Swords and Tradition

The history of tameshigiri (testing the cutting and piercing capabilities of spears and swords against armor and helmets) dates back to the 12th century. The ideal of swordsmiths was to forge blades so strong and sharp that they could cut through helmets and the like, while armor makers aimed at fashioning helmets strong enough to protect the wearer even should they be unlucky enough to receive such a cut. This ongoing competition undoubtedly stimulated improvement in the craftsmanship and techniques of both.


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