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Katana contemporary.

SKU: Katana, contemporary. $795.00
Contemporary Katana in full Koshirae: Mei, signed blade. Black lacquered Saya and Tsuka with Brass fittings. Mother of Pearl accents centered along the Tsuka and Saya placed over a lacquered floral motif. Matching Kozuka with Brass handle and Mother of Pearl accents. The Kozuka blade is also etched with a floral motif. Blade - 60cm. long; Nakago - 14.7cm. long; Overall - 69.8cm. long; Kozuka - 22cm. long. Tassel work attached to Kurikata. Excellent swordsmith signed blade without rust or pitting in "as new" condition. The katana () is a type of Japanese sword (-Yen nihontA), also commonly referred to as a "samurai sword", and generally defined as the standard size moderately curved (as opposed to the older "tachi" style featuring more curvature) Japanese sword with a blade length greater than 60 cm (23.6 inches). The katana is characterized by its distinctive appearance: a curved, slender, single edged blade, circular or squared guard, and long grip to accommodate two hands. It has historically been associated with the samurai of feudal Japan, and has become renowned for its sharpness and cutting ability. Etymology: In the strictest sense the term katana in Japanese is applied to any kind of single-edged sword, of any origin, and does not necessarily refer to a Japanese sword. "Katana" was originally used as a general term for a single-edged sword having a "sori" or curvature of the blade. While the "sugata" or form can take many shapes, including double edged, the term is now used incorrectly to describe nihontA that are 2 shaku (606 mm / 24 in) and longer, also known as "dai" or "daito" among Western sword enthusiasts. This distinguishes them from the straight-bladed chokutA, which was brought from China by way of Korea. The chokutA is speculated to have been the first "sugata" type the katana took on, being modeled after the imported swords. This emergence of the first nihontA took place the same time period as the beginning of Japanese feudalism and recognition of the daimyo or "great family" in the late ninth century. Pronounced kah-ta-nah, the kun'yomi (Japanese reading) of the kanji , originally meaning dao (sword) or knife/saber in Chinese, the word has been adopted as a loanword by the Portuguese language. In Portuguese the designation (spelled catana) means "large knife" or machete. As Japanese does not have separate plural and singular forms, both "katanas" and "katana" are considered acceptable forms in English. Another term, Daikatana, is a pseudo-Japanese term meaning "large sword", formed by a mistaken reading of the kanji (Japanese: daitA), derived from the Chinese dadao. The reading mistake comes from the different ways Japanese Kanji can be read, depending on their combination or not in a word. It has been used in some (English-language) fictional works to represent a kind of large katana; the video game Daikatana, for example used this pseudo-term as its title. The correct name of this type of weapon is tachi ( a'' note the extra stroke, and different reading of ), and is different from Atachi and nodachi. The "Meitou" are a rare class of katana, meitou meaning "Celebrated Sword" or "Named Sword". They are prized swords passed through generations, won in battle, or given as a gift out of respect. Meitou are superior to ordinary katana in most aspects: cutting, endurance, etc. Meitou are more expensive, due to their quality; typically handmade by renowned sword-smiths, the Meitou gain their name through battle, long existence, and even royalty. History: The katana evolved as a more sleek and compact alternative to the tachi. Its origins go at least as far back as the Kamakura Period, with several blades dated from that time residing in various national repositories. Its growth in popularity is believed to have been due to the changing nature of close-combat warfare. The quicker draw of the sword was well suited to combat where victory depended heavily on fast response times. The katana further facilitated this by being worn thrust through a belt-like sash (obi) with the bladed edge facing upwards. Ideally, samurai could draw the sword and strike down the enemy in a single motion. Previously, the curved tachi had been worn with the edge of the blade facing down and suspended from a belt. The length of the blade varied considerably during the course of its history. In the late 14th and early 15th centuries, katana blades tended to be between 70 to 73 cm (27.6 to 28.7 in) in length. While during the early 16th century, the average length was closer to 60 cm (23.6 in). By the late 16th century, the average length returned to approximately 73 cm (28.7 in). The katana was often paired with a similar smaller companion sword, such as a wakizashi or it could also be worn with the tantA, an even smaller similarly shaped sword. The pairing of a katana with a smaller sword is called the daishA. The daisho could only be worn by samurai and it represented the social power and personal honor of the samurai. Forging and construction: The authentic Japanese sword is made from a specialized Japanese steel called "Tamahagane" which consist of combinations of hard, high carbon steel and tough, low carbon steel. There are benefits and limitations to each type of steel. High-carbon steel is harder and able to hold a sharper edge than low-carbon steel but it is more brittle and may break in combat. Having a small amount of carbon will allow the steel to be more malleable, making it able to absorb impacts without breaking but becoming blunt in the process. The makers of a katana take advantage of the best attributes of both kinds of steel. This is accomplished through a number of methods, most commonly by making a U-shaped piece of high-carbon steel (the outer edge) and placing a billet of low-carbon steel (the core) inside the U, then heating and hammering them into a single piece. Some sword-makers use four different pieces (a core, an edge, and two side pieces), and some even use as many as five. The block of combined steel is heated and hammered over a period of several days, and then it is folded and hammered to squeeze the impurities out. Generally a katana is folded no more than sixteen times, then it is hammered into a basic sword shape. At this stage it is only slightly curved or may have no curve at all. The gentle curvature of a katana is attained by a process of quenching; the sword maker coats the blade with several layers of a wet clay slurry which is a special concoction unique to each sword maker, but generally composed of clay, water, and sometimes ash, grinding stone powder and/or rust. The edge of the blade is coated with a thinner layer than the sides and spine of the sword, then it is heated and then quenched in water (some sword makers use oil to quench the blade). The clay slurry provides heat insulation so that only the blade's edge will be hardened with quenching and it also causes the blade to curve due to reduced lattice strain along the spine. This process also creates the distinct swerving line down the center of the blade called the hamon which can only be seen after it is polished; each hamon is distinct and serves as a katana forger's signature. The hardening of steel involves altering the microstructure or crystalline structure of that material through quenching it from a heat above 800 aC (1,472 aF) (bright red glow), ideally no higher than yellow hot. If cooled slowly, the material will break back down into iron and carbon and the molecular structure will return to its previous state. However, if cooled quickly, the steel's molecular structure is permanently altered. The reason for the formation of the curve in a properly hardened Japanese blade is that iron carbide, formed during heating and retained through quenching, has a lesser density than its root materials have separately. After the blade is forged it is then sent to be polished. The polishing takes between one and three weeks. The polisher uses finer and finer grains of polishing stones until the blade has a mirror finish in a process called glazing. This makes the blade extremely sharp and reduces drag making it easier to cut with. The blade curvature also adds to the cutting power. Usage: The katana's unique design and in particular its sharpness require quite a few specialized precautions to handle it. Failure to observe these precautions can easily lead to damage to the weapon or severe injury. Storage and maintenance: If mishandled in its storage or maintenance, the katana may become irreparably damaged. The blade should be stored in its sheath, curve down and edge facing upward to maintain the edge. It is extremely important that the blade remain well-oiled, powdered and polished, as the natural moisture residue from the hands of the user will rapidly cause the blade to rust if not cleaned off. The traditional oil used is choji oil (99% mineral oil and 1% clove oil for fragrance). Similarly, when stored for longer periods, it is important that the katana be inspected frequently and aired out if necessary in order to prevent rust or mold from forming (mold may feed off the salts in the oil used to polish the katana).