The Emperor Gotoba once wielded a sword emblazoned with the Kiku Chrysanthemum flower upon it; a symbol of Autumn, beauty, rebirth and long-life. His court became known as the Chrysanthemum Throne – the name given henceforth to the position of the Emperors of Japan since Gotabas choice in the 13th Century. Chrysanthemum festivals were once held from the Heian to the Meiji period and the Japanese nobility would admire blossoms that were painstakingly tended by specialist gardeners who would coax the flowers to grow their 300 petals upwardly with delicate sticks and patience. Some still do this intensive practice. Though the Chrysanthemum is the seal of the Emperor, it is also a symbol widely used by the Japanese on their clothes and furniture for those who wish to impart its time-defying properties upon themselves.
This katana has its tsuba arranged in the form of the elegant Kiku flower and its silvered koshirae fittings continue this theme.
A Daimyo Class katana by Dynasty Forge, this katana has a blade made from high carbon Tamahagane steel. Traditionally, Tamahagane was created from iron sands in a week long process by which the iron sands are fired in a clay tub with a charcoal fire. This is a mild-temperature smelting process that fuses the iron ore with carbon from the charcoal to create high-carbon iron ore. ”Blooms” of half-molten metal are created in the clay tub, after which the tub is broken to remove the blooms. The blooms are in a variety of carbon contents, and the folding methods that combine them into a single billet will further purify it into steel and give it strength. Tamahagane in Japanese translates into ”jewel steel” – a reference to its great worth. Modern steel purity makes blade folding an unnecessary step to create a strong, flexible blade, but it cant be denied that the traditional process creates unique, attractive swords with the historical soul of the old ways and methods within them. The Tamahagane used in this sword was made in China.
The steel was then folded 8-12 times at the smith’s discretion and the layering process gives the blade strength and flex for shock absorption. The process creates a wood-grain pattern ”Hada” visible on the blade’s surface. The blade is tempered with the traditional clay process which hardens the edge beyond that of the blade, leaving a white-steel ”Hamon” along the edge. The blade was then hand-polished for over 60 hours with imported Japanese stones which finalize the blade’s geometry and polishes its surface into a steel sheen. The blade is in the form of Shobu meaning that it has no distinctive Kissaki tip. Instead the blade is allowed to terminate to an uninterrupted tip in a single sweeping form.
The koshirae of this katana are detailed in silver and the tsuka grip is of wood, covered in rayskin same. A woven black silk tsuka-ito is tightly wrapped over the same, with a pair of silvered menuki beneath. The saya scabbard is wood, coated in glossy black lacquer with a matching woven black silk sageo. The kojirii saya cap is detailed, silvered metal and is a twin to the kashira cap on the grip. The katana comes with a blue cloth sword bag.