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Crafted by the expert swordsmiths of Shinwa, it’s another fine example of the artistry you only get with a hand-forged swordIt has a sharp, hand-forged 28 1/2” 1045 carbon steel blade that extends from a brass habaki and has a visible hamon lineThe cast metal, square tsuba is a copper-colored masterpiece with an intricate dragon theme, matching the dragon menukiThe wooden handle is traditionally wrapped in genuine white rayskin and black cord-wrap and the pommel is cast metalThe 39 1/2” overall katana slides smoothly into a lacquered deep burgundy, wooden scabbard with a black cord-wrap accent
Our Blood Dragon Katana, crafted by the expert swordsmiths of Shinwa, is another fine example of the artistry you only get with a hand-forged sword. From the cast metal square tsuba, that’s a copper-colored masterpiece with an intricate dragon theme, to the matching copper-colored dragon menuki, placed under the traditional wrapping, it is absolutely gorgeous. The katana has a sharp, hand-forged 28 1/2” 1045 carbon steel blade that extends from a brass habaki and you can see the distinctive hamon line. The wooden handle is traditionally wrapped in genuine white rayskin and black cord-wrap and the pommel is cast metal with a woven design. The 39 1/2” overall katana slides smoothly into a lacquered deep burgundy, wooden scabbard with a black cord-wrap accent.
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Beautiful enough to display, but no doubt this is a real katana! I have had no need to take it apart yet, but it is assembled in traditional katana style. Saya (scabbard) is a beautiful burgundy color in high gloss lacquer. Blade is sharp with a nice false hamon (temper line) to complete the traditional look of a katana. Habaki (blade collar) is brass and has a fairly deep brushed finish (not coated). Seppa (washer like spacers on each side of tsuba (guard) are also un-coated brass, subtly etched/printed with "China". Tsuba, fuchi (collar), and kashira (buttcap) are all a glossy coated deep copper color. The description says they are "metal" though I'm not sure what kind, a magnet did not stick to them, so not ferrous. However they are very attractive in design and color, with a Japanese/Chinese dragon design on the tsuba. A flat (bamboo looking) braid on the fuchi and kashira. There are also (same copper color) ornamental dragons (called menuki) on tsuka (handle) under the ito (brade). There is a very nice one page folded information sheet that comes with the sword with care information and all the names of the parts of the sword on it. The sword has a nice tight fit in the scabbard, maybe a little too tight for some tastes, but as I will not be practicing iaijutsu (fast draw & strike move) with the katana it suits me fine. I have wanted a katana since my late teens and early 20's when I used to play a role playing game called "Bushido" (way of the warrior). Most of the ones I had seen to this point were either cheep junk only suited for display (but don't look to close) or quite expensive. When in collage I went to a museum lecture on Japanese swords, so I'm not an expert, but I probably know more than most. Therefore I didn't want a crappy blade. So here I am getting my first katana at age 59. : ) My wife seems to understand this desire (probably because it was on sale for "only" $84.98 at the time I bought it). As this is my first katana (probably not my last ; ) ) I decided to name the blade in the Japanese tradition. Even though this is hardly an old legendary blade made by one of the great masters (not even made in Japan), it is still a nice piece. Due to the Shinwa dragon logo and all the dragons adorning the sword I called it "Doragonzukuro", Japanese for "dragons claw".
So, bottom line is; I think this katana is well worth the price and I am quite happy with it! Good work Shinwa and many thanks to Budk!
P.S. I got my order very quickly! The only tiny hitch was that UPS appears to have dropped the box on its end rather hard... it crumpled the cardboard of the shipping box and smashed the Styrofoam in the katana box, fortunately none of my items were damaged. I only mention this because it very nearly broke the fiber tape, it was only holding by two threads, the catalog and the small knife package were sticking out of the end. Had the tape completely broke the catalog and small knife would have fallen out, so sealing all the edges rather than the one wrap of fiber tape around the box flaps might have prevented this.
