Sword Related Questions

Are your swords authentic?

We have never seen anything labeled as an authentic samurai sword that was actually owned by a samurai. There are still a lot of katana that were around before the Meiji era when the samurai class was abolished, but they bear little resemblance to most katana being sold with this label. Most people think of them as Samurai Swords and not katana or wakizashi.

Authentic – well, we do sell real swords if that is what you mean.

Do you sell swords made in Japan?

A real katana made in Japan is called “nihonto”. They are highly regulated and are only made by licensed swordsmiths that can only make a limited number of swords in a month using strict traditional methods. This controls the quality of swords but forces the starting price to around US$7,000 and this is just for a bare blade without any koshirae (sword fittings). Japanese iaito practice swords on the otherhand are not considered real swords and are not regulated by the Japanese government because the blade is blunt and is made of aluminum. The cost of importing such swords from Japan are just too expensive.

You can read these 2 short articles we wrote about cheap ‘samurai swords’ made in Japan so you will know more about them:

• Anatomy of a cheap samurai sword “made in Japan”
• How Japanese iaito and mogito are made

Where are your swords made?

We are proud to say that our swords are forged in the traditional Japanese manner in the city of Longquan, Zhejiang Province, China which is considered one of the best sword making cities in the world with a history of over 2,500 years. Our swords are made using only high quality materials and are still made using some traditional methods (using machines at a minimum) such as differential hardening but are much more affordable than nihonto. These are not the cheap quality you see being sold elsewhere that are made of aluminum or stainless steel and of low quality materials.

How are your swords made?

Our swords go through the 6 stages of forging process:

1. Rough forging
2. Rough shaping
3. Clay application
4. Quenching
5. Sizing
6. Finishing

Here are some behind the scene photos of how our swords are made.

What type of steel are your swords made of?

Depending on the model, our swords are made of the following steel:

1045 carbon steel
1050 carbon steel
1060 carbon steel
1095 carbon steel
T10 tool steel

Please go here to know what the numbers T10, 1095, 1060, 1050, 1045 mean.

Are your swords very sharp?

When we meet up with our customers and they want to know how sharp the blade is, we always tell them not to touch the edge of the blade with their finger as what most people do. Instead, we run the top of our fingernail across the edge and they would see a thin layer of cuticle being scraped off. Sometimes, we use a piece of paper to test the sharpness.

In this video, you’ll see two of our 1060 Series swords: Gin no Sakura Handachi and Tora Katana. This is the infamous Gin no Sakura Handachi that cut Aldwin’s hand before. He’s used this sword to cut banana stalks and bamboos a lot of times so it’s not as sharp as it was when it first came out of the box. But since the blade is made of 1060 carbon steel (which has better edge retention than 1045 or 1050), the blade is still relatively very sharp. The Tora Katana is brand new, has never been used and this is the first time it’s been used to cut something.

We used two kinds of paper here. The first is a photo copy paper 70 gsm (time frame 0:00 – 2:11) and the other is a regular billing statement which is thicker and stiffer (time frame 2:18 – 3:54). Cutting paper this way with a sword is not as easy as it looks. It takes some practice and it’s more difficult if the paper is thin and flimsy. You need to hold the paper correctly and the edge of the blade should be at a certain angle. You also need to apply the right amount of force when cutting it. If you put too much, you’ll rip it.

If a sword cannot cut paper, it doesn’t mean it’s not sharp. We have some swords that are not “paper cutting sharp” but can easily cut water bottles, tatami mats, or bamboo. Sharpness is not an easy concept to define as there are many factors to consider. Usually we think of a thin cutting edge like a razor as very sharp and a thick cutting edge like an axe as not so sharp. This is true. A razor can shave off hair but an axe cannot. A razor is very sharp although it cannot cut down a tree. The cutting edge of different tools are designed for specific purposes. A Japanese sword is not a tool for cutting wood nor it’s a tool for shaving hair. But we can say that our hand forged Japanese style swords are sharp enough to cut recommended targets such as water-filled bottles, beach/straw mats, tatami, fresh green bamboo.

Can your swords be used for cutting?

All of our hand forged, fully sharpened swords are made specifically for tameshigiri or cutting practice. It can cut tatami/straw mats, fresh green bamboo and other recommended targets. Our machine made swords are not sharpened and are only intended for display or cosplay and are greatly discouraged for use for tameshigiri or martial arts training.

You can watch our hand forged swords in action in the video below. Watch more at our YouTube channel.

Are your swords “battle-ready”?

All of our hand forged swords are full tang, fully sharpened, and functional which can used for tameshigiri or cutting practice, if that is what you mean by “battle-ready”. Our swords are not recommended for sword-on-sword contact sparring due to obvious reasons: you may injure yourself or your training partner and because Japanese swords are not indestructible and will surely get damaged when struck with another hard object.

You can watch our hand forged swords in action in the video below. Watch more at our YouTube channel.

Do you have a sword that is not sharpened?

We sell iaito (non-sharpened katana) which is used for practicing iai and kata. They are made the same way as our other hand forged, fully sharpened blades with the same weight and feel of a real sword, but without the risk of cutting or injuring yourself or someone else. But if you’re looking for an affordable non-sharpened sword that you can use for cosplay, photo shoots, or just for display, check out our machine made swords.

Can the non-sharpened, machine made swords be sharpened?

At the moment, we don’t offer sharpening service. Also, sharpening our non-sharpened, machine made swords won’t be worth the time and effort as the blades of these swords will not hold an edge because they have not been hardened. Even if you managed to sharpen it without ruining the overall geometry of the blade, it’s not safe to use it for cutting or for training because they are built to be display pieces only. It would be best to get our hand forged swords if you want a fully sharpened blade that you can use for martial arts training.

Do you sell brands like Paul Chen/Hanwei, Cheness, Musashi, Masahiro, Cold Steel, etc?

We only sell our own brand: Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃

Do you accept custom made swords?

We accept custom swords according to your specifications, but we can only customize the following:

Blade style (shinogi zukuri, shobu zukuri, unokubi zukuri, and moroha zukuri only)
Blade length
Tsuka length
Color of tsukaito (handle wrap)
Color of saya
Style of tsuba (hand guard)

* At the moment, we do not accept anime/video game based swords for custom-made swords.

Custom-made katana cannot be ordered anytime, this will be pre-ordered and a date will be announced on when we will be taking custom orders because this will be made/ordered prior to ordering our new stocks.

The starting price for a custom katana is PHP 22,500 with standard shinogi-zukuri mono-steel blade (28 inches blade, 11 inches handle), iron or zinc alloy tsuba. A down payment/deposit of 25% of the total cost of the custom katana is required and is NON-REFUNDABLE to ensure that the custom order will be fully paid for. The balance and shipping cost can be paid for before we ship your order to you. It will take 1-2 months for the production, and at least 1 month for the shipping. A total of 2-3 months waiting time. A custom katana is only available or can be made using 1095 carbon steel or T10 tool steel. This will have a natural hamon on the blade and not wire-brushed like on our 1050 and 1060 series. If you want a different type of blade construction like laminated or folded, engravings on the blade, different style of bohi (groove), there will be additional charges.

We will be providing you pictures for choices of our available colors for the tsukaito, color of saya, and available designs of tsuba you can choose from.