If you are merely purchasing a samurai sword for display purposes and positioning it as a focal point in a room then you certainly don't need to spend anything like the amount suggested above, you can just go for a relatively cheap manufactured replica with the necessary sword stand. Sword stands come in a variety of applications ? table standing, wall mounted or single standing sword stands. How you display your samurai sword or set is up to you, although I personally think they look fantastic on the wall above the fireplace. It gives the room a real atmosphere.
If you're interested in martial arts however, buying a quality forged blade is an absolute must, both for safety in the Dojo and simply because it will be required for cutting. Handling swords is extremely dangerous alone, never mind trying to cut through objects and swing about a manufactured replica not meant for that purpose.
The Paul Chen range of practical Katanas is a brilliant start to your samurai sword martial arts career, and come in a variety of flavours ? the popular Katana, Wakizashi and of course the Tanto. These blades are designed for cutting and are extremely sharp ? always seek proper training when it comes to handling swords of any kind.
Article by Nick Johnson, visit his website on for more information on samurai swords