Its cold blade, collecting on its surface the moment it is drawn the vapour of the atmosphere; its immaculate texture, flashing light of bluish hue; its matchless edge, upon which histories and possibilities hang; the curve of its back, uniting exquisite grace with utmost strength–all these thrill us with mixed feelings of power and beauty, of awe and terror. Harmless were its mission, if it only remained a thing of beauty and joy! But, ever within reach of the hand, it presented no small temptation for abuse. Too often did the blade flash forth from its peaceful sheath. The abuse sometimes went so far as to try the acquired steel on some harmless creature’s neck.
– Bushido, The Soul of Japan, Inazo Nitobe, p. 135
It was hard to miss – a frothing mass of humanity bumped and jostled at the far end of the room, packed in tight. I could not see the object of their focus, but this had to be it. As I made my way across the room, I gradually discerned that there were at least three different types of people here – businessmen in suits with refined drinks, a casually dressed faction, and a surprisingly large number of fashionably-attired teens.
When you take up a sword, you must feel intent on cutting the enemy.
– Miyamoto Musashi, Go Rin No Sho
The Associated Press have reported a dramatic tale of self-defense with a katana:
A Johns Hopkins University student armed with a samurai sword killed a suspected burglar in a garage behind his off-campus home early Tuesday, hours after someone broke in and stole electronics.