What Are the Types of Samurai Swords?


Most people know about the samurai sword, but what they don’t know is that there are different types of samurai swords.

There is no other thing that represented the culture, heritage, and prestige of the Japanese elite than the samurai sword. It’s flawless brilliance and amazing strength has outlived different generations. It’s often the one you’ll find if you’re looking for a samurai sword for sale.

Why is it so?

In ancient Japan, only a few elite men were chosen to be a Samurai. It was given to only the best of the best, and it was a great honor. These people became the ruling class of the military, and later on, were the highest class in the Japanese hierarchy.

The samurai warriors had a lot of weapons ranging from guns, knives, spears, bows and arrows, etc. But their major weapon was their sword.

What are the different types of samurai swords?

There are five main types of samurai swords: katana, tanto, wakizashi, Nodachi, and Tachi swords. But the most popular and widely used are the katana samurai swords

Let’s look at them closely now, shall we?

a. Katana
This is the most widely used Japanese sword. You can differentiate the katana by looking out for its very long blade that can host two hands comfortably and strike from a good distance. The blade is curved, slender, and single-edged.

It either has a squared or circular guard, although the circular guards are most popular. The total length of a traditional katana is about 3 to 4 feet.

b. Wakizashi
This resembles the katana sword but has shorter length. The length of a normal wakizashi is about 50cm and was usually carried along with the katana by the samurai ruling class in Ancient Japan.

When it’s worn with a pair of swords, it is referred to as daisho which means ‘big and small’. It is often used as a side weapon used by Samurais at all times.

c. Tanto
Although this is not commonly classified in the category of swords, the Tanto is the Japanese dagger. It is either produced with a single or double edge and, just like the Wakizashi, is worn all the time.

The main use of a tanto is for stabbing, but because of its sharp cutting edge, it is also used to cut and slice things. Over the years, as Japan reached the end of the Samurai era, the Tanto is more of an ornate and decorative piece.

d. Tachi
The sword was used widely before the Katana came into the picture. It is curved and has longer length than a Katana, having a length of about 75 cm. It was mainly developed for Samurais that rode on horsebacks.

It had the needed length and curvature they needed to fight combats while riding and charge on foot soldiers.

e. Nodachi
The literal meaning of Nodachi is ‘field sword’. They are usually longer than a katana.  Field soldiers often used them as weapons as they are very effective in fighting calvary and open field combats.

However, they are not good for close or tight spaces.


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