Japanese sword

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A Japanese sword, or nihontō (日本刀 or にほんとう lit. Japanese sword?), is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese sword, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.

The most commonly known type of Japanese sword is the katana, which, like the similarly formed tachi, is a single-edged and, usually, curved long sword which was traditionally worn by samurai from the 15th century onwards.[1][2][3] Other types include: wakizashi, which are shorter swords; tsurugi, which are double-edged long swords; and ōdachi or nodachi, which are older but longer single-edged versions. Although they are pole-mounted weapons, the naginata and yari are considered part of the nihontō family due to the methods by which they are forged.[4]

Japanese swords are still commonly seen today; antique and modernly-forged swords can easily be found and purchased. Modern, authentic nihontō are made by a few hundred swordsmiths. Many examples can be seen at an annual competition hosted by the All Japan Swordsmith Association,[5] under the auspices of the Nihontō Bunka Shinkō Kyōkai (Society for the promotion of Japanese Sword Culture).[6]

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