Category: Japanese Sword Katana

The Ridges of the Japanese Sword: Making the Blade Stronger and Sharper

The Ridges of the Japanese Sword: Making the Blade Stronger and Sharper

As mentioned in the past, the Japanese sword is designed with the purpose of “chopping”. This means that making the blade shaper and giving it more cutting ability becomes the most important thing. To make it cut better, you need to make the blade thin, but if it is too Read More

Japanese sword Kissaki image

The Face of the Japanese Sword

The sharp point of a Japanese katana is called the “kissaki”. It is sometimes also called the “boshi” – hat, but boshi can refer to the kissaki itself or the hamon (temper pattern) that spills onto the kissaki. Kissaki is used more often to avoid this confusion, it is also Read More

Japanese sword Tsukurikomi image

Japanese Sword Tsukuri-komi: Structure Evolving through Time

Japanese has a word “tsukuri-komi” which refers to the structure and style of the sword blade. In a previous article about the sword’s appearance, I mentioned that the tachi had a strong back-bend whereas the uchigatana had a strong bend at the edge. The angle of the bend, the thickness Read More

Image of Japanese Sword Katana made by Akatamtsu Taro

The Japanese Sword – The Difference in Appearance

The Japanese sword is praised as “beauty in use”. Its appearance is so simple with no unnecessary features, but in fact it has many skills woven into one piece of work. When we look at those details, we are drawn further into the charm of the Japanese sword as we Read More

Kaji Jinja shrine in Awata Jinja shrine in Kyoto

Crescent Moon Munechika: The Swordsmith Legend in Kyoto

Every year in July the atmosphere of Kyoto becomes mysteriously excited as the whole city prepares to hold Gion Matsuri – the biggest festival of the year that has been held annually for over a millennium. There is a connection between the world of Japanese swords and this historic festival. Read More

Being true to your Sword

– Though we use iaitō, bokutō and shinai; we must never forget that these are swords – Iaido and kendo are both budō that place a strong emphasis on manners and etiquette – not only to our partners, but also the spaces within which we practice and to opponents who are Read More

Danryu Koshirae coiled dragon motif Iaito sword

The new Iaito sword with noble Danryu dragon from Tozando

In Japan, various patterns involving the mythical creature of the dragon have been used since ancient times. In particular coiled dragons known as “Danryu” have been prized as patterns on items like plates and vases for the nobility since long ago. It is said dragons possess a mysterious power and Read More

Iaito sword inspection by Tozando Iaito craftsman

The Correct Way to Maintain Your Iaito Sword

In this article we take a look at how to take care of your iaito and keep it in good condition. Caring for your equipment is an important part of budo after-all! The iaito is a sword designed specifically for practicing iaido and uses an alloy blade instead of a Read More

Sasaki Kojiro and Tsubame-gaeshi sword technique

Sasaki Kojiro’s Secret Technique: Tsubame-gaeshi

There are many techniques in kenjutsu, and one of the most infamous is the “Tsubame-gaeshi”. Not only those who have taken up sword-fighting, but anyone who knows Miyamoto Musashi would probably have heard of this famous move at least once. Tsubame-gaeshi is a technique where you swing the sword down Read More

Kendo Suburi at Kyoto Butokuden

Suburi – Mastering the Air Stroke

Air strokes have “one act”, “two act”, and “three act” versions using the wooden sword as well as a method using the shinai called “kiri-kaeshi” where you wear the mask and do it with an opponent. This article will focus on the “three act” version and list some things that Read More