Legendary 1.000-year-old Katana sword still looks as flawless as when it was first constructed! (photos)

Make your way to the Tokyo National Museum and you’ll see a beautifully constructed katana that still looks flawless despite being 1,000 years old. Known as the Mikazuki Munechika, this special sword was crafted by the legendary Sanjo Munechika. He was considered one of Japan’s most skilled swordsmiths in the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE). Munechika was so fond of his creation that he attached his name to it—in addition to the term mikazuki, which is the Japanese word for “crescent moon.”

So, why is this katana named crescent moon? It has to do with a motif found on the blade. The process of creating a katana requires that the sword get very hot and then rapidly cools. Called quenching and tempering, this technique strengthens and hardens the steel. In doing so, it causes there to be unique markings on the material. The Mikazuki Munechika has symbols that look like halved moons.

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