The dragon a universal creature of ancient power – and for the Japanese a manifestation of the forces of the natural world. For the dragons personified and embodied the flow of the river, the fall of rain and the force of the tsunami. The dragon and its symbolic power adorn this katana on its menuki jewels and mother-of-pearl inlay on the saya scabbard.
The blade is made from differentially-hardened 1065 high carbon steel. The wooden tsuka grip is wrapped in rayskin with black tsuka-ito cord wrapped tightly over. The blade is pegged into the hilt with bamboo mekugi, allowing for disassembly if desired. The wooden saya is coated in red-black lacquer with a black woven sageo. The sword comes in a red and black cloth covered gift box with a wood-boxed cleaning kit and a black cloth sword bag
This katana was made in Longquan, China a region central to sword production during the Song Dynasty.
Inlaid Dragon A coworker studies Korean sword arts and uses a straight bladed Gumdo. This Iron Tiger Forge katana with a sori = 0 should be functionally equivalent.
Pros: With length 27.5″ at 2lbs 2oz and a POB less than 5″ it is fast and nimble. The saya dragon figure is inlaid, not a decal. The tsuka has a pleasing waist. The cotton ito and tasteful fittings are tight. Blade is defect-free with a well-execute bo-hi. Superior cloth covered red/black box with three closures and a sturdy metal handle.
Cons: The sword-saya fit is only adequate. The saya mouth required some work to remove impact damage from the habaki. (-1 star)