Very often you can meet the question: "What is a katana?". Many interested people cannot tell the difference and believe that this is a simple samurai sword. In fact, the katana is a very interesting and difficult weapon that needs to be known a little better.
In Japanese, this word is used for a curved sword with a single blade. A katana can be called a blade of any origin, but it has some differences:
- One blade.
- Square or round hand protection design.
- The hilt is long enough to hold the sword with two hands.
- Very high pungency.
- The blade has a special curve that makes cutting easier.
- A large variety of blades.
History of Creation
In order to fully answer the question of what a katana is, it is necessary to study the appearance of the legendary sword. The blade was designed as a competitor to the straight tachi and has its origins in the Kamakura period.
In those days, it took a fraction of a second to win a fight. Therefore, the katana received a widespread by speed when unsheathed.
The length of the sword remained almost unchanged. It became a little smaller in the 15th century, but by the end of the 16th century it returned to its size again (70-73 cm).
Today, real katanas are serious weapons that have a deadly edge.
To understand how to make a katana, you should carefully study the process of its manufacture. It consists of a large number of stages:
- Selection of steel. Traditionally, refined steel (tamahagane grade) is used to make the blade. Not every brand can have the properties that are needed to create a real weapon.
- Steel cleaning. During manufacture, individual pieces of metal are taken, which are forged into ingots. Then they are put together and again, heated, returned to their original form.
- Slag removal and carbon distribution. The pieces are stacked and poured with a solution of clay and ash. When unnecessary additives come out of the metal, the pieces are heated and forged again. The process can be repeated up to 12 times. After that, the carbon will be evenly distributed over the entire plane, and the number of layers reaches 30 thousand. When experts are asked what a katana is, the master first of all points to a large number of folding pieces of metal.
- Addition of mild steel to resist dynamic loads.
- Forging. May take several days. At this time, the solid block diverges in length. To prevent excessive heat and protect againstoxidation, liquid clay is applied.
- Application on the cutting part of a special pattern called jamon.
- Hardening. It is done differently. The front end gets hotter than the back end. As a result of heat treatment, the blade receives a bend and high hardness.
- Vacation. Relieve internal stresses by heating the steel and cooling it slowly.
- Polishing. It is made first with coarse and then with thin stones. The work takes about 5 days. With its help, the Japanese katana is sharpened, it is given a mirror shine, jamon stands out and minor imperfections are removed.
- Decoration of the handle takes several days.
Use and storage
Real katanas are formidable weapons. They have a unique sharpness and require very careful handling. There are several sword techniques for this blade.
- Kenjutsu. It falls on the 9th century and coincides with the appearance of a separate class of warriors in Japan.
- Iaido. This technique is based on surprise attacks and lightning-fast counterattacks.
- Battojutsu. Emphasis is placed on drawing the sword and parrying the blow during a quick draw.
- Iaijutsu. Based on outstretched hands.
- Shinkendo. The youngest technique, which appeared in 1990.
Keep the blade only in the case and in a certain position, in which the blade is directed upwards. If not used for a long time, the blade should be polished, coated with oil and powder. Sworddoes not like long storage, so it must be taken out periodically.
By linking together all the provisions considered, we can answer the question of what a katana is. This is a powerful and formidable weapon, which in skillful hands can be fatal to any person. It is required to be attentive to the sword, and also to understand that without experience and skill, it can not only injure, but even cripple an ordinary person.