#11 The Dragon Head Katana of Duncan McCleod

The dragon-head katana is the iconic weapon of Highlander: The Series, and is the preferred weapon of Duncan MacLeod. This priceless Japanese sword was given to him by his mentor, the samurai, Hideo Koto, in 1778.

According to Hideo Koto, the dragonhead katana was forged in 1592 (the year of Duncan’s birth) by the great sword smith Masahiro, whom he called “the finest swordmaker in Japan.” It was already nearly 200 years old when MacLeod first met Hideo in 1778.

That year, MacLeod was shipwrecked on the Japanese shore. Investigating the wreckage, a samurai warrior, Koto, was then attacked by armored samurai on horseback. Duncan had revived by that time, and aided Koto in the skirmish. After defeating their attackers, Hideo took Duncan into his home, where he would train him in martial arts in the weeks to come, as well as bushido, the samurai code of ethics. This would both instill and reinforce the strong sense of honor and justice that the Highlander would devoutly live by.

Ordered by his shogun to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) for harboring a gaijin (barbarian), Hideo requested Duncan be his kaishaku (assistant), to end the pain of self-disembowelment with decapitation. Unable to convince Hideo to reconsider taking his own life in the name of honor, even revealing his Immortality to Hideo, Duncan made a vow to protect the Koto family for as long as he lived. In return, Hideo gave Duncan his treasured dragonhead katana as a token of friendship and loyalty.