Feb 4, 2012

Japanese Bladesmithing: How Katanas are Made

Click picture to view video.

In the previous post, we had a quick overview of how the Malay Kris, is made, and saw how sophisticated the process can be. Moving our focus from South East Asia to North Asia, Japan too has a very sophisticated blade making tradition. This 4 part German documentary with English subtitles covers in detail how the renowned Katana is forged and made. [The picture above shows an upturned Katana blade sans its handle.]
The Katana made from a specialized Japanese steel called Tamahagane which consist of combinations of hard, high carbon steel and tough, low carbon steel. High-carbon steel is harder and able to hold a sharper edge but it is more brittle and may break in combat. The low carbon core makes the sword more malleable, making it able to absorb impacts without breaking but becoming blunt in the process.
Picture Credit: Japanese Swords

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