The Long History of Japanese Swords

The japanese have long traditions in the martial arts and in sword making, which is why there are so many different kinds of high quality Japanese swords. There are long and short swords, as well as battle swords which are based on those used by the Samurai or ninjas. The long forging traditions have been passed on and even today there are swordsmiths who are still making handcrafted, quality swords.

There are many distinguishing features between the types of Japanese swords. There are short swords like the tanto or aikuchi, middle sized swords like the wakizashi, large swords such as the tachi or katana and then the extra long swords like the jin tachi. Each sword has a different type of blade, depending on the region and era it originated. According to tradition, there are five main regions of Japan and each had their own unique sword forging techniques and specialties katana sword
. Japanese swords are still popular today because of their usefulness and quality. For serious martial artists who train and practice with swords, then handcrafted Japanese swords are the best choice. This is because they are perfectly balanced, have strong high carbon steel blades and expert handle wrapping to ensure a good grip on the weapon.

These swords are sharp and have blades that can withstand cutting through objects such as bamboo sticks and which are also strong and flexible enough to withstand being hit by another weapon. Some Japanese swords are specially made for martial arts demonstrations and yet others for real sword fighting competitions. Collectors are not left out, though. Since they have a history that is more than a thousand years long, there have been many groups that have swung these weapons. The most famous are probably samurai and even today they have a large following. Collectors can display Samurai swords, for example, or even ninja swords. There can also be a historical collection that is made of replica Japanese swords. A good idea is to purchase a sword set which comes with two or three Japanese swords of different lengths and a holding rack so that they can be displayed wherever you would like to show themBuying the perfect Japanese swords is not an easy thing to do, as there are many Japanese swords to choose from and many things to take into consideration. The first look at the many Japanese swords on the market will make a person dizzy. Which one is the best for me So many Japanese swords attract the eye and so many seem appropriate for the wall at home… Of course the best one will also be the most expensive, but how do you know for sure what is the best choice

Getting to know the market involves reading a lot, documenting about how Japanese swords are made and comparing the merchandise in front of your eyes. This means a lot of information will have to be processed in a short while for your own good. Things can actually get easier if you are paying attention to some aspects like the steel of the Japanese swords, their forging, heat treatment and polish. The japanese swords can be used for battling purposes or for decorating. Depending on the purpose you are looking to buy Japanese swords, these aspects are more or less important.

The ancient smiths made extraordinary blades for the Japanese swords. This is why the most important aspect when choosing the japanese swords is their blade. The blades consisted in steel purified by the process of forging and folding. The japanese swords had their blades beat and purified through a long process that gave them a very high quality. Nowadays technology has progressed to a level where pure steel is no longer obtained through such a difficult process. Swedish Powdered Steel is the new and available to work with pure steel. The japanese swords (especially when used for battle) have to have a very strong and difficult to break blade. What gives them these properties is the even distribution of carbon in the steel, which doesn’t allow weak spots in the just forged blade.

The forging of Japanese swords makes them authentic, with unique blades made by skilled craftsmen. The forging degree is determined by the smith and by how much he folds and beats the blade of the Japanese swords. The structure gets stronger and the grain finer with every repeated folding. If they are not forged then they are modern Japanese swords that are not one of a kind. In this case they are not an individual expression. They make these kind of Japanese swords for selling purposes to the persons who don’t really care about their authenticity (for buyers that want to decorate their houses or offices).

The heat treatment of Japanese swords also gives them a higher quality making their grain structure finer. The authentic Japanese swords differentiate themselves through a sign left by the heat treatment it is called the Hamon. The changed molecular structure from the heat treatment is visible on the edge of the Japanese swords where the blades have a different color (Pearle). Of course modern manufacturers have thought of a way to give the Japanese swords this look without the heat treatment using a chemical treatment that doesn’t change the molecular structure.

The final touch for the blades was the polish, which used to be made by hand. It took several days or weeks just for one Japanese sword to have its blade polished. Such traditionally polished by hand Japanese swords would cost thousands of dollars nowadays. As the process is no longer practical it is currently done with the help of different polishing instruments. Some buyers look for a mirror-surfaced blade, but the true beauty of the Japanese swords is to be able to see the metal folding pattern and the Hamon on the edge. To buy such Japanese swords (that are fully polished and take a lot of time to finish) will probably cost a lot more than you would have expected. But invest only if you are serious in buying the authentic Japanese swords.

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