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Japanese Katana Swords

One of the main weapons of choice of feudal Japanese samurai was the katana sword. First developed during the Muromachi period (1392-1573), katana swords are still made to this day, but with less traditional materials. Antique katanas are usually made of several layers of tamahagane steel that are smelted together featuring a slightly curved blade.

The name "katana" is specific to long swords that have been signed "katana." These are not to be confused with the older tachi style swords. When worn, katanas have the cutting edge facing upward and the signature facing outward. Tachi style swords also have the signature facing outward, but the cutting edge of a tachi is worn facing down.


Quick Facts

  • Katana swords, with the upward-facing blade, were ideal for samurai close-combat fights. They allowed samurais to draw a sword and strike an opponent in one single motion
  • When researching an antique katana, look for patterns that appear on the steel blade. These patterns are a result of the folding of steel layers to form the katana, and the craftsmanship necessary to reveal these patterns is highly revered
  • Most modern katanas do not feature tamahagane steel. Tamahagane steel is very high in carbon, and is currently possessed only by the most prestigious sword smiths in Japan

Recommended Items at Auction

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JAPAN - SET OF TWO "KATANAS" SWORDS FROM EDO PERIOD.
Mar 02, 11:00 AM CET
JAPAN - SET OF TWO "KATANAS" SWORDS FROM EDO PERIOD.
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €200- €400
€4507 Bids
A Very Nice Samurai Katana With Lacquered Sheath
Mar 16, 12:00 PM EDT
A Very Nice Samurai Katana With Lacquered Sheath
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $100- $200
$5007 Bids
Rob Criswell Short Katana Sword With Scabbard
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
Rob Criswell Short Katana Sword With Scabbard
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$606 Bids
Rob Criswell Katana Sword With Scabbard
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
Rob Criswell Katana Sword With Scabbard
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$354 Bids
Katana Sword With Scabbard
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
Katana Sword With Scabbard
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$203 Bids
Shirasaya Katana Stainless Steel Sword
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
Shirasaya Katana Stainless Steel Sword
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
JAPANESE KATANA, WAKIZASHI, & TANTO
Mar 02, 12:00 PM EST
JAPANESE KATANA, WAKIZASHI, & TANTO
by Centurion Auctions
Est: $100- $300
$802 Bids
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Modern Japanese Katana/Sword Signed Noshu Seki & Koshirae
Mar 14, 2:00 PM EDT
Modern Japanese Katana/Sword Signed Noshu Seki & Koshirae
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $900- $2,000
$901 Bid
Vintage Japanese Oda Clan Katana Sword W/ Scabbard
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
Vintage Japanese Oda Clan Katana Sword W/ Scabbard
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$5001 Bid
A katana in shirasaya, mei: Kanemoto
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in shirasaya, mei: Kanemoto
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €1,600- €1,900
€1,6001 Bid
An ealry/mid 20th century Japanese katana (L:92cm)
Mar 07, 1:00 PM AEDT
An ealry/mid 20th century Japanese katana (L:92cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD700- AUD900
AUD151 Bid
A katana in koshirae
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in koshirae
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €1,300- €1,800
€1,3000 Bids
An interesting katana in shirasaya, mei: Etchu no Kami Masatoshi
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
An interesting katana in shirasaya, mei: Etchu no Kami Masatoshi
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €4,500- €6,500
€4,5000 Bids
A prestigious katana in shirasaya, mei: Rakuyo ju Shinano no Kami Kunihiro
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A prestigious katana in shirasaya, mei: Rakuyo ju Shinano no Kami Kunihiro
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €15,000- €20,000
€15,0000 Bids
A katana in koshirae
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in koshirae
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €3,500- €5,000
€3,5000 Bids
A katana in shirasaya
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in shirasaya
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €1,500- €1,800
€1,5000 Bids
A katana in shirasaya
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in shirasaya
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €1,500- €2,000
€1,5000 Bids
A katana in koshirae, Mei: Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in koshirae, Mei: Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €2,800- €3,500
€2,8000 Bids
A katana in shirasaya, mei: Noshu Seki ju Kanesada saku
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in shirasaya, mei: Noshu Seki ju Kanesada saku
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €3,000- €5,000
€3,0000 Bids
A katana in shirasaya
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in shirasaya
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €1,500- €1,800
€1,5000 Bids
A Katana in handachi, mei: Daihoshi Kinmichi
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A Katana in handachi, mei: Daihoshi Kinmichi
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €1,700- €2,300
€1,7000 Bids
A katana in shirasaya, mei: Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in shirasaya, mei: Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €2,500- €3,500
€2,5000 Bids
A katana in handachi koshirae
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in handachi koshirae
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €1,300- €1,600
€1,3000 Bids
A katana in koshirae
Mar 21, 2:00 PM CET
A katana in koshirae
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €1,700- €2,300
€1,7000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Katana Swords


Czerny's International Auction House

Czerny's International Auction House

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

Lawsons

Lawsons

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd