We all know that the katana sword is among the traditionally made weapons wielded by the samurai of feudal Japan to slash, fight, and protect against enemies. If we were to characterize the apparent features of the sword, we would start off with the katana sword having an arched single-edge blade that also has either a squared or circular-shaped guard; additionally, the katana also has an adequately long grip to easily accommodate two hands.
Generally, the katana is a standard-sized, fairly curved Japanese sword with a blade that measures over sixty centimeters. It has a distinct appearance so it can somehow be distinguished from the tachi and aside from this, the katana sword can also be distinguished if the signature is carved right into the tang’s side and should face outward when the weapon is carried on the owner’s left. Since the cutting edge of the tachi faces down, the cutting edge of the katana is worn up and this is to have both signatures seen in opposite locations. Because of the durability, strength, and excellence of the katana, a lot of western historians claim that it is one of the finest weapons in history.
Katanas during the Edo Period
During this period, researchers claimed that there was an actual official sword-testing department put up by the government; this was to ensure that the all the blades of the katana that they were to use were of quality materials. With the Tameshigiri, a professional swordsman would have the chance to test the katana’s blade by directly slicing through the bodies of executed individuals or at times, through the bodies of live criminals that were all piled up atop of each other. There are times when inexperienced samurai used these to train; however, the official testing of the katana’s blades can only be carried out by master or professional swordsmen to make sure that the blade was made perfect for battle.
When testing the blades, there were different areas to be hit: from one’s ankle to the trunk, and a couple more spots. The test results during tests like cutting three bodies right through the trunk would be carved on the blade; and if the blades were proven to be powerful, the value of it would greatly increase. Although the swordsmith who created the katana would greatly benefit from the tamashigiri to prove the quality of their work, the testing of these swords would still be ordered by those who would purchase the katana and generally, these tests are at times, just as expensive as the swords.
Uses of the Katana Today
We can’t deny that almost everyone all over the world has an increased liking in the traditional martial arts of the Japanese, and because of this, a lot of people from other countries started gaining interest in Kenjutsu. For the modern version of Kenjutsu, most of its practice is executed in the suburi style and instead of using the real katana, practitioners make use of a bokken. Aside from practice, katanas are often used in various action films that have become a hit all over; some of these movies include Zatochi, Kill Bill, The Last Samurai, and a lot more.