A close look at the Samurai sword reveals the reason for its historic appeal and fascination. The original purpose should probably be part of this inspection since the sword was a constant companion of the warrior who used it. The sword provides a picture of that time and way of life.
It was not until the middle of the Heian Period (794-1184) that sword making had become a mastered craft in Japan. Before that time, swords were of low quality and had a short lifespan.
In the fifth century, with the advent of steel, came the single-edged blade. The door was then opened for artisans to begin creating better and better swords. The restrictions of iron, which was brittle, were overcome by the use of steel. It was the brittle quality of iron that would make swords break on the battlefield after a blow or two. Steel swords were more flexible and the worked metal was stronger and more reliable.
Blacksmiths, forging authentic samurai swords, use the advantages of both high carbon and low carbon steel. They fold and weld both kinds of steel several times to work out most of the impurities. The high carbon steel is formed into a U-shape with a piece of low carbon steel placed in its center. The block of steel that this forms is hammered, which forms a rough blank that will be formed into a samurai sword.
Some of the most common types of Japanese swords are the Katana, Tanto, Tsurugi and Wakizashi.
Although the Katana was not the only sword used by the samurai, it has become the icon of feudal Japan. It has a single edge blade which is usually curved. The popularity of the Katana with the samurai began in the 1400′s.
The Tanto is a sword but it is the size of a knife. It was seen first in the Heian period and became more refined during the Kamakura period.
The Tsurugi is a double edged sword which is not commonly used in Japan.
The Wakizashi sword resembles the Katana but is shorter. The samurai wore the Wakizashi sword along with the Katana. When the two swords were worn at the same time, it was referred to as “daisho.”
Japanese swords are really impressive. They are weapons and also beautiful works of art. This is the reason for their fame throughout the world.
anto, tsurugi and wakizashi.
The katana is the icon of feudal Japan.