I'm 27 and have been taking Aikido for about seven years to include work with the bokken. My husband and I recently purchased a Daisho set - katana and wakizashi, which were hand-forged in Japan. Apparently, the steel is folded around 15 times to create 1000's of layers, which you can see in the hada (grain of the steel). The hamon (tempered edge) was created through differential heating, which makes for a razor sharp edge. The koshirae (fittings) depict a wave.
So, as a result, we are starting to learn kendo and iaido.
I grew up fencing and have a love of European swords as well. I fence foil, epee, and sabre, and have a replica claymore and longsword.
I look forward to hearing about your weapons and experiences.