Shinwa Makaku Katana / Samurai Sword - Hand Forged Damascus Steel - Custom Cast Macaque Monkey Tree Tsuba - Genuine Ray Skin; Hand Lacquered Saya - Fully Functional, Battle Ready, Full Tang
$69.98
$99.99
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  • Genuine masterpiece of traditional Japanese swordcraft, handmade by seasoned artisans with meticulous attention to detail
  • Hand-forged full tang 28 1/2" Damascus steel blade boasts both beauty and brawn; impossibly sharp edge, tough spine; display-worthy allure, yet powerful enough for any real-world cutting task
  • Master swordsmiths painstakingly and repeatedly fire, fold, hammer-weld two high carbon steel varieties to yield Damascus steel's breathtaking layering; acid etching highlights vivid contrasts
  • Handcrafted tsuka cloaked in delicately textured genuine ray skin same and soft tan ito; traditional wooden mekugi provide stability, classic touch
  • Flawlessly cast tsuba, kashira, menuki - tsuba features ornate three dimension macaque-in-tree; menuki a scaly dragon motif; all three bathed in a rich dark glazed patina
  • Coordinating black hardwood scabbard gingerly hand-lacquered, polished to stately gloss; offset with tan sageo that matches like-colored tsuka ito
  • Overall length: 39 1/2" - the quintessential full-sized Japanese samurai sword


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.


Customer Reviews | Average Rating: 4.53 out of 5
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1 - 10 of 43 Reviews (View All)
One word..... Reviewed by Robert Scott Godwin on Apr 18, 2018   5 out of 5

OUTSTANDING!!!!



Excellent Reviewed by Ethan Cypretj on Feb 15, 2018   5 out of 5

Came in excellent condition, except the box it was a bit damaged and the blade was a bit dirty



True, traditionally forged katana Reviewed by Yibin Mu on Feb 06, 2018   5 out of 5

I purchased one as part of Budk's BOGO sale so mine came to be $50 after splitting the tab. At even $70, this is one hell of a damascus katana. It is real 1024 layer damascus due to the fine patterns that are ingrained and NOT etched (1045 & 1060 high carbon steel from what I've researched.) The ha rests close to the handle, indicative of genuine, ancient, traditional crafting methods from Longquan, China. Mine came with a sori of 1". This is desireable for me because extreme curvature swords are usually custom-made. Tsuka: 10.75". Nagasa (blade): 29". Overall in saya: 40.625". The tsukaito is somewhat loose, the saya secures inclined towards the ha, and the tsuba is 1 degree from sitting straight but I didn't pay for the furnishings I paid for the traditionally forged blade! The blade is straight but a little front heavy. Passes the paper test. Cuts sugar cane easily. For a future sword such as this, I recommend an 11.5" or even 11.75" tsuka tang for improved balanced. Final thought: 4.4 stars at normal price but I paid $50 so 5 stars all the way YES!



Nice! Reviewed by Ivan Duran on Jan 08, 2018   5 out of 5

This is my first Shinwa and my first damascus steel blade. The blade is beautiful! I cut up the cardboard box it came in and none of the damascus pattern came off. Which means it's real damascus steel. It's very light weight as well. The handle is tight and well made. The only con is that the habaki is slightly loose, but it doesn't affect its functionality. The sword came in a beautiful red wine colored storage box. Looking forward to purchasing more Shinwas. Thanks BudK!



Best buy ever Reviewed by Mark Stokes on Dec 24, 2017   5 out of 5

I've bought a lot of knives and weapons from bud-k and this is by far the best. I know shinwa isn't always a good brand, being more mass produced than most, but this sword is spectacular. The tsuba is a very cool design, the habaki is fit nearly perfect to the scabbard, and the kashira is fit perfectly to the handle. Also the wrapping of the handle is VERY tight and has a great grip, and I love the look of the black ray skin. I also love the double bamboo menuki pins because of the added stability. The blade is also definitely full tang, stable as hell, and pretty without being over-the-top. I'd recommend this sword to anybody that wants a budget katana that's at least worth twice as much as you actually pay. Best sword purchase ever.



Good Katana for the price. Reviewed by Newton Revell on Jun 15, 2017   5 out of 5

Just received this sword. It joins a collection of about a dozen Katanas, plus other swords, of various price ranges and quality levels. This sword is about lower midrange. The blade is reasonably straight, though shows it's being hand forged. The Damascus style folded pattern is nice. Edge is pretty sharp, passing the paper test, except the forward half of the tip, which is quite dull. The tsuba, with a mother and baby monkey design, is a bit loose. Overall, there is somevrattle, though the handle has two pegs securing it. I like the tan cording, but the hardware are all very plain and unadorned, with artificial aging patina. The menuki are flattish dragon shaped but blackened, being hard to see against the blackened rayskin. Weight and balance is good, aided by the fullers. The "piano-black" scabbard is average. This sword comes well packaged, in a satin-lined wood display box that is nicely made, with two hinged metal clasps and the outside in a red on black floral pattern. A black cotton sword bag is included too. Overall a nice package, though the fancy box could have been better omitted in favor of better hardware and attention to detail. I would give it four stars out of five. Also the description says it's "made by western smiths", but the blade has a laser etching near the tsube stating "manufactired in China" and other info. The Shinwa name and logo are etched on the other side. I am pleased with this sword, but expected a bit better detail.



Great Value Reviewed by on Mar 20, 2017   5 out of 5

Best sword for the money. Real folded steel, nice pattern. Fully functional sword. I'd bought the Regal Damascus Wakizashi and HAD to get the matching Katana. You will not be disappointed.



VERY SURPRISED Reviewed by Adrien Bellomo on Mar 15, 2017   5 out of 5

I've always wanted to own a proper katana and I saw this on sale. Has an old WW2 military style with the tan cord, may I add was very tightly wrapped. Blade wasn't "scary deadly" sharp but that's what sharpening is for. Also the Damascus banding waves gave the blade a very attractive touch. I honestly did not know what I was really going to get but no bait and switch here. This is exactly what is pictured.



Not sharp Reviewed by David Baker on Mar 09, 2017   1 out of 5

The blade I got was not sharp enough to cut paper. After applying some oil and waiting a bit it still could not cut paper or water jugs(filled). May request a return.



Beautiful Sword Reviewed by on Jan 24, 2017   5 out of 5

I like the look of the blade and also the way it feels in my hands, the blade is very sharp and strong definitely a great buy. I will continue buying from this company in the future and would recommend this company to anyone looking for working swords at a low price. Over all, the presentation of the decorative box and the sword is the best I've seen. Thank you for good quality at a low price.



1 - 10 of 43 Reviews (View All)