Originally pioneered during the Japan's Kamakura Period (1185 to 1333), the katana is one of the world's popular and recognized swords. Many sword collectors prefer the katana for this very reason. However, there are other reasons to own a katana as well.
#1) Tamahagane Steel
The traditional Japanese katana was made using the fine, high-carbon steel. Known as tamahagane steel, this was instrumental in defining the katana's strength. The high carbon content of tamahagane allowed the katana to hold an edge while protecting it from chipping and other forms of damage.
#2) It's The Perfect Size
With an average length of approximately 28.75 inches (73 cm), the katana is arguably the perfect size for a sword. Of course, it hasn't always been this size. In early 16th century Japan, the katana was just 23.5 inches (60 cm). Japanese swordsmiths soon realized, however, that a longer length made it a more effective weapon. From late 16th century until today, the katana's length has been roughly 28.75 inches (73 cm).
#3) It Was Produced By the Prolific Swordsmiths
Not surprisingly, some of the most prolific swordsmiths created the katana. Gorō Nyūdō Masamune, also known as Masamune, was one such swordsmith who made the katana. Throughout his career, Masamune produced some of the finest katanas the world had ever seen. He became such a distinguished swordsmith that he was (and still is) regarded as a legend.
#4) It Was Polished... For Weeks
When you think of time-consuming processes that go into making a traditional Japanese katana, polishing probably isn't at the top of your lift. After all, how long does it really take to polish a sword? Well, in feudal Japan, swordsmiths would spend days or even weeks polishing the katana.
#5) It's Used In Martial Arts
The Japanese katana isn't just a historic and meaningful collectible; it's also an excellent sword for use in martial arts. Many practitioners of the Japanese martial art iaidō, for instance, prefer the katana over other swords. Its curved blade compounded by the fact that it's worn with the cutting edge up allow for a fast and efficient draw. Additionally, practitioners of the cutting practice tameshigiri also use the katana.
#6) It Was the Samurai Warrior's Primary Weapon
Samurai warriors used the katana as their primary weapon. With that said, they would often wield a secondary backup weapon like the tanto. Usually, this secondary weapon was smaller and shorter than the katana.