This Liuyedao was made in Longquan, a region central to sword production in the Song Dynasty. The blade is folded and tempered high-carbon steel of 1045 and 1065 containing 3,800 layers. Folded steel was a common blade-making technique in China as it minimized impurities and melded hard and flexible steels together for a compromise containing both qualities. The fittings are of zinc alloy and the scabbard and grip are of darkened wood. The sword comes in a wooden, ornamented gift box with a wood-boxed maintenance kit.
One of the two popular military swords of the Ming and much of the Qing Dynasties, the Liuyedao had a more gently curved blade and handle then its brother Yanmaodao. It was colloquially called the willow leaf saber. An excellent chop-and-slice sword, the Liuyedao has its origins from Chinese contact with the Turko-Mongol sabers their border foes wielded.
Qi Jiguang, a national hero of China, was a general who had a Liuyedao as his personal weapon. Qi Jiguang is famous for putting a stop to the predation of Japanese pirates on the Chinese coast. The turmoil of Japans Sengoku Jidai wars gave many pirates motivation to pillage and terrorize the Chinese coast. They were bold enough to even establish permanent bases on Chinese soil. Their nefarious activities thrived at a time when an Emperor interested in little more than finding immortality left matters of state to the famously corrupt prime minister Yan Song. He personally embezzled more than half of the entire military budget, leaving the coast defense works in ruination, garrisoned by ill-equipped, second-rate troops numbering less than 1/3 their listed numbers. Despite these handicaps, Qi Jiguang would fortify the coast, drill his troops and expel the pirates from their lairs. His sword, dated 1582, is now in a Chinese museum collection.
Please Note: The design of the gift box may vary.