What's new

Fake Katana or real one?

Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
13
Hello,
i saw this video and in this video the guy says: if you remove this part of the Katana, the katana is fake. Is this real? Because, when i'm trying to push it from my Katana, it moves a lot and it seems like i can remove it. But i cant do that because the Makidome is wrapped to the Kashira/Kashira Gane (this). Is this normal? The Kashira can moved/be removed and removed? Because mine is moving.. i have a fake katana or it's normal?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Messages
1,507
Ratings
293
Would be better if you could send an actual picture of your item.

The sword in the video is a souvenir (replica) sword. One can tell this by the quality of the steel used in the furnishings, the look of the koshirae, the blade, the bleached white tsuka handle covering, etc... and its unnecessary to go through the trouble of removing any of the parts. It's like describing how to take apart a bicycle in order to positively determine it is not an F1 racing car.

Where did you get your sword?
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
13
Hello Majestic and thanks for the quick response,
you already saw my katana, you said that it was mass-fabricated, but (talking as a guy that doesn't have much experience with swords) the hamon seems pretty real so i dont really know if they are mass-fabricated, could you confirm to me? If you don't remember, here are the pics; here and here. I just want to know if the sword really is mass fabricated. The sword was purchased in Japan 1970s.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2012
Messages
1,824
Ratings
175
I believe you are talking about the bamboo pin in the sword. I am not expert in swords, but bamboo is not an item you can expect to maintain its size and shape forever, especially at such a point in a sword.

However, if the sword was brand new and it was moving, I would say yeah, some flunky made it, so probably mass produced. Upwards of 40 years old though? Indeterminable. Trust me, anybody with any wood working skills, a few tools and chunk of bamboo thick enough could make a new one that fits tight. But you got to get the wrapping out of the way to put it in.

That said, if you take the pin out and the handle off there may be inscriptions on the tang that will give you some clues.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Messages
1,507
Ratings
293
Ah... apologies. Yes, they are mass fabricated. I can see something looking like a hamon on your swords, but these are produced in the factory rather than being the product of a hand-forging process.
There are a lot of videos showing souvenir swords or modern replicas (high-quality, high-riced replicas, mind you) and people throw around terms like hamon, nakago, etc... but make no mistake, replica swords and hand-forged swords are completely different things. Don't be confused by the jargon and the exoticness of it all. Just because it has a silk-wrapped handle or a tsuba, doesn't make it an authentic hand-forged sword. Check out the below if you want to see how the real deal is made:
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
13
Ah... apologies. Yes, they are mass fabricated. I can see something looking like a hamon on your swords, but these are produced in the factory rather than being the product of a hand-forging process.
There are a lot of videos showing souvenir swords or modern replicas (high-quality, high-riced replicas, mind you) and people throw around terms like hamon, nakago, etc... but make no mistake, replica swords and hand-forged swords are completely different things. Don't be confused by the jargon and the exoticness of it all. Just because it has a silk-wrapped handle or a tsuba, doesn't make it an authentic hand-forged sword. Check out the below if you want to see how the real deal is made:
Oh, thanks!
Also, that part that i said (the Kashira) is it normal to move if you push it a little harder? Also, can i practice Iaido with the sword or i have a risk of breaking it or something? I'm literally in love with Katanas and Japanese blades, i'll probably buy a "real" one. Do you have any tips on purchasing a katana? Ill watch the video too, thanks.
Sidenote: The blade does not cut, probably this indicates that it is mass fabricated too.

I believe you are talking about the bamboo pin in the sword. I am not expert in swords, but bamboo is not an item you can expect to maintain its size and shape forever, especially at such a point in a sword.

However, if the sword was brand new and it was moving, I would say yeah, some flunky made it, so probably mass produced. Upwards of 40 years old though? Indeterminable. Trust me, anybody with any wood working skills, a few tools and chunk of bamboo thick enough could make a new one. But you got to get the wrapping out of the way.

That said, if you take the pin out and the handle off there may be inscriptions on the tang that will give you some clues.
Actually, i was talking about the Kashira, i tried to remove the bamboo pins too but i don't have a Brass hammer.. Anyways, thanks for the info! :D
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2012
Messages
1,824
Ratings
175
Oh, okay. The kashira. Like I say, I am no expert and I had to look that up. But I would think if that is loose but the bamboo pin is not, it probably was mass produced. From there it would be a matter of how loose.

