katana

Katana history and Katana meaning

The katana, known as the soul of the samurai, is a symbol that is representative enough of Japan in the realm of politics, culture, history, and secondary creations. katana is unique in the world, and even though it is fundamentally a weapon, the high level of skill required to craft such a beautiful sword greatly increases its value, making it known as a sacred object and a symbol of authority.

The Japanese samurai, who often appear in movies and anime, are representative of Japanese cultural output, and the Japanese sword is well known as a symbol of these samurai. The real name of these so-called Japanese swords is katana, which came into existence at the end of the Shogunate, but is synonymous with the spirit of the samurai in every sense of the word. While the samurai class gradually declined, the katana exploded into an enduring luster that has become a cultural legacy through the centuries, and appreciation of the katana has become a legend that crosses cultures and genres, striking a deep chord in the hearts of history buffs, Japan enthusiasts, and comic book fans around the world.

Basic knowledge:Katana parts and terminology

The Japanese samurai, who often appear in movies and anime, are representative of Japanese cultural output, and the Japanese sword is well known as a symbol of these samurai. The real name of these so-called Japanese swords is katana, which came into existence at the end of the Shogunate, but is synonymous with the spirit of the samurai in every sense of the word. While the samurai class gradually declined, the katana exploded into an enduring luster that has become a cultural legacy through the centuries, and appreciation of the katana has become a legend that crosses cultures and genres, striking a deep chord in the hearts of history buffs, Japan enthusiasts, and comic book fans around the world.

parts of a katana
In the world of Katana, terminology and parts of a katana are very important as most of the Katana parts names use Japanese vocabulary and special nouns, this is also the most basic knowledge about KatanaThis page can help you understand Katana faster.
nakaho
Nakago refers to the part below the blade and attached to the hilt, which contains rich information in the identification of Japanese swords and is no less important than the blade.
Tsuka-Japanese sword handle type
Tsuka is the handle of a Japanese sword. tsuka are constructed in many different ways and types, but the traditional tsuka is made of wood, custom fit to the foot of the blade, and held in place by 1-2 mekugi pins. The wooden handle is wrapped in samegawa, or the solid wood handle is held in place by mekugi only.
Kashira and Fuchi:Metal at the head and bottom of the katana's blade
Before the Edo period, the themes of kashira and fuchi did not necessarily have to be the same, but since the Edo period it has been emphasized that kashira and fuchi must have the same theme to be called a duplicate or a set, otherwise there is the suspicion of patchwork.
Katana menuki
Menuki are an important part of the hilt of Japanese swords. It is tied to the hilt, not only for decoration but also to prevent slipping, making it a small item that combines practicality and aesthetics. with one side facing forward and the other backward. It is then tightly wrapped with a hilt rope, sometimes exposed on the outside, which is related to the Tsukamaki type.
mekugi:Props used to fix the handle and nakago of katana
Mekugi is a prop similar to a pin that firmly secures the handle of the knife to the nakago, preventing it from falling out during the action. The holes in the handle and nakago are called "OYATSUBU". When the sword needs to be removed, simply pull out the mekugi and shake the nakago out of the handle.  
Samekawa:Sticker for the handle of a Japanese sword and katana
ray skin alias“Samegawa” is the stingray leather  on the handle of the katana, and in the early days of China, large quantities of stingray skins  were imported from the South Seas, and were called "鲛 skin" (in ancient Chinese, "鲛" means shark) or pearl fish skin.
"tsuka-ito": the rope on the handle of the katana
The rope wrapped around the outside of the katana tsuka sharkskin is called tsuka ito (or tsuka-maki), and is usually made not of silk, but of leather as well,There are more than a dozen ways to wind a tsuka ito, with the more common ones being hira maki, maro hineri maki, kata tsumaki maki, and maro tsumami maki. 
Katana tsuba
The tsuba is the equivalent of the commonly known sword grill or hand guard,is for katana is a very important accessory, If the sword equipment is the complete costume of a samurai, then the tsuba can be said to be the face of a samurai. Especially in the Edo period, when a samurai walked down the street, the first thing he saw was the tsuba on his sword.
Seppa katana
seppa is positioned between the habaki and tsuba, and the tsuba and fuchi. It serves as a shock absorber to prevent the tsuba from deflecting or the tsuba from coming into direct contact with the blade, thus strengthening the blade, and it also serves to prevent the fixed portion of the sword from shaking during intense cuts, reduces the impact transmitted to the hand during the cut, and adjusts the grip of the hilt. Simply put, the seppa protects the tsuba.
Katana Habaki : Essential accessories
Habaki is a Japanese sword tosogu a special ring, installed in the nakago top, sanding area at the base of the place, habaki is very inconspicuous, however, its role can not be ignored, for katana, it is the most indispensable small accessories.
Mune sword
Mune is the surface of the back of the Japanese sword, which is used to ward off attacks and to withstand external blows, and is thickly molded and is the ridge on the side of the blade opposite the edge of the blade, which is shaped like the ridge of a roof and is so named.
katana sheath
Saya is a scabbard or sheath of katana in Japan, which is a container used to carry the katana. Katana has an amazing sharpness, so it is necessary to use saya to protect it when storing or carrying it. One is to protect the blade and the other is to protect the wearer from the harm of the sword.
Sageo, the rope on the katana scabbard
Sageo is a rope on Saya, which gradually evolved into an ornament as the practicality of Japanese swords disappeared.
Koshirae
The kimono is the formal koshirae, which is much more complex than the shirasaya, and consists of a dozen or so parts, including kashira, menuki, tsukamaki, fuchi, tsuba, seppa, kogai, kaeritsuno, kojiri, and kurikata.
blade "types of katanas"
The term zukuri refers to the shape and form of the Japanese sword. Most Japanese swords are shinogi-zukuri and hira-zukuri, but the fashions of the times and the changes in fighting styles have led to a wide variety of shapes, but the shinogi-zukuri is still the most popular, as evidenced by the evolution of the Japanese sword itself.
“Sori”-the radian of the blade
Sori refers to the radian characteristics of the blade, and the blade with different radians can be customized to the forging cutter according to user preferences. Different factions of forging cutters also have their own characteristics in making blade radians, and with the passage of time, there is a trend of moving from the back of the blade to the front.
The size and shape of  katana's kissaki
Kissaki refers to the part of the blade at the tip, and the boundary between the tip and the blade is called yokote, depending on the length and width of the blade as a whole, the area may be classified as so kissakai, cbikissak, or o-kissalei.For katana without obvious yokote, it generally refers to the entire tool nose part.
katana blood groove
Hi is a blood groove carved into the surface of the blade, usually extending the entire length of the blade, parallel to the back. The ends of the blood grooves may have a modified shape, or they may simply be carved into the unsharpened nakago without modification.
mei katana
Mei "refers to the text carved on the stem of the sword, which generally includes the swordsman and the year of making the sword. Mei is considered an important basis in the identification of Japanese swords and has significant significance for the period of activities and history of swordsmen. Jian Mei is a stick like tool called "chisel" that is struck with a hammer to cut a cut on the surface of the blade stem and carve text bit by bit.
Yasurime
In addition to the shape of the nakakago, swordsmiths also put a certain pattern of stripes on the nakakago, called yasurime, which is called suridashi on the underside of the nakakago where the yasurime begins. yasurime increases the friction between the nakakago and the grip, making it less likely that the grip will fall off. 

