The Lotus Seed Katana by Dragon King is more than a weapon for the Samurai who wields it; its Lotus Seed theme is a representation of the Shinto-Buddhist cycle of Reincarnation and the path to Enlightenment. This Katana has a differentially-treated and traditionally clay-tempered blade forged from T10 high carbon steel – its thick spine without a bo-hi groove gives it the additional mass to power it through a decisive cutting strike. The habaki and seppa are silvered and the blackened tsuba is fashioned into the form of a Lotus seed pod and is embedded with Lotus seeds which are crafted from copper – its fuchi and kashira follow this theme.
The tsuka grip of wood is carefully inlaid with panels of genuine rayskin and it was overlaid with tightly-knotted purple tsuka-ito cord; silvered dragonfly menuki are inlaid beneath the grip wrap, for they are frequently seen among the the Lotus blooms. The saya scabbard is carved to fit from wood and is smoothly coated with a deep purple lacquer; its fittings are polished buffalo horn and it is completed with a purple, white and gold sageo cord. A cloth sword bag is included. There is also a matching Wakizashi available to complement this sword to create a beautifully matched daisho set – it is linked with a thumbnail on this page.
To a Samurai the lotus is far more than a beautiful flower; its life is a physical metaphor for the journey of Enlightenment and the cycle of rebirth. From muck the simple lotus seed stretches through muddy water, breaking through the surface before blossoming in the open air – bold, beautiful and vibrant. In time its own seeds will return to the dark mud below; the cycle begins anew. The Lotus blossom is sacred in Japan, as it is to Buddhism in all lands. Japans Mount Koya is the site of a large Buddhist Temple complex; its location was chosen in a high valley basin surrounded by eight peaks which mirror the tenants of the Noble Eightfold Path.
The fleeting beauty of the Lotus flower and its bold ephemerality between the glorious and humble stages of its life and its relation to Buddhism held great appeal for the Samurai who understood how short and transitory their own lives could often be. The opening passage of the warrior epic The Tales of the Heike pays homage to this reality as accepted by the Samurai:
The sound of the Gion Shoja bells echoes the impermanence of all things; the color of the sala flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline. The proud do not endure, they are like a dream on a spring night; the mighty fall at last, they are as dust before the wind.
Please Note: The hue of the tsukamaki grip wrap and sageo cord may vary
Zantraxas (verified owner) –
When I checked this website for a decent katana at a reasonable price this sword popped up. At first I was skeptical about it since there were no reviews about it on the website nor elsewhere in the internet, I pretty much took a gamble and went for it. I didn’t want to shed $1k for a katana but, didn’t want a crappy one either, not a wall hanger, rather a functional sword.
Anyhow, the product arrived rather quick given the COVID situation which really surprised me. It came packed in a big box, inside said box there was another box with paper smoothly covering the sword. The katana came with a cloth bag to store the sword which is really neat to say the least. The blade felt odd but, then I took it out for spin, grabbed a piece of printing paper and cut it clean like butter with the sword, with that I’m saying that the katana came very sharp out of the box, both the blade and the tip of the blade. The weigh of the sword isn’t’ too light nor too heavy, just right in my opinion, well balanced. I wouldn’t try swinging it with one hand, as it’s pretty long, use both hands to properly swing it. When I saw pictures of the swords on the website, I was rather disappointed at how the tsuba (blade guard) looked and I noticed it was missing a copper seed in one of the pods but, after seeing the product in person, to be honest, the tsuba looks very pretty and eye catching while also quite thick, sure it’s still missing a copper seed but, the way the sword is build it more than makes up for that tiny cosmetic flaw.
This is by no means a true Nihonto katana but, for the price and how well it is built, this is as close as you can get to a Japanese Nihonto katana without breaking the bank too much. I have yet to test the sword out cutting water jugs or tatami mats, mainly because I don’t want to scratch the blade itself or waste the nice polish it has and I don’t have tatami mats in order to practice tameshigiri ( target practice), I have no doubt the sword will cut through those cleanly for those who want to practice this art, as the blade is sharp enough to cheese through those, it’s all a matter of form and skill.
The sword came out of the box with a really nice and well done polish job, so good I can see my own face reflected in the blade. Overall, this is a really good sword for the price, you can’t go wrong with this one, a really good investment for those who like collecting swords but, lack the budget for an authentic Japanese Nihonto katana. All in all, Dragon King did a really good job making this katana, even though it’s Chinese.
As for the company itself(Kult of Athena), I really recommend it for anyone looking for a good sword, be it European or Asian. They even have tatami mats in stock as I write this review for those out there looking to get those to practice tameshigiri.