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Are you someone who is all about the culture, Japan, as well as knives or swords? Guys who have watched at least one anime in their life will know what a katana is. If you’re interested in owning this item, or you want to know a bit more about its history, keep on reading and find out all there is to know in regards to a katana.

What is a katana?

A katana is another word for a sword but only refers to the Japanese sword that has a unique and interesting appearance. In fact, a katana is a single-ended sword that has a squared guard and a long grip, which means that you need to hold it with both of your hands to maneuver it successfully.

5 facts that you will find interesting about katanas

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Samurai and his deep connection

In loads of different movies or cartoons (such as Samurai Jack that we all loved to watch while growing up), the relationship between the Samurai and his sword was imagined and seen as a spiritual bond. It is not ”just” a sword, and it has a unique power.

A hard task to do and hard to create

Did you know that the job of creating a katana was time-consuming, hard, as well as special? Traditional katana makers had to even purify themselves before beginning the process that would take days to complete.

Katanas were used during wars

All the way back in the 19th century and during World War II, this item was used among some soldiers. Slowly & as time progressed people started using & transitioning onto fire items, but katanas were popular in some smaller parts still.

Later on, the swords were banned

Around 1950, this item was banned and its production stopped. It was impossible to find them since only some places had a license to make them, and they were quite rare & hard to find.

Some do have a right to own the sword

People who are with the Japanese Sword Association can own this item. However, you can’t own a sword that doesn’t have value to it. You should have something that has historical or cultural significance. You can’t use it for self-defense, for instance.

PS: Nihon Token Kai is a registration that allows Japanese citizens to own a sword. You should also have an authenticity and ownership permit. It is only allowed to create two swords in one month in Japan at the moment, and their prices can vary.

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What if you don’t have a license?

The rules say that if your sword is longer than 15 centimeters and made of any material (steel, plastic, coal, aluminum – doesn’t matter really) it is prohibited and banned from using or owning. You are not allowed to carry in or carry out this type of sword without the permit.

Can you get a license?

You will need to register any type of weapon with the board. Once you submit your application you will get an in-depth review and an answer from the committee after a couple of weeks. Once the process is done you will be left with ”torokusho” – a unique permit that is issued if all goes per plan. To get this license it is crucial to follow some rules, such as:

  • You can only go for a Japanese-made authentic kind model
  • Get the right license (is it an antique kind or a modern sword)
  • Rare & sacred swords that are a national treasure can never be taken outside of Japan, so do not try this step

How can you export it?

When it comes to export you should have the license that we’ve mentioned before – torokusho. Get in touch with the agency/buyer and send your personal information, picture, as well as any needed similar information that they may ask of you over email or phone. Export permits, once licensed, usually last for 30 days, and they are not too hard to get. In fact, exporting an item is a lot easier than importing.

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How to import it?

Importing swords into Japan, on the other hand, is a time-consuming process since there is a lot of paperwork involved. You will need your permit, declare the sword on the customs, and make sure that you have patience. If not done right, you could be looking into jail time due to smuggling something illegal.

Top 5 tips to remember when importing

Know your limit of swords

You can bring up to three swords with you in Japan, and only if they are licensed the right way.

Know who to choose when it comes to your postal office

Do not go for your regular carriers such as UPS or FedEx since they may not know these specific rules about swords. Go for someone local.

Have torokusho along with it

You can get in contact with the Japan Post office and see how to get torokusho or if there’s anything else that you may need along with it.

Pay the fee

There is a small fee that you’re obligated to pay for your license. It can take you anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get the process sorted out.

Submit the value

Lastly, submit the value of your sword and make sure that it has a receipt as well as any detail of its authenticity. Custom clearance officers will check for this.

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How do you feel about this idea, do you want to own a sword?

In the end, did you know some of these interesting facts about Japan, Samurais, as well as their culture? Even more importantly, do you want to lay your hands or your eyes on a gorgeous specimen and authentic katana? If you’re ready to purchase a gorgeous blue dragon sword and you want to see it in person, read more here! You will be amazed by its specifications, as well as its affordable price point.