The legendary Japanese sword, katana, is classified as the finest sword in the world.
You may ask yourself what are the reasons for that. Just like you and me, some researchers have been wondering the same thing. From many years ago until now, scientists from prestigious universities in Europe and the U.S have engaged in detailed studies aiming to reveal the secrets of this magnificent handcraft.
They observed and analyzed each one of the stages by which katana is created (steel preparation, forging, assembling, polishing and decoration). As a result they concluded that more than physical laws and chemistry tricks define the Japanese sword. The faith and devotion of Katana`s masters are for sure beyond science. The way katana is manufactured is the biggest difference compared with other swords. The divine skill and art of Japanese swordsmiths is what makes katana the ultimate sword, so this explains how katana has been the most perfect and mortal sword for centuries.
More impressive is that a single sword requires the hard work of 15 men for 6 months at three different cities (Shimane, Kyoto and, Tokyo). Despite all the work and time spent on the handcraft katana will compensate its masters in many ways. When it comes to the market, its prices will vary from 5 thousand to 50 thousand dollars. Moreover, its beauty and power can live on throughout generations as a sign of courage, perfection and dignity, hallmarks of Japanese tradition. So, this is what really matters to the Japanese swordsmiths. They believe in carrying on their traditions, just like their ancestors did, and their descendants will continue to do so.
The metallurgic processes require the best steel, which is prepared at 1000 Celsius in a furnace (Tahara) for 3 days and 3 nights, in Shimane prefecture. After that, the high-quality pieces of steel are sent to Kyoto where the master will forge, assemble and shape it. Then it will be sent to Tokyo. There the katana is polished and the swordsmith will conclude the process with ornamentation and final details. In summary, katana is made through teamwork, and it serves to honor the greatness of samurais, as well as to preserve cultural values.
The steps to make a true katana remain in the details saved in the memories of the masters like a ritual passed through many generations. For good steel, Shimane serves the purest sand with lower contents of sulfur and phosphorus, which is transformed under the power of the flames to Tamahagane (the high-quality Japanese metal).
In Kyoto, Tamahagane is forged in ways that create the most incredible atomic arrangement, at ametallurgical point of view. It allows the perfect distribution of carbon and iron to ensure the flexibility and resistance. After that, the katana travels to Tokyo, where it will be polished until its blade shines. For masters of the katana sword, this shine may represent the beauty of their devotion, respect, and faith. And these are definitely what make katana the finest sword in history.
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