A Katana is a long sword with a distinctive curved blade. It is used by Samurai warriors as a weapon of honor, requiring exceptional dedication and bravery. Many katanas are engraved with names of Shinto and Buddhist deities that their owners believed in or with mantras, reflecting warriors’ naked feelings. They were also often carried in scabbards, which made them even more visible as a symbol of power and respect.
A traditional katana has a wavy line, or Hamon, that runs along its entire length. The Hamon shows that the sword has undergone differential heat treatment, a process in which different parts of the steel are treated differently. This combination of hard, rigid steel and tougher, more flexible steel allows a katana to retain a sharp edge while retaining its durability. Most modern swords are quenched in oil, a method that reduces failure but cannot achieve the fine Hamon of traditional Japanese swords.
The smith begins the process of forging a katana by heating tamahagane (a mixture of various types of metal). He hammers away the slag of each piece, then inserts the high-carbon steel into the channel he has formed. He then heats the blade again, this time using a technique called tempering.
The smith heats the katana to a temperature that is higher than the tempered steel’s critical point, then cools it down quickly. This causes the shinogi side to expand more rapidly, creating the distinct curve of a katana. The mune side, however, cools more slowly and becomes tenacious rather than hard. This combination of hardness and flexibility is the hallmark of a well-crafted katana. buy a katana here