A Tanto is a Japanese dagger with a blade of about 15-30 centimeters in length. The weapon has a straight, typically single-edged blade with he cutting edge curving up to the point. The weapon was used extensively by the Samurai during the Heian (794-1185 AD) and Kamakura (1185-1333) periods, as well as being carried as a personal defense weapon by civilians. The tanto began to fall out of favor among samurai after the 1300s, being superceded by the longer wakizashi short sword, though tanto would be forged for other purposes. During the 20th century, tanto would be forged prior to World War II, and some would be used as combat knives by Japanese officers. Tanto production dropped dramatically due to restrictions on sword forging in Japan after WWII, however, in the 1960s, tanto forging restarted due to demand from martial artist both in Japan and abroad.
More recently, American knife companies started producing tactical knives with tanto-style points, though these tend to have a more angular point than a traditional tanto. PArt of the apeall is that is purported as having a stronger tip, but this advantage is slight at best.