A katana is a Japanese sword distinguished by its curve, single-edged blade with a squared guard, and long grip. You can hold the katana with two hands. The katana was used by the samurai in the feudal era of Japan. In addition, it was worn with the edge of the sword facing upward.
Even though the katana sword was used by the samurai in the feudal era of Japan, it is still used by people around the world. Interestingly, the katana is one of the symbols of Japan’s rich culture. Although the katana was used by the samurai, it is designed primarily for cutting. Traditionally, the katana is worn edge up. Read this piece to learn more about the katana sword.
Types of Katana
The katana is a popular sword used in ancient Japan, and there are several types of swords. Although the various types of katana may appear the same, they have very unique features that will be noticed after careful observation. Nonetheless, the sizes of the blades distinguish the various katana. Let’s take a look:
This type of katana is characterized by a curved, double-edged blade. You will notice that one side of the blade has the normal katana pattern. The tip of the Kissaki-Moroha-Zukuri is symmetrical. Also, both sides of this katana sword are sharp. This katana sword is used by more experienced samurai.
Among all the various types of katana, the Shinogi-Zukuri appears to be the most commonly used in Japan. The Shinogi-Zukuri is smaller, therefore it provides speed and cutting power. Meanwhile, the Shinogi-Zukuri was designed after the Heian period. In addition, the blade of the Shinogi-Zukuri is seperated from the yokote.
The Shobu-Zukuri is more like a variation of the Shinogi-Zukuri. Without a careful look, you may feel that the Shinogi-Zukuri and Shobu-Zukuri are the same. The distinction is the edge curves and uninterrupted blade of the Shobu-Zukuri.
World Records Achieved with the Use of the Katana
Interestingly, the katana has also gained world recognition. In other words, the katana is a popular sword, even though it originated in Japan. There are various world records that have been achieved with the katana, and all of them have also been verified by the Guinness World Records. For example, laido master Isao Machii used the katana to set a world record for “most martial arts katana cuts to one mat.” Also, other world records that have been made with the katana include the fastest 1,000 ball martial arts sword cuts. These records are still unchallenged and have not been overturned by any other sword.
Why is Katana used in Martial Arts?
The primary function of the katana is to cut, not to fight or use martial arts. The samurai adopted the katana as a sword used for their martial arts and they use it on the battlefield. Also, it is used during the practice of martial arts. Interestingly, the katana is still used by modern-day martial artists. The katana is used for martial arts because of the following reasons:
- Strong cutting power
- It can hold the katana with two hands
- Amazing curve at the edge
- Offers swift movement
During martial arts practice, the kata used by artists is blunt. The aim of using a blunt katana in practice is to ensure the safety of the artist and reduce the risk of fatal injuries. However, a martial artist only uses a sharp katana during the tameshigiri (known as blade testing). The artist performs blade testing by cutting bamboo or tatami straw posts.
How to Store and Maintain the Katana Sword
The katana like any other Japanese sword needs maintenance. If the sword is not stored in a safe place, it may be irreparably damaged. To store the katana safely follow the tips outlined below:
- Store the katana horizontally in its shealth.
- Properly oil the katana from time to time. Do this if the katana is not used regularly.
- Also, make sure to powder and polish the katana. It is important because the moisture residue from the hands of the artist may cause the blade to rust if it is not polished often.
- The katana oil is not the typical oil but you can opt for oil used to polish regular swords.
Aside from the above, you need to frequently monitor the katana. Monitoring of the katana is very important if it is not used often. Also, you may need to air the katana once in a while because it increases the longevity of the sword and sheath.
Owning a katana sword allows you to participate in the ancient Japanese heritage. The katana sword is a symbol of how life was in the feudal Japanese era. Amazingly, you can purchase a katana sword from online stores. Finally, make sure to follow the katana maintenance tips outlined here.