Picture of the day – Katana

The kah-ta-nah sword which is often referred to “samurai sword” is a type of  Japanese sword.  Any single sided Sword is called a Katana. The Katana sword is  usually curved with a length of about  23.5 inches. This type of sword has been commonly associated with the samurai’s of Japan and is renowned for its sharp and cutting ability.

The Katana originated in the Muromachi period 1392–1573) which required quick responses due to the constant battles. The Katana allowed the warriors to cut their enemy’s in a single motion. An entire style of fighting called Iaido has been developed where the style emphasis’s ln controlling the blade with a single cut, removing the blood and re sheathing the sword. The Iaido has sometimes been called moving Zen due to its  ritualistic beauty.

cosplay Through out history the length of the Katana has changed. In the 15th century the length was 70 up to 73 cm and in the 16th century it was 60 cm which then again changed to 73 cm.

The forging of a Katana in itself is called art. They are hard to come by and there are some authentic licensed weapon smiths in Japann who still make a katana sword though finding one is very difficult. The cost of the katana is also very expensive as the high end ones cost around $10,000 USD.

The katana is made using hard, high carbon steel and tough, low carbon steel. The level of carbon can effect how strong the Katana will be and its breaking level. If the Katana has a high level of carbon then it will usually snap quicker in battle but a low level is more likely to absorb attacks but it will become more blunt in the process.

katanaThe Katana sword makers  make a U- shaped piece using the low carbon and place the high carbon steel in the core and heat it together and hammering it in place. Some use four different pieces.  The block of steal is then folded many times  and hammered so that the impurities come out.  The Katana is folded no more then 16 places and then shaped into a basic sword shape. The Katana at this point does may have a slight curve or non at all. The curve is achieved by low heating. They put layer wet clay on to the sword which usually containsc lay, water, and sometimes ash, grinding stone powder and/or rust. The edge is coated with a thinner layer then the sides and the back of the sword and then quenched in water or oil (rapid cooling) This way the sword will get its curve.

The katana is very dangerous and should be handeled with care. It can be damaged easily and also cause injury. Below is a a video on how the sword is made.

Pictures via wehearit

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