The katana, also known as the samurai sword, is a symbol of Japan's rich history and culture. Its design and construction have evolved over the centuries, reflecting changes in warfare and technology. The first known Japanese swords were straight and single-edged, but around the 10th century, sword makers began to forge blades with a slight curvature and two cutting edges. This design became the template for the iconic katana, which emerged in the late 16th century and was widely used by samurai warriors.
Today, the demand for authentic Japanese swords remains high, but the production process is strictly controlled. Swords must be hand-forged by a licensed artisan using traditional techniques and materials. The blade is made from a special type of high-carbon steel called tamahagane, which is produced from iron sand. The blade is then coated with a clay mixture and heated to a precise temperature, creating a hard edge and a soft spine. This technique, known as differential hardening, is what gives the katana its sharpness and durability.