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Nihonzashi Sword Store & Dojo
 5980 66th St N Suite M
St Petersburg FL 33709
Email: info@nihonzashi.com
Phone: 727-329-9679 
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Samuari Swords

In 1867 the samurai class was abolished in Japan. The Meiji Restoration redefined the class system and brought Japan into the modern era. To most people the Samurai are a footnote in history or larger than life figures on the cinema screen.  Nihonzashi is the Japanese name for a samurai who wears two swords. They wore two swords as a badge of their office and while the samurai are gone - their history and their legacy remain. We at Nihonzashi are dedicated to keeping that legacy alive.  We teach Toyama Ryu Japanese Swordsmanship in St Petersburg Florida and our online shop offers the same samurai swords we use in the dojo.  There are plenty of internet sword shops out there, but we bring practical knowledge that comes from years of studying swordsmanship.

Even in an age of advanced weapons there is still a fascination with the sword.  Japanese swordsmanship is no longer a matter of life and death.  Those who study swordsmanship today are drawn into the art for various reasons.  We dedicate ourselves to keep an ancient art alive in a world were it has no use.  The nature of the samurai changed after the battle of Sekigahara in 1600 when Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated his rivals.  It was the beginning of the Edo period and the unification of the country.  The highly tuned combat skills of the samurai were redirected in other directions.  The skills of the battlefield were changed into martial arts.  Toyama Ryu is based on the training regime created in 1925 for the Japanese military academy.  The long tradition of carrying the samurai sword into battle continued into WWII.

Nihonzashi offers hand forged high carbon steel samurai swords and other weapons from CAS Hanwei. They are made in the Paul Chen Hanwei Forge in China. They are all differentially tempered using the traditional clay method perfected by the Japanese. Differential tempering creates a hard edge that stays sharp and leaves a softer spine that keeps the sword from breaking. These are not the stainless steel decorative swords you find in the mall or at the flea market. These are real swords that we use in our dojo.  We cut over 1000 tatami and bamboo targets a year in the dojo.  We can not afford to have a sword break.  With that much tameshigiri (test cutting) we need swords that keep an good edge week after week.  You may not need that kind of performance in a samurai sword, but don't you want the real thing?  Everyone seems to be making full tang, functional or battle ready swords, but you will never find most of those in our dojo.  It is not about the latest sword marketing buzz words.  Swordsmanship is dangerous enough without having to worry about your equipment failing you.

 
CAS Hanwei Tsunami Samurai Sword (Katana)

The two main Japanese samurai swords that we used are called the Katana and Wakizashi. The matched pair of Katana (long sword) and Wakizashi (short sword) is called a Daisho .  We are excited that CAS Hanwei /Hanwei Forge offers matched sets of Katana, Wakizashi, and Tanto.  The fittings and even the character of the blades match.  If you are interested, please go to our Daisho Set page.  The katana is a long sword worn edge up in the obi (Japanese belt). The wakizashi is a short sword worn as a companion to the katana. There were many situations where a Samurai was expected to leave his katana behind, but he would always keep the wakizashi.  The Katana and Wakizashi can be used as a slashing or stabbing weapon.  The Katana can be used with one or two hands while the Wakizashi is made for one hand.  We teach students how to wear, use, and maintain Katana and Wakizashi. This is not something you fully learn in a few classes or even a few months of training.  If you have any questions just email us at info@nihonzashi.com.  We will be happy to answer them or point you in the right direction. 

Wind and Thunder Katana, Wakizashi,  and Tanto

So why don't we offer Japanese made samurai swords?  At a starting price of about $10,000 these Japanese swords are well out of the budget for most collectors.  We certainly would not be using these costly pieces of art for practicing martial arts.  Real swords made in Japan are highly regulated by the Japanese government.  The Government controls both the swords and their production.  Each sword is licensed and smiths are restricting to making only a set number.  This assures that each is a work of art but drives the price up beyond the reach of normal people.

There is a strange mix of peaceful moving meditation and efficient bloody harsh reality in Japanese Swordsmanship. It is an art of life and death. Its origins are 300 years of bloody Japanese battlefields in an era of constant war. It was refined in the 300 years of rigid social hierarchy that followed. For most a brief exposure to Swordsmanship that satisfies their curiosity. For a few it becomes a life long pursuit. Most students move on within a few months. There is no fire in their eyes and no immediate reward to keep them motivated. They will soon be off pursuing the next thing that catches their interest. Only a few rare students remain to carry on the tradition. Are you one of them?