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How Sharp are Samurai Swords?

samurai gear on display

How Sharp is a Katana?

Legend has it that the Sun Goddess furnished a sword, jewel, and a mirror to her grandson, to confer upon him the lawfulness and power to rule. Since then, the Japanese sword has continually evolved with the pollination of techniques and ideas from different countries. Because of their history, strength, and sharpness, Japanese swords and sword-making thrilled the entire world. These small pieces that represent the souls of the feudal samurai have lived on ever since in the hands of passionate connoisseurs, collectors, and kenjutsu practitioners.

Wondering how sharp a katana or other samurai sword really is? Read on to learn more from the experts at Swords of Northshire.

Who Were Samurai?

A samurai was not any bushi or warrior. In the simplest terms, a samurai was a type of monk with combat training. They understood the brutality of war and the fragility of life, and represented an objective simultaneity of intuition and action. The sword was the manifestation of this union of his physical and spiritual development. A samurai's emblem was his two swords — the longer katana (24 inches to 30 inches long) and the wakizashi (about 18 inches long). 

How sharp a katana is depends on its owner, but the Bushido Code ensured that any self-respecting samurai tried to make it the sharpest sword in the world.

Blending Art & Science

samurai wielding a katana

The samurai sword was and is a blend of art, craft, and science in the hands of a master smith. Even today, to be qualified as an independent sword maker, students have to serve long apprenticeships, living in their master's homes, learning all they can. The Ministry of Culture of Japan regulates and promotes the creation of these swords to preserve their integrity and history.

Traditionally, sword-making, the polishing of the sword, habaki-making, and scabbard carving were all disciplines in their own right. Because forging and polishing a sword requires many weeks of work, the defining factors of how sharp a katana is are determined by the smith and polisher together. Their patience in ensuring the purity of the metal and going through every step of the polishing process is what results in a powerful, incredibly sharp piece.

 Swords from the Masters

Samurai swords are extremely sharp and need to be handled with care and plenty of safety precautions. Even if you order your sword unsharpened from our team at Swords of Northshire, you can still expect a dangerous weapon to arrive at your door.

Ready to find out how sharp a katana is? Order yours from us and receive an authentic Japanese weapon that might be the sharpest sword in the world!