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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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SMALL JAPANESE TANTO SWORD AND SHEAF, SIGNED TO BLADE
Feb 29, 9:00 AM AEST
SMALL JAPANESE TANTO SWORD AND SHEAF, SIGNED TO BLADE
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD40020 Bids
ANTIQUE IMPERIAL JAPANESE WAKIZASHI SWORD
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
ANTIQUE IMPERIAL JAPANESE WAKIZASHI SWORD
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $200- $500
$42512 Bids
Japanese Model Wakizashi, With Scabbard: 26 3/4 in. (67.9 cm.)
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
Japanese Model Wakizashi, With Scabbard: 26 3/4 in. (67.9 cm.)
by Weschler's
Est: $30- $50
$506 Bids
JAPANESE DAISHO HIGH RANK KOSHIRAE 22 KARAT GOLD
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
JAPANESE DAISHO HIGH RANK KOSHIRAE 22 KARAT GOLD
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $400- $900
$3102 Bids
Vintage Japanese Style Wakisaki Sword
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Japanese Style Wakisaki Sword
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
MODERN JAPANESE NAGINATA POLE ARM
Mar 02, 12:00 PM EST
MODERN JAPANESE NAGINATA POLE ARM
by Centurion Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1501 Bid
Antique Japanese Samurai-Style Sword
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Antique Japanese Samurai-Style Sword
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $700- $1,000
$1001 Bid
IMPERIAL JAPANESE TYPE 32 CAVALRY SWORD
Mar 02, 12:00 PM EST
IMPERIAL JAPANESE TYPE 32 CAVALRY SWORD
by Centurion Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1501 Bid
IMPERIAL JAPANESE WAKIZASHI & SAYA
Mar 02, 12:00 PM EST
IMPERIAL JAPANESE WAKIZASHI & SAYA
by Centurion Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1501 Bid
IMPERIAL JAPANESE TYPE 32 CAVALRY TROOPER SWORD
Mar 02, 12:00 PM EST
IMPERIAL JAPANESE TYPE 32 CAVALRY TROOPER SWORD
by Centurion Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1500 Bids
Japanese, Tantō (sword)
Feb 29, 11:00 AM CST
Japanese, Tantō (sword)
by Toomey & Co. Auctioneers
Est: $400- $600
$500 Bids
Kozuka, Chinese warrior, Original Japanese Metalwork
Mar 02, 2:00 PM GMT
Kozuka, Chinese warrior, Original Japanese Metalwork
by JG Auction
Est: £200- £300
£2000 Bids
1 japanisches Kurzschwert "Wakizashi"
Mar 02, 10:00 AM CET
1 japanisches Kurzschwert "Wakizashi"
by Auktionshaus Rotherbaum OHG
Est: €140- €280
€1400 Bids
Cold Steel Recon Tanto w/ Sheath
Feb 29, 10:00 AM EST
Cold Steel Recon Tanto w/ Sheath
by Cordier Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $120- $140
$600 Bids
GENROKU PERIOD IMPERIAL JAPANESE WAKIZASHI
Mar 02, 12:00 PM EST
GENROKU PERIOD IMPERIAL JAPANESE WAKIZASHI
by Centurion Auctions
Est: $400- $800
$3000 Bids
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Japanese 1095 High Carbon Steel Broadsword
Feb 28, 5:00 PM EST
Japanese 1095 High Carbon Steel Broadsword
by Activity Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$2500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Swords


Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Centurion Auctions

Centurion Auctions

Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC

Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers