5 signs of authentic japanese katana
The katana is probably the most famous sword in the world. It was invented in feudal Japan, with a sleek design, characterized by a curved single-edged blade. However, in recent years, many companies have begun to manufacture and sell katana replicas. Although they look like authentic traditional swords, they lack the quality and attention to detail of a real opponent. So, how do you discover the difference between an authentic traditional katana and a replica?
In feudal Japan, swordsmiths would engrave their signatures on the side of the nakago of the samurai sword. Usually, a samurai wears a katana with its signature back to the body. The purpose of the signature is to reveal who made the samurai sword, thereby enhancing the skills and abilities of the swordsmith. Modern samurai swords made in the past 50 years usually do not have the signature of a swordsmith.
#2) Long grip
The traditional Japanese sword also has a long handle, and the samurai can wield it with both hands. Other swords are designed for one-handed use, while katana is designed for two-handed use. This allows the samurai to carry out stronger and more powerful attacks. However, in order to adapt to two-handed use, swordsmiths will design long-handled samurai swords, also known as tsuka.
#3) 23 inch blade
Measuring the blade can usually reveal whether the samurai sword is real. Traditionally, katana blades designed by Japanese swordsmen are relatively long, about 23.5 inches (60 cm). The blade of this katana spans nearly 2 feet, which is long enough for the samurai to engage opponents within a safe distance. However, it is still short enough to make the katana easy to handle and maneuver.
#4) High-quality steel
One of the most notable features of true traditional Japanese samurai swords is the use of high-quality steel. It's not just the curved single-edged blade of the katana that makes it a powerful weapon. This is a high-quality steel for katana. It is called tamahagane steel and has a high carbon content to achieve excellent strength. Today's mass-produced replica samurai swords use lower quality steel, which lacks the strength of jade steel.
#5) sharp edges
You may find that many mass-produced replicas of katana have blunt or semi-blunt edges. This is because they are designed for practical use. Instead, they are used as display models for decorative purposes. The real traditional Japanese sword, in the hand, is designed with a sharp blade.