The Art of the steel:Key points for making katana blade

The katana is a unique steel work of art whose blade can be appreciated in many ways, not only as a weapon of superior performance, but also as a reflection of the bladesmith's sophisticated metallurgical skills and scientific thinking. Beyond its own shape, the most crucial aesthetic element of katana lies in the different crystal structures and forms of the steel.

Best steel for katana
The best steel for Katana should consider the following points: hardness, toughness, brightness, and whether it can increase multiple grinding processes. Of course, there is also beauty, which is what collectors are most concerned about.here, we will introduce some commonly used steel materials for making Katanas. You can choose the blade that suits you based on your own needs and budget. 
katana structure
Katana is characterized by the use of shingane, which is soft and has a low carbon content, wrapped and forged with ka-wagane, which has a high carbon content. This is called construction, and since the nature of katana depends on the steel used, understanding the unique characteristics of traditional katana steel will aid in appreciation.
Jihada and jigane-"folded steel katana"
The steel (jigane) on the surface of a Japanese sword has a definite color and texture, and since the steel has a very dark appearance, it requires a good grind to bring out the details. Examining a well-made and ground Japanese sword usually reveals a clear color and fine texture. In addition, it is common to observe the distinctive surface pattern created by repeated folding during the forging process, called jihada, which varies from sword to sword depending on the method of steel making and the steel used by the sword maker for a particular sword.
katana hamon
The katana hamon is the quenching line on a katana blade, where a special yakibatsuchi is placed over the blade, the ha is left bare, and the blade is then red-hot, heated to a specific temperature, and then placed in water. The blade cools rapidly without the clay covering it, and more slowly with the clay covering it, so that the hamon is formed.
boshi meaning
The hamon of the kassaki is called "boshi", different hamons have different boshi, and because there are so many different types of boshi, it has been compared to the face of a human being. Hardening the kissaki area requires considerable skill, so the shape of the boshi can be used to gauge the skill of the swordsmith and thus the value of the sword itself.
katana sharpness
If katana is not ground, the secret of its unparalleled sharpness will not be revealed. Like the manufacture of swords, the grinding of katana is highly advanced. It requires a lot of meticulous craftsmanship to bring out the ultimate in blades!

