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Photos Of Katana

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:55 pm
For some reason these would not post on the Prior Thread.



Having said this I have only been able to review Cold Steel, Mushashi, Hanwei, and Shinwa Katana.

The Hanweis are usually (in appearance) of traditional manufacture.

However taken it as a given that the Hanwei swords follow traditional methods, they also, generally boast the best "furniture" with the nearest next best choice being the "Cold Steel" Katana which generally lack a proper Hamon.

All the swords NOT of Hanwei manufacture are what are called 'sai-gunto' and are machine made but still, allegedly, boast a harder Ha and a softer Mune. I have not had an opportunity to review higher priced blades as of this time.

The Hanwei Shinto (set) Blue Oriole (set) and Miramoto Mushashi (set) appear tradtionally made, but the Sayas do not appear 'lacquered" just done with a shiny paint.

Mushashi are Sai Gunto blades, but are very sharp and many are billed as fully functional.

Most Officer and Non Com Katana of the War period were/are 'sai-gunto' and, by reputation, served without problem.

The specimens of wartime blades that came into my hands were, as I noted, Sai Gunto and the skills were not available close at hand to rewrap the Same.

Now, my student Ron can rewrap such blades-or any blade-should you wish a better wrap or improved furniture. Tsukas can be recarven.

At present we cannot polish blades or maufacture them or other parts.

Be sure the blade you send to us is worthy of the time and $$$ that will be required.

It takes about 2.5 days to properly wewrap a tsuka, 60 minutes to just replace a Tsuba, and 2-3 days to re carve a poplar tsuka and/or add 'furniture'.

The blade rebuilt was a Hanwei "Practical Katana" and as rayskin was not available to us, the tsuka had to be (recarved) and underwrapped with 'stippled' white leather, and still looks quite good.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:33 pm
by f.Channell
Fun with shinais. Notice the difference with the stances between sword arts and Uechi. take note of the rear heel. These girls are going at it with explosive attacks.

Hi Fred:

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:35 pm
Very interesting. you must come down and give us a bit of a lesson.

More pictures:


Blade From the Muromarachi period; 1526.


Blades and Mountings from the Muromachi period.

I hope it is understood that, other than for the matters mentioned, I/We have only the glimmerings of how to craft or polish a proper blade. I have, thus far, only been able to properly inspect two wartime Sai Guntos, Hanwei swords and Shinwa (appear mostly to be sai guntos) and Mushashi swords.

I purposely omit (for budgetary reasons) Bugei and Bushi swords, but they represent themselves to be aithentic and expensive.

I note one of the Shinwa Blades did appear to have a proper hamon (if you are perusing catalogs, it is the one with the Miramoto Mushashi style handguard) but the 'furniture' was otherwise unremarkable and of cast zinc

I am researching the area, but we will return to Western Centered Studies shortly. (or not!)


PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:24 pm
by f.Channell

Here's a Tachi for you. Check out the beautiful hamon. That was the long one used on horseback.
Start saving.
5,000,000 yen is about $43,000.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:46 am
Hi Fred:

Beautiful, but I guess I will have to stay in the higher of the lower class swords.

I am hoping to do a service for folk who have decent but not multi million yen blades and wish to upgrade.

We do have rayskin, cord and a half decent lacquer to hand.

Also, Ron likes to insert little nice touches like the Chrysanthemums shown on the "Fair Set" of photos. Furniture can be searched for and orded on line in order to get a custom piece together.

One of the Swords I have NOT reviewed, a Mushashi with, prosaically enough, a Musashi style Tsuba does have some 'scratches" that should have been polished out.

Although I have not spent over $600 for a Set, prices were lower when Hanwei first came on the market 10 years ago, I am not really unhappy with the Katana I have at present.

Paul Chen/Hanwei and Cold Steel seem to offer a great deal of 'cut for the buck" regardless of the fact that the Cold steel is a Sai Gunto as well.

I can't review what I do not have and I can't have the really high priced blades.

opefully I can point soem folk in a satisfactory direction for a reasonable cost. At least that is the theory.

Thanks Fred

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:58 am
by f.Channell
Just tell the wife you have just the right gift for her to get you for the holidays. :lol:

This is the kind of swords I saw in Chicago 17 years ago at a meeting of the Samurai sword collectors club there I stumbled upon.

Photos on the internet don't begin to do justice to them, just amazing.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:44 pm
by Hugh
I am sorry, guys, but Japanese swords bore me near to tears. I went through a stage where I was all too excited about the Samurai and the concept of bushido until I learned from a man who had been a POW in Japan during WWII about the downside of that system. Now, I understand how interesting the culture is and how fascinating the swords may be to some, but I tire of the way in which the incessant discussion of them seems to dominate over at SFI and in most other sword fora. Please remember that nearly the entire evolution of Japanese swords took place in a hothouse artificial environment where any and all outside influences were strictly and severely outlawed, including firearms, and this is what allowed the sword to develope in the manner in which it did. Thank you, Ieyasu Tokugawa.

Ah Well

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:39 pm
Ah Well Hugh:

A blade is a blade. The Katana is a mastery of simple straightforward design.

I Like them, of course, but I must say that 'Western' swords equally catch my interest, especially the one you are waiting for.

I doubt that these threads will go beyond the basics and make mention of the fact theat, at present, we can undertake some limited repairs.

So-I have no 'favorite' sword-so to speak. I like the T'ai Chi Swords Hanwei and other companies offer.

I am abashed to see the miserable state of the art of sword care at my TC's instructors "Kwan".

The Hanwie TC sword is sometimes billed as "Damascus" as the multiple foldings of the steall are not polished out and can be seen.

I will post a picture of one at some point.

The Saber used in actual Western fence did not set my imagination on fire, nor did the light "touches' counted as points.


But I am not 'bored with Katanas'. the above is another pic of the rebuilt pratical Katana.

Soon, many Western style swords will become available at decent prices-but I have not seen many yet.

Of course I leave your beauty out as it is a bit above waht I might consider "reasonable'.

You must tell me how it handles. A repro sword i have that is distantly similar lacks quality of construction and seems a bit blade heavy.

I will post a picture of that as well.

Not great stuff but-.

Of course the Hanwei TC Balde is another matter and is so sharp as to require great care in handling it.

Because of its Carbon Steel Construction, I use the 'katana' maintanence kits on them as well.

"If it's stupid but works-it's not stupid" Murphy's law of warfare No. 1.