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History of the Samurai Sword and Its Making

samurai sword

The Samurai sword history is a long and colorful one. It spans centuries of wars and battles in Japan. In fact, the development of the Samurai sword can be seperated according to specific eras in Japanese history.

The prototype Japanese Samurai sword was made around A.D. 900, during the Ken period. The swords were made of steel and the blades were straight like a regular sword, as its pattern was copied from the Chinese sword of that time. In fact, the original craftsmen for this period were initially Chinese men, but this eventually changed to include the early Japanese craftsmen

Japan's Koto period, A.D. 900 to 1596 was a time of frequent battles and wars between warlords and the Samurai. The Samurai sword became a common sight to see everywhere. It was a means to getting power and status - for both the Samurai and the Daimyo (Lord), the warrior served.

It was during the Koto period that the straight Samurai sword gradually evolved into the single curved blade. This historic period was known for its famous sword smiths such as the sword smith Yasutsuna who is still renowned for his craftsmanship.

However, since the Samurai sword was a necessity for almost anyone going to war, there were also many mediocre craftsmen who started making swords without regard for quality. This is why we see many Samurai swords from the Koto period which are not well made.

samurai sword making

Next came the Shinto period, which is also called the new sword era. During this time, wars were less frequent, and with it the demand for Samurai swords decreased. The daito (long sword) was made shorter and it could now be carried at a person's side.


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During the Shinto period, the trend began of decorating the Samurai sword with dragons, flowers, and other artistic forms of expression. Many of the Samurai swords from this time are still around, displayed in museums and within private collections.

The modern era, also known as the Shin-shinto period was a time of tremendous turmoil among the makers of swords. A central government was forming, guns appeared from the West. The Samurai and the warrior sword were no longer needed. Economically, local craftsmen lost their trade. They turned to making tools for agriculture and livelihood consisted of the manufacture of scissors, hoes, and knives.

What is now regarded the Golden Age of the history of the Samurai Sword lasted from 1192 to 1573. These were the periods of the such sword makers as Kamakura and Muromachi, and the legendary Masamune emerged as perhaps Japan's greatest sword smith. His work was extremely beautiful and unique. Masamune's Samurai swords are now considered national treasures of Japan.

Modern swords, forged in the same way as those carried by real Samurai warriors of the past, as well as antique Samurai swords, are still in great demand. Such Samurai Swords are widely available for purchase.



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Samurai: An Illustrated History
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History Classics: Samurai [4 Discs] DVD Region 1
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News About Samurai History

Samurai sword attack at Taiwan's presidential palace - BBC News
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017


BBC News

Samurai sword attack at Taiwan's presidential palace
BBC News
A man has been arrested in Taipei after injuring a military policeman outside Taiwan's presidential building using a samurai sword. The man, surnamed Lu, allegedly stole the sword from a museum. He was carrying a Chinese flag and told police he was ...
Chinese man wielding samurai sword attacks police outside Taiwan presidential officeDaily Sabah
Samurai-sword attack outside Taiwan's presidential officeThe Straits Times
Man attacks Taiwanese presidential guard with samurai swordTaiwan News
International Business Times UK
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GFBNEC Presents 'Nikkei Samurai: Japanese Swords and the Nisei Veteran' - The Rafu Shimpo
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017


The Rafu Shimpo

GFBNEC Presents 'Nikkei Samurai: Japanese Swords and the Nisei Veteran'
The Rafu Shimpo
Darin S. Furukawa of Jidai Arts, co-curator of “Nikkei Samurai,” gives a tour of the exhibition, which includes a sword given to his grandfather, Richard Furukawa, who served with the MIS during the U.S. occupation of Japan. When Gen. Douglas MacArthur ...

Japan Cinema Now: A new spin on the epic battle for Japan's future ... - Asia Times
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017


Asia Times

Japan Cinema Now: A new spin on the epic battle for Japan's future ...
Asia Times
Leave it to master storyteller Masato Harada to delve into one of Japanese history's watershed episodes, and to emerge with a powerful reinterpretation that ...

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OLD MAN LOGAN v All-New HAND In MARVEL LEGACY's #31 - Newsarama
Posted on Wednesday August 16, 2017


Newsarama

OLD MAN LOGAN v All-New HAND In MARVEL LEGACY's #31
Newsarama
Wolverine and the Hand is an old song that's been played many times, but in “Marvel Legacy” Old Man Logan will be revisiting that with the grizzled Wolverine ...

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Microsoft announces Age of Empires IV - TNW
Posted on Monday August 21, 2017


TNW

Microsoft announces Age of Empires IV
TNW
Microsoft didn't show off in-game footage or announce a release date, but its trailer, filled with concept art, depicts numerous different armies and time periods throughout history, from Romans to Japanese Samurai to Conquistadors and Native Americans.
New Age of Empires 4 Game Trailer ReviewTechDigg
Age Of Empires IV Is Confirmed! It's Been 12 Years Since Last Game, Coming To A PC Very Soon!Indiatimes.com

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After first title, Perry primed for continued success - Pacific Sports ... - Stars and Stripes
Posted on Sunday August 20, 2017


Stars and Stripes

After first title, Perry primed for continued success - Pacific Sports ...
Stars and Stripes
Garrett Macias, right, a senior, returns under center and will line up at free safety for Matthew C. Perry football. DAVE ORNAUER/STARS AND STRIPES.

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The Magical Power of the number Seven in Game of Thrones - Winter Is Coming
Posted on Saturday August 19, 2017


Winter Is Coming

The Magical Power of the number Seven in Game of Thrones
Winter Is Coming
The number seven is big on Game of Thrones. We have seven kingdoms, the Faith of the Seven religion, and seven members of the Kingsgaurd. In the first ...

Discovery Channel - The Samurai Sword Part 1



This is a brief documentation of Japanese sword making and history of the Katana brought to you by the dicovery channel program descisive weapons.

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