Samurai Jack Sword’s Lore and How You Can Get One
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Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim UK and US used to air some of the coolest cartoon shows and anime for teens and young adults, one of them being Samurai Jack. This show revolved around the titular Jack as he went on adventures from dimension to dimension with a magic sword that would allow him to defeat Aku if the two ever met.
Unfortunately for Jack, Aku keeps him lost in different time periods and dimensions, a plot point that’s carried over through all the adaptations of the show including the video game version called Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time.
Because of this, Jack’s ninja sword became a beloved piece of merchandise from the show for his fans. Here, we’ll be going into important lore about this Japanese sword that you may have missed as well as how you can pick one out for display, cosplay, and actual combat purposes.
Samurai Jack Katana Facts From the TV Show
Despite Jack’s natural martial arts skills, most of his power actually comes from the sword that he carries around. Like the Jedi of Star Wars, he’s a principled warrior whose sword enables him to fight metaphysical evil while his combat prowess lets him fight more tangible enemies.
1. It Was Made by Divine Beings
The sword was created after Aku began to invade the pure domain of the first Emperor, corrupting it with the evil black energy he is made of. Because of this, the gods Odin, Rama, and Ra joined their forces to create a sword that could physically hurt Aku and keep him from regenerating.
It’s no coincidence that the three gods chosen for the sword’s origin story are heroic war gods whose domains coincide with wisdom and honor. Odin, the principal Norse god, was a god of war, wisdom, and magic. Meanwhile, Ra is a god of the sun and light in Ancient Egypt. Lastly, Rama is a Hindu god acknowledged as a deity of protection.
Together, these three symbolize the fact that wielders of Samurai Jack’s sword must be both wise and strong while also being able to shine a light of hope to the people around them both in spirit and through their ability to protect them from Aku.
2. Jack Isn’t Its First Owner
Though Jack seems to be the first and only wielder of the sword when we start the series, we learn that the person we see in the first episode is not Jack or even his past life but his own father.
Jack’s father, who is known simply as the Emperor, was the original owner of the sword known only to be some kind of ruler in the show’s version of feudal Japan. Though he is called the “Emperor”, it’s never exactly clear how politically influential he is and there are hints that he may actually be a feudal lord instead.
The Emperor shares a similar personality to Jack but is much more level headed and less idealistic because of his deeper life experience as a ruler.
3. The Sword Abandons Jack
The sword was created for the express purpose of destroying Aku and because this purpose is imbued with a somewhat sentient divine power, it is capable of leaving Jack when it feels he is not acting as he should be. When Jack becomes irrationally angry, the sword takes this as a sign that he is not worthy of wielding it and disappears from his presence.
Jack later tries to gain back the sword’s trust by meditating to search for it through the dimensions. While he does so, he is almost attacked but is fortunately protected by Ashi, one of the daughters of Aku.
The Sword Is Tied To A Fan Theory About Jack’s Real Name
While it’s easy to get lost in the Jack vs. Aku story arc we get across all Samurai Jack seasons, one question that remains unanswered is who Jack actually is. Fans have theorized that the sword and Jack’s social status from when he starts his journey may be clues to his real name.
Miyamoto Musashi, a famous swordsman born in 1500s Japan, is suspected of inspiring the character of Samurai Jack. Musashi was known for his philosophical approach to swordsmanship and how the lessons of martial arts can be applied to real life. His belief in honoring the gods but never counting on their help speaks to a Stoicism that reminds fans of Jack.
Samurai Jack Swords You Can Get In Real Life
Samurai Jack’s sword is modeled exactly after traditional katanas, making the matter of finding a replica as simple as finding a plain black katana that fits the depictions of the sword. Its key features are a black hilt, tsuba, and scabbard together with a gleaming carbon steel blade which you can find on the swords in this list.
1. Battle Ready Shi Katana
If you’re a kendo practitioner with a love for Samurai Jack, this battle ready Shi Katana lets you commemorate the show with a weapon that’s actually functional. This sword features a T10 High Carbon Steel blade sharpened throughout. The sword ends in a minimalist, circular tsuba with a black hilt.
- Material: T10 High Carbon Steel
- Length: 104.14 cm
2. Foam Dai Katana
While this foam katana replica isn’t as close of a copy as the battle ready sword previously mentioned, the changes are subtle and minimal enough that they can still easily fit Jack’s aesthetic while remaining a budget friendly and kid friendly alternative.
The foam sword has a textured silver paint on the blade that’s topped off with a brass tone tsuba and pommel, giving it a uniquely rustic and used look.
- Material: Foam
- Length: 103.50 cm
Samurai Jack’s relatively niche popularity makes replicas of his sword surprisingly rare compared to other Cartoon Network swords like the one used by Rose Quartz. That said, the sword’s deep symbolism and the solid story arc of the show make it a sought after blade. You can get your own Samurai Jack katana just by picking out close visual matches from stores that specialize in selling traditional katanas.