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Thursday, April 14, 2011

K Is For

K Is For...Katana

Funny how poor Kate bought it with an axe blade because that is what today's post is about. Blades, specifically the katana of the legendary samurai. Underneath this snarky writer's exterior beats the heart of a babe who loves blades.

There is nothing more deadly elegant to me than this gently curving mistress of death. Some favorite samurai films include The Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood by the incomparable Akira Kurasawa and The 47 Ronin by the brilliant Kenji Mizoguchi. I was also impressed with Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai. My favorite katana wielder, though, is perhaps Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod in the Highlander series. I know, pure fantasy, but it's drooling-in-my-Diet Pepsi fantasy because not only did I get a hot guy, but I got to see that sexy blade in action. What can I say, I cannot resist a gorgeous hunk with a wicked sword. ;))

Katana Facts:

* It is a backsword with a blade edge on one side.
* It is forged from Tamahagane, a combination of hard, high carbon and tough, low carbon steel.
* The hamon, or blade pattern is a natural swerving line down the center of the blade formed in the hardening process. It can only be seen after polishing and is unique to each swordsmith. Mono steel replicas have no natural hamon, using instead acid etch or wire brushing.
* The blade ranges in length from 60-73 cm (23.6 to 28.7 in)
* The curve of the blade is known as the sori.
* The point is the hardest part and is called a Kissaki. It is the most difficult part to polish and forge. The quality of the Kissaki determines the value of the katana.
* A new katana was given to a sword tester, who took the blade and tested it by cutting through corpses and condemned criminals. They started on the small bones and worked up. The test results were recorded on the nakago, the metal piece attaching the sword blade to the handle.
*The samurai would give their swords a name as they believed their warrior spirit lived within the blade.


  1. that blade looks to dangerous for me to touch, I kind of need my fingers LOL

  2. I own several swords, including a Klingon Bat'leth.

  3. ooh those swords are sexy. I'm fascinated by knives, some are just works of art. But when I'm watching a scary movie and the knife comes out, I know it's time to hide behind the cushion. *shudder*

    lol cartoon!

  4. hehehe by knives? or with knives? I'm fascinated with knives! Though I'm sure some knives might find me fascinating. I need a lesson in English please. :)

  5. poor Kate...
    I own a beaten up katana. I love it.

  6. Now this is my thing! I'm completely obsessed with swords, especially Tai Chi swords. I owe one, of course. ;) I love samurai swords too - they're as elegant as they're sharp, and also very, very beautiful! Since I saw "Kill Bill" for the first time, the Hatori Hanzo sword became an obsession of mine. Its photo is being on my desktop for years now.

  7. I hope the evil person who axed poor KAte will be found and decapitated! These pics of yours seriously shock me every day. I think their author is ready for some psychological examinations :)

  8. woozers that is a sharp post!
    A to Z Blog Challenge Participant
    Jeremy [iZombie]

  9. Who doesn't like an awesome sword? I have a female assassin in my book who likes to slice and dice people up with various blades of the trade.

  10. Wow, a mention of Akira Kurosawa. That just makes this an EPIC post! Katana blades are the shiznit! Your description is great, as are your pictures. I would love to own one of these precision blades of havoc.

  11. Never heard this name for a sword before but it definitely looks like it could be quite dangerous. Warfare in the days of men wielding swords seems much more fair and personal than the computerization and mass killing weapons that we have in modern times.

    Tossing It Out

  12. @Baygirl I'm afraid to touch it myself, I'm such a klutz, but it sure looks cool. :)

    @Alex OMG!! You have swords, AND a Bat'leth?! You are indeed a Ninja Army captain.

    @Niki Oh yeah these blades are definitely sexy. I've always been fascinated by or with (not sure either) blades. The are such elegant weapons.

    @Lynda You own a katana! That is wicked cool. I've always wanted one.

  13. @Nebular Ah the Hatori Hanzo, what a brilliant blade! I've always wanted to own a katana. The closest I've gotten is a friend who has a great blade collection.

    @Dez I will personally have them drawn and quartered. :) Edward Gorey drew these macabre little kids and they're my favorite alphabet book ever. Hmm, maybe that says something about me. ;)

    @iZombie LMAO Jeremy, love your wit, sir. ;)

  14. @Stephen Yes, I do indeed love me some blades. A female assassin is a wicked cool character and I will certainly have to read about her.

    @Matt I knew you would appreciate the Kurasawa reference. And I thank you for the EPIC description. What I wouldn't give to own my very own "blade of havoc."

    @Lee I agree. Warfare between men coming face to face on the battlefield does seem so much more honorable and fair. They could prove their mettle and wit against each other directly.

  15. Poor Kate.

    I'm familiar with the katana from Highlander. Loved the TV series. :D

  16. @MPax Poor Kate indeed. LOL Highlander was so awesome wasn't it? My fave show on television back then, still love to watch it. :)

  17. I wield the Katana sword of havoc and award you the "Versatile Blogger Award." Come pick it up @ my blog!

  18. Magnificent texture and excellent contrast, beautiful composition

  19. Fasinating and soooo gory! Blessings,Joanne

  20. Katana is extremely cool and deadly :) But one sword that I really want to have is the Green Destiny :)

  21. @Matt Thank you so very, very much. This means a lot to me, my friend. You rock!

    @Leovi Thanks! I'm so glad you like the pics. Whoever took them did a magnificent job. I wish I had a modicum of their skill.

    @Joanne Hi! Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment. I hope you return soon.

  22. Jaccstev Ah the Green Destiny, that is wicked and elegant blade. Gorgeous!

    @Movies It is isn't it? I just love looking at them and watching them in action.


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