Why Are Japanese Women Posing With Samurai Swords?

Meet the “katana joshi” or “katana women.”

After “snaggletooth,” “bagel head,” “undereye blush,” LED-lit skirts and shaving faces, another viral trend has taken women in Japan by storm.

It’s called “katana joshi” – in which women pose with a katana or a samurai sword for photos.

Apparently, the fad is inspired by an online browser game called Touken Ranbu, which was launched earlier this year. The game’s English Wiki page explains:

“Players assume the role of a Saniwa sage who travels into the past to defeat evil forces that are trying to change the course of history. As a sage, you have the ability to breathe life into inanimate objects, including famous historical swords. Your duty is to bring these blades to life, create an army and defeat the enemies!”

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Kotaku notes these animated historical swords are “handsome men” and that could probably be the reason why it’s popular among young ladies. Touken Ranbu has over a million registered players in Japan.

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This isn’t the first trend among Japanese women in which they express their fascination with samurai swords. Katana has also inspired fitness workout classes.

katana joshi