Samurai Sword the Japanese Sword

Japanese swords used by samurai possessed a single, super-sharp cutting edge, and were constructed with very strong steel blades, which were flexible yet strong. Most real swords produced from the 8th century CE forward served both as weapons and family heirlooms, symbolizing the status of the samurai in Japanese society. 

Japan's mediaeval swords can still be found in museum collections throughout the world today, several of which are considered National Treasures of Japan. If you are looking for swords for sale, and typically want a katana, the sword of the samurai, then, you should first explore the history of this sword. There’s a lot you need to know about these incredible swords. So, let’s start with an introduction to the great samurai warriors! 

Who Were the Samurai? Background Of Samurai Swords

Chokuto swords are said to have appeared in Japan over 1700 years ago, according to legend. Chokuto swords were initially equipped with single-edged, straight iron blades, which were directly influenced by Chinese Jian swords. 

The Chinese and the Japanese swords were initially the same, but around 700 AD, swords started taking on specific characteristics, such as a curved tang (the part of the blade that extends into the handle). 

The majority of Japanese swords by the end of the 10th century were curved from tang to tip, making them unique. As a whole, Japan itself was undergoing significant changes in the 10th and 11th century, carving out a modern society that was little influenced by Chinese culture. 

Samurai warrior

Different Periods of Japanese Real Swords

Overall, sword making has five distinct periods: Jokoto (ancient history until circa 900 AD), Koto (900-1596 AD), Shinto (1596-1780), Shinshinto (1781-1876), Gendaito (1876-1945), and Shinsakuto (1953–present). The Shinshinto era, during which the Samurai class was disbanded, is perhaps the darkest period in the history of Japanese swords. 

The craft of making authentic katana swords by using ancient techniques has gained renewed interest since the end of World War II. The craft of sword-making also incorporates new and innovative methods, resulting in real swords of exceptional durability. So, now is the right time for ninjas like me to get some ninja swords in their respective collections! It's not a Samurai, unfortunately, since they no longer exist.

Material Used in Making of Samurai Swords

High-carbon steel and low-carbon steel make up the two types of steel used for these real  swords. Steel made from high-carbon content is exceptionally hard, ensuring that it can keep its edge. 

The carbon-free material is tough and strong, allowing it to absorb shocks.  The authenticity of katana swords comes from the use of two types of steel, which work together to create a battle-ready sword.

Different Styles & Types of Samurai Swords

There are numerous sword variations and developments due to the long history of Samurai weapons. If you are searching for some Samurai swords for sale, you must know that the size, age, and shape of these swords lend them to differentiation.

  • Tachi

This Japanese real sword is distinguished by its curved blade handle, which was usually carried downward, and was used during the Koto period.

  • Uchigatana

Following closely behind the tachi was the uchigatana. It differed from other curvature controls by providing a straight handle and variable curvature settings. To translate the word uchigatana, we must break it down into two words: uchi (meaning "to strike") and gatana (meaning "sword"). 

As uchigatana swords were made better over time, they replaced tachi almost completely. At first, these swords were not of high quality but as time went on, they became more capable. Uchigatanas are the direct ancestors of most authentic modern katanas.

Samurai katana sword

  • Shin-Gunto

The Japanese replaced their katana swords with inferior Western swords during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The uchigatana only became fashionable again in the 1930s due to a wave of nationalist pride. 

A new army sword called shin-gunto was established as a result, and was used to execute POWs during WWII. Shin-gunto swords were originally made of high-quality materials, but as Japanese resources dwindled during the war, the quality thereof deteriorated.

  • Daisho

Daisho is the name of a pair of swords made of katanas, one long (the daito) and one short (the shoto), which might have originally been worn by Samurai. My ninja brothers and sisters and I still use the traditional daisho set as the most common authentic katana.

Also Read: Sword Fighting Moves List

Parts of A Real Samurai Sword

A list of the main parts of a samurai sword follows:

  • Hamon: A line that shows the difference in hardening of blades.
  • Hi: A longitudinal groove on the blade prevents the blade from getting damaged, and makes it lighter and absorbs shock stress.
  • Habaki: To keep the blade from falling out of the scabbard, it is fitted with a wedge-shaped metal collar.
  • Kaeshizuno: A hook used to secure the scabbard of a katana to the obi (sash on a kimono).
  • Kissaki: The blade's tip.
  • Koiguchi: The katana's scabbard is flung open.
  • Menuki: An ornament on a real sword's hilt.
  • Nagasa: A sword's length.
  • Same-kawa: Handle liners for blades.
  • Saya: The wooden sheath of the sword.
  • Sori: A blade's curve.
  • Tsuba: Decorative guards or bucklers.
  • Tsuka: An extended handle that can be gripped with two hands.
  • Tsuka-ito: The procedure of stringing the handle.
  • wari-bashi: metal chopsticks are stowed in this pocket.

Samurai sword

Samurai Sword- An Ultimate Warfare Weapon

For much of the history of Japan, the sword had a reputation as a mythical weapon; in reality, the bow was the primary weapon on the battlefield. The country's swords did not gain prominence until late in the 13th century CE when the Mongol invasions gave swords a more frenetic battlefield than Japan had previously experienced. 

Despite their light armor, the Japanese real swords proved far more effective than the Mongol short swords, and the samurai swords proved far more devious than the short swords of the invaders. Unlike modern anime swords, these historic bladed weapons were heavy and were used mainly for battling out in the wars. 

As early as antiquity, Japan had at least used swords, but they had been straight-bladed and used for thrusting. The curved and viciously sharp swords of the samurai, however, saw Japanese swordsmanship reach its peak around the middle of the Heian Period (794-1185 CE).

Find the Right Samurai Sword!

According to the purists, the samurai swords should be made by a master craftsman in Japan, and should have a real Hamon temper line showing that they are made from wood. Many fantasy swords nowadays are made of wood, so why not a samurai katana? 

As well as being razor sharp, exceptionally balanced, and extremely detailed, the sword should also be exceptionally balanced. In addition to that, the sword must be made from steel, not stainless steel.  The blade should also be brilliantly polished and have a Mekuki, which secures the handle to the blade. 

Read More: 5 Most Expensive Samurai Swords