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Secrets of the Samurai Sword

Secrets of the Samurai Sword

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Item Number:
56 min.
Closed Caption:
WGBH Boston Video
Grade Level:
7 - 12
English archers had their longbows, Old West sheriffs had their six-shooters, but samurai warriors had the most fearsome weapon of all: the razor-sharp katana, or samurai sword, which could slice through a human body with a single slash.

Japanese sword-making was perfected 600 years ago by craftsmen who knew nothing of electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, and other tools of modern science, which are only now revealing exactly why the swords are so lethal. For the first time, these new clues are helping to explain the unique qualities of strength, resilience, and sharpness of the blade that was wielded so expertly by Japan's fearsome feudal warriors.

Join NOVA's investigation of the centuries-old secrets behind the making of this ultimate medieval superweapon. The program follows fifteen traditional Japanese craftsmen who spend nearly six months creating a sword, from smelting the ore to forging the steel and finally to sharpening the blade to its keen and deadly edge.

Special DVD features include: materials and activities for educators; a link to the NOVA Web site; scene selections; closed captions; and described video for the visually impaired.

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