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#111446 - 05/30/03 01:15 AM Katana and the Samurai
Kage Ookami Offline

Registered: 05/29/03
Posts: 8
Alright... I just looked at a picture of a Tachi Samurai and a Katana... there seems to be no difference. To my understanding I think the katana usually has a double edge and the samurai has a single edge. Excuse my agnorance when it comes to swords. I'm under the influence of Rurouni Kenshin.. hehe.
By the way of topic, which is stronger, the traditional iron folding technique, or the new carbon fiber techonology that some swords are made of?

#111447 - 05/30/03 03:42 AM Re: Katana and the Samurai
Vulk Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 24
Loc: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Afric...
The Katana and the Tachi are both single-edged. My understanding is that the main difference between them is simply that the Tachi is a bit shorter. Most Tachi in existence are lavishly decorated court swords (because they continued to be used for ceremonial functions even after being phased out of battlefield use) where as Katanas are more practical, fighting swords.

#111448 - 06/15/03 08:18 AM Re: Katana and the Samurai
Jamoni Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
Having done a little research, it seems that the main difference beween katana and tachi is the method of carry. The tachi is an older style, and hangs from the waist, edge down, like a western sword. Whereas the katana is inserted into the belt edge up. Also, from the pictures I found, the tachi seems to have a severe curve near the guard, but straightens out for most of it's length, while the katana has a more even curve. (This might just be individual examples, though.)

#111449 - 07/23/03 04:24 PM Re: Katana and the Samurai
MAGon Offline

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 1737
Loc: Miami, Fl.
Gentlemen: I'm no expert on swords or swordsmanship, but I DID once ask my Kenjutsu Sensei that question, this is what I recall of his answer: Physically, the tachi differs from the katana in that the tsuka (Pommel) is curved on the tachi, straight for the katana. The tachi's blade has a more pronounced curve than the katana's. Also, the blade is lighter, and it was worn hanging from the belt, edge down as opposed to the katana being worn tucked into an obi, edge up.
I asked Sensei the Whys to this. He quite frankly told me that he didn't know the reason why the tachi was more curved, or why the tsuka was curved as well. The reason for the lighter blade, and the way it was worn was because the tachi is an older sword than the katana. It was developed during the period of constant civil wars prior to Japan's unification under the Tokugawa Shoguns, and was meant to be used by mounted samurai. Since one hand would commonly be used to control the horse's bridles, the tachi needed to be lighter so the mounted samurai would have the option to wield it one handed. For the same reason (Being on horseback), it was worn hanging, edge down: To make it easier to be carried and drawn by a mounted man. Imagine being on horseback all day with a katana stuck in your obi and rubbing against your skin! Likewise, drawing a katana worn edge up would require an overhand move and risk interference form the horse's head. Drawing the tachi, blade down, eliminated that risk, as Western cavalrymen also discovered.
For what it's worth.
BTW, A curious bit of trivia: Otake Sensei, Shihan of the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu uses an antique tachi blade, but with a katana tsuka, for Iaijutsu.

[This message has been edited by MAGon (edited 07-23-2003).]

#111450 - 03/28/04 03:50 PM Re: Katana and the Samurai
rustedbrolly Offline

Registered: 03/24/04
Posts: 20
Loc: Renton, Washington, US
There is a big difference to tai chi swords and katanas. Tai chi swords are longer and lighter than katanas, and used in court fights. Katanas were heavy and used to kill large groups of people.

#111451 - 04/29/04 09:31 PM Re: Katana and the Samurai
DoomedOne Offline

Registered: 04/29/04
Posts: 4
The reason the tachi has more curavture is it was earlier than the katana. It was in the age when horse back was still preferred over foot soldiers. Traditionally a tachi is longer than a katana.

#111452 - 04/30/04 12:36 PM Re: Katana and the Samurai
Crusader Offline

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 14
Loc: Missisauga, Ontarion, Canada
There is a huge difference between the Katana and the Tai Chi sword. The Tai Chi sword is a double egde blade and is a straight sword, thus the Tai Chi sword shall move with the wrist known as wrist movement. The Katana however is a single edge sword and is curved, also the Katana is a sword that moves with the hip and body movement and not wrist. The Tai Chi sword is also shorter and follows the chinese art of fighting while the Katans is longer and follows the Japanese art of Fighting.

[This message has been edited by Crusader (edited 04-30-2004).]

#111453 - 05/05/04 08:15 PM Re: Katana and the Samurai
samurai swords Offline

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4
With the opening of Japan to the West by Perry in the mid Nineteenth Century and the Meiji Restoration, the traditional Japanese sword nearly ceases to exist. The Meiji Emperor bans the wearing of swords and abolishes the samurai class. Swords after 1876 can not properly be called samurai swords as there were no samurai after that date. This also marks the first large exodus of Japanese swords to the West with many of the largest early English and American collections being assembled during this time. Few traditional swords are made except for special occasions or temple dedications as the Japanese started adopting western style cavalry sabers which were machine made. It is not until the 1930's with the period of Japanese expansion into other parts of Asia that swords of the classic style are again made.

The Showa Era sees a great variety in quality of sword production, from traditionally made Nihonto (gendai blades) to bar stock, machine made swords (Showato) with all variations in between. Most blades are made to a military standard with blades between 25-28 inches in length, having only slight sori, almost no taper (funbari)and chu-kissaki (medium points). The student of the Japanese sword must learn to distinguish between non-traditionally made swords and true gendai blades. While non-traditional blades are of historical interest to militaria collectors and make perfectly fine swords for martial arts use, they are of little interest to collectors of Nihonto. The great variation in methods of production during the Showa Era makes this an area of much needed research.

It is important to remember that the changes in sword shapes did not occur instantaneously. Rather the changes were trends which took, in most cases, many years to develop, therefore numerous variations and intermediate styles are found.

#111454 - 05/05/04 08:17 PM Re: Katana and the Samurai
samurai swords Offline

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4
[URL=http://""]samurai swords[/URL]

#111455 - 05/10/04 09:20 AM Re: Katana and the Samurai

Somebody here has got their wires crossed between Tachi and Tai Chi, which is two entirely different things (I think). Tai Chi swords are straight and nothing like your typical Samurai Katana.

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