The katana, or samurai sword, is the most advanced form of Japanese edged weapons, the production of which has been honed for centuries. The history of the katana begins around the 12th-13th century. Wearing a large sword was allowed only to samurai warriors and aristocrats. Katana was an indispensable attribute of the Japanese aristocracy until the 19th century, but after the Meiji revolution, it lost this status, and officials began to wear European-style swords.
Nevertheless, in the modern world, interest in ancient Japanese melee weapons is very high. Many connoisseurs of edged weapons appreciate the quality of steel and the elegance of the finish of the katana, weapons collectors are looking for ancient swords with the stamp of master blacksmiths or collect pieces of fittings. Experts believe that a number of design principles for katana, which have remained virtually unchanged since the 14th century, formed the basis of many models of modern combat edged weapons.