Hira Zukuri Wakizashi
Hira Zukuri Wakizashi. This slim, nimble wakizashi was forged from 1086M steel. 1086M is similar to W2, but contains .86% carbon — nearly the perfect carbon level of hard use swords — along with a pinch of vanadium. Howard Clark bought literally tons of this steel direct from the mill many years ago and he occasionally sells off some of his extra stock. I picked some up about five years ago and dip into my supply every now and then. Features a very bright and detailed choji (clove blossom) hamon. Click on the picture for more information! SOLD.
Hira Zukuri Katana. I haven’t made a hira zukuri (unbeveled) katana for several years and it was a real pleasure to get back to the style. Back when I was practicing martial arts with the sword more intensively than I do today, I was a huge fan of hira zukuri blades because they are awesome cutters. Historically, the hira zukuri (single bevel) geometry style was popularly used on tantos and shorter wakizashis, but was rarely found on katana length blades. This 28.25 inch (72 cm) blade length katana is hand forged from W1, a tool-room quality high carbon steel. Curvature is roughly 5/8 of an inch (2 cm). Like all my blades, it is clay quenched to produce a tough, differentially hardened blade with an active hamon. Includes habaki. Click the picture for more information and pictures! SOLD.
To contact Walter about purchasing this blade or to obtain additional information, click here!
Hira Zukuri Tanto
Hira Zukuri Tanto. In theory the dividing line between a tanto and a wakizashi is right at one shaku — a traditional Japanese measurement equal to 11.93 inches or 30.3 cm. At just over 12 inches of blade length, that theoretically makes this a wakizashi. I’ll call it a tanto anyway because to me a tanto is a knife whereas a wakizashi is really a short sword. To me, this is a knife. But if you want to impress your friends, hey, by all means call it a wakizashi. At any rate, this tanto was forged from W1 high carbon tool steel, and clay hardened. The blade bears an irregular, undulating hamon with small ashi. The blade has relatively strong curvature and at just under a quarter inch thick at the machi is of relatively normal thickness. Click the picture for more information and pictures! SOLD.
Martial Arts Treasure Trove!
I’ve got several Japanese-made katanas for sale right now. A couple of friends of mine are thinning out their collections of antique Japanese blades. These blades are all hand-forged Japanese blades, mostly from the WWII period, and have all been used for martial arts practice. All are fully mounted, fully useable blades that would be excellent for either the collector or the martial artist. All include antique Edo period tsubas and some include other antique fittings. If you have any interest in any of the katanas listed below, contact me for additional information. I’ve got more pictures and details available on most of them.
Gi-mei “Tadayoshi.” This blade is signed by Hizen Tadayoshi. If you know your sword history, you’ll know that Tadayoshi is one of the top Shinto swordmakers and his blades are some of the most valuable blades made after the 14th century. A signed first-generation Tadayoshi can go for close to a hundred thousand. This, however, is a gi-mei blade, meaning the signature is not authentic. It’s what is sometimes referred to as a “tribute” sword – not intended to fool anybody. So the actual smith’s identity is unknown. Still, it’s an excellent sword, obviously made by a smith who knew what he was doing. It’s got a suguha hamon, cleanly forged steel, nice polish overall. Probably a war period sword, but might date back to the Meiji period. Hard to say. It comes with a very nice meiji era tsuba. Pretty good mounts. $2400, fully mounted.
Yoshiaki. Nice long blade, 27 ¼ by 1 3/16 inches. Very slim and nimble. An ideal martial arts blade, distinguished by its length, which is unusually long for a Showa-to, making it perfectly sized for people of average modern Western frames. Other than its unusual length, it’s a fairly typical high end Mino Seki type Showa-to. The arsenal mark is Imperial Army. Superficial pinprick rust. Mounted by me. The handle wrap’s showing its age, but, if I may say so, it’s one of the nicest martial arts sayas I’ve seen. $3400, fully mounted.
Nobuyoshi. Quite long, at 27 1/8 inches. The mei translates as Bishu ju Nobu Yoshi. People who’ve studied Japanese swords a lot longer than I have say it’s a traditionally made itame hada. If so, the hada is not prominent, barely discernible. There were two smiths who used the name Nobu Yoshi, one in the 18th century and one in the 19th. A previous owner believes it was probably the latter, who produced swords between 1848 and 1854. Both were members of the Nobutaka school of Bishu province. Honestly I see no evidence this was made from traditional steel, so there’s at least the possibility that it’s a Showa blade. But that may be a function of the poor state of the polish. The mekugiana is punched rather than drilled which would be consistent with an older sword. Lots of scuffing and the polish is pretty well shot, but a superb cutter. Slim, nimble and sharp as hell. As is, it would make a good cutter or iai blade or a nice collector piece. With a good polish, you might reveal that there’s a traditionally forged blade under there. $2500, fully mounted.