Heavily associated with its country of origin; Japan, the katana is a curved, slender, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip to accommodate two hands.
Traditionally made from a specialized Japanese steel called "Tamahagane", the katana evolved from the Tachi blade in the 1400's. The rise in the katana's popularity is believed to have been due to the changing nature of close-combat warfare where the sword's quicker draw enabled the wielder an edge in duels and one-on-one encounters.
During the Meiji period the modernization of Japan's military and the disbanding of the Samurai class saw a decline in sword manufacture until pre-World War II when all Japanese officers were required to wear a sword. After the war, sword manufacture and sword related martial arts were banned in Japan and many swords were confiscated and destroyed until 1953, when they were allowed to return.
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- Honed Shinobi Blades (Tank)
- Surplus Energized Blade (Controller)
- Assassin's Blades (Healer)
- The katana evolved from the Tachi at around the 1400's. The Tachi is a lighter blade with a more pronounced curve that was worn with the cutting edge facing downward when sheathed (katana are worn in the sheath with the cutting edge facing upward).
- The katana was often paired with a similar smaller companion sword, such as a wakizashi or a tantō dagger. The pairing of a katana with a smaller sword is called "the daishō". The daisho could only be worn by samurai and it represented the social power and personal honor of the samurai.
- Since 1953 Japanese sword-smiths and martial arts have been allowed to return, but with severe restrictions: sword-smiths must be licensed and serve a five-year apprenticeship before-hand. They are also only allowed to produce two long swords per month. All swords must be registered by the Japanese Government.
- Tatsu Yamashiro (aka Katana), a prominent member of the Outsiders hero team, is a trained samurai who wields a mystical katana named "Soultaker". Soultaker was, along with its non-powered twin, forged in the 14th century by Muramasa, whose swords were said to be cursed. The blade has the mystical ability to take the souls of those it slays, storing them inside the sword, where they can engage in limited communication with the wielder.
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