Japan Australia Pages

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Japanese Swords

A Japanese sword or nihonto is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese sword, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture. The most commonly known type of Japanese sword is the katana, which is a single-edged and usually curved long sword, traditionally used by samurai from the 1400s onwards. Other types of Japanese swords include wakizashi, which is a short sword, tsurugi, which are double-edged long swords and odachi, which are older versions.

Japanese swords are still commonly seen today and remain very popular. Antique and modernly-forged swords can easily be found and purchased. Modern, authentic nihonto are made by a few hundred swordsmiths in Japan. Most old Japanese swords can be traced back to one of five provinces, each of which had its own school, traditions and trademarks. My favourite are the blades from Seki and Mino in Gifu which were famous from the start for their quality and sharpness.

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