Inspired by revered Japanese macaque, the Makaku will inspire you
Shinwa's "Makaku" Katana pays homage to Japan’s revered macaque – or “makaku” – a unique, mystical monkey and a central figure of traditional Japanese myth and folklore. The Makaku’s impeccably cast custom tsuba is adorned with two of these stately simians, their hands clutching the branches of a Japanese plum tree. With their haunting, near-hypnotic gazes, the exquisitely detailed macaques possess a certain cryptic, almost enchanting aura, while the rustic, leafy tree branches on which they’re perched impart a sense of earthy charm to the sword’s clean, tastefully simple overall aesthetic design. The level of detail present in the tsuba is nothing short of breathtaking, its beauty rivaled only by the Makaku’s stunningly figured tanto blade.
History, time honored tradition preserved in carbon steel
Hand forged from Damascus steel, the Makaku’s bewitching blade is a tumultuous sea of contrasting lines, waves, swirls and other mesmerizing patterns. For all its wondrous visual allure, the blade is also amply formidable, thanks in no small part to the painstaking technique by which it’s forged. Each line is a distinct variety of steel - hammer welded and hand folded repeatedly to yield the more than 1,000 layers in each Makaku blade. Though its earliest history is shadowy and little-known, the unique Damascus metalsmithing technique is at least many centuries old and possibly well over a millennium. Today, as in ages long past, it’s still painstakingly performed by seasoned hands – no automation, no mechanization.
Made of blood, sweat, tears and legendary Damascus steel
To make each Makaku blade, a Shinwa master swordsmith fires a stack of steel blanks - each piece a different alloy - in a white-hot forge until the metal glows red hot. He then removes the stack and hammers it until it’s around half as thick as the original. Then he folds the metal onto itself lengthwise and hammers each half together. The process is meticulously repeated – hundreds of times in some cases – until the desired layering effect is achieved, at which point a final quenching strengthens the resulting blade blank and an acid etching highlights vivid contrasts in the layers. And the slow, laborious process itself it just the beginning!
Swordcraft artistry only seasoned hands could produce
In order to achieve sufficiently dramatic contrasts, Shinwa’s master smiths must expertly select an appropriate combination of steel alloys of varying color, luminescence and other visual qualities. For the sake of strength, resilience and countless additional blade factors, the smiths must also must consider each alloy’s distinct melting point, proper stacking order, forge temperature and myriad other variables. Simply put, an unbelievable quantity of blood, sweat and tears goes into every Makaku blade. Furthermore, like a steel snowflake or fingerprint, the patterning on no two is exactly alike.
Beauty beyond the blade
Few - if any - Damascus swords at this price point can match the Regal Makakus’s formidable cutting clout. But like all Shinwa swords, the Makaku is every bit as much a “beauty” as it is a “beast.” A vicious wild animal adorned in the trappings of royalty, the Makaku dons all the aesthetic hallmarks that make traditional Japanese cutlery so visually appealing – hardwood tsuba cloaked in genuine ray skin same and embellished with classic braided ito; brass habaki; ornate menuki, fuchi and tsuba; and a hand lacquered, sageo accented saya to protect the fine Damascus steel blade.
Built to be treasured generation after generation
Whether for tameshigiri, display or collecting, Shinwa’sl Makaku Katana is up to the task, with performance that can go toe-to-toe with many far more expensive swords. It has everything the serious swordsman and/or collector looks for in a top-shelf katana, but you won't pay close to "top-shelf" prices for this exceptional handmade Damascus steel masterwork! The Makaku represents one of the best values on the fine sword market, and once you wield it once, you'll never want to put it down. Like the fabled, revered Japanese macaque, the eponymous Makaku sword deserves a place of high honor and esteem in your collection; it’s an heirloom quality piece built to be enjoyed generation after generation – your legacy preserved in hand forged Damascus steel.