Japanese Swords

The Japanese have been perfecting the art of sword making since the 1st century A.D., and traditional sword makers in Japan are legendary. Japanese swords are prized for their grace, efficiency, and excellent craftsmanship.

The most sought after Japanese swords are those that were created during the 10th to 16th centuries when horseback warfare was most common. The curvature of the samurai sword as developed after the 10th century allowed for the cutting of an opponent while in motion.

The most well known Japanese sword is the katana. This curved long sword only has one blade, and was used by samurai during the 15th century and beyond. Other long Japanese swords include tsurugi and ken, which are double-edged and straight. These kinds of swords were only made prior to the 10th century.

The wakizashi is a sword that samurai wore with their katanas. This sword is much smaller and can be used single handedly, unlike long swords that require two hands. Japanese swords like these became well known for the complexity of the metals used to construct the swords, as well as the intricate folding of metal to form the flexible yet sharp and resilient blade.


Quick Facts

  • Contemporary Japanese swords as well as those made during the Heian period are often found through auctions or dealers. However, today's Japanese swords tend to either lack an edge or be made of brittle steel
  • In Japan, swords are not merely weapons but deified objects to revere. It is believed that the sword contains the soul of the samurai and therefore possesses special powers
  • Modern day swords are not considered weapons, but rather art objects. Still, in order to legally own a Japanese sword, one must obtain the appropriate certification

Recommended Items at Auction

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Japanese Katana, signed to Tang ''Kimi Banzi - Michiyoshi'', blade 80.30 cm. (31.61 in.)
Oct 18, 7:00 PM AEDT
Japanese Katana, signed to Tang ''Kimi Banzi - Michiyoshi'', blade 80.30 cm. (31.61 in.)
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD1,6008 Bids
Rare Japanese Katana Munei, blade 89 cm. (35.04 in.)
Oct 18, 7:00 PM AEDT
Rare Japanese Katana Munei, blade 89 cm. (35.04 in.)
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD1,1006 Bids
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JAPANESE REPLICA SAMURAI KUBUTO HELMET & MENPO IRON MASK
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
JAPANESE REPLICA SAMURAI KUBUTO HELMET & MENPO IRON MASK
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$604 Bids
2 Japanese late 20th century samurai swords
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
2 Japanese late 20th century samurai swords
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$353 Bids
Japanese Style Tanto Dagger
Oct 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Japanese Style Tanto Dagger
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$52 Bids
1909 Japanese Business Mission Silk Scroll
Oct 21, 12:00 PM EDT
1909 Japanese Business Mission Silk Scroll
by Willow Auction House
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Japanese Water Color Scroll Painting - Samurai
Oct 17, 10:00 AM EDT
Japanese Water Color Scroll Painting - Samurai
by Stallion Hill Gallery
Est: $700- $900
$3501 Bid
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Alexander Archipenko, Les formes majestueuses.
Oct 27, 10:00 AM CEST
Alexander Archipenko, Les formes majestueuses.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €240- €480
€2401 Bid
Japanese Bronze Cup, Tsuba, a Mirror and a Bronze Mounted Knife
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Japanese Bronze Cup, Tsuba, a Mirror and a Bronze Mounted Knife
by Weschler's
Est: $10- $20
$51 Bid
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Kanenaga (active 16th century) A Mino wakizashiMuromachi period (1333-1573), 16th century
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Kanenaga (active 16th century) A Mino wakizashiMuromachi period (1333-1573), 16th century
by Bonhams
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$1,0001 Bid
Japanese Imperial Army Officer's Sword
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Japanese Imperial Army Officer's Sword
by Cowan's Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
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Two Fuchi-gashira Edo period (1615-1868), early 19th century
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Two Fuchi-gashira Edo period (1615-1868), early 19th century
by Bonhams
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$1,2001 Bid
Vintage Chinese Japanese Figural Art Estate Collection
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage Chinese Japanese Figural Art Estate Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$51 Bid
(2) Antique Japanese Waki-Goto School Kozuka
Oct 20, 6:00 PM EDT
(2) Antique Japanese Waki-Goto School Kozuka
by Napoleon's Fine Art
Est: $1,000- $3,000
$7500 Bids
Antique Japanese Artist Signed Mushroom Lady
Oct 20, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique Japanese Artist Signed Mushroom Lady
by Napoleon's Fine Art
Est: $600- $1,200
$3000 Bids
VINTAGE HAND PAINTED JAPANESE IMARI WARE PLANTER
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
VINTAGE HAND PAINTED JAPANESE IMARI WARE PLANTER
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $40- $80
$100 Bids
Group of 4 Japanese Watercolor Scroll Paintings
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of 4 Japanese Watercolor Scroll Paintings
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $250- $350
$700 Bids
Group of 3 Japanese Watercolor Scroll Paintings
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of 3 Japanese Watercolor Scroll Paintings
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $250- $350
$700 Bids
Group of 3 Japanese Watercolor Scroll Paintings
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of 3 Japanese Watercolor Scroll Paintings
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $100- $200
$300 Bids
Aikuchi Tanto, japanisches Kurzschwert der Edo/Meiji-Zeit
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CEST
Aikuchi Tanto, japanisches Kurzschwert der Edo/Meiji-Zeit
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €1,200- €1,500
€4000 Bids
JAPANESE LARGE MODERN GLAZED ART POTTERY BOWL
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
JAPANESE LARGE MODERN GLAZED ART POTTERY BOWL
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
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Camille Graeser, Senza titolo.
Oct 27, 10:00 AM CEST
Camille Graeser, Senza titolo.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €160- €320
€1600 Bids
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A JAPANESE CEREMONIAL WOOD CHILD'S SWORD EDO (1603-1868) / MEIJI PERIOD (1868-1912)
Oct 18, 12:00 PM AEDT
A JAPANESE CEREMONIAL WOOD CHILD'S SWORD EDO (1603-1868) / MEIJI PERIOD (1868-1912)
by Leonard Joel
Est: AUD400- AUD600
AUD3500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Swords


Bonhams

Bonhams

Il Ponte Auction House

Il Ponte Auction House

Material Culture

Material Culture

Goldfield Auction

Goldfield Auction