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Post Reply why do people always have katanas?
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26 / M
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Posted 5/23/13
Far as I know ninjas only used swords that you can conceal like wakizahi, kodachi or other types of shoto (short sword) or shikomizue (staff scabbard) sheathable swords.

Furthermore, katana and other daito (long sword) types of swords could only be owned by samurai and occasionally ashigaru (footmen) so a commoner, ninja's included, found with one could lose his or her head.
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M / N.C.
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Posted 5/23/13
The katana is the best sword made by mankind. Why would you not have one. I have 7.
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30 / M / St. Louis, MO, USA
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Posted 5/23/13
I can't say whether this applies to anyone else, but I can tell you why the katana really appeals to me. It's actually somewhat complicated to fully explain, but I don't want to just give a lame answer like the "feel" or "style" or something vague. So I will try to dissect and give at least a partial analysis. If I had to boil it down and pick the largest piece I would say that it's a two handed sword that is swung with power but is also used with precision.

I'm guessing the katana is not the only sword ever in this category, but it's the only one I know of that has a strong sense of identity and specificity rather than just being a generic sword. But if you think about it, the vast majority of swords are either two handed OR precise. Two handed powerful swords tend to bring up images of medieval knights in full plate armor hacking at each other with swords that may as well be clubs or axes. And super precise one handed fencing blades bring up images of renaissance musketeers in elaborate lacey costumes with lots of feathers looking anything but manly. There are plenty of other one-handed swords that have their uses, but many were meant to be used in combination with a shield or as a backup weapon, and no one handed sword has quite the awesomeness of a full two-armed swing.

So the katana is at least somewhat unique in that it has both power and precision. I think a big part of what makes it appealing perhaps not just to me but others as well is that because of this combination of power and precision the sword is well suited for both offense and defense. You don't need to find a shield to go along with your sword for defense, and you don't need a whole suit of armor. You don't have to worry about someone bending your rapier in half with whatever stick or piece of metal they find lying around either. In the modern world, a sword that you can just pick up in your street clothes and it's all you need is kind of neat.

Now if you really want to know the true reality behind the katana's popularity I will say what I really think is most likely the reason. Often times the popularity of something--anything, a product, a brand, etc.--is not always simply about that thing's superiority over other things. It's often about marketing and perception. The katana has an extremely strong sense of identity like no other sword ever has. While Western nations were always changing and adapting their weapons to keep up with ever-changing tactics and ever-improving technology, the Japanese (at least as far as I know) have really held fast to their tradition when it comes to their sword. For everyone else a sword was just a tool to be discarded whenever something else better came along. For the Japanese it was an eternal art form--both the construction of the sword itself and its use. The katana thus enjoys extra screen time and marketing anywhere that the Japanese cultural influence exists. There is no special American sword that gets extra screen time or marketing wherever American cultural influence exists. Nor is their really any special national sword for any other nation that I am aware of. So when you combine the katana's very strong sense of identity with the fact that the Japanese culture have really made it into an eternal national art form really give the katana some unique marketing strength compared to any other sword--and we see this in movies all the time.
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M / chicagoland
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Posted 5/23/13
Japanese learned sword smithing from the chinese and the katana is basically a niu wei dao that has been modified to fit the samurai fighting style.
Personally id rather have the dao.

Oh and the chinese learned sword making from india who had monsoon powsred furnaces to make their high carbon hardened steel.
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M / The Scarlet Devil...
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Posted 5/23/13
I want a spear. Not for decoration. But in case someone breaks into my house I'll be that guy in the papers who killed a burglar with a spear XD
Posted 5/23/13

swirly_commode wrote:

its not jsut this site that has a high percentage of katana owners but everywhere you go
its possibly the most popular sword in the world.
and teh reason you find them so much at gun shows is because more people are willing to pay decent money for a crappy katana shaped blade than they would for a good dao or jian.

besides, didnt ninjas use straight swords?



Wow...now I want one.
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M / Texas
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Posted 5/23/13
I never leave home without my kitana.
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24 / M / NJ
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Posted 5/23/13

kaptainkooleio wrote:

Because APPARENTLY, guns arent cool enough for anime


Because a gun fight can happen in basically 3 ways. Everyone hides behind stuff and take turns shooting at each other, one guy just walks through an area killing everyone or some crazy Equilibrium stuff, which is awesome, but would get old sooner or later. With so many different swords, there are a ton of ways to do a fight scene depending on the physical ability of the users, type of sword and any powers that come into play. Even in movies for the most part, when you want a good fight scene you have both sides run out of bullets and engage in hand to hand combat
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M / chicagoland
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Posted 5/23/13 , edited 5/23/13



Id take this over a katana, any day

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23 / M / Missouri
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Posted 5/23/13 , edited 5/23/13

moneygrip3030 wrote:

The katana is the best sword made by mankind. Why would you not have one. I have 7.


Actually. Its been proven a traditional Katana is inferior to western blades. Wanna know why? Its the difference between iron and steel. Also, kendo has been proven inferior to most forms of western swordplay.

But.. keep dreaming of a world where Japan and Japanese things are somehow better.
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M / chicagoland
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Posted 5/23/13
So western iron is better than asian folded steel?
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23 / M / Missouri
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Posted 5/23/13

swirly_commode wrote:

So western iron is better than asian folded steel?


Western sword smiths used to fold steel as well. But as they improved their steel.. they simply didn't have to fold it anymore. Asians were not onto something revolutionary.
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28 / M
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Posted 5/23/13
The sword types were made for such different purposes you cant compare them without including what they were designed to do.

Katana is a draw cut weapon. When you struck your opponent you drew the weapon across their body cutting deeply into them. A Katana was the best weapon for what the Asian area of the world was wearing for armor. Bone, Leather, and Iron plates was good armor but at a level the Katana could handle fighting.

Western swords were design to cleave or crush, not chop or slice like many people think. The western swords were actually designed to do damage through steel armor and chainmail, as well as crush through the armor causing incredible damage. Asian armor would be destroyed by western blades.

I am well trained in western blades and love them. remember a real 1 hand western blade is only 3-5lbs at most.

ok im done have fun, katanas are more popular because of movies/games/anime portraying them as a mystical and super powerful blade, whereas there is little done for the western blades nowadays.
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23 / M / Missouri
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Posted 5/23/13

Muadieb wrote:

The sword types were made for such different purposes you cant compare them without including what they were designed to do.

Katana is a draw cut weapon. When you struck your opponent you drew the weapon across their body cutting deeply into them. A Katana was the best weapon for what the Asian area of the world was wearing for armor. Bone, Leather, and Iron plates was good armor but at a level the Katana could handle fighting.

Western swords were design to cleave or crush, not chop or slice like many people think. The western swords were actually designed to do damage through steel armor and chainmail, as well as crush through the armor causing incredible damage. Asian armor would be destroyed by western blades.

I am well trained in western blades and love them. remember a real 1 hand western blade is only 3-5lbs at most.

ok im done have fun, katanas are more popular because of movies/games/anime portraying them as a mystical and super powerful blade, whereas there is little done for the western blades nowadays.


Yeah. Basically what I'm saying but you did a better job at it. Western sword would shatter a Japanese Katana unless the wielder was more skilled and knew better than to let that happen. But in the end the guy wielding the Japanese Katana would likely be up against an opponent armored far batter than him. And larger than him. (Don't let movies and sheep fool you. Size DOES matter.) And end up with his skull caved in.

Glad there's someone who isn't all "Japan omg so superior" here.
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M / chicagoland
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Posted 5/23/13
You know that the san mai construction of a katana typicaly used raw iron for the core of the blade
Im not sure why you think a western sword would shatter it?
Id also like to see a fully armored, clunky westerner even be able to hit a nimble japanese guy.
Sword fighting isnt about banging swords togethrr untill zomeone falls down.
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