The Japanese katana has been traditionally made of high-carbon steel. During feudal Japan, swordsmiths would forge this iconic sword using a special type of carbon-rich steel known as tamahagane. With up to 4.5% carbon content, it's stronger and more durable than traditional low-carbon steel.
The use of high-carbon steel was a game-changer for swordsmiths. Prior to its invention, swords like the katana were made of low-carbon steel, which made them susceptible to breakage upon impact. Additionally, these low-carbon swords were unable to hold an edge. For these reasons, swordsmiths began to experiment with other metals, resulting in the discovery of high-carbon steel.
While swordsmiths today carry on the practice by producing katanas, uchigatanas and other swords with high-carbon steel, the iconic curved-bladed sword is now being made of ice cream.
First reported by Kotaku, a confectionery chef in Japan has gained attention from around the world for making special sweet treats, including an ice cream katana. As show in the photo above, it looks similar to a real katana, featuring a curbed blade, handle and even a hand guard. Unlike a real katana, however, this sword is made of sweet ice cream. The handle is still made of plastic and the guard is made of chocolate cookie, but the blade is made of ice cream coated with kudzu starch to preserve its shape.
Unfortunately, though, the ice cream katana is only for sale in select stores in Seki, Japan, with a cost of roughly $9. Furthermore, reports indicate that it's only available in two ice cream flavors: bean paste and citron. Nonetheless, it's gained the attention of sword collectors and culinary chefs worldwide, many of whom are marveling over this innovative new delicacy.
The ice cream katana is actually the brainchild of a high school student, who also lives in Seki. This is fitting, of course, considering that Seki is known for its world-renowned swordsmiths and culinary arts. The ice cream katana essentially blends these two elements together, offering the katana in the form of a delicious, though perishable, treat.
Of course, the katana ice cream being offered lacks the intricate history and rich culture of a genuine katana. Sure, it looks similar to a traditional katana, but it doesn't provide the full, in-depth view of an actual katana. If you want to see and feel a genuine katana -- whether to collect or for martial arts practice -- consider investing in the real thing.