Talk:Katana/Archive 1

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History section needed

This article strongly needs a discussion of the history of the katana. I don't have the knowledge to do it myself. (The reason I came to this article was to get an overview of the history.) --JHP (talk) 22:12, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Look at the Japanese sword article. Katana is a subcat of nihonto, in which the katana is developed from it and what you are looking for is probably in that articles history. MythSearchertalk 08:01, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

More changes needed

I think the article needs some serious expansion, though I have done my best to clean it up. Without knowing specifically what the editor(s) who introduced some text meant, I have tried to clarify it as best as possible. Furthemore I have removed a few bits of text that I thought were redundant.

If any experts can give this article some TLC that would be great. John Smith's (talk) 11:24, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Ill help out. Ive taken martial arts for 13 years, and can give a bit of info on the handling and styles. Bewarethebob (talk) 20:56, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

addition of uses

it was me. after 13 years of martial arts, and my obsession with japanese history, i think that it should be credited enough. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bewarethebob (talkcontribs) 21:47, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

article severely lacking

It is in desperate need of both a history and a popular culture section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Then you should add them. Bradford44 (talk) 15:52, 21 August 2008 (UTC)


"As Japanese does not have separate plural and singular forms, both "katanas" and "katana" are considered acceptable forms in English."

- By whom? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:42, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

By Wikipedia generally in English plurals from other languages and Wiktionary Katana and general usage Focomoso (talk) 19:39, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Regarding sharpness

The article claims that katanas are, in general, sharper than other swords. This is false, these implications must be sourced or removed. The cutting edge of a katana generally has a HCR hardness of high 50s to 60, which lets the edge retain sharpness for longer, at the cost of brittleness. It does not lead to greater sharpness. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, have you handled a real katana and an accurate copy of a european sword, for example. The katana is generally sharper, because it is sharpened more than european medieval swords. About Rockwells - the edge of a katana is about 60, but the back is around 45-50. European swords are about 50-52. Yes, the katana has a brittle edge, which is why all traditional schools of kejutsu avoid meeting of the edges. However, in european swordsmanship it is also needed not to clash the swords at 90 degrees angle, and they are not so hard and not so sharp for this reason - the blades do meet, while most blocks in kenjutsu are made with the back of the blade. The katana does not retain sharpness for long, at least not according to the japanese. The sword is considered dull after cutting down four enemies, which is pretty extreme if you ask me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nem13 (talkcontribs) 04:25, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Nonsense. Katanas to be used in combat, would be less sharpened than their European counterpart (the medieval longsword), due to the fact that the edge was more brittle (in part due to coal content, in part due to hardening). While you may claim that "all traditional schools of kejutsu avoid meeting of the edges", the different schools of Kenjutsu do not actually agree on how one should block a sword with ones own. Add to that the fact that medieval European swordsmanship generally discourages blocking edge to edge (and, indeed, discourages blocking unless you have to) and the fact that edges weren't the only thing that would damage your edge, and your claim that katanas where sharper has nothing to support it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:26, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Coal content would be carbon content, no? And the whole point of having a hard edge is to allow it to be sharper. If they didn't want such a hard edge, they simply wouldn't make it that hard. As it is, they used harder steel for the edge for a reason, and they accentuated the contrast between the hard edge and soft core and spine with differential hardening for a reason. It is rather curious to say that they didn't sharpen the edge as much as the edge allowed, when they clearly wanted that hardness to begin with. At any rate, European swords were - like Japanese swords - of extremely varying quality. There were good swords, and not so good swords. There were masterpieces, and there were swords of so poor quality they could only serve as status symbols for those who couldn't afford any better. I really do not think there is any basis for saying that historically, katana were sharpened less than European swords. What sources are there for the necessary comparison? If we are to compare swords made presently, I'm afraid the katana are sharpened to a higher degree than European swords. This is true both for nihonto and katana made with modern techniques from spring steel and the like. Could you make European swords with the same sharpness? Absolutely you could, but there's really no need for it. --Tsuka (talk) 20:02, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
All very interesting, but I feel this dilemma can be solved by insisting on the wikipedia policy of WP:CITE. Ashmoo (talk) 15:33, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
"It is rather curious to say that they didn't sharpen the edge as much as the edge allowed, when they clearly wanted that hardness to begin with." A valid point, I must agree. It doesn't rule out the idea that katanas were less sharp ...nor does it say that they were harder than European swords (I just realised that I don't really know their comparative hardness. With the better European steel, they may have been able to get away with harder steel, without it being as brittle ...maybe) "I really do not think there is any basis for saying that historically, katana were sharpened less than European swords." Is there any historical basis for saying that katanas were made sharper? "If we are to compare swords made presently, I'm afraid the katana are sharpened to a higher degree than European swords." Of course they are! Besides the fact that none of them will face the battle field, katanas are supposed to be sharp, according to modern perceptions. "Could you make European swords with the same sharpness? Absolutely you could, but there's really no need for it." Oh? Really? Please explain to me, what needs were present and how they differed.-- (talk) 04:46, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Currently I'm on the side of the European sword due to several factors 1:the superior skill and tools of the European blacksmith 2:superior European steel 3:greater emphasize on sword protection in sword-fighting and fencing opposed to kendo 4:overuse of bludgeoning attacks in Japanese warfare

