The Taka Hawk Katana is from Skyjiro Forges premium Mikado Class of swords and this Shihan (master line) katana was crafted for high level martial artists and premium sword collectors in mind. The finely crafted sword is an excellent showcase of the traditional Japanese bladesmithing arts with its Tamahagane blade with laminated construction utilizing folded steel which was differentially tempered and polished to a fine finish. Matching the blade in quality are the koshirae mountings where great attention was paid to the fit and finish of the sword. The nakago blade tang was signed by the smith in the traditional manner.
The sword was forged in the traditional manner using Tamahagane steel which was made with iron sands in a clay tub kiln. This Tamahagane steel was folded and lower carbon content softer pieces were separated from higher carbon content steel pieces. The softer, lower carbon pieces were used to make a resilient core of shock absorbing steel which was pounded into a jacket of harder steel in a Kobuse style lamination process. This softer steel core gives the blade great ability to withstand shock and prevents it from having a brittle core. The harder steel on the outside more readily hardens to give it a hardened outer layer and edge.
After the sword took its form in the forge it was differentially- tempered with the traditional clay tempering technique to harden its edge to a crystalline martensite steel for optimized hardness and edge retention whilst keeping the body and spine of the blade soft and able to absorb and diffuse shock. The blade was finished with many hours of polishing by hand with Japanese water stones and its final level of fine polishing was completed with Skyjiros finger stone finish to fully emphasize the vibrancy of its hamon line, its laminated construction and the Tamahagane jewel steel
The tsuba, fuchi and kashira are crafted from jewelers grade Yellow Bronze and are finished with a duo-tone bright and contrasting antiqued finish. The hardwood tsuka grip is exceptionally well formed and the tight and finely knotted tsuka ito of premium Japanese silk is wrapped over genuine rayskin in a katate-maki style grip wrap. The mekugi pegs are crafted from aged and stabilized bamboo to ensure a tight and lasting fit.
The saya scabbard is crafted from wood with a glossy black lacquered finish. A panel of rayskin was inlaid into the scabbard, filled with lacquer and the polished flush with the rest of the scabbard to create the mottled effect at the base of the scabbard; a prominent Emperor node is visible on this lacquered rayskin and this is the mark of a premium quality rayskin. The kojiri, kurigata and koiguchi are well polished buffalo horn and the koiguchi has been painstakingly carved to give it a seamless fit with the mouth of the scabbard. Care was taken to give the sword a smooth fit and draw with the scabbard. The scabbard was finished with a gold tone sageo cord of premium Japanese silk.
Included with the sword are a pair of alternate Japanese silk sageo cords and a Skyjiro production certificate which includes images of the signed nakago.