9+ Type of Japanese Swords, Many Varians, Many Ideas

History of Japan is so long and so complex include type of Japanese swords that it fits through many aspects of today’s society. It ensnares popular culture elements, mysteries, and history-sundering moments.

One reason why samurai culture is now popular around the world is arguably because of the many adaptations from it into pop culture, that’s why so many type of japanese swords. The samurai warriors known for their combat skills, incredible power, and distinct armor and weaponry are just as intriguing as they are exciting to learn about. Here’s a list of Japanese swords

Katana Is Type of Japanese Swords

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You’ve probably heard of the katana sword, it’s one of the most popular swords worldwide. It also has a lot of recognition & is commonly referred to as “The Samurai Sword”’, The katana is a traditional Japanese sword with a single-edged blade that curves gently upward. It has a long handle which can be gripped in either one or both hands.

A katana has a curved blade edge that curves upwards. It’s lightweight and sharp so it can deliver a fatal blow to the enemy from just one move. A katana has been regarded as very cutting-edge throughout history.

Do Tachi Is Type of Japanese Swords?

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The tachi sword was the predecessor to the katana, although they were still quite similar. The tachi swords had a few main improvements, including being longer than their counterpart.

The extra length of the tachi blade is favored by warriors on horseback that include type of japanese swords, which gives them more reach during battle. Unlike the Japanese sword, the tachi features a downward facing blade

Chokuto

type of japanese swords
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The chokuto sword is one of the earliest Japanese swords to have been recorded in existence. It is believed to have originated from China and was brought over to Japan close to the 10th century, where its design was refined for years before finally being used in war. Compared to the katana and the tachi, the chokuto is rather basic and features a 1-edge straight-cut blade with a simple handle. Warriors usually wore it hanging around their waist for easy access

Wakizashi

You probably see samurai warriors carrying both a katana sword and a wakizashi sword in the movies. Typically, this would be for their safety so they wouldn’t get caught unprepared. Wakizashi swords have a curved blade that differs from the more common katana sword is type of japanese swords. They are similar to the katana sword in their general appearance but shorter, by as much as 20cm. A dual-wielding warrior wields both the katana & wakizashi for greater combat efficacy. Hence, the latter is called a ‘side insertion’ weapon, with an old translation of its name meaning “near blade”.

Types of Japanese swords - Wakizashi and Katana

Wakizashi and Katana

Wakizashi is a short, often paired sword that you can use to fight with. You can use it for different situations- like if you’re in confined spaces, It’s often the go-to weapon for samurai committing ritual suicide, and may also be used to dispatch an enemy. Many warriors are said to have slept with their wakizashi swords beneath their pillows.

Nodachi

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The nodachi is the biggest type of Japanese sword. Films usually portray them in scenes where the samurai warrior wields a massive sword that almost reaches his height, which represents a nodachi.

Nodachi swords are usually over 150cm. This is the reason why they were traditionally used as the perfect counter weapon for mounted enemies. Requiring two hands to maximise its power, the nodachi sword would often be utilised by foot soldiers in open battlefields, you can choose type of japanese swords beside it.

The appearance of nodachi swords look very similar to tachi swords in many regards, but their lengths and structures are noticeably different. If you see a foe wielding one of these weapons they’ll be easy to identify.

Kodachi

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If you’re noticing that swords are starting to resemble the tachi, bravo for noticing! The same base design from the tachi was adapted and copied into many swords that came after, including the kodachi sword.

Despite the similar appearance, the kodachi sword is noticeably shorter and smaller than a tachi. Many might mistake it for a wakizashi sword because of this.

For a quick difference between katanas and wakizashi swords, the good news is: good ones tend to not break. The bad news is: according to Japanese Sword Society rules, it’s difficult to tell what’s a katana and what’s a wakizashi just by looking closely at blade length.

Moreover, a kodachi sword was often used by travellers and traders for self-defence rather than by warriors during serious battles.

Tanto

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The tanto sword is a type of japanese swords and traditional Japanese dagger with a small & sharp blade that’s made to stab. It features either a single or double-edged blade and can be as short as 9 inches. The tanto sword has accompanied the katana as a secondary weapon for years. It’s highly admired as one of the most significant samurai weapons that has ever been used throughout history.

Uchigatana

Types of Japanese swords - Uchigatana

Uchigatana owned by Tsugaru Tamenobu (1550-1608)

The uchigatana is famously the most common type of japanese swords that was used in feudal Japan. They can be traced all the way back to the longer, better-known tachi swords. Samurai warriors in the 15th century preferred to use uchigatana because they wanted a lighter weapon that was easy to handle on ground or on horseback. There are some clear similarities between uchigatana and tachi swords, but there are also some crucial differences.

The uchigatana is shorter than the tachi by roughly 10 cm, making it light and easy to handle, The uchigatana is worn with the edge facing upwards, and the curvature is towards the hilt, The uchigatana’s curved blade – is closer to the hilt and towards the edge, which means it requires a more drawn out motionmore. It is a weapon of preference for warriors aiming to do a combined drawing and slashing action in one single slicing motion.

Shinobigatana

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This ninja sword is type of japanese swords made with an appealing design that would be highly noticeable to people who are interested in Japanese culture. Recently, it has taken on other names, such as ninja sword or ninjaken.

Swords nowadays come in a variety of shapes, but this one is by far the most attractive. The blade is straight and sleek with a square guard. There is a rumor that ninjas from Edo period used this as a weapon to deposit enemies

Bokken Is Type of Japanese Swords

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If you watched a lot of Japanese entertainment, you would have most likely come across these bokken swords before. Bokken refer to the long wooden swords you typically see warriors using during their training or practice sessions.

Bokken swords will be shaped like a katana and some might also resemble a wakizashi. Although bokken were specifically created for training, their design could be unpredictable when in the hands of someone who is inexperienced with them. The legend of Miyamoto Musashi is a perfect example of this unpredictability.

As a famous soldier of the Edo period, Miyamoto Musashi has long been regarded as a master swordsman. In 1612, he rowed to an island for a duel and made a ‘bokken sword’ out of one of the oars used to get there. Upon arrival, he swiftly dispatched his enemy with a fierce blow to their head

Type of japanese swords was not the only sword to be named after. If you take a look, there are many types of Japanese swords with their own specific pros and cons. For instance, some swords can be used in battle while others were created for religious ceremonies. Further investigation would have to be done in order to determine which are the best ones.

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