Process of making katana

“Japanese swords are expensive, too expensive! “

“Why are they so expensive?”

Every beginner of Japanese sword thinks like this.


It is sure that Japanese swords are not cheap at all. They cannot be purchased at 100 or 200 dollars.

Some swords cost 50,000 dollars or 100,000 dollars.

(In some shops, you can buy them at about 100 dollars, but they are mass produced in plants in China,

etc. So if you want fake Japanese sword, you may buy them.)


Then, why Japanese swords are so expensive?

There are many production steps of Japanese swords, and it is hard to describe in only one article,

so I will write only the main production steps.


First, Japanese swords are made from tamahagane, a steel which is most appropriate to create edge.

Tamahagane is a Japanese traditional production step which is hard to mass product.


A specialized forge will select tamahagane and forge. By doing so, impurity will be knocked out and

it will become purer.


After that, the forge will forge in a way called orikaeshi. This is a way of forging, repeating

folding and stretching, and it is rare in other countries.

By doing this, the steel becomes stronger and stronger.



Japanese swords seem to be made by one piece of steel, but they are not. They are a combination

of 2 pieces of steel, combined in a way called “tsukurikomi”.


By using hard steel for the outside and soft and stretchable steel inside, a Japanese sword

which “does not break, does not bend but cuts easily” will be born.


At a step called “ sunobe “, the edge will be formed.


The forge do “ tsuchioki “ to make patterns on the sword.


After yakiire, the sword will be bound and have patterns.

Afterwards, the forge will sharpen the edge and create sheath and handle.

Many specialized craftsmen takes almost 1 month to create.


Considering personnel cost of craftsmen, it is clear that Japanese sword cannot be bought at

100 or 200 dollars.

Personally I am worried that it should be more than 30,000 dollars so that craftsmen

should not be in deficit.


If you want to check video in detail, please visit this website.

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