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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.



Samurai History Related Items For Sale

History Classics: Samurai [4 Discs] DVD Region 1
Posted on Tuesday April 25, 2017

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By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and O
Posted on Tuesday August 01, 2017

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A Brief History of the Samurai
Posted on Saturday May 06, 2017

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Samurai: A History (P.S.)
Posted on Friday October 21, 2016

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By The Sword: A History Of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai...( Hardcover 1st Ed.
Posted on Monday October 23, 2017

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Samurai: A History: By John Man
Posted on Tuesday October 17, 2017

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Samurai: An Illustrated History
Posted on Tuesday July 18, 2017

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Samurai (History's Greatest Warriors)-ExLibrary
Posted on Thursday July 06, 2017

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Samurai : A History by John Man (2014, E-book)
Posted on Sunday June 18, 2017

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Samurai : A History by John Man (2014, Paperback)
Posted on Friday October 20, 2017

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Global History Lesson Plan JAPAN & AND THE SAMURAI WARRIOR (DVD & CD-ROM) class
Posted on Monday September 25, 2017

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SAMURAI A MILITARY HISTORY By Turnbull Stephen
Posted on Wednesday October 11, 2017

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Samurai (Warriors of History) (ExLib)
Posted on Wednesday December 07, 2016

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Samurai: The Last Warrior: A History by John Man...NEW Softcover
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

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News About Samurai History

'A Brief History of the Samurai': offers thrilling take on Japan's ancient warrior class - The Japan Times
Posted on Saturday October 21, 2017


The Japan Times

'A Brief History of the Samurai': offers thrilling take on Japan's ancient warrior class
The Japan Times
It's a mammoth task to squeeze 700 years of history into just over 300 pages, and Clements has had to be selective, picking his battles and his heroes and villains. His real skil lies in his ability to condense yet still portray the richness of samurai ...

Samurai 'wine king' exhibit burns up in California blaze - The Japan Times
Posted on Sunday October 22, 2017


The Japan Times

Samurai 'wine king' exhibit burns up in California blaze
The Japan Times
... charred debris that was once Paradise Ridge Winery's tasting room and event hall, owners Sonia Byck-Barwick and her brother Rene Byck searched for a samurai sword in the rubble left after one of the worst wildfires in California's history swept the ...

October 21 in Sci-Fi History: Carrie & Ken & Matt - SYFY WIRE (blog)
Posted on Saturday October 21, 2017


SYFY WIRE (blog)

October 21 in Sci-Fi History: Carrie & Ken & Matt
SYFY WIRE (blog)
Born in Koide, Niigata, Japan, Watanabe would go on to win a Japanese Academy Award for his role as an Alzheimer's patient in Ashita no Kioku (Memories of Tomorrow). Western audiences mostly became aware of him in 2003's The Last Samurai.

SNL's David S. Pumpkins originally had much more attitude - AV Club
Posted on Monday October 23, 2017


AV Club

SNL's David S. Pumpkins originally had much more attitude
AV Club
Lately, Saturday Night Live has received more attention for its many political stances than for the broader comedy it was once known for (Samurai Delicatessen, Land Shark, etc.). But David S. Pumpkins stands out as an oddball sketch from the fraught ...

and more »

Man arrested for reportedly walking into bar with samurai sword ... - WAFB.com
Posted on Monday October 16, 2017


WWL

Man arrested for reportedly walking into bar with samurai sword ...
WAFB.com
The Ponchatoula Police Department reports a man has been arrested for walking in to a bar holding a samurai sword.
Man arrested after bringing samurai sword into Ponchatoula bar ...WWL

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The story behind Los Angeles Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor's ... - ESPN
Posted on Wednesday October 18, 2017


ESPN

The story behind Los Angeles Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor's ...
ESPN
All season, Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor has been asked for an explanation for his 2017 success. The answer lies in an unconventional batting instructor and ...

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'The Flash' Season 4 Villain Explained: Who Is The Thinker? - Collider.com
Posted on Wednesday October 11, 2017


'The Flash' Season 4 Villain Explained: Who Is The Thinker?
Collider.com
Much like Savitar, the Thinker had a comic book history with the Flash as a villain who appeared sparingly, which allows the television show to take some liberties with the character and make it their own. As mentioned above, when Devoe was ...

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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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