Is the katana illegal? (2023)

  1. Heim
  2. Ultimate Katana Buyers Guide
  3. Are katanas illegal?

Is it illegal to own a katana? What are the local legal requirements to own one, if any, based on where in the world you live?

As requirements continue to change, below is a world map showing the legal status of the katana, indicated by a simple color code.

Katana legality worldwide

Is the katana illegal? (2)Key: Green is legal and largely unregulated. Red is illegal, but exceptions may apply. Gray is, well, blurry or changeable.

LEGAL WARNING:While we have made every effort to provide publicly available information, please note that this is NOT legal advice.

So let's take a look at the general legal requirements based on geographic location.

North America (USA and Canada)

Legally, katanas are placed in the same category as knives and are governed by state rather than federal law, though as with knives, a collector must be over the age of 18 OR have implied parental permission. to buy or own a katana.

Some styles of concealed swords, such as cane swords or Zatoichi-style katanas, are illegal to purchase, possess, or carry in California and upstate New York.

Texas is the most liberal state and since 2017 it allows the open carrying of swords to people over 18 years of age (or also with parental supervision), although there are some restrictions such as churches, airports, bars, schools, etc.

(Video) UK Gov INCOHERENT POLICY on Pandemic: Now Imagine Policy On KNIVES, SWORDS & FIREARMS

In general, common sense applies: swords should not be brandished or carried openly in public, but should be kept in a secure sword bag or gun case.

South America

Katanas are not illegal in South America, however they are subject to high import duties, often in excess of 50% of the actual value of the sword, making them relatively rare.


Owning swords is not illegal in Australia and New Zealand, however they have been severely restricted in the state of Victoria since July 2004 following several high-profile attacks. Exceptions have been made for re-enactors, martial artists, and highland dancers and can be legally purchased by becoming a member of theGuild of collectors of historical weapons and Victorian edge.

or UK

Is the katana illegal in the UK? Well yes and no.

In 2008, the UK banned the purchase or sale of curved swords over 50cm in length, intended for street thugs and other miscellaneous thugs who used cheap stainless steel "sword-like objects" to harass their rivals and gang members. the gang to attack the public. However, the ban does not affect people who already own these swords. and has been amended to exclude swords made using traditional methods, although the final decision rests with the customs broker who inspects them and often requires additional documentation for the seller to release them.

European Union

Is the katana illegal in the European Union? This is really a difficult question to answer right now.

Although technically the laws have not changed, at the end of 2017 many swords shipped to European countries were rejected by customs and returned to the seller without a clear explanation.

Previously, many European countries did not ban actual katana ownership per se, but instead restricted the services they could send. For example, swords of any kind cannot be sent via Danish or Greek post. In Italy, swords can ONLY be shipped to a business address, not a residence.


Katana and combat knives are classified as weapons in Russia and require a special federal license to own, buy or sell. In all respects, this prohibits the shipment of katana to Russia, which means that it is only possible to obtain blades made locally or imported in bulk from specialized local sellers.


Is the katana illegal? (3)

After many years as a gray area, swords were initially restricted in 2008 and made illegal in China in 2017. Why are katanas illegal in China? The main reason they're becoming illegal elsewhere is some idiot decides to use one on someone, and the government's perception is shifting from seeing them as "kids' toys" to illegal weapons.

The special administrative regions of China, Hong Kong, and Macao are exceptions, and it is legal to use the S.A.R.S. but may require some talks with uniformed customs officers from time to time.


Japan has had strict restrictions on the ownership and sale of katanas since the end of World War II, effectively banning the mass production of the swords and limiting it to a handful of certified smiths, who also have severe restrictions on how many swords they can own at one time. year (which is one of the reasons why the Japanese Nihonto is so expensive and no Japanese-produced Katana can be made or sold).

(Video) The Knife Laws in India | Possession and Carrying of Knives | Indian Penal Code (IPC) | All Details

Sword owners in Japan must have the correct paperwork for their sword, it MUST be a genuine Japanese sword (no other types of functional swords can be manufactured or imported), registered with the police, and kept in a secure, locked weapons vault as is set up, they are not openly displayed, and even buying swords from Japan requires atons of paperwork.

indian subcontinent

Sharp swords of any kind cannot be imported or exported from India and are the reason why sword makers in this region, for example,DeepeekamiAnkerwinde SteelcraftsExport only dull blades with the wrong edge.

Southeast Asia

Katana ownership is illegal in most of Southeast Asia; only Thailand and the Philippines allow their citizens to freely buy, own or sell katanas (although, as elsewhere, being able to use them outside of organized events or holding open demonstrations or being allowed to swing in public is obviously punishable).

Is the katana illegal in Singapore? Technically no, but importing them requires a special temporary import permit issued by the police, and the amount of paperwork required puts off most casual collectors.

African continent

Sword ownership is legal in South Africa and there is a thriving and close-knit community of sword collectors in the country. In the rest of the African continent, current regulations are unclear and appear to be determined on a case-by-case basis by local customs officials.

Middle East

While there is a thriving local traditional sword-making industry in the Middle East, owning and importing katanas into the Middle East is a blessing: sometimes they are allowed through customs, sometimes they are confiscated or returned to sender.

Addendum: How to ensure that the answer to the question "Is the katana illegal in your area" is still "no"?

In the age of weapons, the katana is now just a curiosity. If you consider that the definition of a weapon is:

"a thing intended or used to cause bodily harm or bodily harm."

Today katanas are NOT designed to deal bodily damage or bodily damage. They are intended for collectors who own a replica from the story, martial artists to practice their sport, and garden mowers to destroy various (non-living) targets in their backyard, such as filled water bottles, tatami mats, and bamboo.

