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 Museum Explorer

Warfare in Asia

Long sword blade

Length: 68.500 cm

Asia JA 1984.7-23.1

Long sword blade

From: Bizen Province, Japan
Date: 13th century AD

Japanese sword makers were very skilled. Fine blades like this were made by folding and hammering, then heating the metal and plunging it into cold water. This meant that the blade was strong but so sharp it could even cut through armour.

The sword would have been used by a samurai warrior. The samurai were high class noble warriors who followed a strict code of conduct.

A warrior's sword was so important to him that there are many different words in Japanese just for the different parts of a sword: the pattern on the edge of the blade, the fine point, the curve towards the hilt and so on.