The Taka-Chigai Katana is an Ashigaru-Class blade from Skyjiro Forge. This sharp, mono-steel katana blade is crafted from 1070 high carbon folded steel. When forged, the blade folding process produced 3600 internal layers. These layers can be seen on the surface of the blade, looking akin to rippling water along its length. When tempered, the blade was differentially treated, creating a harder edge to cut decisively and retain its sharpness. The blade body is softer, allowing it to flex and absorb shock in the strike. This differential tempering has left a visible wave-length hamon along the edge, denoting the boundary of these two steel hardnesses. After tempering, the blade was polished with Japanese water stones.

The Tsuba, Fuchi and Kashira fittings are cast in darkened brass with their details picked out in bright brass. The habaki and seppa are of bright brass. The tsuka grip, wrapped with rayskin, is tightly overlaid with brown silk tsuka-ito. Two brass menuki brass lie beneath the tsuka-ito.

The wooden saya scabbard is coated in black lacquer. The mouth of the scabbard, the Koiguchi, is of water buffalo horn and a brown sageo cord is knotted to the scabbard.

The fittings of this katana feature the Taka-Chigai (Crossed Feathers). The hawk was a favored symbol among warriors and especially ruling nobility. A predator among docile sparrows, the keen eyes of the hawk spot prey and danger long before the hawk itself is seen – it is perception itself embodied.

Perhaps most interestingly, the specific Mon crest of two crossed feathers was the family crest of the Asano Clan, the central clan in the famous tale of the 47 Samurai. When one Lord Asano was forced to commit Seppuku after a conflict with an official named Kira at the Shoguns court, his samurai retainers swore an oath to avenge his demise. These 47 samurai, now masterless and disgraced by the execution of their Lord, decided to bide their time and part ways, waiting until Kira, responsible for the death of Lord Asano, thought he was safe from any repercussions. Expecting their armed reprisal, his home was fortified and vigilant, but over time, his guard would lax. Over the next two years the 47 took up work as laborers and merchants, and some of them, disguised as common craftsmen and workmen, even gained access to Kiras fortified home. One of them went so far as to marry the daughter of its architect to gain access to the building plans. While they plotted their long vengeance, the 47 were mocked and abused as cowards for failing to avenge their Lord.

Finally, when the time was ripe the 47 gathered and attacked Kira and his retainers in a sudden, co-ordinated assault. Kira was captured, and the 47 offered Kira the chance to commit Seppuku – with the very dagger that Lord Asano used two years before. Too cowardly to do the deed, he was beheaded with the dagger. The 47, long jeered as cowards, marched his head through the countryside and towns, loudly proclaiming their deeds and leaving Kiras head at the resting place of Lord Asano. For murder the 47 were to be executed as criminals but their popularity with the people for the dedication and loyalty stayed the hand of the Shogun, who permitted them to commit Seppuku instead, leaving their honor intact. The honorable suicide cleared their names of dishonor, and cleared the names also of the several hundred other masterless samurai of the Asano, who were not directly involved in the plot. This allowed them to regain their status as Samurai.