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Collection: Japanese Short Sword: Must-Have Katana Companion


Being true artists in their advanced combat styles, the Samurai were known for their strict moral code and deadly weapons, both long and short swords. If you are searching for a Japanese short sword to add to your collection, display, or use for cutting, our store holds several hidden gems for you. 

You'll learn:

  • What counts as a short sword?

  • Use, origin, symbolism 

  • Different types of short swords 

Japanese Short Sword at a Glance

Premodern Japan developed a complex and respectable art of swordsmanship. Their smiths created something similar to a European dagger, a short blade with a minimal length of 15 inches and a maximum of two feet. 

If you've ever held a Katana, the most famous Japanese sword, then here is a comparison you might find useful. A short sword is about half the size of the typical Katana, and because of that, it has a slightly different purpose.

Longer and cumbersome swords were primary weapons on the battlefields, while samurai would carry a short sword for personal protection, in close combat, and as an additional weapon because it allowed the warrior high maneuverability and fast stabbing with exceptional control.  For example, Tanto is a Japanese short sword often paired with a tachi or Katana. 

The Meaning Behind Short Japanese Sword 

Warriors kept their short swords always by their sides, and that is why they stand as symbols of physical strength, pride, and loyalty. Whenever the situation required it, samurai could quickly bring out the short sword and turn it to their advantage. 

Types of Japanese Short Swords

There are two most important Japanese short swords, wakizashi and tanto, and several additional subtypes.

Wakizashi was, by the rule, an additional weapon, and warriors carried it to support Katana, a long sword. Often, the samurai were recognized by wearing a short sword and a Katana. Tanto is a stabbing sword, but warriors used it for slashing, too.

Even though both short swords were popular, the Samurai preferred Wakizashi over Tanto because of its versatile purpose and slightly greater length.

Our Collection: Be on a Lookout for Short Swords

Our collection of short swords features some real masterpieces for both blade quality and decorative details. Discover short swords with attractive handguards and traditional symbols from nature and mythology. Our Japanese small swords are hand-sharpened and feature hand-forged blades, made of carbon steel, clay-tempered, and oil-quenched. 


What does the short sword symbolize?

Short swords had multiple purposes, such as ritual use and personal defense. Similar to other Japanese swords, it embodied the samurai code and stood for honor. The quality and details on the short sword represent the social status of the warrior.

 What to look for in Japanese swords?

Check the sword material and sturdy construction. Pick carbon steel blades and quality handle wraps, and always buy from a respected store. Stay away from cheap, unusable sets.

What are the flaws in Japanese short swords?

What is the small Japanese dagger called?

The famous Japanese dagger, or short sword, is Tanto, which can be a single or double-edged sword. Typically, it was about 1 Japanese shaku long, or between 6 and 12 inches.