War played a central part in the history of Japan. Warring clans controlled much of the country. The chiefs were the ancestors of Japan's imperial family. The wars were usually about "land." The struggle for control of that land eventually gave rise to the Samurai. Many believe that Yamato was a role model for future Samurai. Ancient Yayoi warriors developed weapons, armour and a code during the ensuing centuries that became the centerpiece for the Japanese Samurai. Early weapons included bows, arrows and swords. Armour changed as the type of battles changed. A big change occurred in the 5th century when horses were introduced to Japan. "Duty" is a primary philosophy of the Samurai. The early Samurai emphasized fighting with the bow and arrow. The Samurai slowly changed from fighting on horseback to fighting on foot. The Samurai wore two swords (daisho). The long sword (daito - katana) was more than 24 inches. The short sword (shoto - wakizashi) was between 12 and 24 inches. The Samurai's desire for tougher, sharper swords for battle gave rise to the curved blade we still have today. This katana is an example of the long sword of the Samurai. This piece is an overall length of 37 1/2" with a sharpened 278" stainless steel blade. The tsuba is adorned with two dragons and the handle is finished in a traditional wrap.
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These swords are intended for display or costume wear only. If you are looking for martial arts grade katana please visit our Functional Japanese Swords section or Functional Chinese Swords for the Chinese martial arts.
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