The samurai used various weapons, but the katana is the weapon that is synonymous with samurai. Bushido teaches that Samurai swords are the Samurai’s soul and sometimes a samurai is pictured as entirely dependent on the katana for fighting. They believe that the Japanese sword was so precious that they often gave them names and considered them as part of the living. However the use of Samurai swords did not become common in battle until the Kamakura period (1185-1333), where the tachi and uchigatana (the predecessor to the katana) became prevalent. The katana itself did not become the primary weapon until the Edo period.
After a male child of the bushi was born, he would receive his first katana sword in a ceremony called mamori-gatana. The sword, however, was merely a charm sword covered with brocade to which was attached a purse or wallet, worn by children under five. Upon reaching the age of thirteen, in a ceremony called Genbuku, a male child was given his first real swords and armour, an adult name, and became a samurai. A katana and a wakizashi together are called a daisho (lit. “big and small”).
The wakizashi itself was a samurai’s “honour blade” and purportedly never left the Samurai’s side. He would sleep with it under his pillow and it would be taken with him when he entered a house and had to leave his main weapons outside.
The Tantō was a small dagger sometimes worn with or instead of the Wakizashi in a daisho. The tanto or the wakizashi was used to commit seppuku, a ritualized suicide.
Welcome to our Samurai Swords section. The Samurai sword (Also known as a katana) dates back in tradition to ancient times where a man depended on his blade to defend his life and his honor. Most of the Japanese Swords found here are well equipped for that purpose as well as for use in the art of Tameshigiri (Practice cutting with tatami or beach mats). Our Battle Ready Samurai Swords are equally impressive both for functionality as well as for a classy show piece. We currently offer Hanwei, Bushido, Musashi and a good selection of handmade battle ready Samurai swords for sale. We have scoured the globe to bring you the best Japanese Samurai Swords at the cheapest prices around.
Battle Ready Samurai SwordsYou asked for it, so here it is! You can now buy a Battle ready katana at a decent price. Our Battle Ready Samurai Swords are made for the practitioner as well as the collector. Battle ready or, "functional" Samurai swords are set apart from their decorative counterparts in the use of forged and tempered blades made of high carbon steels and full tang correctly made handles that give them strength for things like cutting excercises. BATTLE READY DOES NOT MEAN INDESTRUCTIBLE! A sword is only meant for two things. Slicing flesh and cutting tamashigiri targets.
BokkenThe bokken or Samurai training sword has become the most popular way to begin Samurai swords training without the dangers of a live or steel practice blade. Our wooden training swords for Samurai replicate those used by the Samurai to practice their training in the dojo. Wooden Samurai swords are great for younger people that want to collect or practice swordsmanship, but may be too small or inexperienced to use a steel practice sword. Our bokken can be used for all martial sword forms and some light contact sparring unless otherwise noted. For more, please see our Wooden Swords Category.
Assemble Yourself KatanasWe have made a new category just for the Assemble Yourself Katanas. If you haven't seen these yet, then your in for a treat. These are katanas that come unassembled so that you can assemble them yourself! They come with everything including instructions and all hardware so that you can assemble these Swords on your own.
Decorative Samurai SwordsPeople use decorative Samurai swords because of their beauty and traditional Japanese heritage. A Samurai sword stands for honor and duty just like the men who carried them. Decorative Samurai swords are a wonderful addition to any room or office, and require little maintenance due to the fact they have stainless steel blades. Decorative swords however lack the ability to be used for cutting due to their construction.
Handmade Samurai SwordsThese Handmade Samurai swords come to us from various sword makers from all over the world. Each one of these swords is handmade using traditional techiniques with authentic materials. A handmade Samurai sword makes a wonderful gift for an aspiring martial artist or your favorite Sensei.
Samurai Sword SetsOur Samurai sword sets cut out having to buy a set of swords piece by piece and save time and money. We have many different Samurai sword sets for sale with unique designs that are sure to complete your collection. The sword sets we offer feature two or more swords and usually include a stand. We have both battle ready Samurai sword sets for sale as well as decorative. Traditionally, a Samurai sword set is called a daisho.
Tameshigiri Cutting Mats and StandsDuring the Edo period, only the most skilled swordsmen were chosen to test swords, so that the swordsman's skill was not a variable in how well the sword cut. The materials used to test swords varied greatly, but the generally preferred targets were condemned criminals and cadavers. The other substances were wara (rice straw), goza (the top layer of tatami mats), bamboo, and thin steel sheets. In addition, there were a wide variety of cuts used on the cadavers, from tabi-gata (ankle cut) to O-kesa (diagonal cut from shoulder to opposite hip). The names of the types of cuts on cadavers show exactly where on the body the cut was made. Older swords can still be found today that have inscriptions on their nakago (tang) that say things such as, "5 bodies with Ryu Guruma (hip cut)". Aside from specific cuts made on cadavers, there were the normal cuts of Japanese swordsmanship, i.e. downward diagonal (Kesa), upward diagonal (Kiri-age), horizontal (Yoko), and straight downward (Jodan-giri, Happonme, or Dotan). These cuts would then be cut on the cadavers (ex: A swordsman would do a Jodan-giri cut on 3 bodies at the hips. the inscription would then be, "3 bodies Ryu Guruma"). The easiest cut is the downward diagonal, followed by the upward diagonal, followed by the straight downward cut, and finally the hardest cut, the horizontal. In modern times, the practice of tameshigiri has come to focus on testing the swordsman's abilities, rather than the sword's. The targets most often used at present is the goza or tatami "omote" rush mat and synthetic targets. To be able to cut consecutive times on one target, or to cut multiple targets while moving, requires that one be a very skilled swordsman. There are a number of exceptional swordsmen who have recently set records in this field of tameshigiri, such as Russell McCartney of Ishi Yama Ryu and Saruta Mitsuhiro of Battodo Ryu Sei Ken. Russell McCartney recently set a new world record when he broke the record for Senbongiri (Lit. "1,000 cuts") with 1,181 consecutive cuts on igusa goza mat in 1 hour and 25 minutes. Saruta Mitsuhiro holds the record for Kabuto Wari, or helmet cutting, for his cut on a steel Kabuto (helmet). Also, there are now specific cuts that can be performed on targets to test one's ability. An example is Mizu-Gaeshi, where one cuts a diagonal upward cut to the right and then cuts a horizontal cut on the cut piece before it has fallen. Here at Swords of Might, we offer the modern swordsman everything needed to begin cutting practice or continue tameshigiri training if you are already an experienced cutter.