Katana Swords – History and Facts
The Japanese Sword (or Taishi in Japanese) is a two-handed sword that is the most popular weapon among Japanese citizens and is used for several purposes including everyday living, official duties, and even for war. The Japanese sword is recognized by its single-edged blade, its distinct hand-forged metal hilt, and its distinctive single-handed folding sword mount. Despite being a close relative of the western sword, the Japanese sword had a more significant role in the history of Japanese martial arts.
The Katana swords
were exclusively meant for use during special occasions, and as such, they could be found all over the country. The one thing that separated them from other weapons is that they were kept stored in the homeowner’s dwelling and not forwarded to any military unit for use. Although they had undergone thorough testing to ensure their compatibility with the battlefield, the Japanese sword met several challenges that the rest of the weapons did not have to face. After the Meiji Period, in which Japan became a powerful military state, the sword was modified several times and underwent some significant changes as the century wore on. The Japanese Sword was no longer meant to be used for simple cutting, but rather it was time again transformed into one of the most formidable weapons in existence.
In addition to the significant modifications the Katana
took through the years, there are also several different styles that the Katana swords are available in. The Niki Katana, or National Army sword, is the basic style that every army has and it generally consists of a one-handed sword that features a tapered blade and a tapered handle. This style of sword is essential for anyone who wishes to be a samurai, which was the primary role of the Katana in Japan. This particular style of Katana is not only the oldest known style of the Katana, but it is also the one that gained the most notoriety because it is the default weapon carried by every samurai when he steps into combat.
The Muromachi sword, or Long Sword
is a much more flexible weapon and has a much shorter blade than the Niki. This shorter blade makes it easier for the wielder to coil and curve his arm to get the most power into each strike. The Muromachi, or straight sword, has a much more circular curvature than the Niki and therefore is much more suited to use as a cutting sword.
The Tanto, or long-handled sword
is the most commonly known type of sword in Japan and represents the traditional fighting spirit of the Japanese people. This style was created to counter the growing ability of Chinese warriors to take the battle to the ground with their mighty spears. The Tanto was made for this exact purpose and its multiple handles allow for greater dexterity in gripping and throwing. The Tanto, much like the Muromachi, can also be curved and wavy. This allows the Tanto to be used as both a slashing weapon and a cutting tool.
If you are looking to purchase a Japanese sword for self-defense
then one of the best places to start is at a reputable dealer who specializes in Japanese swords. A good dealer will give you a wide array of different styles of Katana so that you can choose one to best meet your needs. These dealers will also offer you a chance to handle the Japanese sword personally and get an idea of how it feels when you hold it in your hands. Make sure to ask questions about the length, weight, balance, sharpness, and other characteristics of the different Japanese swords. After all, your safety is important.