Saturday, January 21, 2017

Munetoshi Water Dragon Differentially Hardened 1060 Samurai Katana Sword

I do not like Samurai Jack.

But I do love Toshiro Mifune.
Seven Samurai is sublime.

  • -Overall Length: 39.125 "
  • -Nagasa Length: 27 "
  • -Tsuka Length: 10.75 "
  • -Balance Point: 5.25"
  • -Weight W/O Saya: 2.1 lbs
  • -Lamination: Mono Steel
  • -Blade: Very Sharp
  • -Blade Material: Differentially Hardened 1060
  • -Fittings: Iron
  • -Tsuka Material: Cotton
  • -HRC: 53 Degrees
  • -Accessories: Sword Bag
  • -Condition: Brand New
  • -Sword Name: Water Dragon
  • -Manufacturer: Munetoshi

1060 spring steel is hard enough to keep an edge after light to medium cutting.There is no blood groove - bo-hi. And yet the weight is 2.1 lbs. Balance is 5.25 inches.
(Although the certificate is questionable to say the least -  The Chinese characters underneath "Serial Number" are the words 'Serial Number' - spec sheet says HRC 53 and Certificate says 55)

What was a pleasant surprise was the & finish were more than twice a sword that retails for half the price. (Ponder that for a minute)
The fittings upon delivery were tight. The blade was lightly oiled and covered in cling wrap.

A cheap sword may not fit well into the scabbard/saya. The $50 example was jammed into the saya and took a flat lever to pry it loose. The cutout at the opening is too small for the Habaki (the brass piece mating the steel blade and the Tsuba/guard/Quillions and where it meets the scabbard).
Too tight or too loose. Once you jam it into place it is hard to draw. Not the epitome of cool when confronted with an armed enemy.

On the other hand this low priced ($100) piece fit extremely well. It drew with little effort even with the cling wrap affixed.

Mifune was to me, Japans' John Wayne - the personification of the nation. The fact that both actors focused upon the past is not trivial. Whether it was a desire to revisit an earlier time or a fascination with history we can only guess. (Maybe it was just a good paycheck...crass greed?)
Mifune was as versatile as Wayne was wooden. He was larger than life in a Rocky Balboa sort of way. His characters could defeat an army of enemies single handed without the special effects of the Matrix.

And then he would refer to them as, "Nice guys, cute and not capable of hurting a fly." 

The katana was the soul of the samurai.

Okay, for $100 you can buy some soul.
A real mid aire hamon (Line caused by differential heating)

The blade may have a slight curve to the right. I have not laid the blade upon a surface plate.

There are a couple of slight imperfections. The Meguki (bamboo pins) that hold the handle on the tang arrived with the surface of the pins cracked on the side the hammer made contact. They're also not symmetrically pushed though to be even.

The spacing of the Menuki (ornaments that provide the finger holds) are larger than perfect. The way your hand seeks the handle is not natural as could be. You must re-grip the handle to feel comfortable.

The edge is extremely sharp. I have not tested it, so cannot comment on edge retention.
I do, however have confidence in 1060 spring steel. It should hold an edge and not roll under medium use. 

Two lessons - 1045 versus 1060 is a no contest. Go 1060 every chance.
Mifune is greater than Wayne in that he didn't resort to jingoistic rhetoric to make his point. But rather the raw courage and prowess that Wayne pretended to possess.

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