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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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Antique Signed Japanese Samurai Sword Katana with Tsuba and Genuine Shagreen Tsuka
Jul 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Signed Japanese Samurai Sword Katana with Tsuba and Genuine Shagreen Tsuka
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$7509 Bids
JAPANESE KATANA SWORD
Jun 28, 11:00 AM EDT
JAPANESE KATANA SWORD
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $300
$1754 Bids
Very Good Japanese Samurai DAISHO Set of KATANA & WAKIZASHI in Matching Mounts.
Jul 13, 10:00 AM CDT
Very Good Japanese Samurai DAISHO Set of KATANA & WAKIZASHI in Matching Mounts.
by Sofe Design Auctions
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$2,0004 Bids
JAPANESE KATANA SWORD, SIGNED TANG
Jun 29, 10:00 AM EDT
JAPANESE KATANA SWORD, SIGNED TANG
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $800- $1,000
$4252 Bids
JAPANESE KATANA SWORD, SIGNED TANG
Jun 29, 10:00 AM EDT
JAPANESE KATANA SWORD, SIGNED TANG
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4252 Bids
Japanese Katana Sword
Jul 09, 11:00 AM EDT
Japanese Katana Sword
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $300- $500
$1001 Bid
Japanese Koto Gassan Katana W/ Saya
Jul 20, 1:00 PM CDT
Japanese Koto Gassan Katana W/ Saya
by Vogt Galleries Texas
Est: $800- $1,000
$4001 Bid
Chinese Signed Damascus Blade Dandao With Intricate Brass Scabbard
Jul 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Chinese Signed Damascus Blade Dandao With Intricate Brass Scabbard
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $500- $1,000
$501 Bid
Large sword/katana, Japan, probably WW2, damask
Jun 29, 11:00 AM CEST
Large sword/katana, Japan, probably WW2, damask
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €400- €800
€4000 Bids
Three Collectors' Swords
Jul 03, 12:00 PM EDT
Three Collectors' Swords
by Old Kinderhook Auction Company
Est: $50- $100
$300 Bids
Two Japanese blades, katana and wakizashi, late Edo period
Jul 09, 9:00 AM CEST
Two Japanese blades, katana and wakizashi, late Edo period
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€3400 Bids
Nice Japanese Shinto Katana Samurai Sword ~ 1600s blade
Jul 13, 10:00 AM CDT
Nice Japanese Shinto Katana Samurai Sword ~ 1600s blade
by Sofe Design Auctions
Est: $1,800- $2,400
$9000 Bids
KOTO PERIOD JAPANESE KATANA SWORD ~ SIGNED KUNIYOSHI ~ 27 INCH BLADE
Jul 13, 10:00 AM CDT
KOTO PERIOD JAPANESE KATANA SWORD ~ SIGNED KUNIYOSHI ~ 27 INCH BLADE
by Sofe Design Auctions
Est: $3,000- $4,000
$1,5000 Bids
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Elegant White Katana Blue 1095 Carbon Steel Japanese Samurai Battle Ready Sword
Jun 25, 2:00 PM EDT
Elegant White Katana Blue 1095 Carbon Steel Japanese Samurai Battle Ready Sword
by Activity Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$2500 Bids
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Japanese Damascus Folded Steel Katana Sword
Jun 25, 2:00 PM EDT
Japanese Damascus Folded Steel Katana Sword
by Activity Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$2500 Bids
A KATANA SIGNED KIYOMARO
Jul 08, 11:00 AM JST
A KATANA SIGNED KIYOMARO
by Waki Auction
Est: ¥0- ¥0
¥300,0000 Bids
A KATANA SIGNED KUNIHIRO(THE CREST OF BELLFLOWER)
Jul 08, 11:00 AM JST
A KATANA SIGNED KUNIHIRO(THE CREST OF BELLFLOWER)
by Waki Auction
Est: ¥0- ¥0
¥300,0000 Bids
A KATANA SIGNED HIGONOKAMI KUNIYASU WITH A KOSHIRAE AND A TSUBA
Jul 08, 11:00 AM JST
A KATANA SIGNED HIGONOKAMI KUNIYASU WITH A KOSHIRAE AND A TSUBA
by Waki Auction
Est: ¥0- ¥0
¥300,0000 Bids
A KATANA SIGNED OKIKUYA KAHITSU JYUNAMIE SUKEMASACHIKA
Jul 08, 11:00 AM JST
A KATANA SIGNED OKIKUYA KAHITSU JYUNAMIE SUKEMASACHIKA
by Waki Auction
Est: ¥0- ¥0
¥300,0000 Bids
A KATANA SIGNED KIHEITAI OMURA TARO USHITSUKA,
Jul 08, 11:00 AM JST
A KATANA SIGNED KIHEITAI OMURA TARO USHITSUKA,
by Waki Auction
Est: ¥0- ¥0
¥300,0000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Katana Swords


Waki Auction

Waki Auction

Sofe Design Auctions

Sofe Design Auctions

Auktionshaus Zeller

Auktionshaus Zeller

North American Auction Company

North American Auction Company