Secrets of the Samurai Sword
Making a Masterpiece
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Making a Masterpiece

It has been said that the samurai's sword was his soul. Perhaps this deep attachment had something to do with the perfect melding of form and function found in the katana, as the famous curved sword is known in Japan. Invented a millennium ago, the katana remains a marvel of aesthetic beauty and skillful engineering. While most bladed weapons over the centuries were designed to either pierce or slash, the katana's two different types of steel gave it optimum qualities for both, making it a highly versatile weapon in battle. In this slide show, follow the steps that a master Japanese swordsmith takes today to craft what is arguably the most legendary of swords.—Rima Chaddha and Audrey Resutek


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