I think what he's refering to the fact that knights needed a tougher shock resistant spine and less edge while samurai needed a tougher edge and more flexible spine.Thats why the two swords are different as well and the fac hat samurai didnt fight in full steel plate so they needed to have a heavier more balnced sword. In the same breath samurai needed a light and more blade oriented dueling sword hence the katannas design. gummy hugs out!*gives salute*(talk)

Thickness of the blade

How thick is the blade? (talk) 04:41, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Odd sentence

The history section includes "The ability to draw and cut in one motion also became increasingly useful in the daily life of the samurai," which sounds like nonsense. Are they slicing bread or something? However, someone went to the trouble of citing it, so I'm loathe to just remove it. Can someone with access to the cited source please elaborate on how in the heck quickdraw swords helped samurai in daily life? Thanks, blahaccountblah (talk) 09:09, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Obviously (well, clearly not to everyonw...) it isn't useful on the battlefield, but it has been speculated that techniques for cutting from the scabbard, was originally for countering surprise attacks. (outside of the battlefield that is)-- (talk) 05:31, 3 April 2010 (UTC) if a samurai had assasins attack him, on a daily basis, it would presumably be useful for their daily life ;)-- (talk) 05:33, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Katana versus Nihon-tō

The article currently states that katana (刀, Japanese word for "sword") is a type of nihon-tō (日本刀, Japanese word for "Japanese sword"). It should be the other way around, and katana (刀) article should be linking to ja:刀, not ja:日本刀. There appears to be some confusion and it might be the case that "katana" and "nihon-tō" should be merged. —Tokek (talk) 03:53, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Japanese meaning of katana

Sigh... As I remember the Nihonto page(subsequently moved to Japanese sword) was moved there from this name since the Nihonto name was a better reflection of what the contents was. This page was than created from people who kinda opposed to the move. I can see it clearly that both terms are kinda generically refering to a wide range of things yet some thought the word katana means Japanese sword in general. Japanese swords include more than katanas and katanas include more than the Japanese swords. The Kanji actually means generic knifes/swords with a single blade.(As oppose to ken/tsurugi, which means double bladed swords.) However, many westerners seems to insist by 1st impression that it means only Japanese swords(and thought that Japanese swords only contain the katana category) and basically recreated the whole Japanese sword article here, save for some additional mention about length. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 09:14, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, regardless of what the word means in Japanese, this is the English language wikipedia and in English, 'katana' refers to the longsword typically used historically by samurai. Wikipedia is not a dictionary so the article should be on the object, not a long discussion on word usage in Japanese. Ashmoo (talk) 15:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem is, wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and it should not contain false data. The lead in itself is pretty incorrect right now. The katana (刀?) is a type of Japanese sword (日本刀, nihontō?), also commonly referred to as a "samurai sword", and generally defined as the standard size moderately curved (as opposed to the older "tachi" style featuring more curvature) Japanese sword with a blade length of greater than 60 cm (23.6 inches). It is NOT a type of Japanese sword, instead, Japanese sword is a subset of the katana. It is used in the western/English speaking region as such, fine, but make sure it is mentioned as such in the lead. The Etymology section correctly informs the reader such idea, but the lead is giving a very biased intro and does not say it is only referred to as such nor giving the correct meaning. Wikipedia is not a dictionary, but that does not mean that one can simply ignore the correct meaning of the word. In fact, the current article almost give little reference to the Uchigatana, the correct name for the weapon it is referring to. The Japanese wikipedia katana article links to the English page backsword. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 01:05, 9 August 2010 (UTC)


When the photograph was replaced in April, 2010, the caption was not corrected. And clearly it was not an image of traditional KATANA (Japanese sword), returned it to former image. --大和屋敷 (talk) 13:08, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

The katana is not limited to the traditional Japanese sword. Katana only means single-edged sword(刀). So, technically any single-edged sword picture is suffice. That picture replacement actually got two kanji character of katana on it as well. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 00:56, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
The word 刀 to KATANA is japanese read.Chinese 刀 is read "dāo",Korea "do".Thus a basic description KATANA might be good as the Japanese sword.The picture replacement is a sword for the appreciation made at the present age perhaps, and has not corresponding possibility to traditional 刀 of which country of the area of Asia. --大和屋敷 (talk) 01:45, 9 August 2010 (UTC)


