The History of the Japanese Samurai Swords
The tradition of Samurai swords goes back thousands of years to the time of the samurai warriors in Japan. This mighty army of warriors from the country’s history was known for their skill with weapons and fighting techniques that were forged in the fires of battle. Every blade that they forged would forever be made with an eye to protecting their warriors when life and death depended on it. For this reason alone, the tradition of Samurai Swords is important to every Japanese, today and for many generations to come.
The History of the Wakizashi Sword is known as the sword of a warrior. It was said to have been originated from the Kyoto area in the 15th century. The weapon was a great innovation for the time period and was one of the most commonly used weapons in battle until the end of the feudal era. Not only an impressive feat of craftsmanship, the Wakizashi sword was also considered part of the warrior’s soul and was passed down from generation to generation within the family. If the blade itself was damaged or no longer functional, another one would soon be commissioned in its place.
Two main styles emerged during the time of the samurai
Two main styles emerged during the time of the samurai, the straight cut and the curved cut. The straight cut was a shorter, compact blade with a higher center of gravity. The blade was much more efficient in maneuverability at close quarter fighting. These became the favorites of the samurai warriors that developing these skills.
The curved cut, was longer than the straight cut and often incorporated a katana-like sword hilt. These weapons could be used as both offensive and defensive blades and were preferred by the shorter warrior classes. Samurai swords today are primarily carried by men, although women may have been known to carry one.
old Japanese samurai swords
The shape of the handle was important. It was nearly as if the handle were an extension of the blade itself. The curvature of the handle allowed it to be gripped easily by the user’s hands. Many of the more elaborate designs had intricate designs on the blade itself, making them difficult to carry in one hand. However, most simple handles only featured a flat surface.
Today, collectors seek out these old Japanese samurai swords for their exquisite beauty and historic significance. There are several styles available, each with its own unique blade shape. There are wakizashi, sureties, katana, and variations of these same styles. Any one sword is perfect for whatever type of need that you may have, however, remember the wise quote attributed to samurai warriors: “shield and sword, they are indestructible.”