Some of you may have already seen this thread on SFI. For those of you who haven't, it is an informative look at how many of the cheap stainless steel katana are made. I took apart one of my cheap kats (looks very much like the one in that infamous Home Shopping Network video clip), and took pictures of what lay beneath. Here is the kat in question. The fake ito got messed up from some swinging around: Closeup of the handle: The "ito" was merely a twisted strand of material, and unravelled easily: This is what was underneath the fake ito. A piece of black cloth that nowhere resembled same (rayskin): Check out the big crack!