Concerning this edit: Meitou are not katana specific as this paragraph suggests. Also I am not sure that this statement is correct: "Meitou are superior to ordinary katana in most aspects". Given that meitou are old, why couldn't a modern swordsmith make a better cutting sword? Also, " typically handmade", are there any meitou that are not handmade? bamse (talk) 08:32, 18 September 2010 (UTC)


Ok, shinkendo is a gendai budo, as such it is not a traditional way of using the katana (although it probably strives to be, but just strictly speaking...). Also, it is obviously a type of kenjutsu. Why is it listed as a different approach to combat with a katana? It's curriculum is basically identical to kenjutsu. I think it is a bit biased to put it next to kenjutsu, iaijutsu, etc. Maybe at 'also see'.

Katana in Films

It would be great if someone could write on movies based on Japanese swordsmanship. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:45, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Merging uchigatana into katana

  • Support - <The uchigatana article has had no references for years and it can easily be condensed into the katana article> Samuraiantiqueworld (talk) 18:19, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

supprt<both swords are; 1 the same thing but just a tad different in size; 2 their size difference is miniscule enough their barely different. (talk) 18:04, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

    • The uchigatana article is much better referenced now and may be worth keeping as an individual article.Samuraiantiqueworld (talk) 14:54, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Katana and Uchigatana Merging

They are closely similar if not the same thing. the two articles merging would make a much more informative page for readers.



March 25, 2011 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

good job dude ɡɜr — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:08, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Image needs reformatting.

Image of "Katana brique.png" may be blocking some text in the section it's in (currently "Forging and construction"). Needs to be reformatted or substituted, however I don't exactly know what to do with it since it includes its own caption. I'll leave it to you experts.

Edit: Nevermind, I took care of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Meaning of "nihonto"

Nihonto is defined as a traditionally made Japanese sword, this article is obviously about traditionally made Japanese swords as in "nihonto". If anyone has a problem with this then by all means add a section or information on how modern katana may not be traditionally made but as long as the main focus is about the katana as used by samurai then you are talking about "nihonto".Samuraiantiqueworld (talk) 01:18, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Meaning of "nihonto"

Nihonto is defined as a traditionally made Japanese sword, this article is obviously about traditionally made Japanese swords as in "nihonto". If anyone has a problem with this then by all means add a section or information on how modern katana may not be traditionally made but as long as the main focus is about the katana as used by samurai then you are talking about "nihonto".Samuraiantiqueworld (talk) 01:19, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Contradiction in the lede

The lede states both "The katana (刀?) is one of the traditionally made Japanese swords" and "Modern versions of the katana can be made using non traditional materials and methods". How can we open the article by defining katana as traditionally made, then pointing out the existence of non-traditionally made katana? A contradiction in the lede sets a terrible tone for the rest of the article. (talk) 22:08, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

