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. Historically, it was a particularly powerful sword compared to others around the world—even into the 18th century.
The nearly identical wakizashi is a short Japanese sword which functions as a sidearm to the katana.
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.
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. 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 themself a virtual katana and an accompanying wakizashi.
The katana still remains a weapon of the Japanese Brotherhood to the present day; Kiyoshi Takakura regularly wields one, 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.
Seven Years' War
*Must be unlocked through Uplay
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- 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.
- In Assassin's Creed: Rogue, the katana and wakizashi is unlocked as a Uplay reward. The description calls it an Animus modification, making it unclear as to whether Shay Cormac canonically ever wielded the weapons himself.
- In Assassin's Creed: Unity, while wielding the katana, Arno Dorian retains his fencing animations while using it, as opposed to a more traditional style of kendo.
- Assassin's Creed: Memories (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue (first identified as "katana")
- Assassin's Creed: Unity
- Assassin's Creed: Uprising