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Katana Sword - The Collector's Information Source

Mar 27, 2008
There are many different katana swords to choose from. First, katana swords are long and were mostly used by warriors in the early years of the Japanese wars and battles. However, they were more of a symbol than an actual weapon. Many warriors chose poles or other weapons that kept their attackers at a distance.

History and Culture of the Katana Sword -

Japanese warriors carried two sabers in their belt, both on the left side. One was long and the other was short. The long one is called the Daito - literally, long saber, which is known as the Katana. The short one is Shoto - literally, short saber, which is a wakizachi.

Today these sabers or swords are beautiful collector's items and still used for practice combat. Most choices in the present day are in the decorations, like the beautiful crane and bamboo style engraved on the tsuba or guard (which looks like a belt buckle or a loop around the sword) that protects your hand. This is at the very bottom of the handle.

Dragon Symbols in Japanese Culture -

In every culture, there seems to be a story of a dragon and the Japanese are certainly no exception. The difference between a western dragon and one of the orient is that the orient dragon is usually wise and benevolent. It is the ruler of water and weather, and the dragon is the symbol of power and emperor to most samurai. That is why dragons are an important symbol on many of the katana swords.

The crane style Katana sword is said to be lighter and faster than the Samurai. These swords were forged out of Swedish powdered steel. The tsuba or guard is pierced crane style, which symbolizes longevity and wisdom. The Katana sword will serve you well if you want a blade for strength or serious cutting. It is also perfect for practicing Aikido.

Stories of the Crane Katana Sword -

The story goes that the Meunki are a younger and older scholar/sage. This means that a man of wisdom and integrity would be long in service of his lord, usually surviving one lord to service the next generation. This is why the crane is meant to resemble wisdom and longevity.

The Crane Katana sword is 10 inches long with two Mekugi securing the Tsuka or handle to the tang. Tsuka or handle lengths come in lengths of 11", 13", 14" and 15" for the Crane Katana swords. The lengths of the blades run 27.5, 28.5 and 29.5. This allows for a unique choice in blades and quality of handles as well.

The hada - grain in the steel - is apparent. This is the result of the extensive forging and folding. This is the process that is done by hand to ensure that each one is unique and strong.

The Bamboo Katana sword has softer steel which provides an excellent shock resistant and strength with superior edge holding and cutting abilities. Both the tsuka and the saya (scabbard or holder of the blade) are custom hand-made for each individual sword.

Creation of a Katana Sword -

Most of today's katana swords are handcrafted with the purpose of being usable art. They are dangerous and not a toy so display them where children cannot get to them. The blades of the katana swords are made of carbon steel that is forged and pounded by hand in the traditional way by most of the manufacturers you will find out there. A good katana needs to be flexible or it is sure to break in battle.

Cleaning Your Katana Sword Collection -

Always clean your katana carefully, the blade is very sharp and can easily cut you. Use a fine oil and rice paper to remove the oil. And always move the soft cloth away from you, gently and slowly. The key is patience and slowness because of the sharp cutting blade.

Showing Off Your Katana -

When displaying your katana, always display it in the sheath with the cutting edge up that way the edge does not bear the scabbards (holder) weight.

The saya or scabbard is intentionally tight to avoid accidental unsheathing. To pull your sword out of the scabbard, use both hands. Hold the scabbard in your left hand and push away the guard (tsbua) and slowly pull the handle with your right hand. Make sure the cutting edge is pointing away from you. This will protect you from being cut and the katana from becoming dull scraping against the scabbard.

When putting the katana back in the scabbard, point the sword and scabbard down and away from you. Hold the opening close to the top and slowly tilt the katana back into the saya and slide it downward, letting gravity help you as much as you can. The key here is to go slow and be careful of the cutting edge.
About the Author
William "Cole" Doggett is a knife expert and owns an Internet knife shop, Knife & Supply Company, LLC at Pocket Knife | Hunting Knife | SOG Knife. His website is devoted to all things pocket knives, the Katana Sword, swords, kitchen cutlery, sharpeners, machetes and a wealth of information.
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