But even then, I think wear and tear will play a part. The sword actually being swung is going to loosen things eventually. Temperature variations will shrink and expand metals. Even swords need periodic maintenance.

But if the blade does not cut I will put dollars to donuts its a display replica with no tempering and phoney hamon.

If so, I cannot imagine the sword would be dangerous unless the bamboo pin is loose. That slips and you swing the sword, the blade goes flying like an arrow while you stand there with the handle in your hands looking like a dope.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
13
Oh, okay. The kashira. Like I say, I am no expert and I had to look that up. But I would think if that is loose but the bamboo pin is not, it probably was mass produced. From there it would be a matter of how loose.

But even then, I think wear and tear will play a part. The sword actually being swung is going to loosen things eventually. Temperature variations will shrink and expand metals. Even swords need periodic maintenance.

I cannot imagine the sword would be dangerous unless 1) the bamboo pin is loose. That slips and you swing the sword, the blade goes flying like an arrow while you stand there with the handle in your hands looking like a dope. 2) the sword was so brittle (over tempered/improperly forged) that it would shatter if it hit something, but I am sure you could find some ways to test it while wearing protective goggles and other gear. Slicing (genuine, not foam core) tatami mats I believe is standard practice. Last maybe slicing some green (not dried) bamboo.
Thanks for your quick response, Zorro.
The sword does not cut. I just don't want to break it. Also, yeah, the bamboo pins are pretty fixed.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2012
Messages
1,824
Ratings
175
Sorry, you are responding too quickly. I keep going back and realizing I missed something in your post and fixing my post in response. Hit F5 and read my post again.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2012
Messages
1,824
Ratings
175
Display replicas are not tempered. They are a dime a dozen. What will happen is that you will bend it, even by swinging it and stopping the blade suddenly, eventually you will bend it. It will also wobble a lot no matter how tight the handle, tang and all other parts are.

In fact, I would not worry too much about breaking it either way. Of course no sense trying to cut with a dull blade. That WILL break it. I would flex the blade, If it bends and holds a bend, its fake. Bend it back. If its real, it will go back into shape by itself. Of course I am not talking about applying he-man strength, but just put the middle of the blade over your thigh as you sit, one palm (gloved) on the flat of the blade and the other hand on the handle. If it bends easily its not tempered. If it holds a bent shape, its not tempered. If it shatters (unlikely and only possible if you applied a lot of force) it was dangerous and better broken. Of course you should be wearing protective goggles if you apply that much force.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
13
Sorry, you are responding too quickly. I keep going back and realizing I missed something in your post and fixing my post in response. Hit F5 and read my post again.
Oh, apologies!
I didn't saw that you mentioned the blade, mkay.. now i know that the sword is mass-fabricated, thanks!
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2012
Messages
1,824
Ratings
175
Looked at the pics. Looks like standard display swords to me. I see the pins are exposed. You can pop those out and the blade will slide out from the handle, no other steps require....and will see....nothing on tang. Mass produced display swords.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Messages
1,507
Ratings
293
Normally the tsukamaki will be wound so tightly that the kashira will be immobile; it shouldn't move. Having said that, threads do become slack and it isn't too uncommon that the thread will loosen over time and the kashira might have a little bit of play in it. This has no bearing on whether the blade or furnishings are real or not.

You need to look at a lot of swords before you can start to know for sure what you are talking about. I'm still an amateur at this stuff, but I feel like I am starting to scratch the surface. So my advice to you is to be patient. In the meantime, I would suggest your first purchase be a sword guidebook. My first one was this one The Samurai Sword: A Handbook: John M. Yumoto, T. C. Ford: 9784805311349: Amazon.com: Books
Then maybe move on to something a bit more comprehensive like this one The Connoisseurs Book of Japanese Swords: Kokan Nagayama: 9784770020710: Amazon.com: Books .
Be very, very suspicious of swords on the auction sites. If you come to Japan, check out the sword museum near Yoyogi. And also check out the sword shops in Tokyo, of course. Avoid the temptation to buy a souvenir sword, replica sword, or modern swords purporting to be samurai swords. Save your money for the real stuff!
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2012
Messages
1,824
Ratings
175
Side note: if you do anything that could shatter the blade, its flying shards of metal that is the danger, thus the protective glasses, gloves etc. But again, if no temper, that is not going to happen.
 
Top