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Tsurugi
Location: Japan

The tsurugi is a Japanese straight sword most likely of Chinese origin. It is not known exactly when it was introduced to the Japanese because its existence pre-dates written records, but it was in use from at least the 1st century BCE through the 8th century CE.

While Japan is most famous for its single edged curved swords such as the katana the tsurugi is double edged and straight. In fact the Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi, arguably Japan's most famous sword, is straight bladed and double edged.

A popular Japanese story tells that the swordsmith Amakuni created the first curved sword called Kogarasu Maru. Typically after a battle the emperor would greet the smith and thank him for helping win through the creation of his fine weaponry, but one time the emperor passed Amakuni by without acknowledging him. He came to find that many disheartened warriors were returning from battle with broken blades and so Amakuni swore an oath to make a better sword and regain the emperor's favor.

After much prayer, Amakuni began work on the first curved sword. It had the advantage that it could be unsheathed from horseback more easily and was both hard and flexible, so it would not break. The next summer not a single blade broke in combat, and the emperor stopped by to personally thank Amakuni for his service.

BCE 01st Century, CE 01st Century, CE 02nd Century, CE 03rd Century, CE 04th Century, CE 05th Century, CE 06th Century, CE 07th Century, CE 08th Century, History, Japan, Sword, Weapon


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