What You Need To Know About the Authentic Katanas Sold On the Market

A katana is a Japanese sword that has been in use for over 2000 years. These swords have been used by samurai warriors throughout Japan’s history, and they are recognized as the symbol of the samurai. The authentic blades sold on the market today vary in quality, but there are several things that you need to know before buying one.

This article will cover go over the things that you need to know about authentic katanas in the market today. Buyers can use this information to supplement their purchasing decision and ensuring they get a real katana.

Why is it Important to Buy an Authentic Katana?

The intent of purchasing a katana – whether authentic or not – is a purely subjective one. There are many reasons why people would want to buy katanas. For many, they want to own a katana because they hold reverence for the weapon.

The popularity of the katana facilitated by the various popular media shows or films have allowed it to grow to almost legendary status. As such, many people want to own one because they think it is cool. Many sword enthusiasts today will want to own katanas for display or practice purposes.

When the intent is there, it now boils down to standards and means. Serious sword enthusiasts will want a real authentic katana. These will cost a pretty penny though. On the other hand, there are many who will settle for replicas.

Thus, the importance of owning an authentic katana is totally up those who want to collect them. If an authentic katana is what you seek, there are several factors that you must take into consideration.

Things You Need to Know About Authentic Katanas Sold on the Market

Hamon

A katana is a type of sword that Japan has been famous for. Authentic katanas have been used throughout Japan’s history as their primary weapon. One of the things you can look for in authentic katanas is the hamon line.

The hamon line is seen as a badge of authenticity. It is also seen as the sharpest section of the blade due to the differential hardening process the steel goes through.

A real hamon line looks white and cloudy. It looks like waves of white across the bottom or sharp part of the blade. When viewed at an angle under the light, the real hamon line seems to have a glow.

Mekugi

Authentic blades will have specific mekuki, or pegs used for the handle of the katana. They are usually made up of bamboo and serve to hold the sword together. They also act as shock absorbers for the whole blade. Extra mekugi pegs can be used to make the handle of the katana stronger.

Fake katanas will have the sword glued or screwed together. The importance of these bamboo pegs in the real samurai blades cannot be said enough. The samurai depended on these pegs to hold their weapon together.

Mekugi

Balance

The balance – how heavy or light it is compared with its length – of an authentic katana is also important. Authentic blades are usually light, with the balance point upon the tsuba.

Steel

The steel used to make authentic blades can vary depending on how it should be used. Authentic blades are usually categorized into five types of quality steel:

  • Tamahagane – 100% high carbon steel that is created from iron sand and gyokkan black sand during smelting process. This type of high carbon steel has a hard blade edge for cutting while being flexible enough to bend under pressure without breaking off.
  • Kazan Hagane – Crude steel created from carbonized iron sand and other types of materials. It is hard but has a bad edge for cutting.
  • Tamamagane – The highest quality steel, it is also the most difficult to create. Steel used to create tamamagane blades uses high amounts of manganese and low amounts of carbon, allowing it to be very tough and flexible at the same time.
  • Tama hagane or Chu Tomahagane – This type of steel has many different varieties that are usually made with high carbon content in order to make them easier to forge using modern tools.
  • Yoshamigane – High quality steel that contains various levels of molybdenum, vanadium and silicon, which makes it extremely tough and durable.
Steel

Craftsmanship

Finally, authentic katanas must be made by a Japanese swordsmith. Authentic blades are generally handmade from the beginning until until they have been properly manufactured into a functional weapon.

Authentic blades, including those that are bought online or seen in other shops will usually come with a certificate of authenticity to back up its veracity as a real katana. Authentic katanas require extensive training from masters who have made their own to produce them.

Always Research Authenticity

It is important to research the authenticity of any product before purchasing it. If you are interested in buying authentic katanas, be sure to do your homework and take time to determine whether or not an individual’s credentials meet what you expect for that type of sword. With a little bit of work on your end, you can ensure that will get exactly what you want.


You might also wanna check BUYING A REAL KATANA: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE.

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