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Samurai Weapons, Samurai Armors and the Samurai way of life

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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: A History (P.S.)-ExLibrary
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SAMURAI SWORDS A Collectors Guide to Japanese Swords Fascinating History Detaild
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News About Samurai History

Photographer preserves samurai history using 19th-century technique - CNN
Posted on Sunday March 26, 2017


Daily Mail

Photographer preserves samurai history using 19th-century technique
CNN
Once there, he met Michitane Soma, the head of a samurai warrior clan that stretches back 34 generations, through 800 years of history. Soma wanted Brown to photograph his community using the wet plate collodion technique he was known for.
The modern day samurai: Japanese fighters mimic their fierce ancient warrior ancestors in fascinating photoshootDaily Mail

all 2 news articles »

The Incredible Legend of the First Black Samurai | Flashback | OZY - OZY
Posted on Monday March 27, 2017


OZY

The Incredible Legend of the First Black Samurai | Flashback | OZY
OZY
He went from an African slave to a storied samurai.

and more »

The Hidden History of Wakashu, Edo-Era Japan's "Third Gender" - Hyperallergic
Posted on Tuesday April 25, 2017


The Hidden History of Wakashu, Edo-Era Japan's "Third Gender"
Hyperallergic
Many colorful and stunning prints focus on wakashu alone, going about their daily lives as merchants, musicians, fishermen, and even samurai. One example of a red-lipped fan-seller in a translucent blue kimono exemplifies the need for a careful eye to ...

"XCVI" · Samurai Jack · TV Review Samurai Jack's allies gain in ... - A.V. Club
Posted on Sunday April 16, 2017


A.V. Club

"XCVI" · Samurai Jack · TV Review Samurai Jack's allies gain in ...
A.V. Club
Jack has done a lot of hiding thus far during the season—hiding from the Daughters Of Aku, hiding from robot assassins, hiding from the brainwashed feral ...

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Worthplaying | 'Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada' (ALL) Introduces ... - WorthPlaying.com
Posted on Thursday April 20, 2017


Siliconera

Worthplaying | 'Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada' (ALL) Introduces ...
WorthPlaying.com
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is a new adventure based on the heroic legend of the Sanada Clan, a cunning group of warriors from Sengoku Era Japan ...
Samurai Warriors: Spirit Of Sanada Goes Over Its Battles And StratagemsSiliconera

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Forgotten Tale Of Japan's First Black Samurai Bound For The Big ... - Huffington Post
Posted on Wednesday March 29, 2017


Huffington Post

Forgotten Tale Of Japan's First Black Samurai Bound For The Big ...
Huffington Post
There is very little recorded history on Yasuke, the young African man believed to be Japan's first black samurai, but his story may soon be told on the silver ...

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Mifune: The Last Samurai - DVD Talk
Posted on Monday April 17, 2017


DVD Talk

Mifune: The Last Samurai
DVD Talk
Toshiro Mifune's long and legendary life yields great potential for a well-rounded and entertaining retrospective---and while Mifune: The Last Samurai is neither the first nor best of its kind, this small slice of Japanese film history serves up an ...

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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