One of the iconic blades of Japan, the tanto is a Japanese dagger used by samurai during the feudal period. Strictly speaking, a functional tanto possesses a guard and has all of the fittings of a larger sword like a katana or wakizashi. The Japanese tanto blade rarely exceeds 12 inches in length. A traditional tanto was usually carried along with a katana as a kind of side arm. The Japanese tanto was not left at the door when paying a visit, unlike a katana, making it a useful self-defense tool in case of an unexpected attack. The samurai tanto was designed primarily as a stabbing instrument, but the edge could be used to slash as well. In addition to samurai, women sometimes carried a small tanto called a kaiken in their obi for self-defense. We carry many collectible tantos with authentic detailing and construction. Our Japanese blades look great on display when they are not in use.