Therefore, it is important that collectors handle their swords responsibly. If you can answer "No" to the question "Is a katana illegal" and want to accept that, then really only one katana should be used as a weapon at any given time and seen as the absolute last resort in a life or death situation.

If you have access to a firearm, baseball bat, or any other self-defense product, you should use the DAS, as damage from a sword would cause a media storm and possibly result in a ban, as happened in Kingdom Kingdom . , Victoria, China and many other countries.

Yes, occasionally the katana was used to deter an intruder or deter violence, but in general, just NOT. Without exception, all of the katana collectors I have had the privilege of meeting are non-violent, intelligent, caring and responsible individuals who love the history and beauty of the Japanese sword and would never and never dream of using it on anyone else. so don't be punished for the actions of some very foolish people who, if they didn't have a sword, axe, ice pick, kitchen knife or anything else that could be used as a weapon, they would use that.

(Video) 4 Reason You Should NOT Buy A Katana!!

I hope this article on Are Katana Illegal has been helpful.To return to Are Katana Illegal's Definitive Guide to Authentic Japanese Swords, click here

Is the katana illegal? (4)

Buying swords online can beDANGEROUS!
Find the best swords in:

Click here for the most trusted, honest and reputable sword sellers.

Popular and Recommended ITEMS

Build a perfect replica of the Kill Bill Bride sword for Adam Savage

(Video) UK Police Advice: Law on Locking Knives & Curved Swords in the UK (Offensive Weapons Act 2019)

eBay scam exposed: eBay users from China don't want you to see it.

Extreme Sword Collections - SBG Collection Gallery starts with one.

Demystifying sword making in the 21st century: how your sword was REALLY made..

Damascus Steel Sucks: Why Cheap Folded Steel Swords Are A Bad Buy

(Video) FACT Our Katanas Are Legit


Is Katana legal in USA? ›

North America (USA and Canada)

Legally Katana are lumped in the same category as knives and governed by state rather than federal laws, though as with knives, a collector must be over 18 years old OR have their parents implicit permission to buy or own a Katana.

Why are katanas illegal in Japan? ›

Double-edged Sword

But the famous Japanese swords have actually been banned in public since 1876, when the Meiji restoration abolished the warrior class. Even today, katanas are covered by the Swords and Firearms Possession Control Law, which forbids carrying them out in the open.

When did katanas become illegal? ›

The Sword Abolishment Edict (廃刀令, Haitōrei) was an edict issued by the Meiji government of Japan on March 28, 1876, which prohibited people, with the exception of former lords (daimyōs), the military, and law enforcement officials, from carrying weapons in public; seen as an embodiment of a sword hunt.

Is it illegal to walk around with Katana? ›

Are katanas illegal in the US? No. There are no federal, state, or local laws that ban the mere ownership of swords.

Does Katana need license? ›

Yes, it is required to have a driving license to drive Suzuki Katana.

What weapons are legal USA? ›

Shotguns, rifles, machine guns, firearm mufflers and silencers are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934. The purchase of semi-automatic weapons is legal in most states, as are automatic weapons made before 1986. 4.

How much does a Katana cost? ›

An authentic handmade katana in Japan is called a nihonto. Often these cost around 10,000 to $25,000 and sometime even more. Basically, Katanas are expensive, and when it comes to an authentic samurai Katana, things get even more expensive.

Are katanas legal in Texas? ›

Under Tex. Penal Code § 46.01 (2012), it's legal to own and openly carry knives, along with throwing stars (and any other type of throwing knife), swords, spears, switchblade knives, pocket knives, and Balisongs (butterfly knives).

Is it illegal to be a samurai? ›

However, the cultural legacy of the samurai exists today. The descendants of the samurai families also exist today. It is illegal to carry swords and arms in Japan. That is why the samurai cannot exist today.

Is it legal to own a Japanese Katana? ›

Samurai Myth No.

Owning a katana is illegal for the ordinary Japanese citizen. Fact: Ordinary citizens in Japan have the right to own Japanese-made blades that are registered with the Nihon Token Kai (Japanese Sword Association). These swords must exhibit historical or cultural significance.

What swords are illegal in the US? ›

But not only is it legal to openly carry a sheathed sword, it's the law. Any kind of concealment for bladed weapons is a misdemeanor. Bladed weapons in most states where they are legal to carry, are usually illegal if they're longer than five inches. Concealed blades, like cane swords, are always illegal.

Can I bring a samurai sword from Japan to us? ›

**US-based customers will be HAPPY to know that NO DUTY and NO IMPORT TAX is due upon receiving the sword in the United States from Japan because the swords are antiques (over 100 years old and made using traditional methods).

Can you use a Katana for self defense? ›

No sword is really suitable for home defense. They are outdated, and were designed for a different kind of combat. If you want a weapon to use for home defense, your best option is a shotgun, with a handgun being an acceptable alternative.


1. New Texas Law To Allow Open Carry Of Swords, Machetes
2. Why Opening a Katana is So Hard
(Mini Katana)
3. Pawn Stars: Dana White Wants Rick's 1600s Japanese Katana (Season 15) | History
(Pawn Stars)
4. Neighbor Karen Attacks Me With Sword For Wearing „Illegal“Japanese Clothes!
5. MIni Katanas? HARMLESS?
(Mini Katana)
6. Why I Will Never Buy Katana From Websites Overseas
(Let's ask Shogo | Your Japanese friend in Kyoto)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Otha Schamberger

Last Updated: 14/10/2023

Views: 5731

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Otha Schamberger

Birthday: 1999-08-15

Address: Suite 490 606 Hammes Ferry, Carterhaven, IL 62290

Phone: +8557035444877

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: Fishing, Flying, Jewelry making, Digital arts, Sand art, Parkour, tabletop games

Introduction: My name is Otha Schamberger, I am a vast, good, healthy, cheerful, energetic, gorgeous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.