The Japanese Katana Sword

The japanese katana sword is one of the most revered swords in history. Its unique design was intended to combine the slashing and thrusting movements of mounted combat with the control and precision necessary for on foot fighting. Its long curved blade (mune) can be made thicker and more robust than a short sword, while its cutting edge (ha) is razor sharp.

The creation of a katana is a highly specialized process, steeped in tradition and refined over centuries. It requires a great deal of physical strength, but more importantly, the patience, dexterity and refined eye of the swordsmith to craft a masterpiece. Each sword is a testament to the smith’s singular devotion to their craft.

To make a katana, the smith begins by heating up the hard, high-carbon steel known as tamahagane in a clay tatara furnace. This metal is then hammered down and forged with tough, low-carbon steel to create an amalgam of the two types that will form the core of the sword. The smith reaches for a balance of their properties; the hard steel will serve as the sword’s outer shell and deadly blade, while the tough steel will become its strong core.

The tamahagane is then polished to remove any taint from the hamon, and finally, the smith forges the tang and hilt. Lastly, the blade is polished again, and any activity in the hamon such as Gunome Midare or other irregular patterns are shaved away. Manga katana sword