PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Samurai warrior, Edo period woodblock. This illustration shows three samurai swords or katana. The samurai sword was a remarkable feat of technical metallurgy which often acquired a spiritual aspect in its production. Methods learnt through centuries of trial and error have been proved, by modern scientific analysis of the results, to have produced highly functional steel blades. The Samurai were a warrior class in medieval and early-modern Japan. The Edo period lasted from 1603 to 1898.
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