A Katana sword is a very popular Japanese sword. It is also called the Samurai sword. It was allowed to be wielded only by the Samurais. It is a very prestigious sword and the samurais considered them as their most valuable possession.
A Katana sword is wrongly referred to any kinds of Japanese sword, when in fact there are a wide variety of swords in the Japanese history which come under different categories.
A samurai would carry two swords, a katana sword and a wakizashi. This pair of swords is referred to as daito (pair of large and small). A katana is a long sword, curved and single-edged. The wakizashi is also similar in shape and style but only shorter. A daito represented the power and honor of a samurai.
Only a skilled kenjutsu (the samurai sword art) could handle both the swords simultaneously. The technique of using both the katana and wakizashi at once is known as nito’ichi (literally means two swords as one).
A katana has a very distinctive appearance; it is quite slender, curved, and single-edged with a circular or a squared guard. It has a long grip to accommodate both the hands. It is well known for its cutting ability. The blade of a katana sword is so sharp that it can cut through bones with just a single stroke.
Katana swords originated in the Muromachi period (1392-1573). The battle conditions then demanded faster response; hence a katana was created which attributed to the requirements of the warfare of those times.
The blades of the katana swords faced upwards which allowed the samurais to cut their enemies in a single stroke; although, initially the blades of a curved sword was facing down.
A legitimate katana sword is made from specialized Japanese steel called ‘Tamahagane’. The process of forging of katana swords is different as its blade needs to be curvaceous. This is done by a process called quenching during forging. A coating of clay mixed with ashes is used to harden the blades.
A katana sword needs to be maintained with utmost care. If mishandled, the damage is irreparable. The blade must be well oiled and polished. It is most likely to rust with the natural moisture of the hands. Therefore it needs to be cleaned quite often.
The samurais used the katana swords only in dire circumstances and as a last resort to fight their enemies. They revered their sword and never harmed any innocent beings.