The Wo Yao Dao from LK Chen is an excellent recreation of Ming and early Qing Dynasty sabers which had blade shapes that were greatly influenced by the Japanese Katana. The blade has the thick spine, rigid body and wedge-shaped cross section of the katana and this creates a quickm single-handed saber with the ability to cut strongly, deeply and decisively. The blade is GB 60Si2MnA High Carbon Manganese Spring Steel which is a durable and tough steel that can flex and return true and this makes it an excellent steel for a sword blade.
The crossguard and pommel components are antiqued steel and the wooden grip is bound in knotted suede cord and finished with a wrist lanyard. The sword is paired with a wooden scabbard which is tightly wrapped in high quality synthetic black leather and completed with fittings of matching antiqued steel.
The Chinese Wo Yao Dao (Japanese style waist saber) is a single handed saber with a slender profile and an accelerated curve towards the tip which is typical for Ming to early Qing sabers. It has a ridged cross-section, much in the style of Japanese swords but without the kissaki that is so characteristic for Japanese work. Since the Song Dynasty, the quality of Japanese swords was well regarded in China and the Ming government set up import trade agreement with Japanese feudal lords to produce quality swords. Between the 115 years from 1432 to 1547, there were 11 official sword import contracts and many unaccountable smuggling of Japanese swords via Macao. The number of Japanese swords imported numbered over 200,000. These Japanese swords were often made to Chinese specifications to adapt to single handed use and the imported swords are of various qualities ranging from exquisite blades for officials to much humbler and lower quality swords intended for rank and file soldiery.
With the abundance of Japanese imports as inspiration in China, Many Chinese swordmakers crafted swords that melded Japanese influence and advanced Chinese forging techniques and the results were often blades with equivalent quality of the imports with the added benefits of local repair and restoration if needed. This Wo Yao Dao is closely based on an antique Late Ming Dynasty Yao Dao in the fame Mandarin Mansion Collection.