A high quality sword on its own, the Citadel Ocean Wakizashi is a fine companion blade to the Citadel Ocean Katana as a Daisho set and is part of a limited production run of 24 swords. Handcarved fittings and blued, inlaid rayskin on the saya give homage to the seas of Japan and pay due deference to the duality of the ocean; both a source of calmed meditative serenity and yet also the sweeping power of the almighty tsunami. Like these states of the ocean, so too may be the mind of a Samurai and his will.
The blade is forged from DNH7 high carbon steel; it is a steel type similar to 1075 and will hold a keen edge when tempered. A visible hamon belies the border of hard and soft steels in this blade, for it was differentially tempered to give it a hardened, crystalline-steel edge coupled with a shock-absorbing body and spine.
Careful attention to detail is present in this Wakizashi when one looks closely; the copper habaki has been hand-filed to precisely fit the blade and even follows the curvature of the bo-hi groove. The cutting edge-side seam of the habaki is brazed with bronze to strengthen this important junction between blade, habaki and saya. Its seppa are brass with filework-trimmed edges. The tsuba, fuchi and kashira are crafted from pure iron which has been polished to satin sheen. They were cut, chiseled and filed from hand so no two are perfectly alike despite following the same design for this limited production run.
The wooden tsuka grip is carefully carved and channeled to friction-fit the nakago tang of the blade. Thus it needs only one bamboo peg to secure it into position, as opposed to many production Japanese style swords whose use of two pegs is often done to compensate for a small gaps in the grip. This wooden grip was overlaid with a full wrap rayskin samegawa – a measure which tightly binds the wooden grip to strengthen it and a benefit largely absent from swords which only have a strip of rayskin fitted to the sides. The rayskin has a prominent Emperor Node, which is a tell-tale mark of a fine rayskin for only one such node is present on the higher quality parts of a skin. The tsuka was finished by tightly binding it in knotted tsuka ito of imported Japanese silk. A spare, tapared bamboo peg is included.
The saya scabbard is crafted to fit from wood and was finished with a glossy, midnight blue lacquer a shade removed from black. Its bold, sectional patterning was created by inlaying rayskin into the scabbard and sanding its raised bumps flat before filling its recessed areas flush with a dark blue lacquer. Again, a quality rayskin was used for this application and care was taken to minimize the visibility of the seam.
The koiguchi, kurikata and kojiri fittings of the saya are crafted from polished buffalo horn. According to Citadel its artisans spend eight hours carving the mouth of the scabbard to ensure a good fit between scabbard and habaki. A separate, quality sageo cord is included.
The sword comes with both a cloth sword bag and a padded nylon storage and transportation bag. Included in a side pocket with the sword accessories is a small cloth bag which holds a stamped manufacturers certificate from the forge, stating the model and completion date of the Wakizashi.