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Kris Cutlery Odenta Tachi - KRSMSC

Kris Cutlery Odenta Tachi

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Overall Length: 40 3/4'' Blade: 30''

No Longer Available
Blade: 1050 & 9250 Folded High Carbon Steel
Weight: 2 lb 14.8 oz
Edge:  Sharp
P.O.B.: 4 7/8''
Thickness: 7.6 mm - 4.4 mm
Width: 32.1 mm
Grip Length: 9''
Pommel: N/A

This Tachi has a blade of high carbon steel that has been folded with both 1050 and 9250 steel. This has left a distinct, grain-like pattern along the blade that looks akin to rippling water. Traditionally Japanese smiths worked and folded their steel billets to improve the steel that they created from the low quality of iron available. High quality, pure steel is available to swordsmiths today which makes this a redundant process, but the artful quality and traditional craftsmanship techniques and appearance of folded steel is undeniably attractive to many. The blade has been differentially hardened to have a hard edge for edge retention and softer blade body for shock absorption; a faint hamon temper line can be seen along the edge.

A Moko style tsuba of metal is adorned with floral design picked out in silver and gold color. It is surmounted by a pair of large spacers in matching design. At the base of the blade is a brass habaki collar. The ‘’fuchi’’ grip collar and ‘’kabuto-gane’’ pommel cap are of metal in matching design to the tsuba. The grip is wrapped in rayskin and overlaid with tightly knotted tsuka ito wrap of brown. A pair of dragon Menuki have been woven within the ito grip folds. The tang is double-pegged into the tsuka grip with bamboo.

The wooden saya scabbard is coated with black lacquer and overlaid with extensive brown ito cord to match the sword grip. It has a knotted sageo cord between its ‘’ashi’’ hangers of leather with antiqued metal medallions. The scabbard is bedecked with metal fittings with floral detail picked out in gold and silver color. Metal Lion-dogs, gold colored on one side and silver colored on the other, feature prominently on the saya scabbard. The sword comes in an ornate sword bag with a yellow display case covered with dragon and floral fabric design.

The Tachi sword is a design that predates the Katana and authentic Tachi date to the Koto Period (900-1596). In the earlier years of this period the Samurai were largely mounted archers who wore a Tachi as a sidearm. In later years the Tachi would exist side by side with the Katana.

There are no solid rules as to what a Tachi definitively is compared to a Katana - there are too many variations created to accommodate personal tastes and in some cases a bit of overlap. In general, most Tachi are longer than a Katana and have a more pronounced curvature in their profile. The biggest difference is in how a Tachi is worn; edge-down, as opposed to the Katana, which is edge-up. A sure sign is in how the smith signed the Nakago blade tang - his signature was intended to be along the spine of the tang, outwards and away from the bearer. The placement of his signature can tell an examiner which way the sword was meant to be worn. This is particularly important because many Tachi blades were cut down and refurbished into blades more fit for a Katana when the long peace of the Tokugawa Shogunate settled in.

The Tachi is largely a cavalryman’s sword; its typically longer blade length gives the Samurai that extra bit of steel to reach out and touch his foes; it is worn edge-down because such a sword is easier to draw from this position. Being a cavalry sword, many Tachi techniques emphasized single-handed use

It is because of these practicalities that the Tachi was the pre-eminent sword during the earlier years of the Samurai when he was primarily a mounted archer; as their class expanded in later centuries, many Samurai found themselves to be foot warriors and the adaptation of the Tachi into the Katana was a new form more fitting for their situation. When the peace of the Tokugawa Shogunate made the need for large armies with cavalrymen redundant, then the usefulness of the Tachi waned. A Tachi may have appeared ‘’out-of-place’’ on a foot-bound Samurai, particularly when at court. Thus the Tachi fell into disuse and many were re-fitted into Katana by cost-conscious Samurai.

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