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Katana History

The katana was used by the samurai of feudal Japan and succeeds the tachi, a Japanese sword that naturally rested cutting edge down rather than up. When samurai wore their traditional tachi swords on their belts, the signatures on the sword faced the wrong way, and the blade needed to be turned up when unsheathed. Thus, the need for a simpler blade was born, and in the year 1400, the first long swords with “katana” signatures emerged.

The katana became popular because of the necessity of fast response time in close combat, where the quicker draw was typically in the hand of the victor. The katana was designed with signatures on the cutting edge up, and allowed the samurai to unsheathe his sword and attack an enemy in one fluid motion.

Katana Specifications

The katana is characterized by a curved, slender, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip for dual-hand wielding. A katana weighs between 1.1 and 1.3 kilograms and the blade is at least 60 centimeters long.

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