Category: Term of the day
The tanto is a dagger that was worn and used by the samurai class of feudal Japan.
The blade is single or double edged with a length between 15 and 30 cm (6-12 inches). The tanto was designed primarily as a stabbing weapon, but the edge can be used for slashing as well. Tanto are generally forged without ridgeline (their sides have no ridge line and are nearly flat). Some tanto have particularly thick cross-sections for armor-piercing duty, and are called yoroi toshi.
Tanto were used in traditional martial arts.
Tanto were mostly carried by samurai, as commoners did not generally wear them. Women sometimes carried a small tanto intended primarily for self-defence.