For the record, I'm the editor who filed the 3RR report which led to your block and that of User:Samuraiantiqueworld. Sorry about the inconvenience. I appreciate your engaging on the talk page as opposed to continuing a content dispute in live pagespace and edit summaries. Can you offer an alternative wording you'd prefer? Personally I'd like to see the entire lede enlarged to more fully summarize this important topic. But I've been trying to draw out the fine distinctions which separate your positions. What wording would be acceptable? In some ways, I agree with the contradiction tag, but like User:Samuraiantiqueworld, I've never seen the tag in use for an introduction. BusterD (talk) 01:03, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
You report-filing BASTARD! But, in all seriousness, I think that the statement "The katana (刀?) is one of the traditional Japanese swords (日本刀 nihonto?) that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan" best describes the subject. Katana are a style of sword, that are now made in both the traditional manner and using various modern techniques. Describing them as a "traditional japanese sword" best avoids any contradictions that may result from describing the sword in terms of how it is made. (talk) 02:23, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
You might want to read through the civility policy as it refers to name-calling; also no personal attacks. Pesky (talk) 10:05, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Joke (talk) 13:37, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I apologise ... sometimes it can be hard to tell! Pesky (talk) 13:50, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Mea culpa... I should know how hard tone is to read from text. (talk) 01:39, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The contradiction is this sentence, "The katana (刀?) is one of the traditional Japanese swords (日本刀 nihonto?) that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan" it is saying the katana is one of the traditional traditionally made swords since "nihonto" means traditionally made. By wording it as "one of the traditionally made swords" the article was brought into line with all the other articles on Japanese swords as in Wakizashi, Tantō, Tachi, Odachi, Nodachi, Naginata, Nagamaki, Kodachi, Uchigatana, these articles are all about Japanese swords as used by the samurai, they all have the same wording and the only person who has opposed this wording is User: The fact that no other editor has tried to change this wording should show that there is a consensus on this particular wording. The swords used by the samurai are defined by being traditionally made, under the "Entomology" section there is this sentence ("Katana" is the term now used to describe nihontō that are 2 shaku (606 mm / 23.9 in.) and longer), and under the "forging and construction" section there is this sentence ("The authentic Japanese sword is made from a specialized Japanese steel called "Tamahagane"). In the "Ownership and trade restrictions" section there are these words ("The sword can also be legal provided it was made in Japan before 1954, or was made using traditional sword making methods"), ("This ban was amended in August 2008 to allow sale and ownership without license of 'traditional' hand-forged katana."), ("katanas made post-1953 are illegal unless made by hand according to traditional methods[21]"). In fact if you carefully read the entire article you will see that this is an article about authentic Japanese swords with real no mention of modern katana. Wikipedia is about adding useful information not removing it. I have provided references for the meaning of "nihonto" which clearly show that "nihono" means a traditionally made Japanese sword, I can see no reason to remove this information from all the Japanese sword articles to satisfy one editor.Samuraiantiqueworld (talk) 12:25, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Just because most of the info in the article is currently about traditionally smithed katana does not mean that the article shouldn't cover modern katana. They are relevant to the article. The fact that there are laws, as mentioned in the ownership section, that do not permit ownership of non-traditionally made katana, indicates that they are reasonably common. They belong in this article. (talk) 13:44, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Also, seeing as samuraiantiqueworld is a website that sells traditionally made katana, their account has a vested interest in keeping the article focussed on such weapons and away from modern weapons. (talk) 13:55, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I feel the need to remind the editor to keep remarks here pointed towards a discussion of content, and not towards a discussion of users. A statement like that made immediately above looks like an accusation, and fails to AGF. Lots of content experts edit the pedia; we assume good faith they are doing it to create the best possible online encyclopedia. Do we have a separate article which covers non-traditionally made blades? BusterD (talk) 16:20, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Editor, as I stated to you already, feel free to add valid, referenced information on modern katana to the article, in fact add a "modern katana", or a "non traditionally made katana" section etc, or eventually someone will do that as there is plenty of room for such a section, but that does not change the fact that the basis for the katana article and all Japanese sword articles is traditionally made Japanese swords ("nihonto"), in fact nihonto redirects to this article (Japanese sword), and here the lead states ("A Japanese sword is one of the traditionally made bladed weapons of Japan otherwise know as nihontō (lit. Japanese sword 日本刀 or にほんとう). There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture."), no one has reverted this. Additionally, if you want to bring up reasons to edit then be accurate, [samuraiantiqueworld] sells many modern non traditionally made katanas as in non traditionally made ww2 katana, so using your logic there would also be a vested interest in discussing modern katana as well. As for modern swords based on the samurai versions all you have to do is look at the Tantō article were modern tanto are mentioned in the lead along with traditionally made tanto and there have been no complaints. ("A tantō (短刀?, "short sword")[1][2] is one of the traditionally made Japanese swords[3] (nihonto)[4][5] that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate. Tantō were used in traditional martial arts (tantojutsu) and saw a resurgence of use in the West in the 1980s as the design made its way to America and is a common blade pattern found in modern tactical knives."). I think that implementing your personal point of view would take information away from the katana and other Japanese sword articles and nothing would be gained for the readers who are depending on these articles for valid referenced information.Samuraiantiqueworld (talk) 04:27, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
My personal point of view? What are you talking about? I just don't want the lede to contradict itself. How is that taking away useful information? (talk) 14:41, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, in your stridency for your assertions, for a time you were removing citation from the introduction; that might be considered taking away useful information. I'd still like to hear a question answered: do we have separate pagespace designated for modern blades? Should we? If not, how do we restructure the introduction of many of these pages to explain the difference between non-traditional and traditionally made items. By explaining the fine distinctions, we can eliminate and/or minimize the contradictions. BusterD (talk) 15:01, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
The "reference" I removed didn't actually make the same claim as was being made in the article, so was hardly useful information. All I was doing was reverting to the previous consensus version of the page. As far as I know we don't have a separate page on modern japanese blades (though I could be wrong). I don't think there's any need for separate pages at the moment. If the page became unwieldily long in the future I could see there being a case for splitting the article, but at the moment I don't think there is sufficient reason. (talk) 20:01, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I could argue we are dealing with two separate types of swords: traditionally made katana and replica katana. Thus the contradiction in the lede. BusterD (talk) 21:31, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Is a katana made using non-traditional methods necessarily a replica? (talk) 01:37, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  • With the added text and references I do not think that most readers will feel that there is any "contradiction" in the article now.Samuraiantiqueworld (talk) 01:43, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. (talk) 21:39, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm glad we could make an improvement through disagreement. Thanks, wikpedians! BusterD (talk) 21:50, 26 April 2012 (UTC)