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Sword Making (Upper-Intermediate – B1)

Sword Making - Transcript

Japan is a country famous for swords. People there have been making them for thousands of years, and they are still popular today. Times have changed, but the process of making a traditional Japanese sword has remained the same for centuries. The process begins by heating large amounts of sand in a huge clay oven. For three days the oven is stoked with charcoal. As the heat increases, carbon from the charcoal mixes with iron from the sand to make steel. The process creates two types of steel, one which is hard and another which is slightly softer. Both types are used to make the sword. To make the blade of the sword, the steel is heated, folded and hammered flat. The process is repeated many times. This makes the steel incredibly pure and strong. It also makes it possible to combine soft and hard steels to make a sword that is flexible but strong. Dipping the hot blade into water makes the steel even stronger. It also causes the curved shape that Japanese swords are known for. The blade must be dipped into the water at just the right moment. If the steel is too hot or too cool, the sword could break. In fact, one in every three swords made in the traditional way break at this point. If the sword maker is successful, the result of his work will be a beautiful blade, strong and sharp, that will last for many generations.

Sword Making - Video

Sword Making - Video Gap Fill

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Japanese Swords: Beautiful Blades with Special Meanings

Japanese Sword

Japanese swords are very special blades that are famous for their amazing quality and importance to Japanese culture. There are three main types of traditional swords. Each of these swords is made with great care, and each has its own purpose.

Katana: The Samurai’s Important Weapon

The Katana is a well-known Japanese sword with a long, curved blade and a long handle. It was used by samurai. Samurai were a type of Japanese warrior from long ago. The Katana is good for cutting and stabbing. It represents the spirit of the samurai, who followed a set of rules called Bushido.

Wakizashi: The Blade that Goes with the Katana

The Wakizashi is smaller than the Katana but still very important. It is considered a companion to the Katana because it was often carried together by samurai. The Wakizashi has a shorter blade, making it good for fighting in close spaces. It was used in battles and for special rituals.

Tanto: The Useful Knife

The Tanto is a small sword with a straight blade. It’s not just for fighting—it’s also a helpful tool for cutting things in everyday life. People used it for different tasks, like cutting and carving. The Tanto is smaller than the other swords, making it easy to carry and use for many purposes.


These Japanese swords are more than just weapons. They are pieces of art with a lot of history. Skilled craftsmen spend a long time making them, using a special method called “tamahagane”. This method creates blades that are very sharp and strong.

Whether they are shown as beautiful decorations or used in martial arts, Japanese swords are loved by many people around the world. They are not just tools—they are symbols of Japan’s history.



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