If you have developed an interest in samurai swords, you have probably asked yourself where to buy a real katana? Authentic Japanese katanas are handmade in accordance with the ancient Japanese methods. Buying an authentic katana is a life goal for many weapons collectors and martial arts enthusiasts. If you are ready to invest in a moderately substantial sum of money on a handmade sword, then this article is for you. There are details you need to know before spending your hard-earned money on one of these prized swords. There are a couple of important topics we should browse through before asking where to buy a real katana?
If you look closely, you will see little stripes and lines. Folded steel was the material of choice for Japanese swordsmiths. But there are other options for layering steel, and these are used for mass-producing blades: Damascus steel is a high-quality material used to hand-forge a katana.
It features a similar folding pattern like its Japanese counterpart. A real hamon temper linewhich looks like a pale wiggly portion running parallel to the edge.
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The hamon results from differential hardening with clay, during the cooling process. In the image above, you can see the edge has a lighter gray, wavy pattern. It is visible. That is the hamon.
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Differential hardening of steel means covering the spine of the blade with clay before heating the whole thing in a flaming oven. The edge is thoroughly baked, while the spine stays much cooler. Then you shove the blade in cold water, allowing the exposed side to cool down rapidly, while the spine takes longer to reach thermal equilibrium.
The following is an example of how a sword is dated using the Southern Nengo method. This is a sword from the Showa period, starting in , which covers the WWII period. The dates were based on a period plus the number of years into the period where the sword was made. The date inscriptions on the sword are read from the top down. Nov 08, Your best bet is getting in contact with a certified swordsmith. Most of them have an online presence where you can contact them via email to negotiate price, dates, and design. Make arrangements online, exchange emails, send them an image of a katana you liked. That will help them understand your needs. NOTE: The following suggestions for determining whether a Japanese sword is old or new (WW II era or later) are only general guides. No single indicator alone will determine whether a sword blade is an antique or of recent vintage. The blade must be examined in its .
This process causes the sharpened edge of the sword to become much harder than the spine. The spine will remain shock-absorbent, while the edge hardens. It is during this process that the katana gets its trademark curved shape unequal dilation and contraction.
Because of the precise craftsmanship and high skill required to forge a sword according to the traditional Japanese method, buying a real katana is a heavy investment.
Much like fine art, these weapons come at a premium price. Old, historical swords can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars maybe millions.
As for newly forged swords, you have a better position for negotiating. The reason is that they forge according to the ancient Japanese methods, which are supremely difficult and it takes too long to complete a single sword. I heard that some of them want to acquaint the client personally to determine whether they are a worthy customer.
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Where to buy a real katana? Authentic nihonto blades can only be purchased from Japan, from a certified master. Market-ready katanas only replicate the functionality, look, and design of real Japanese swords. But they are not created according to the age-old process, so they are not truly authentic.
I am talking about extremely effective and resilient cutting blades, made of high-quality industrial steel or some kind of heat-treated, tempered carbon steel.
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These are comparable to their hand-forged Japanese counterparts nihonto in terms of cutting ability and blade quality. But they lack personality and authenticity obviously, since they are mass-produced for the wider audience. These are great for practice, and you might impress a newbie! Keep in mind the sword will probably need an elegant display case if you want to show it as a decor piece, so factor that in as part of the expense.
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Still inclined to buy a custom hand-forged nihonto? There are many reputable online retailers, but when you are investing in such a pricy weapon, part of the experience is traveling to an amazing country. I would rather visit Japan, understand the culture, and personally meet the bladesmith. Are you weary of unnecessary travel?
Contact them online! The most important thing about the company you are purchasing from is their reputation.
May 27, This rather fluid disparity in Japanese and western dates should be taken into account when reading the archaic date inscriptions on the tangs of Japanese swords. The date of manufacture had often been inscribed on the tang (nakago) since at least the Kamakura period . However, it is important to remember that with swords dated prior to , the numeric months do not . Mar 12, A date's not the time to bust out the few phrases you remember from Spanish 9. But that said, if her family asks if you want to speak in Spanish while you're together, go for fatgirlnmotion.comg: katana. A typical date inscription would read: "18th year of Showa, 2nd month, 8th day". To arrive at the corresponding Westernized calendar year, add the number of years into the period to the starting year of the period. During much of the 's, the Japanese Imperial Court was politically divided into the Southern Court and Northern Court.
Good retailers will be very honest and straightforward about who makes their swords. And they will give you all the information you ask for.
I never personally contracted a Japanese master, but I read a lot about the subject and I have talked to many people who did buy custom-designed nihonto.
Here is what they recommend! Good online resources to start with:. Your best bet is getting in contact with a certified swordsmith.
Most of them have an online presence where you can contact them via email to negotiate price, dates, and design. Make arrangements online, exchange emails, send them an image of a katana you liked. That will help them understand your needs. Nature philia brotherly love is here for you best looking person in the world, a record.
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