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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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Japanese Tanto Swords, 20Th C., Six Pieces, L 23Cm To 30Cm
Oct 13, 11:00 AM EDT
Japanese Tanto Swords, 20Th C., Six Pieces, L 23Cm To 30Cm
by DuMouchelles
Est: $100- $200
$75012 Bids
BLACK SAYA CASE WITH JAPANESE SHORT SWORD, OLDER KURIGATA
Oct 07, 10:00 AM EDT
BLACK SAYA CASE WITH JAPANESE SHORT SWORD, OLDER KURIGATA
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $500
$4008 Bids
Japanese Wakizashi Swords, 20Th C., Three Pieces, L 34Cm To 46Cm
Oct 13, 11:00 AM EDT
Japanese Wakizashi Swords, 20Th C., Three Pieces, L 34Cm To 46Cm
by DuMouchelles
Est: $100- $200
$4508 Bids
Japanese Short Sword/Dagger
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Japanese Short Sword/Dagger
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1257 Bids
NATURAL WOOD INSCRIBED SAYA WITH JAPANESE SHORT SWORD
Oct 07, 10:00 AM EDT
NATURAL WOOD INSCRIBED SAYA WITH JAPANESE SHORT SWORD
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $500
$5506 Bids
Japanese Army Officer’s Sword
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Japanese Army Officer’s Sword
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1255 Bids
Japanese Naginata Sword, 20Th C., L 46.5Cm (Blade)
Oct 13, 11:00 AM EDT
Japanese Naginata Sword, 20Th C., L 46.5Cm (Blade)
by DuMouchelles
Est: $150- $300
$2754 Bids
Japanese Sword Cane, C. 20Th C., L 30.5''
Oct 13, 11:00 AM EDT
Japanese Sword Cane, C. 20Th C., L 30.5''
by DuMouchelles
Est: $100- $200
$903 Bids
NATURAL WOOD SAYA WITH HEAVY JAPANESE BLADE
Oct 07, 10:00 AM EDT
NATURAL WOOD SAYA WITH HEAVY JAPANESE BLADE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $500
$1503 Bids
A Japanese type 95 Shin Gunto sword, Showa period
Oct 14, 9:00 AM EDT
A Japanese type 95 Shin Gunto sword, Showa period
by Oakridge Auction Gallery
Est: $400- $600
$2502 Bids
Japanese Naginata Sword, Meiji Period, L 40.5Cm (Blade)
Oct 13, 11:00 AM EDT
Japanese Naginata Sword, Meiji Period, L 40.5Cm (Blade)
by DuMouchelles
Est: $75- $125
$502 Bids
A Japanese wakizashi with kogatana, Late Edo period/early Meiji era
Oct 14, 9:00 AM EDT
A Japanese wakizashi with kogatana, Late Edo period/early Meiji era
by Oakridge Auction Gallery
Est: $1,200- $1,600
$6001 Bid
NATURAL WOOD SAYA WITH JAPANESE SWORD, GOLDEN HABAKI
Oct 07, 10:00 AM EDT
NATURAL WOOD SAYA WITH JAPANESE SWORD, GOLDEN HABAKI
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
A LARGE JAPANESE TANTO WITH SIGNED BLADE,
Nov 21, 10:00 AM GMT
A LARGE JAPANESE TANTO WITH SIGNED BLADE,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £400- £600
£4001 Bid
A SHINTO TANTO CIRCA 1700,
Nov 21, 10:00 AM GMT
A SHINTO TANTO CIRCA 1700,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £450- £550
£4401 Bid
A SHINTO TANTO BLADE IN A SHIRASAYA,
Nov 21, 10:00 AM GMT
A SHINTO TANTO BLADE IN A SHIRASAYA,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £500- £600
£5001 Bid
JAPANESE TANTO SHORT SWORD SIGNED TSUKUBAI YOSHIKONI, 1661
Oct 07, 10:00 AM EDT
JAPANESE TANTO SHORT SWORD SIGNED TSUKUBAI YOSHIKONI, 1661
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$7501 Bid
JAPANESE SWORD ADORNED WITH A TSUBA DECORATED WITH FLOWERS
Oct 15, 11:00 AM CEST
JAPANESE SWORD ADORNED WITH A TSUBA DECORATED WITH FLOWERS
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €200- €400
€1810 Bids
A JAPANESE BRASS-MOUNTED DAGGER WITH SILVER OVERLAY
Oct 23, 11:00 AM EDT
A JAPANESE BRASS-MOUNTED DAGGER WITH SILVER OVERLAY
by Helios Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$4000 Bids
JAPANESE MILITARY SWORD
Oct 14, 11:00 AM PDT
JAPANESE MILITARY SWORD
by Steven's Art & Antiques
Est: $600- $1,200
$3000 Bids
A JAPANESE WW2 WAKIZASHI SAMURAI SWORD
Oct 23, 11:00 AM EDT
A JAPANESE WW2 WAKIZASHI SAMURAI SWORD
by Helios Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$3000 Bids
VINTAGE MACHETE AND JAPANESE KAMA SICKLE
Oct 15, 10:00 AM EDT
VINTAGE MACHETE AND JAPANESE KAMA SICKLE
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$100 Bids
A Japanese wakizashi in a lacquer saya, Late Edo period
Oct 14, 9:00 AM EDT
A Japanese wakizashi in a lacquer saya, Late Edo period
by Oakridge Auction Gallery
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Swords


Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Hermann Historica GmbH

Hermann Historica GmbH

Oakridge Auction Gallery

Oakridge Auction Gallery

DuMouchelles

DuMouchelles