the wakizashi.

4. Shinai

The shinai is a wooden practice sword that is held by the middle of the handle, much like a staff or baton. The shinai dates back to around the 14th century, though its history can be traced back even further. 

Originally, it was only used by samurai in training to test their skills when they were on active duty. This changed when the need arose for more weapons and soldiers, so it became more widespread and used as a weapon against enemies. The practice of using the shinai came to an end in 1868 with the fall of feudalism in Japan. 

It is still used today, though not as a weapon. It is used in the Kendo and kendo styles of martial arts, which originated in Japan during the 14th century. The shinai is made of bamboo covered with leather, and a tsuba (hand guard) at the end of the handle. The shinai is between 60 and 70 centimeters long and weighs about 1 kilogram.

5. Naginata 

The naginata was used by both samurai and peasant men alike. This weapon was made by joining together two half-length hilts. The blade is attached to the end of one of the hilts and is between 60 and 80 centimeters long. The naginata is a multipurpose weapon; it was used by both samurai and peasant men as a spear, sword, halberd, and even as a flail.

The naginata was widely used in combat because it could be quickly deployed when needed for stabbing instead of swinging out into the open for slashing attacks. The need for this multipurpose weapon grew after feudalism was abolished in 1868 and Japan became a democratic nation.

Also Read: Bastard Sword vs Longsword

Why are Samurai Swords Popular?

With their origins shrouded in mystery and lore, samurai swords have come to represent numerous things to many people. They conjure up images of well-known historical figures, as well as mythical creatures like the samurai jackal. Some are even drawn to these weapons because they offer a sense of power and confidence that comes from owning an object that was once used to vanquish an opponent.

In the last few years, there has been phenomenal growth in the popularity of these full tang swords on the global market. While there have always been those who were fascinated by these swords, that fascination has grown into a cultural phenomenon. Now, you don't have to be Japanese to own one of these battle blanks for sale – although most people do! 

It seems like just about everybody wants some piece or part of ancient samurai culture in their lives nowadays. In fact, the popularity of samurai swords has grown to the point where it's now even spawned its own subculture. 

Also Read: Sword Fighting Moves List