The Japanese Katana Sword

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The katana is the world’s most famous sword and is revered for its beauty, strength, and versatility. It is often credited for shaping Japan’s culture and society. A japanese katana is typically a long, curved sword with 2 cutting edges set into a hilt or tang. There are several tang types including the full push tang, encapsulated tang, and the rat tail tang. Each tang type has advantages and disadvantages, but the full push tang is best for the stability of your sword.

The main component of a katana is the tamahagane steel. This special steel is fortified with carbon to achieve high hardness and a sharp edge. This unique composition also allows the katana to be tough and flexible, making it an excellent weapon for combat or ceremonial use. The tamahagane is tempered by being heated and cooled at different rates to achieve a wavy line, or “hamon” on the blade. The hamon is an indicator of the swordsmith’s skill. The perfect hamon will have an even consistency, a strong edge, and a tough spine.

During the Muromachi period (1337 to 1573), Japanese swordsmiths refined their blades further. The samurai of this time favored swords that were shorter and wider with a more curved blade. This change in combat style allowed the katana to be used with one hand while holding a shield with the other. This new design is what gave rise to the katana. This era also saw the rise of the master swordsmiths who created blades that are revered for their superior quality and aesthetic beauty. Katana sword

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