- Aug 2014
And even after all this work, their functionality is barely the equivalent of a good European sword. Ask yourself why the Japanese had to place so much emphasis on correct technique. It is because of how fragile their swords are. A decent European sword is not so easy to damage and is far more forgiving of incorrect technique.The skills of those holding the weapons also counts. I doubt Japanese had poor quality iron ore and carbonised steel, as the well technology ie using two types of steel on different sides of the blade. In general , Japanese didn't have a good opinion about swords from other cultures. Some Katana swords were of a poor quality, especially those mass made during WWII that were brought home by Americans as trophies.
Here's a good documentary on how Katana sword is made on National Geographic. Three teams (metal makers, sword makers and polisher - 50 people) . The sword was completed in 6 months. Such sword cost a fortune and it's not sold just to anyone who wishes.