How to make a Samurai Sword (Nihonto)!

“Samurai swords (nihonto) are beautiful, yet deadly swordsmanship. They are the traditional bladed weapons of Japan and only a few sensei (Masters) do know how to make them correctly: Sharp, pretty and virtually unbreakable.”

Perhaps the best of those katana swords are made in Japan. I would like to give every top sword a distinct name but I think in Japan the honor goes to the master or school who made them. Perhaps rightly so.

Katana swords are made since the 15th century until today. I believe that a katana sword has a soul and is treated almost as one who has: To protect the bearer of the sword at all costs. They say only when the color of the blade turns to the red of the rising sun, then the katana is ready to receive its soul. Maybe so.

Nowadays you seldom see a samurai sword in the public. A gun is so much easier to carry and much more effective. But it is no honor included to use a gun to fight against an opponent with a samurai sword. If both have a sword: Who has the better one and the better skills wins, the other one dies.

Video: The traditional Making of a Samurai Sword (Katana)

Swords are obsolete in a fight against each other nowadays, yet it is an art to make them and a privilege to own one.

Authentic swords are made by only a few hundred swordsmiths and each blade has an distinctive unique profile. Making a sword is a spiritual way of life.

There are five schools (Gokaden) who made them in their respectively provinces and traditions…and that number is steady since hundreds of years!

A genuine hand made sword of any kind is an art object (and not classified as an weapon) but the owner must have a certification for it. A traditional hand-made katana sword costs between US$50,000-US$100,000 – if you can get one! As better the sword is, as more expensive it will be. But actually, katana swords are not allowed to be sold outside of Japan.

There are several kind of Japanese swords and to produce genuine katana ones may take weeks, if not months. A katana sword weights about 3-4 pounds,

For sure, to produce a Samurai sword, a lot of knowledge and hard work is involved. I like the large style katana sword as used in the cult movie “Kill Bill”.

To show how the Japanese swordmaking process is done, there exists a detailed article with images: and are based on

Miyairi Akihira (1913-1977) excellent and awarded swordsmanship work. About Metallurgy, you might read an interesting article at the swordforum .

samurai sword, katanasword, swordsmanship, miyairi akihira, metallurgy


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