And this is what happens when a masterfully crafted katana collides with a masterfully crafted longsword.
Suck it, katana
And that is what happens when a masterfully crafted scalpel collides with a masterfully crafted guillotine.
Does nobody understand that longswords and katanas are two different kinds of tool?Longswords are essentially sharpened fucksticks designed to destroy the shit out of anything resembling armor that comes their way. They shatter bone, jelly flesh, and essentially fuck people up by sheer inexorable force of being a goddamn sharp steel bar.
Katanas don’t do that.They’re not meant to withstand collision with armor or a brick wall or a charging fully outfitted warhorsebecause the circumstances of its development didn’t call for that. It’s a precision instrument. It’s designed to be lightweight, outmaneuver, and find weak spots, not go barreling into people hack-n-slashing your way to victory. It’s a specialized tool.
In a sense this reflects a core difference between cultures; katanas are a shitton of work and preparation to make the execution as efficient and streamlined as possible, while longswords are more durably and simply made in response to a climate that would require a soldier to be a one-man battering ram in battle.
The vaunted differences between the katana and the longsword are largely myth.
First off: longswords are nowhere near as heavy as everyone thinks they are, the weight difference between an average longsword and an average katana is very slight.
Second: Longswords are not just random hack and slash weapons. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS JUST RANDOM HACK AND SLASH WEAPONS EVERY WEAPON IN THE WORLD REQUIRES SKILL AND FINESSE! To use a longsword requires precision and training and skill. If you think the longsword requires no skill I suggest you try fighting a master, or go read The Flower of Battle by Fiore dei Liberi.
Third: The structural differences between a katana and a longsword make little to no functional difference.
The reason the katana is so narrow and has a slight curve has nothing to do with functionality and EVERYTHING to do with iron being very rare in Japan.
The curve on a katana is only enough to help increase the cutting length while using the minimum of material.
The differences between Katana technique and longsword technique are about as large as the differences between Italian longsword technique and German longsword technique.
Because there’s only so much you can do with a long sharp piece of metal.
Fourth: The Katana did not evolve. They came up with one design and never changed it for thousands of years, not once. The design process of the longsword is well documented, it went through thousands of permutations and redesigns to make it more efficient, more useful and more adaptable.
Fifth: Longsowrds took a fuckton of work and preparation. Ok, I’m about to burst your bubble here, but bear with me because you’re going to learn something.
When the Japanese developed their folded steel technique it was in response to the fact that their iron ore was not only rare, it was also so full of impurities it was brittle and pretty awful at being a weapon.
All the Japanese folded steel technique really did was bring their steel up to the quality that was standard in most European steel.
Why do I say Japanese folded steel?
BECAUSE THE REST OF THE WORLD HAD ALREADY GOTTEN THERE ABOUT A THOUSAND YEARS BEFOREHAND!
Japanese Folded Steel is primitive compared to some of the shit we were producing for weapons at the same time in Europe.
And do you want to know who the masters of that were? THE FUCKING VIKINGS!
Japanese folded steel involves hammering one piece of steel into a fucking sandwhich over and over and over again.
Viking folded steel involves taking separate rods of Iron (For a flexible core) and Steel (for a hard edge) AND FUCKING BRAIDING THEM TOGETHER! LITERALLY BRAIDING TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF METAL IN THREE OR MORE PIECES TOGETHER AND THEN HAMMERING THAT INTO A SWORD! JUST TRY AND TELL ME THAT’S NOT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING YOU’VE EVER HEARD!
Sixth: The Katana was a backup weapon. It was literally the last resort. It got a lot of reverence in bushido because of how pretty it was and for no other reason. But the chief weapon of the samurai was actually their Kyu (longbow) followed by their Naginata (A spear, which was essentially like a katana on a stick and WAY more effective) or their Tetsu bo (A big conical wooden club covered in iron studs) and then if none of that worked then they would use the katana.
Seventh: The function of a longsword depends on the historical period you’re thinking of. In the 15th century and onward they were for dealing with plate armour and their design changed to reflect that.
But they existed long before then and had many different functions, people of each period tailoring them for their specific needs.
Eighth: Swords are expensive. Doesn’t matter what period or country you’re in a sword is a LOT of metal and metal is ALWAYS expensive.
In almost every culture spears and axes were FAR more common than swords.
This caused a widespread phenomenon that historians/archaeologists/folklorists refer to as “the cult of the sword” where the rarity and beauty of swords causes them to become an object of reverence.
Almost every culture that developed swords also developed a weird spiritual reverence for them. The cult of the sword died off FAR later in Japan than it did in Europe which is why katanas have so much reverence and mythology attached to them even into the modern age.
Ninth: Stop idealising other cultures because they’re over there.