What is Koto in Japanese Katana terminology?
"""Koto"" (古刀, Koto) refers to the swords that were made from the Heian period to 1595 (Bunroku 4). Many of these swords are classified as national treasures or important cultural properties in Japan.
The term ""Koto"" literally translates to ""old swords"". These swords are characterized by their curved shape, a departure from the straight swords (Chokuto) that were prevalent before the Heian period. The introduction of the curved sword design is closely linked to the rise of the samurai class. The curved design made it easier to draw the sword and strike the enemy in one motion, which was particularly advantageous for mounted samurai.
The fact that many Koto are classified as national treasures or important cultural properties underscores their historical and cultural significance. These swords are not only weapons but also works of art, reflecting the high level of craftsmanship and aesthetic sensibility of the swordsmiths of the time."