........People always talk about Important Firsts. First Car, First Job, First Date, First Kiss, First Time Getting Laid. For me, Captain Takeshi Yamato of the U.S.S. Raging Tempest, my first weapon, a Japanese Katana named Akatsuki no Ken, counts as one of those Important Firsts, and I still have that very same Katana today, even though regulations forbid me from using it in the field, forcing me to use a Tsunkatse Falchion until such time as Starfleet considers Katanas to be appropriate field weapons. However, to understand the importance of that blade, one must take a look at its past—and mine.
........Akatsuki no Ken has been in the Yamato Family for generations, with some family tales of the sword going back to the 16th century, back when the first Yamato took up the path of the Samurai, a path that all Yamato men follow even today. The sword is considered a family heirloom, and it’s a family tradition for the eldest son to receive the blade from his father upon entry into military service.
........Also, ever since I was little, I’ve known that I was adopted. My parents never hid that fact from me, even as they raised me with love and kindness. And although I enjoyed growing up in the Yamato household, and learning the skills, traditions, and moral code of the Samurai from my adoptive father Tetsuya, a part of me always felt like I was just a guest, and not an actual part of the family.
........So, you probably can’t imagine how moved I was when Tetsuya gave me Akatsuki no Ken before I left home to attend Starfleet Academy. He basically told me through that act that even though I was adopted, he truly considered me his son. It’s a wonder that I didn’t start bawling like a baby on the spot, though tears of joy were flowing freely down my cheeks.
........Akatsuki no Ken has been with me ever since. It currently rests in its sheath on a display in my Ready Room, waiting for the day that I can unleash it in battle. And when I have a son of my own, I look forward to when he enters Starfleet Academy, so I can carry on the family tradition and pass Akatsuki no Ken down to him.