When many people think about the Samurai warrior, the first thing that comes to their mind is usually the Japanese Swords, such as a katana. The katana sword is a curved weapon that comes with a single edge designed to slice anything with precision. No wonder, many people consider the katana sword as a legendary weapon. It’s appreciated across different cultures.
The Katana sword is usually associated with a samurai sword and it represented the spiritual presence of the samurai class. But this Japanese sword was not the key weapon in the battlefield. Instead, the samurai warriors used to carry many other different types of swords, and the katana happened to be one of these swords. In this post, you will learn what makes a katana standout.
The katana sword
The first katana sword made its first appearance around 1400 C.E. and it had a curved blade made from skilled engineering. You should note that it can sometimes take more than ten people to produce a katana sword and takes a couple of months. Ideally, the makers of this sword intend it to be a lifelong weapon for a person to use.
In most cases, some people consider the katana as just a simple tool. The truth is that the culture surrounding this weapon regards it as a mystical and high value sword. Some people even believe that the owner of the katana sword can be bound in the sword.
A traditional katana sword is made up of a metal known as tamahagane also called jewel steel. Sword smiths have to fold and hammer iron ore layers for a couple of days at temperatures that can reach up to 2,500 degrees F to create tamahagane. Remember that this ore doesn’t reach the molten state. Instead, they can meld and refine it until the percentage of carbon is between 0,5 and 1.5 percent.
After going through this process, there is a low carbon core content that is usually soft but unbreakable. The manufacturers cover the core with high-carbon metals to create the natural and distinctive curve of the katana. No wonder, tamahagane steel usually costs more than 50 times more than ordinary steel.
There are several ways sword makers used to test the effectiveness of a samurai sword. The test cut called the Tameshigiri was the ancient art form that they used to test a katana on specific targets. This was often bad news for convicted criminals because they could sometimes be used for practice.
Today, you can find many imitation katana swords on the market. But remember that these swords don’t have the same effects as a genuine katana sword, which could cut anything with ease.
The factors you have to consider before purchasing a katana sword
A Japanese sword is a beautiful work of art in steel. It’s beautifully crafted, functional, and extremely durable. You should remember that some craftsmen nowadays still utilize the traditional techniques of forging and steel preparation. The katana sword refers to a two-handed samurai sword that has a recognizable and unique shape, making it pretty popular across the globe.
When checking a katana sword, there are a couple of factors you should consider. This includes the shape, the hardened cutting edge pattern, and the steel’s surface. Besides, you should also check the shape of the sword, so look out for the tapering at the base of the blade to the tip, the blade’s curvature, thickness, balance, weight, and length. You should bear in mind that the katana sword is regarded as the most perfect sword that a person has ever created. This is the reason why its crafting process has several stages and requirements when it comes to the type of steel and materials.
In most cases, some of the stages required to make the katana sword include melting river sand that has a high concentration of charcoal and iron to get the type of steel required for the forging. As you can see, this is an ancient technique that can sometimes last at least three days. The charcoal happens to be the key element of the sword blade steel known as tamahagane.
Tamahagane doesn’t have to get to the molten state before dissolving the necessary amount of carbon. Once this is accomplished, the swordsmith works on the material to get rid of impurities. This is an essential process because it can prevent the final blade from being exposed to natural destructors like corrosion. Only carbon and iron have to be in the composition. And, they evaluate the carbon composition by the level of yielding to hammering.
This forging process is considered to be unusual. It can involve heating the high-carbon steel and the swordsmith needs to shape it to become a channel that resembles an inch. Then they hammer forge the low-carbon steel into the high-carbon steel. In this way, they can form the core and blade of the sword. The balancing properties are crucial during this forging process.
In most cases, the katana blade has two different types of steel. There is a specific combination of hard and folded steel that contribute to the unique properties of the katana sword.
You should remember that the sword-forging methods used in Japan tend to be ancient and reflect the history of the Japanese swords. And, the technique has remained the same since ancient times. In other words, swordsmiths are still adhering to the same techniques their predecessors utilized.
In conclusion, most samurai swords have awesome appearances. Therefore, you can decide to choose one based on its appearance. The katana sword reflected power and social status, so it was crucial to have an excellent appearance. Therefore, you should make sure that the katana sword has a scabbard that is made of wood and engraved folded blades. Besides, it needs to have a polished hamon as well as decorative elements. Above all, you need to get a textile sword or sheath bag to keep your katana sword that you can use to keep your Japanese sword safely.
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