I just receiver mine tonight,I have looked at it for weeks,decided to buy it.The tsuka(handle) is wrapped in what appears to be a synthetic material,tight enough,The same (ray skin) is real,The kashira(but cap) and fuchi(color) isn't iron but like cooler and looks.The seppa(spacer,s on both sides of the tsuba(guard) are of the cheeper kind but look good also fit very well.The menuki(ornament) and tsuba aren't iron but didn't expect them to be ,really like the style .The habaki(blade collar) is a good one fit on one side has gap,but again wouldn't expect to see perfect fit except on other katanas I have bought like sokojikars,munetoshi,ronin,musashi 1060 claytempered series just to name some of the brands I have bought.The blade-unokubi-zukuri is a style I like also myself like the brand name on the blade up by the habaki.The blade does have a heft feel to it,like mentioned in the above review.I is sharp could be little sharper out of the box,but can fix that myself.although sellers,what ever the price could make the blades sharper but then some people with out any sword experience would more likely to cut themselves.I have over hundred and seventy swords all about three are able to cut with.For example one of the sharpest sword was a wakizashi that had a coating on the blade with a dragon tsuba on it ,it was it is one of the can get dubble cuts with still.T saya(scabbard) is done very well,the koiguchi(mouth of scabbard) is very well done,also like the colorof the scabbard.I haven't cut with this katana yet do it is a fathers day present,will update after I do cut.To sum things up at the regular price it a good katana and at the sale price it is a great deal,rember only cut water bottles,mats,bamboo and newspaper rolls-depending on your swords-katanas capabilities,no ! tree lims,pvc pipe,meteal objects etc.good cutting and be safe.Ray Blundell
I like the blade. Perfect for new learners as far as sharp blades. Louder tachikaze than most bo-hi blades, with the loudest tachi kaze of my all swords. Very good for hearing edge alignment.
But, I vinegar etched, and the hamon did not get brighter. I did this twice. It did dim. This is almost certainly because it is acid etched on, but this is not a flaw. If my assumption is true, it is not clay tempered, but that is not bad if that actually is the case. Maybe I'm just etching wrong... But I feel it is probably etched faux hamon. It looks a lot better than wire brush, but lower maintenance than actual clay-temper (real) hamon. Easier to take care of than clay temper hamon, while still looking just like a real hamon.
It also survived my etching well for a fake hamon, so it could still be real, but regardless it does not easily rub out, even after cuts. Well worth the money, regardless of what the temper meathod actually is. Withstands a lot for 1045. One of my widest blades, while still pretty fast and comfortable.
I have little else to nit-pick. They unokubi type geometry has a lot of character, also the long kissaki (tip). Beautiful proportions, no ripples, smooth edge planes, good kissaki polish contrast. It has made stabbing forms easier, as the narrow tip flows through targets.
Very reasonable for price, great fitting patina on gaurd and pommel, etc. Rivals some of my 300 dollar blades on cutting
I’ve purchased dozens and dozens of Katanas from Bud K, True Swords & OTE’s other company names for the last half a year or so now. I had never heard of Shinwa before shopping here, but I’ve been very impressed with the items I’ve picked out and had shipped to me in California. The quality seems to be getting better and better and it was nothing short of being very solid to begin with. This Blood Dragon Katana I received today, has been the best yet and I’ve purchased more expensive Shinwa Katanas before and not been this impressed. Nothing was wrong with the more expensive either, I just can’t get over the quality of this. Everything is so tight and perfect from the Kashira to the Kissaki(end to end), this thing is tits over and over. The Unokubi-Zukuri shape is flawless and the blade is the thickest and toughest tempered 1045 High Carbon Steel Katana I’ve ever used. End to end, this is in my opinion, Shinwa’s best sword yet. At least out of the 8 that I’ve used anyway. I wouldn’t hesitate to get this if your curious or a little uncertain. If you receive what I did after ordering this Katana, there’s really only one answer that I can imagine someone could say about this. It’s a “Devastatingly Beautiful Beast”!!!