Button Menu

Japanese katana with brown leather sheath

Unknown Artist
Japanese Katana with brown leather sheath
metal and leather
Gift of Arthur E. Klauser 45'

Katana swords are defined by a curved, single-edged blade that is typically over 60cm in length and a handle long enough for a two-handed grip. It was not the only weapon Samurais carried, but surely the most prized. Samurai considered their katana to be an extension of their soul, and the art of katana-making was so significant that Shinto priests would bless the process and spiritually purify the swordsmith. The katana sword’s distinct design was developed to cleanly slice through enemies without breaking or getting stuck. Samurais studied Kenjutsu (or Kendo, referring to modern day non-military use), a form of combat made up of both spiritual and physical mastery of the katana sword. After the Heian Period (794 - 1185 CE), the Samurai social classes dissolved and the lethal katana sword became relics of ancestral honor. The creation and possession of swords was banned in Japan following World War II, until 1953. Today, authentic katana swords are crafted by licensed swordsmiths using the same processes from over 1,000 years ago.