The functional Japanese tanto is a Japanese dagger, strictly one with a guard and has all of the fittings used on swords. The Japanese tanto blade rarely exceeds 12 inches in length and usually accompanying a katana. The Japanese tanto is constantly carried and not being left at the door when paying a visit. The tanto is much more decorated and has unusual fittings than the larger swords. The Japanese tanto was designed primarily as a stabbing instrument, but the edge can be used to slash as well. Japanese tantos were mostly carried by samurai, but commoners did not generally carry them. Women sometimes carried a small tanto called a kaiken in their obi for self defense. Medieval Collectibles carries many fully functional Japanese tantos that are authentic in detailing and construction.