The Samurai sword is one of the most recognizable weapons in history. It is an essential weapon for not only warriors, but also martial artists and collectors. If you are thinking about purchasing a samurai sword, then this article will be perfect for you! Here we have compiled a list of the best Samurai Sword Names And Types to help you find your perfect match!
The Japanese Samurai Swords
The Samurai were the first class of people in Japan with power. They used their swords to defend and lead others, fighting battles from horseback or on foot as needed. The sword was both a signifier for them and an important weapon that they wielded proudly; it showed how far they had come since serving only military purposes!
The Samurai used a variety of weapons, but the most powerful was always their sword. A samurai would often name his or her blade believing that its power came from within themselves and not just being an object. Wooden swords were typically for practicing so as to avoid damaging one's own while fighting on the battlefield
The samurai had three main types: Katana, Wakizashi and Tanto. These blades are indicative of the social hierarchy within Japan at this time period and they changed over time as well depending on how powerful each person was in society. The most important sword quality deciding factor was the kissaki, which it is sharpened so that warriors can make quick and powerful cuts with ease.
One of the most interesting aspects about Japanese swords is not that there's three main types, but how they were named. Let us take a closer look at what these names meant and why are so important to know!
Top Main Types And Samurai Sword Names
Chokutō (直刀, "straight sword"):
This sword is straight and thin, translating to the meaning of "straight sword", and it was the first sword that was imported from China and Korea. This was a new type of blade that exited during an era when swords were curved. These early blades would be replaced by Tachi's which have a curve at their end-point as this design proved more effective in combat with specific fighting styles such as drawing from the scabbard without injuring yourself on your own weapon!
Kodachi (小太刀, "small big sword"):
The Kodachi sword was used during or prior to the thirteenth century, and is shortened version of a Tachi. It's often called "small big swords" because it can vary in size depending on what type of mount you use with it; some people also call them "short long swords".
Tachi (太刀, "big sword"):
The tachi was a type of sword that usually had curvature centered from either the middle or towards the tang. The blade length would be longer and more curved than later katana swords which were shorter with less curve on their blades. It has been noted that before 15th century in Japan - it is thought to have gone out of vogue as people preferred lighter weapons for fighting.
Honjo Masamune: This is a sword once used for the great Samurai warriors of Japan. It's considered to be one of Masamune's finest and rarest works, as well as his best. The blade was designed by this famed swordsmith in an era when he claimed supremacy over all other craftsmen - no small feat! This weapon became symbolic not only because it represented both power and wealth, but also because those who wielded these blades were among the most skilled fighters on Earth at that time.
Onimaru Kunitsuna: A sword with roots in Japanese folklore that was believed to be able to kill demons or otherworldly creatures.
Kogarasu Maru: One of the most famous and oldest swords that Amakuni created.
Dōjigiri Yasutsuna: The oldest of the Five Swords Under Heaven. Yasutsuna of Hōki created this sword, building on the work of Amakuni.
Ōtenta-Mitsuyo: Associated with the Maeda family.
Mikazuki Munechika: The Mikazuki sword is one of the most beautiful blades that was made by Sanjô Munechika. The name comes from its crescent moon shape and this blade has been considered to be a national treasure in Japan for centuries.
Juzumaru-Tsunetsugu: Also called "the rosary sword". This sword was associated with Buddhist reformer, Nichiren.
Katana (刀, "sword"):
The Katana is the most well known long sword of Samurai Japanese origin. A typical katana can be 3-4 feet in length and has a hilt that makes up one quarter of its total size, with an edge curved to more or less than 1 inch. The blade curves for two hands to accommodate striking from afar as it also features a guard at either end which is circular or squared depending on preference. This was their signature weapon during Edo period warfare where they were often used outdoors when fighting other samurai warriors.
Three Main Types Of Katana Blades:
These are just a few of the many variations that have been seen in Japanese swords over time.
Shinogi-Zukuri: It has become known as one of the most common forms, with it featuring a line separating what is considered to be its main blade finish from its tip.
Shobu-Zukuri: This is another variation without the dividing line
Kissaki Moroha Zukuiri: It has both curved blades which made for double edged swordplay when combined together during combat situations.
ōdachi (大太刀, "big big sword")/Nodachi (野太刀, "big field sword"):
A nodachi is a huge sword which was used as an effective weapon against cavalry by foot soldiers in the late fourteenth century. It translates to "field sword" or "great sword," and not surprisingly, it's much longer than the katana but equally ineffective when fighting inside cramped spaces. The flat edge of this Japanese blade would be held up against the shoulders while facing enemies on open battlefields with its sharpened side pointing towards them; sometimes they might even throw their swords down at attackers from above if given enough time between battles.
Wakizashi (脇差 "companion sword"):
The katana and the wakizashi are two swords that were made for samurai. The blades of these weapons measure about 30 cm to 60cm long (upright). Their main purpose was as a backup weapon in case they lost their primary one, but over time it became more than just a backup sword. It is worn by people who aren’t Samurai too- like an older man or maybe even women!
Tantō (短刀, "short blade, short samurai sword, small samurai sword"):
The elegant, sharp blade of the Japanese dagger made it a powerful weapon. Often worn by Samurai warriors on their person for protection and utility purposes, these small samurai swords or short samurai sword were used mainly to stab or cut an opponent in close combat during battle times. These weapons often became decorative items due to them being associated with Japan's warrior past.
Top Six Blade Types For Tantō:
Osoraku: The blade type features an abnormally long tip. The shaft of the sword also has a longer handle, which is perfect for combat in close quarters!
Shobu: It's the most common blade type and it can be found in many shapes, sizes, materials such as steel or wood with various degrees of sharpness depending on its purpose.
Shinogi: The dagger is both flexible and strong. The ridged center gives the user extra control on how far they want to bend it, whether for a flexing stab or a bending jab.
Hira: This has a triangular intersection to give a diamond shape.
Moroha: A double edged blade.
Hochogata: A short and wide blade preferred by Masamune.
The development from the tachi in the 15th century, worn with it's edge upwards. This most likely increased due to a change of fashion and more emphasis on wearing an obi tightly around one’s waist which made drawing out your sword much easier than before this era.
Top Names For Japanese Samurai Swords: Katana Names From Popular Culture And Mythical Katana Names
The sword is a symbol of power, and Samurai used to choose names for their swords as they considered it sacred. Now that you know the different types of samurai swords there are some good ideas here on what your toy blade should be named.
Bushikatagi: means "Samurai spirit".
Mugenjin: means "call from the Abyss".
Kazeshini: means "wind of death".
Wabisuke: means "the wretched one".
Inazuma: means "lightning strike".
Tenken: means "heavenly punishment".
Ikazuchi: means "thunder".
Yorukaze: means "night wind".
Zantetsuken: means "one that cuts through iron".
Zangetsu: means "moon slayer".