Honor codes. Deadly. Fearless. Courageous. The Samurai warriors from Japan had unique weapons and trained in many combat techniques. There is much to discover about these noble warriors from a feudal era that lasted from 1185 to 1868 in Japan.
The samurai had much more weapons than the sword, also called the Japanese katana. In addition to the samurai sword, a short sword or wakizashi was also used. The bow and knives also belonged to the equipment as standard. The children of samurai often received weapons to practice and train from an early age around the age of three. From the age of eight they often received real weapons and were taught military tactics and Japanese sword fighting arts. The Naginata (halberd) and Yari (spear) also belonged to the armory of the warrior class.
The Japanese sword is probably the most perfect cold weapon ever produced by humanity. It has a cut on one side and salvaged is a beautiful curve and perfected during the Heian period (794-1185). The advance of the katana was called the tachi, this was used by armored samurai on horseback.
It is highly likely that knowledge of steel technology from China was introduced to Japan in the fifth century AD. The samurai sword is a fusion between steel and spirituality and belongs to the three sacred objects in the ancient Japanese empire together with the mirror and the jewel.
Cleanliness was an important concept and the blacksmith had to clear his thoughts in preparation for the work in the forge. Herein it was Shinto, the indigenous religion in which nature communicates with man, the one that was applied. Each area or prefecture had its own metallurgical characteristics in the sword, because different techniques were used.
Forging an authentic Japanese sword with tamahagane, this is a carbon steel that is produced in a Tatara (clay oven) by the low temperature deoxidation method. This tamahagane is made from iron sand with a lot of charcoal. The melting temperatures in the Tatara are low and the iron does not become fully liquid. The tamahagane is often very large and contains different qualities of steel. It is broken into many small pieces and they are delivered to blacksmiths. Tamahagane is very pure as steel, but has many snails and empty spots, so folding a sword is very important, this ensures that it disappears.
The steels of the Japanese katana are of different quality and hardness and are combined during the production process. The idea behind this is to get a blade with a hard, therefore sharp cut, and relatively softer and therefore more flexible core.
The different steels with carbon content are processed into a block that is repeatedly heated and folded to get the correct laminate structure. As soon as this is done, the block is forged in the shape of the Japanese sword. The layers (jihada) on the blade are the result of the folding process in the forging of the blade.
A very important part of the process is differential hardening, which is heating and quenching steel to harden it. The blade is covered with a layer of clay, charcoal and the fine mixture of steel and rock dust obtained as a by-product of the polishing process. After it has dried hard, the sword is heated until it is red hot and is extinguished by dipping it in a bath with cold water. The effect of the different thicknesses of clay is to vary the cooling rate and consequently the degree of growth of the different crystalline structures that are formed in the steel. The most extreme conditions in the metallurgical transformation of the steel take place along the intersection of the thicker layer of the clay mixture with the thinner band along the edge. This forms the hamon, where the most prominent crystal structures are seen. This is visible as a whitish continuous line from a few millimeters to about an inch from the cutting edge. The hamon is the hardest steel part of the blade of the Japanese sword, which can then be sharpened.
The characteristics of the Japanese sword, and therefore the beauty, depend on the skill with which the quenching process is performed.
The polishing process is also very important and more than twenty types of stone were often used, the very coarse are very fine. This kind of ensures that all structures of the steel can be expressed. The surface of the blade is therefore very smooth, which has a corrosion-resistant function and ensures optimum sharpness of the blade.
The samurai often had impressive strong armor which was entirely designed with a view to battle. Despite the cladding, neck protectors and often family symbols (Mon), yoroi or armor were still light and flexible. These famous samurai armors have a lot of appeal and also inspire contemporary culture, think of the Darth Vader helmet from Star Wars.
An inseparable part of the samurai of was the bushido, a moral code of honor to which the samurai strictly adhered. This literally meant "away from the warrior" was strict code of loyalty, loyalty and honor demanded death. Killing someone from a lower class was allowed if the law was broken. Also wearing not one but two swords was a sign of higher status.
A sword reminds people that life is not forever and that therefore every moment must be cherished. A sword makes people aware that there is death and that they can live to the full every day.
In our webshop we offer various high-quality samurai swords to honor the true samurai, take the time to look at this for yourself.