Japan is the only country where the weapons are engraved into tradition and culture. The Japanese katana is the most well-known and popular sword in the world. This slender single-edged sword with a curved blade and two-hand grip allowed the samurai warriors to protect themselves and kill enemies. Katana was the soul of the samurai, and they were recognized by their Katana. Let’s look at the history of Katana.
Katana appeared in the Kamakura period (1185 to 1333). Katana was the new and improved version of the Tachi sword. Katana was more powerful and had a much longer curved blade than tachi. It is believed that the invasion of the Mongols necessitated the invention of better weapons, and that is why the Katana sword was intervened.
The Mongols wanted to conquer japan, and thus Japanese people got embroiled in a war against the Mongolian armies. Mongols were not easy opponents. They were well equipped with sharp blades, strong armor, and explosives. Japanese warriors were at a disadvantage, as their Tachi and other weapons would not work against the strong armor.
Even after the Kamakura period, the sword-smith tried to perfect the Katana. In the Muromachi period (1337 to 157), new materials and different heat treatments were used to make the blade stronger. This made the Katana sword the most powerful one at that time.
After WW2, bans on sword production and strict rules slowed down the production of swords. But now, due to its popularity worldwide, Katana is being produced by companies. This just shows how superior this sword is. It has been around for so many years, so what’s the reason for its popularity?
It has the perfect blade length
The average length of over 60 cm long blade is known as the perfect length for a sword’s blade. This allowed warriors to effectively and efficiently use the sword.
It brought a change in samurai culture
Before the invention of Katana, all the Japanese swords were worn with the cutting edge down. But Katana was worn with the cutting edge up. Why? Because warriors found it easier to draw and cover the sword in this position. Moreover, the sword-smiths started to put the signature on the Katana for this reason also.
Organized process of production
It is a top-quality engineered marvel that was created through a difficult and organized process. This painstaking process of production took around six months. And this was not the end. After this, the blade was polished to a mirror-like finish. But even then, thousands of Katana swords were produced in the history of japan.
Forged under differential heat treatments
This sword was forged under varying heat temperatures. The edge and the spine were heated and cooled at different heat, thus creating a stronger and flexible sword.
Created from pure materials in the correct composition
Before, low carbon materials were used, but later on, sword makers found that increased content of carbon improved the strength of the sword. This then paves the way for high carbon steel. It takes about 3 days to convert 25 tons of charcoal and sand to 2 tons of pure steel known as tamahagane.
The high carbon tamahagane is used to forge the blade allowing it to be razor-sharp. At the same time, a low carbon tammahagane is used to make the back that allows it to be strong. These two are forged together to give Katana strength and flexibility.
All this made the Katana the best sword. Due to its lengthy process and pure materials used, a traditional Katana would cost a lot today. This is why it can be found in museums and collectors. Even today, it is well-known for its beauty and deadliness.