The Yamato no Orochi is named for the 8-headed sea dragon depicted upon the tsuba, which in itself is an intricate, dimensional panel depicting the defeat of the great sea dragon by Susanoo, the Shinto Storm God.
The blade is forged from highly polished and sharpened T10 high carbon steel and its hamon was created by clay-tempering the blade to imbue it with a very hard edge. The turbulent hamon is a fine match for the roiling waves and coiling serpent upon the tsuba. The blade omits a bo-hi groove in favor of keeping the full potential of its decisive cutting power. The tip has a geometric yokote and an enlarged O-Kissaki tip.
The habaki and seppa are brass and the tsuba is lacquered iron and the fuchi and kashira fittings are crafted from iron as well. The tsuka grip is carved from wood and is inlaid with black-lacquered rayskin panels. A pair of brass menuki are fitted beneath the deep blue silk ito grip wrap which is both tight and well-knotted.
The saya scabbard is crafted from carved wood; it is finished with a coating of textured black lacquer and fitted with a blue and black flecked sageo cord. A cloth sword bag is included.
Please Note: Though the ito grip wrap may look black in the photos, it is in fact a very dark blue.
The tsuba of this katana vibrantly depicts the tense moments at the onset of conflict between Susanoo and his serpentine opponent, the Yamato no Orochi. At the time of this tale, Susanoo had been a wandering god who had been cast from heaven for his various misdeeds and his ceaseless agitation of his sister, the sun goddess Amaterasu.
In his worldly wanderings he chanced upon an elderly couple and their daughter, stricken with woe upon a rocky shore swept by a bitter wind. At Susanoos inquiry the elderly pair told him that the young woman was the last of their eight daughters and soon she would soon be eaten by a monstrous 8-headed sea dragon, a beast who pillaged their humble lands annually; it would only be appeased when it had consumed their last daughter.
Thus Susanoo struck a bargain in the moment; the womans hand in marriage in return for the slaying of the sea-beast. They agreed. Recognizing the power of the oncoming sea-dragon, Susanoo demanded that eight jars of the strongest sake be brought forward. Placing them upon the shore, he hid and waited.
For as much as the Yamato no Orochi enjoyed eating people, the creature loved, as all monsters do, a good sake. The greedy serpent spared not a moment and emptied all eight jars with each of its eight heads.
Its gullet now swollen with powerful alcohol, the serpent swooned with drunkeness among the shore waves. Seizing his moment, Susanoo unsheathed his sword and brought his storm-fury upon the dragon, who was no match for Susanoo in its ungainly inebriation. Susanoo hacked the serpent apart, his sword striking each hissing head from its neck; each swing booming as thunder across the waves.
When he slew the dragon, he split the creatures belly asunder – there, Susanoo discovered the legendary sword Kusanagi. He would later gift this sword to Amaterasu as his apology and she would later bestow it to her grandson Ninigi, the first ancestor of the Imperial Family. Thus the Kusanagi remains a part of the Imperial Treasures of Japan and is today housed within the Atsuta Shrine.
Very pleased This sword is awesome. It looks just like it does in the pictures and it looks really cool. I wouldn’t recommend using the sword to cut things, since you risk scratching the blade. I don’t know if that’s just for me, but just a heads up. All in all, I’m very pleased with my purchase. Everything feels well made and the katana makes me feel like I’m a soul reaper in an episode of bleach.
Mike F. –
The Iron Tiger Yamato No Orochi Katana I became interested in this sword, after watching John Walter on YOU TUBE cutting bamboo with it, so I bought one from KULT OF ATHENA. I will say, I was not disappointed! This sword is beautiful, and it cuts better than it looks! I don’t have anywhere near the skill of John Walter, but I did slice a lot of bottles, and I concluded that the Yamato No Orochi is a formidable and capable piece of steel, and for the price, it’s a bargain!
Nice and sharp The sword is sharp and everything sits tight and good.It looks also pretty good and I was able to cut paper with it well not 100% cleanly but for a 300 Dollar sword its very nice.the only bad thing are the extremly high shipping costs and the high taxes and dutys because I live in germany but thats not really Kult of Athenas fault i think it was worth the money.
Melissa R. –
Great katana Great live katana I have had no issues in two or so months cut with it many times.it does seem a little on the heavy side but I really like it.
Ivan1102 (verified owner) –
I don’t know is it the only problem on my sword, the front about 1/5 of my sword is too narrow and it make the shape of the sword is quite weird…
However, the fitting of the blade is tight and beautiful and the hamon is nice to look at. It’s okay for the price but the weird blade shape really bothers me a little bit.
Jimstr1 (verified owner) –
After looking at many katanas and reviews I decided to go with the Yamato No Orochi. I’m glad I did as this is a beautiful sword in both appearances and feel. Yes, it does come very sharp but with a little work and fine tuning on this live blade , and I’m pretty sure you could shave the hair off a fleas ass riding on the back of a dog who’s running full speed past you . So long story short, I’m extremely happy with this sword and would recommend it to anyone who’s looking.
Matthew Hewett (verified owner) –
Iron Tiger Forge’s ‘ Orochi ‘ katana is about what you’d expect out of a ~300 USD or so package for a Chinese manufactured sword. It’s in the sweet range of good steel and well polished blade and actually decent fittings. My particular Orochi came without any defects. All the fittings were tight, and the scabbard fits snugly onto the sword. The sageo supplied is a grade nicer than cheaper models which is a good plus, very serviceable. The scabbard’s finish is also one I absolutely adore, as for today’s world were there really aren’t many scabbard makers or polishers out there, the utilitarian finish is really handy in keeping the overall presentation looking stellar.
Onto the sword itself, mine has a bit more blade presence than I expected, which is fine, helps it chop and slash at the sacrifice of a tiny bit of maneuverability. The blade, with it’s T10 steel and vibrant martensitic edge borne of it’s clay tempering process has absolutely no trouble biting into and through the usual targets. The steel is incredibly wear resistant and seems to not experience edge rolling or dinging easily if at all. In conclusion, it’s a damn good sword for the value. Easy 5 out of 5 stars, my only minor grip is that the rayskin wrap is merely a panel than a full wrap on the hilt.
Paul Rühnke (verified owner) –
I love it, it is beautiful & just a tad heavy but i was very happy with this