Japanese Tanto

Swords play an essential role in the Japanese culture and these are admired all over the world because of the beauty, elegance, spiritual qualities, as well as the power that the sword exudes. In the Shinto religion, the Body of Kami (or the spirit) can be located in objects such as stones, trees, mountains, rivers, or human-made objects such as a mirror or a sword. These objects, especially the sword and mirror, often reflects the sun’s light and rays which are adored by the people; considering these as one of the highest and most prominent divine power since it is considered to be the sense of life on Earth. Generally, swords which include the tanto, are often utilized as objects or bodies of spiritual curing since the beauty and power that these exude turn them into ‘yorishiro’ – objects that attract divine energy.

The Japanese tanto is known to be one of the traditionally made swords that were carried at all times by the samurai class of ancient Japan. The weapon dates all the way back to the Heian era, when the tanto was mainly utilized as arms for battle yet it eventually evolved and its design became more ornate and intricate; additionally, the tanto was also utilized for martial arts and the practice of this is called the tantojutsu. If to describe the tanto, it is primarily a shortened sword with a strong and sturdy blade that measures around almost 12-inches; and supposedly, this was mainly utilized for attacking against armored opponents. The tanto was designed mainly to work as a stabbing or piercing weapon but its edge, since it is made razor sharp, can also be utilized for slashing. When forged, the Japanese Tanto is made without a ridgeline which only means that its sides do not have any of this and are almost levelled and flat which is completely unlike the form of the katana. Not all tanto are created equally the same since some of these feature a thick cross-section which is perfect for armor piercing. These were weapons carried by most samurai while some women carried a smaller type of tanto called the kaiken; females kept these weapons right in their obi to protect and defend themselves from danger. Before the combination of the tanto and the wakizashi arrived, it was normal for the samurai to bring a tanto and tachi as opposed to the wakizashi and the katanas.

History of the Japanese Tanto

The tanto knife was created out of necessity during the Heian era when the warrior class started to gain power; although the weapon that is most commonly linked with the samurai were the katanas, they also carried the tanto knife on certain occasions since it was considered as their last resort or last line of defense. There is a huge difference between the ancient tanto blades versus the newer and modern ones: earlier tantos were smaller compared to the modern tantos and in the years to come, there would definitely be a drastic boost in artisans who create such weapons that feature intricate and stunning designs on the tantos’ hilts and blades. Although it was something that boomed during that period, the art and design that surrounded the tanto knife did not last since by the fifteenth century, continuous military conflict as well as social upheavals in Japan eventually gave way to the warring period.

This warring stage in the country had a huge impact on these types of weapons since due to all the fighting between clans and groups, a mass production of the tanto knives automatically jeopardized the weapon’s artistic style and design, as well as the quality of the blades. During the eighteenth century, when the conflict in the country began to settle, the need for such blades and weapons were not as rampant – the reason why the production of the tanto knife had suffered drastically around those times; furthermore, the creation of the wakizashi and katana during the early fifteenth century somehow led to the drop of the tanto knife’s popularity. There were still a few tanto knives in production yet these were just imitations of the previous and original styles and designs. Even before the second World War, there was a revival in the production of the tanto knives since people began carrying such items for protection and self-defense; the popularity of the tanto knife during that period had left quite a lot in circulation, and even to this day and age, there is still a steady and continuous production of these weapons.

Advantages of the Tanto

The strength and durability of the Japanese tanto are probably one of the most advantageous aspects of the blade since each of the Tanto knife is designed and made with a high point and flat grind. Utilizing this specific design to create the knife makes for an extremely powerful weapon that can readily puncture and pierce through hard items. Furthermore, having a reinforced blade also allows the knife to be utilized for continuous puncturing without anyone really having to worry about the blade chipping off or snapping. When it comes to the pommel of the Japanese tanto, it is also extremely durable and sturdy since it is made from high-quality steel and is also tapered to perfection; just by utilizing a small number of materials, the pommel is primarily designed to readily absorb any form of impact that comes from strong and heavy strikes. Because of how the pommel is made, a minor blow or hit from this part of the blade can already have the same similar effect when a blunt weapon is utilized against an enemy.


The Tanto knife is undeniably great for power and defense, plus it is also a great piece to exhibit the artistic side of the Japanese. It is also considered to be one of the iconic weapons that exhibit a rich history of Japan since it dates all the way back to the tenth century; and although its artistic style, appearance, as well as structure has changed drastically, its design as a short weapon that has always been perfect for slashing and stabbing still remained the same throughout the centuries.

For those who are practitioners of the martial art or for those who are simply collectors of such fine weapons, one can have a custom Japanese tanto made through Katanas for Sale.  We offer you some of the best blades that you can find, and all of these are highly functional and ready for use. The finest craftsmen hand-forged our weapons with the use of high-quality and authentic materials to provide everyone with the best and most efficient weapons they can find.


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