Historically, katana (刀) were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (日本刀 nihontō) that were used by the samurai of feudal Japan. The katana is characterized by its distinctive appearance: a curved, slender, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip to accommodate two hands.
The rise in popularity of katana amongst samurai came about due to the changing nature of close-combat warfare. The quicker draw of the sword was well suited to combat where victory depended heavily on fast response times. The katana further facilitated this by being worn thrust through a belt-like sash (obi) with the sharpened edge facing up. Ideally, samurai could draw the sword and strike the enemy in a single motion. Previously, the curved tachi had been worn with the edge of the blade facing down and suspended from a belt.
The length of the katana blade varied considerably during the course of its history. In the late 14th and early 15th centuries, katana blades tended to have lengths between 70 and 73 cm (27½ and 28½ in). During the early 16th century, the average length approached closer to 60 cm (23½ in). By the late 16th century, the average length returned to approximately 73 cm (28½ in). The katana was often paired with a similar smaller companion sword, such as a wakizashi or it could also be worn with the tantō, a smaller, similarly shaped dagger. The pairing of a katana with a smaller sword is called the daishō. Only samurai could wear the daishō: it represented the social power and personal honor of the samurai.
In Shinobido Edit
The most common enemy weapon, favored by Ichijo, Kazama, Samurai Generals and Yojimbo. Also commonly used by Soldiers and Bandits. All characters who employ katanas have different combat styles, see their pages for specifics.