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A katana

A katana is a moderately-curved Japanese longsword that was historically used by samurai.


A katana with a wakizashi acquired through an Animus mod

A longsword of Japanese origin, the katana is characterized by a single-edged and moderately curved blade forged from steel. Further distinguishing features include its typically circular crossguard and the long, round grip which serves to accommodate up to two hands, depending on the user's style of swordsmanship.[1][2][3] Historically, it was a particularly powerful sword compared to others around the world—even into the 18th century.[2][3]

The nearly identical wakizashi is a short Japanese sword which functions as a sidearm to the katana.[2]


True to its heritage, the katana was a ubiquitous weapon among samurai throughout Japanese history. It saw widespread use during the Sengoku period in the hands of famed warlords such as Oda Nobunaga and Uesugi Kenshin and their generals. Japanese Assassins, notably Hattori Hanzō, also regularly utilized the weapon.[1] In the Edo period, the legendary ronin Miyamoto Musashi used his personal katana, the Musashi Masamune, to rack up a 61 duel win streak against his opponents. After his death, the Masamune was kept as a family heirloom for the Saigo Clan until the Boshin War.[4]

As an East Asian weapon, it was exceedingly rare in Europe but was nevertheless available for purchase by the French Assassin Arno Dorian in Paris during the French Revolution. Though expensive, it was a lethal and fast weapon with few exceeding it in terms of damage.[3] Centuries later in 2014, while reliving the genetic memories of the Templar Shay Cormac through the Helix, an Abstergo Entertainment research analyst hacked the Animus to grant themselves a virtual katana and an accompanying wakizashi.[2] A few years later, rogue Abstergo employee and Animus engineer Layla Hassan would do something similar during her session reliving the memories of the Medjay Bayek of Siwa with her home-brew Animus, the Portable Animus HR-8.[5]

The katana still remains a weapon of the Japanese Brotherhood to the present day; Kiyoshi Takakura regularly wields one,[6] such as in 2017 when he and fellow Assassin Arend Schut-Cunningham raided the Abstergo Entertainment campus in Montreal in the hopes of kidnapping Animus specialist Felix Oladele.[7]

Weapon statistics

Ptolemaic Egypt

Rarity Quality (Max Level 55) Damage (Max Level 55) Attributes Availability
Legendary 123 527 Critical Hit Rate III

Bleeding on Hit III

Instant Charging

Purchase the For Honor Pack DLC.

Seven Years' War

Speed Combo Damage Cost Availability
2 3 4 N/A Uplay
The katana is a two-handed longsword used by the samurai warriors of Japan. It is made available through an Animus modification.

French Revolution

Level Damage Parry Speed Range Cost Modifiers Availability
◆◆◆◆◆ 6 6 4 2 25,000₣ Additional damage: +25% Purchase
This slightly-curved sword hails from Japan,and is very rare in Europe.

Behind the scenes

In Japanese, katana (刀) is a term ascribed to any single-edged sword with a curved blade, roughly analogous to the English word saber and can be applied to sabers of other cultural origins. The katana appears as a weapon in Assassin's Creed: Rogue and Assassin's Creed: Unity.

In the former, it is unlocked as a Uplay reward and necessarily paired with a wakizashi because the player character, Shay Cormac, normally dual wields with a parrying dagger in the off-hand. The name of the weapon in the game is simply "Katana" and the sword in the off-hand is never identified as a wakizashi; it is merely a smaller sword sharing an identical model, but it is too short to be a katana. The in-game description for the weapon also specifies that it is only an Animus modification. This is in contrast to its appearance in Unity, where it is one of the most powerful weapons that can be purchased by the main character of Arno Dorian. However, Arno retains his usual fencing animations when using the katana which is improper form for the weapon.

The katana is also available in Assassin's Creed: Origins via the For Honor Pack, a DLC which provides players with weapons based on For Honor, another video game developed by Ubisoft. This katana, the Ippei Blade, is anachronistic for the setting of Ptolemaic Egypt.