Friday, February 25, 2011

Katana - The Most Powerful Sword In The World

In ancient Japanese history, countless battles were fought. Though the exact date is unknown, a swords-smith named Amakuni made swords for the Japanese soldiers. After the battle, the soldiers returned in defeat. Amakuni didn’t understand why such soldiers were beaten- until he saw their broken and useless swords. Seeing that these soldiers needed much heavier duty swords, he worked for days and nights, tirelessly without rest. Days later he returned to the soldiers with his new weapon- the Ninhoto Katana (usually just called Katana) Ninhoto is the name of the sword type in Japanese, and doesn’t have an English name. Katana simply means sword in Japanese, but is usually what people call the Ninhoto katana. But what makes this type of Katana so important?

The Ninhoto Katana is the sharpest type of sword in the world, with a record of being able to chop through 8 prisoners at once (during ancient times, the strength of a Katana was measured in how many prisoners it could chop through at once, gory but true!)This is because of tiny serrations that let it slice through things like butter. It is the only weapon that can slash apart wood, as any other wood chopping things hack at it (using the weight of its head to rush through the object). This attribute has been the inspiration for many blades, like razor blades. Razor blades have tiny serrations, just like the Ninhoto Katana. Also, serrations can be found in syringes (to make them go through skin with less pain). Also, the curved shape of the Ninhoto Katana makes it very powerful, and it will rarely break. The combination gives a powerful and sharp weapon, not to mention that it is light!

Now, considering today people don’t run around chopping people with Katana like an anime series, you may think that the Ninhoto Katana is useless for today. As if the inspiration for serrated blades and syringes wasn’t enough, the Ninhoto Katana is considered a work of art. Though in Britain things this sharp are illegal, many do have them for artistic reasons. How does this relate to art?
   It takes 4 years to master the art of making a Ninhoto Katana, and because of this the Ninhoto Katana is considered a work of art when made using traditional methods. Also, it takes 5 years to master Katana polishing, and is also considered a Japanese art. Lastly is the use of Ninhoto Katana in martial arts. Martial arts are a major part of Japans culture, and the Ninhoto Katana plays a major part in it. As you can see, the Ninhoto Katana is a work of art on multiple levels!

In addition, the Ninhoto Katana was a major part of Japans survival. As the Ninhoto Katana gave the Japanese a huge edge in battle, it played a major part in its survival. If the Ninhoto Katana was never invented, Japan may have been taken over by another country. This would result in the world losing a lot of what Japanese culture has to offer, including Sushi, a large variety of martial arts, Anime like Blood+, Bleach, to things that little kids like, such as Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh. In addition, think of all the inventions Japan has given to the world, like Nintendo, Play station, and companies like Samsung that put competition in the market for electronics. Not only did the Ninhoto Katana inspire many inventions like serrated blades, but also protected future inventions that we get to enjoy now.

The Ninhoto Katana is an amazing part of Japanese culture, and Amakuni’s invention is an important invention that should keep him remembered.