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What is an authentic Japanese katana?

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Quick Answer

An authentic Japanese katana is a traditional sword constructed only from a specialized Japanese steel known as "tamahagane." Modern, replica swords from other countries are mass-produced, and they're constructed of a variety of steels and other metals.

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Full Answer

Commonly referred to as the "samurai sword," the katana traces its roots to feudal Japan, where it was used by samurai warriors in combat. The sword was carried by fighters in a belt-like sash known as an "obi," designed to allow a quick draw. Antique katana dating back to the 16th century are on display at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Tokyo National Museum.

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