Samurai Swords

Samurai swords are the most popular of all Japanese swords. No sword in history has the amount of tradition associated with it as the Samurai sword. If you're a sword collector and you don't know how important Samurai swords are, you should be ashamed of yourself.

 The Japanese culture is one that values nobility and tradition. The term Samurai embodies them both and the samurai sword was the weapon of choice for the samurai ninjas before Japan became an industrialized nation. Before Japan was a global leader in electronics, economic trade and even education, they was a period of time when the Japanese warrior was held at the highest regard and was country’s most respected role in society.

Samurai swords were the weapon that these intimidating fighters used and is what developed today’s tradition of the sword. You can still train with the sword through various martial arts programs both in and out of Japan. Kendo, version of marital arts, translates into ‘the way of the sword’. Samurai warriors relied on the samurai sword for all aspects of combat, respect and self defense.

A very nice set of samurai swords on display.

Bushido, the ethical code that Samurai warriors followed and leaders swore by, was also centered around the Samurai sword and what it meant to own and embody one. If a warrior didn’t honor his samurai sword at all times, he was thought to be unworthy and couldn’t die a respectful death.

Japanese war tactics, weapons and Samurai armor was all part of the devotion to the samurai swords. It seems that the samurai swords in the American culture are more of a novelty item than anything, but in Japan there is a great deal of meaning any history behind every real Samurai sword set that very few Americans know about. If you think about what the American flag means to the American people, it’s similar to what ancient samurai swords mean to a great deal of the Japanese population. Several leaders ruled with a samurai sword by their side and spoke of the Japanese sword in their speeches, emphasizing its importance.

The way of the Samurai Sword, Ghost Dog style. The real deal, samurai sword ninja. To me, any asian in pajamas with a sword looks legit.

Before all the surge of American films showcasing the Samurai sword; William Adams became the first white man to earn the respect of the Samurai. Some of his crew earned similar status from higher ranking officials of the Samurai sword, but very few foreigners earned the respect from local Samurai sword holders during the 15th and 16th centuries. The Samurai way of life consisted of more than just the samurai sword as women were devoted to the lifestyle behind honoring the Japanese sword, couples honored the lifestyle by only courting during specific times and the decorative Samurai armor had a very distinct look on each piece of protective gear; from the helmets to the boots.

Several American films have recently adapted the samurai sword as the weapon of choice for action movies. “Ghost Dog” a movie featuring Forest Whitaker and music by the Kung-Fu fanatic, RZA (of Wu-Tang Clan), is a movie solely devoted to honoring the Samurai sword. The movie and other movies alike, drew some backlash from true Samurai sword masters in Japan who still practice ancient samurai sword techniques.

This is not what I recommend doing with any sword, specificiallly a samurai sword. For every good samurai sword there has to be a good ninja in control.

Being around for hundreds of years, has drawn various cultures and fans to the samurai sword. The legacy that the Japansese sword holds with it is something that a lot of cultures can relate to. It’s not uncommon to have a centerpiece of your society, but the samurai sword is unique in that it’s relevance never wavered since it rose the forefront of Japanese culture several hundred years ago.

Tribes in Africa and remote parts of South America adapted their own version of the Samurai sword and even practice very bizarre celebrations and rituals, honoring their version of the Samurai sword. I’ll always think of the Samurai sword with its historic significance in mind, but it has evolved from its earliest stages as some modern era Japanese ninjas used and still use Samurai swords for different martial arts training purposes and even for undercover espionage missions that may require a ninja sword.

This old man has a pretty impressive samurai sword collection. This dude is ready to shank someone with his  new samurai sword. Wait...that's an umbrella!

Samurai swords have been a fan favorite among sword collectors for a long time now and especially here in American. I’m not aware of any other sword that carries the historical significance that Samurai swords do. Don’t be surprised to see your neighbor or even a good friend pick up a few Japanese swords here and there because some of them are becoming quite valuable. That said, there were so many made during the pre-industrial Japan time period that it’ll be difficult to find the authentic ones.