The katana is a sword with a long, curved blade. It was first popular during the Heian period (794-1185 AD) as a weapon of the military nobility of Japan, the samurai. As the nature of warfare shifted from mounted combat to close quarters battle, it became necessary for the katana to have a longer and more pronounced curve so that the blade could be drawn from its sheath faster.
After the smith cast the steel from fine iron sand, he heated and quenched it using a special process to create a hard, razor edge and a softer metal for the spine of the sword. This special forging process also creates the hamon, a distinctive pattern of lines that are an important part of a katana’s artistic value.
A professional sword polisher then rubs the katana with a series of progressively finer stones, creating a mirror-like finish that was believed to give enemies a glimpse of their reactions before they killed each other in duels. Once the blade was finished, it would be engraved and fitted with the hilt, guard, and scabbard.
A samurai’s katana was a sacred symbol of honor and an embodiment of the spirit and values of the Japanese culture. As such, a samurai took great pride in his sword, and the craftsmanship of a katana was a highly respected art form. Katanas are very delicate weapons and require special care to preserve their beauty and functionality. They must be cleaned regularly to remove residue and rust from moisture, especially from the hands of the user. buy the katana here