Katana –Japanese Sword

A Katana means a sword made by Japan’s unique forging method.
This refers to a sword that is warped and has a blade on one side of the blade.
Swords were produced in Japan before the 7th century, but what is commonly called a Japanese sword appeared in the 11th and 12th centuries and has become mainstream since then.

The difference between Normal Sword and Japanese one

Where is the difference between a normal sword and a Japanese sword?
It is generally said that the sword is a double-edged blade and the sword is a single-edged blade.

A Japanese sword is crisp, slender and light for its length.
Despite being thin and long, a Japanese sword is extremely durable by the unique forging process.
In Japan, unique fencing techniques and numerous schools were born on the premise of using this Japanese sword.
In China, it has long been known for its sharpness, and many Japanese swords were exported to China and were actually used as weapons.

Being Weapon and Art

The Japanese sword was first born to be used as a weapon.
However, after the WW2, GHQ’s policy did not allow possession of weapons.
Later, the claim that “Japanese swords are art and not weapons” was recognized, and possession was finally permitted.

And nowadays, you can enjoy the beauty of the Japanese sword as an art item, such as its appearance, forging, cutting edge and engraving.

Historical category

The history of Japanese swords can be broadly divided into three eras. “Traditional swords” are Japanese sword made before 1595, “New sword” from 1596 to 1763, and “New-new swords” from 1764 to 1876.
In addition, “Modern swords” mean Japanese swords that have been produced from the end of 19 Century to the present day.
Just after this period, the materials, way of making, and tactics of the Japanese sword have changed.
Historically and socially significant events have occurred.

The kinds of Japanese swords


The sword was made around the 11th century. The samurai was used hanging from the back with the blade down.
Generally, it is a Japanese sword with a bow and a warp, and its length is about 70 to 80 cm.
It is a sword that is displayed with the blade part down in art museums and museums.

Short Katana (Tantou)

A Japanese sword with a length of 30 cm or less is collectively referred to as a Short Katana, and it is characterized by the fact that it does not have a “crest”.
A short katana is also called “Hutokoro Gatana (Pecket Sword)” because it was buried in a pocket and used for assassination.

Uchi Katana

Uchi Katana has been made since around the 14th century as a tool for cutting off and piercing objects.
The blade length is 60 cm or more, and it is slightly shorter than Tachi, but, contrary to Tachi, put the blade on the waist with the blade up.
Among Uchi Katana, there is a thing made by making more than half of the blade from the cutting part of the tip into a double-edged blade in order to increase the stabbing effect.


A blade with an edge length of 30 to 60 cm is called a side gap and put it on the same waist as Uchi Katana.
The demand for Wakizashi increased because the warriors were set to equip two large and small Japanese swords according to the rulers of the Edo period.

By the way, Wakizashi was treated as not being a regular Japanese sword, so even non-samurai people were allowed to equip.

How to buy Japanese sword?

Katana shop

If you want to buy a Japanese sword, Katana Shop is recommended.
Surprisingly, the sword shop is located all over Japan and even outside of Japan. Katana Shop mainly sell Japanese swords and chopsticks, and some large stores sell millions of fine swords.
Buying in Katana Shop is recommended because Clarks teach you various things about Katana to beginners.

Online shop

Recently, the sale of Japanese swords through online shopping has also increased.
There are many cases where sword dealers do online shopping, but since internet auctions and the like are frequently used, it is very easy to buy, but you need to be careful not to buy bad ones.
That’s why it is not recommended for beginners.


Can you buy in Japan and use overseas?

If you apply for an antiques export inspection certificate to the Agency for Cultural Affairs, you can take it out of Japan from Japan. However, some countries prohibit the import of Japanese swords. It takes about two weeks from the time of applying for the antique art export inspection certificate until it is issued.