Looking for a ninja sword from Japan? Read on to find out about the history of Japanese swords.
The collection of Japanese swords that has been accumulated over the years has some of the most amazing craftsmanship and artistry behind its production. Known for a history with martial arts as a major part of their culture, the use of swords has been prevalent in Japan for centuries.
There is a wide variety of styles that you will be able to find within the collection of Japanese swords. The swords differ with regards to how they were constructed and the purpose for which they were used. The influences of the prevailing times are also apparent by observing the swords. It is no wonder that Japanese swords are considered to be works of art rather than just plain weaponry.
Antique Japanese Swords
The oldest known Japanese swords were constructed in a unique way that incorporated the use of three layers of steel. Although the triple layered steel did not make these swords look very beautiful they made the swords very strong. Furthermore the blade of these antique swords would run through the entire body of the sword including the handle. This made it next to impossible for the blade to snap during battle.
Samurai swords were initially single edged and straight bladed. Later on the curved samurai sword was introduced as it allowed for a quicker draw out of the scabbard during combat.
Samurai swords were of three kinds. The outdoor combat sword was known as the katana which measured 24 inches in length. This is one of the most popular Japanese swords ever. Then there was a smaller samurai sword that measured between 12-24 inches known as the Wakizashi. The third kind was a small knife known as tanta used for indoor combat.
The years of Word War II saw the Japanese make use of some interesting swords. The Army Officers Sword is considered to be one of the WWII classics. The rather long sword measured 36.5 inches with a 26 inch long blade.
This sword was actually constructed on the Shin-Gunto pattern that had been in use for many years prior to WWII. The Army Officers Sword had a handle with a brown cloth binding that covered the ray skin.
Prior to WWII all Japanese swords were hand made through a labor intensive process. This was one of the reasons for the high quality of the swords. With industrialization began the mass production of machine made Japanese swords that were no match for the especially hand crafted swords used throughout the history of Japan.
Used primarily by the Japanese Naval officers the Kai-gunto swords are also considered to be part of the unique collection of Japanese swords. There exists a mix of hand made and machine made kai-gunto swords today.
Colonial Occupation Swords
In the early 1930s Japan embarked on various colonial missions. Specially crafted swords were issued to colonial occupation officials known as kyu-gunto. These swords consisted of a machine made chrome plated blade and an etched hamon.