The Katana is regarded as one of the greatest swords ever made. It combines the beauty of craftsmanship with the strength and accuracy of a blade that can cut a man in two. It is a weapon that has inspired many martial arts and also other weapons like guns.
The first step in producing a katana is preparing the steel forging known as “tamahagane”. The swordsmith smelts iron and carbon to create a layered material which is then worked out through hammering and filing. During this process, the swordsmith will determine the desired characteristics of the blade such as flexibility or durability.
Once the tamahagane is prepared, it is then heated and then quenched in water. This process makes the cutting edge extremely hard while leaving the spine flexible. The swordsmith may leave a temper line visible on the blade which is known as Hamon.
A tsuba (hand guard) is then mounted on the blade and the handle is attached using Mekugis. These wooden pegs are designed to strengthen the handle. Lastly, menuki (ornament) are placed on the tang to add aesthetic value to the sword.
Once the forging is complete the smith will polish the blade. This is not simply an aesthetic step as it is crucial to the integrity of the blade. It is at this stage that the smith can see any inconsistencies within the blade and if necessary will rework it. After the polishing is complete, the Saya-shi (Sheath craftsman) will create a sheath appropriate to the sword. buy a katana here