Katana Talk:Historical Essays

Today, although many young people know very little about katana, basically anyone who comes into contact with it will be fascinated by the high respect that katana and the swordsmiths behind it display. katana has evolved over the centuries along with Japanese remediation and fighting styles, but there are still certain higher principles that have finally been put in place. Just as good wine must be brewed under restrictions recognized by liquor experts, katana has a set of standards that need to be followed.

tachi vs katana
The two were used in different times and situations, with tachi being used mainly from the late Heian Period (12th century) to the early Muromachi Period, and katana being used later than tachi, from about the middle of the Muromachi Period to the end of the Edo Period. Therefore, it can be said that katana is the successor of tachi. 
Wakizashi vs katana
In the eyes of people all over the world, most Japanese samurai are portrayed as having two swords, one long and one short, on their hips. In fact, this is not a movie, television or anime game portrayal, but a real historical reality. However, why would a samurai wear wakizashi and katana? There have been various stories about this, and the one that has been widely circulated is that the long sword was used to kill people, and the short sword was used to disembowel them. Is this true?
reverse blade katana
Sakabato is a special blade design that refers to the katana with a blade on the back of the sword,A movie (Rurouni Kenshin) brought Katana, the reverse blade, to everyone's attention. In fact, in all these years of Japanese sword history, there has never really been a reverse blade sword.
tamahagane
The raw materials for tamahagane are iron ore (satetsu) in the form of sand and charcoal. Satetsu was extracted from the sand in the riverbed in the Edo period.
Satetsu is extracted from the sand in the riverbed, and in the Edo period, the sand was washed through a waterway with wooden bars, and the iron sand was separated by leaving the heavier iron sand in place and the lighter sand washed away by the water.
Gragon katana
The dragon element applied to katana is a strong combination.  katana occupies an important influence on Japanese culture, and dragons have been accepted by the local Japanese in the Yayoi era as a culture of dragons originating from China. Moreover, the fact that the dragons on the graphic have feet and horns is a better indication that these dragons have a deep connection with the Chinese dragons, which have been passed down as the symbols of strength, authority and majesty, ruler and power represented by the Chinese dragons. A katana with a dragon element also has the power to protect the family.
Ronin katana
The ronin, as a group of vagrants gradually developed into a civilian force group, the source of weapons must be very scarce, weapons and equipment is bound to be messy from the point of view of the productivity of the ancient times is also very difficult to achieve a unified katana or unified katana with wakizashi, ronin can afford two swords is still a minority.
Tenka Goken-Japanese swords
In ancient Japan, swords played a very important role, not only as weapons, but also as symbols of culture. Among them, the five ancient Japanese swords known as "Tenka Goken", mikadukimunechika, doujigiri, onimaru kunitsuna, otenta odenta, and jyuzumaru, are widely praised for their unique history and legendary stories. 

Katana extensions : Appreciation and maintenance

As a katana owner, there are some basic skills that you need to master, such as how to inspect your katana collection and how to care for and arrange it so that your katana is in the best condition and full of aura!

recognize good and bad katana
The price of katana is very confusing, the cheap ones cost a few tens of dollars, while the more expensive ones cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, so how can you tell if a katana has value?
Maintenance of  katana
How to keep katana from rusting? Firstly, wipe off the water stains on the knife and then apply oil to the body, which can effectively isolate oxygen and water molecules in the air and prevent rusting.

Samurai with katana

The spirit of Bushido has had a long-lasting influence on Japanese culture and history. Throughout Japanese history, the personal characteristics and attitudes of the samurai have been quite different from those of the common soldier; the samurai operated under a strict and noble code of ethics, and the culture of kendo centered around the katana, the exclusive weapon of the samurai, extending its graceful appearance and philosophy beyond combat and into the lives of the Japanese people in general. And, the katana is seen as the perfect extension of its owner.
samurai

Bushido definition, like its symbol, the cherry blossom, is an inherent flower of the land of Japan.  "Name, Loyalty, Courage, Righteousness, Courtesy, Honesty, Discipline, and Benevolence"! These eight words are the principles of the Bushido spirit.