According to Japanese history, sword makers were believed to be an honored class of people. The swords themselves were made by the pure of heart, those with exceptionally high moral standards. There were several rituals involved before even beginning to make a Samurai sword.
Samurai swords are regarded as superior to any other blade made in the world. Sword makers, dressed in white, would hammer together layers of steel and meld them together into a sandwich. Then, they would reheat it, fold it back and hammer it thin again. This process was repeated a dozen times. The best blades--the ones that collectors search for today-- are made of hard steel welded together and reheated twenty or more times. To make it stronger, the sword makers would heat it and then suddenly cool it. Finally, the sword smith would cover the sword with clay, leaving the edge exposed. This method ensured that the sword would be hard and sharp, yet would not break during battle. Only a small, but deadly, portion of the blade would be as sharp as a razor.
For those attempting to make their own traditional, high caliber sword, you can probably forgo the fasting and rituals. You may want to consider watching a sword maker or becoming an apprentice. There are several Japanese companies that not only make Samurai swords using the ancient techniques and rituals of the sword makers but welcome visitors to watch the process.
Truth be told, most people don't have the materials or expertise necessary to make a traditional Samurai sword. But why should that stop you? Here's how to make a makeshift Samurai sword of your own.
A Samurai sword is a bowed, wide, rectangular shape. Draw this shape on cardboard, and then cut out the shape with scissors or a box cutter.
Cover the cardboard with newspaper strips. Dip these strips into liquid starch, wiping off any excess, and wrap it around the cardboard. Continue placing the cardboard on the sword until you are happy with the shape.
Add more strips to form a ridge, measuring eight to fourteen inches, around the handle.
When your sword has dried, bring out your paint and color it gray! As for the handle and ridge, use black electrical tape to cover those.
It may not be a traditional Samurai sword, and you may not want to do battle with a homemade version, but this one will provide you with hours of entertainment!