Praying Mantis Katana
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Description of the Product
In 1467 Samurai-Clans had grown in power over the Emperor and Shogun and a war broke out that had a lasting impact to the entire history of Japan. The conflict started about the unclear succession of Shogun who had no heir. The Shogun in power was weak and a bloody civil war broke out. Onin War lasted only for 10 years but it destroyed the power of the Shogun totally and the whole country broke into small clans that waged war against all others. This age from the late 15th Century till the start of the 17th Century is called Sengogu period and it’s the most famous part of Japanese medieval times when great warlords, called Daimyo, lead samurai clans against neighbors in a pursuit of power and fame and transformed the whole country. During these chaotic times nothing was sure and nobody ruled the show. The strongest and smartest survived and thrived and a skillful and brave swordsman was able to make his own fortune.
During Sengogu period the country was in a constant state of conflict and warfare but a big part of action consisted of plots and counter-plots, cunningness, politics, forming new alliances and destroying the alliances of your enemies. The actual battles weren’t typically big all-in all-out attacks but careful and precise. Losing all your men in a big charge against one enemy was the surest way for the Daimyo to lose all of his lands to another samurai-clan. Stories and legends of the cunning attacks, glory and power politics of the samurai are still told nowadays.
The Praying Mantis is a symbol of cunning and power in Japanese culture and is consequently a highly respected theme in Samurai swords. This Praying Mantis Katana is a very desirable item for your collection but first and foremost a highly functional piece. Blade is in Shobu Zukuri style and is forged of L6/Bainite steel made possible by modern metallurgy. The blade features Bo-Hi (fuller) for the whole length of the blade. The sword has superb koshirae: handle, fittings, tsuba, scabbard etc. to finish of this beautiful sword. The subdued green silk of tsuka-ito (wrap over the handle) and deep brown of the lacquered saya (scabbard) provide handsome contrast to the dark copper and gold accents of the tsuba, fuchi and kashira. The stalking mantis lies in wait for his next prey, mirroring the power and grace in this exceptional katana.
Bainite is a structure of high-carbon steel that combines great strength with excellent flexibility and shock absorption characteristics. Bainite-structure has been known as an exemplary Katana blade component for a number of years but its use has been restricted just for a few top-class master smiths, due to the difficulties involved in performing the exact heat treatment procedures necessary. Making a Katana-blade the blade body and back needs toughness and strength of the Bainite while the yakiba (cutting edge) needs ultimate hardness of Martensite steel structure. Hanwei has now mastered this difficult process, using billets of L-6 tool steel (a very tough high-carbon low-alloy steel) as a starting point. Blades are forged and shaped in the normal way, then carefully heat treated to achieve the required Bainite and Martensite structures before final polishing. This Praying Mantis Katana has edge hardness of HRC 62-64 and the back has hardness of HRC 33-38.
A Traditional Japanese Sword maintenance kit is included. The kit contains blade oil (traditional choji oil that is made of mineral and clove oil), rice papers, an oiling cloth, a powder ball for blade polishing, a brass awl and hammer that is used if one wishes to disassemble the sword and a Saya shimming veneer to retighten the scabbard to the blade if needed. The kit is contained in a fitted wooden box. Also included is a traditional cloth bag to keep your sword in pristine condition when in storage or while transporting.
Made by Hanwei. Specs can vary slightly from piece to piece.
Overall length:104,1 cm
Blade length:73,5 cm
Handle length:28 cm
Point of Balance:14 cm
Width at Guard:3,7 cm
Width at Tip:3,0 cm
Thickness at Guard:6,4 mm
Thickness at Tip:5,5 mm
Blade material:L6/Bainite Carbon Steel
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