How to Draw a Katana

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A katana is a curved sword that was used by the samurai of feudal Japan. Katana have been in use since the 1300s. As trade with Japan increased, these weapons became famous around the world: "Western historians have said that katana were among the finest cutting weapons in world military history."

Samurai wore their katana on a belt-like sash called an obi. The blade faced up so that the wearer could draw the blade and strike in a single motion. Only samurai were permitted to wear the katana in daisho style, paired with a smaller sword or dagger.

Did you know? During the 1940s and 1950s, making swords was banned in Japan and many swords were confiscated. Today, sword makers must adhere to strict standards and register every blade. Collectors around the world covet both new and historic katanas.

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Today, katanas are often seen in Japanese manga comics and anime cartoons. Katana is the name of a DC Comics character. Several forms of martial arts include the use of katanas, generally without a sharp edge for safety reasons.

Would you like to draw a cartoon katana? This easy, step-by-step sword drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Dagger, Knife, and Sword.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Katana

How to Draw Katana: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing the tsuba or guard of the katana. Draw an oval, but don't close it entirely. The blade will emerge through the opening. Then, draw a curved line across the shape to give it a three-dimensional appearance.

How to Draw Katana: Step 2

2. Next, draw the habaki or blade collar, the point at which the blade attaches to the handle. Use straight lines to sketch a narrow cube with an open side.

How to Draw Katana: Step 3

3. Draw the katana's blade. Extend two slightly curved lines from the blade collar. The longer line is the mune or back of the blade, and the other is the ha or sharp edge of the blade. Allow the lines to meet at a point, or kissaki. The curved edge between the front and back of the blade is called the boshi.

How to Draw Katana: Step 4

4. Draw a curved line parallel to the back of the blade. This forms the shinogi or blade ridge. Then, draw a wavy line down the length of the blade to form the hamon or edge pattern.

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How to Draw Katana: Step 5

5. Draw the sword's handle or tsuka. Use straight lines connected by a curved line. Draw a curved line across the tip to form the kashira or pommel, and embellish it with a small half-circle.

How to Draw Katana: Step 6

6. Draw a series of small diamonds down the length of the handle, and connect them to the edges using curved lines. This pattern indicates the tsuka ito or cord wrap.

How to Draw Katana: Step 7

7. Draw the scabbard or saya. Draw two long, curved lines, and connect them on each end. Draw another curved line across each end, creating an image of a hollow tube.

How to Draw Katana: Step 8

8. Draw the sageo or hanging cord, erasing as necessary. Enclose a rounded rectangular shape and band it with curved lines. Extend a line from each end and double it back upon itself. Then, draw a curved line in the middle of it.

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How to Draw Katana: Step 9

9. Draw curved rectangular shapes below the cord, erasing as necessary and banding them with curved lines. Between the shapes, use curved lines to create a three-sectioned knot.

How to Draw Katana: Step 10

Color your cartoon katana. Who will wield this samurai weapon? Check out our people drawing guides for ninja, samurai, and anime characters.

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The Complete Katana Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Katana

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