Shinobigatana (ninja to)

Chris Parker

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Hi, Ginny, just posted an answer in the other thread for you. I'm going to go ahead and assume you are after a sword for Togakure Ryu Bikenjutsu practice, so as I said in the other thread, this is pretty good for Togakure Ryu. My main concern is the length of the tsuka; at 14', it'll be a bit awkward for things like Kage no Itto.

For what it's worth, when I was after a Togakure Ryu blade, I had one custom made for me by the guys at Furuyama Forge, through www.j-armory.com. If you go to their site, and see the custom Hayabusa "Falcon" Ninpo Katana (red saya, brown tsuka ito), that one is mine. It is basically a forged sword to my specifications, with a 23' blade, 28' Saya, and 12' Tsuka. And I kinda like it a bit...
 

Cryozombie

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Meh.

I have that Cheness sword. The Handle is VERY long and it makes some techniques difficult. If you can find the Version Oni Forge was making, (I believe its been discontinued) I'd reccomend it over the Cheness one. (I have both, I find the Oni Forge sword to handle (and cut in Tameshigiri) much better.) Just be careful, I understand some of the earlier ones Oni was selling to have weak construction on the Tsuka and they would crack.

FWIW, I got the Folded Steel version of the Oni Forge for just under 200... thats 469 less than the one Chris listed, however, I'm willing to bet the quality on those is much better if you have the money to spend.
 

kaizasosei

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Recently i took my katana(johnlee) apart completely, everything, including the wrapping on the handle. Having two mekugi, the wooden tsuka is quite long and i like it like that for extra leverage-shark(ray)skin is sortof glued on in a tacky way... .the base of the blade is unmarked and a tad jagged. putting it back together was pretty easy except for the tsukamaki. Man that is not easy, especialy because the glue makes it brittle and that omote and ura knots are a little tricky too without glue. Looks pretty decent again now wave pattern and all. Did look better before though, you'd have to take a closer look.
Good tool to knock out the mekugi is the hexagonal(or six point star) screwdrivers. Anyone tell me if there's better-as it's a little tricky mekugi being at an angle and all seeming to come out best only one way.


j
 

kenjutsushi

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I have a Coldsteel Chisa Katana and a Dynasty Forge Ko-Katana. Both make decent beater shinobi-gatana that cut really well. I honestly prefer the Coldsteel as it is a little lighter. Only thing that keeps them from being authentic shinobi-gatana is the saya is the proper length for the 24" blade rather than being longer than the blade so it looks like a standard katana.
 

Cryozombie

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Good tool to knock out the mekugi is the hexagonal(or six point star) screwdrivers. Anyone tell me if there's better-as it's a little tricky mekugi being at an angle and all seeming to come out best only one way.


j

Ummm. I'm not an expert, but it was my understanding that they are only SUPPOSED to come out one way... am I wrong?
 

kaizasosei

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I'm thinking it would depend on the construction. It makes sense to me that they come out on the higher side, or is it the lower side?? I'm not sure, think the higher side.

j
 

Chris Parker

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Ummm. I'm not an expert, but it was my understanding that they are only SUPPOSED to come out one way... am I wrong?

Totally correct. The mekugi is designed to fit in the mekugi-ana from one side only so that it wedges tightly and stops the blade flying out (one of the saddest martial art stories I have heard involved a poorly fitted/unchecked mekugi either splitting or falling out during an Iaido demonstration. The live blade flew out and struck a young girl in the chest, killing her. These things really shouldn't be messed with unnecessarily).

The best tool for removing the mekugi is called a mekugi nuki, and is a brass hammer with a tapered handle. Shouldn't be too hard to find one if you look around.

Oh, and Cryo, yeah my sword wasn't the cheapest weapon I own, and I wasn't really advocating it for others, just saying what I went with. But she is very pretty...
 

kaizasosei

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That accident sounds terribly tragic. I'm glad i have a wooden handle and it's comforting to know that there are two mekugi. Plus even with the mekugi out there is still a fair bit of resistance.

Thing about the standard cuts with the japanese sword is it is basically the same motion as the jikidaho of shurikenjutsu. That means, if the blade were to fly out, it can fly out really straight. I've even seen swordthrowing with no spin and it looks like the guy simply does a normal cut, but he lets go and the sword flies away really straight and perfect.

Also, the cloth-draped handle facilitates the throwing for tokenjutsu-swordthrowing.
But as far as accidents go, i would not trust some of those plastic handles and one plastic mekugi even if it is glued to the max.


j
 
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Chris Parker

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Yes, very tragic. From memory, it happened in the late 70's at a demo in Japan. A powerful reminder to check your equipment properly each and every time!

I'm not really fond of throwing a sword, I must say, it's really a desperation move if I do resort to it. With that said, though, Togakure Ryu does have the techniques known as Itto Nage and Sutemi within it's Bikenjutsu scroll, which in some versions include throwing the sword into an opponent, and the technique used is very similar to shurikenjutsu. The idea is to throw it in a straight line, not so the blade keeps flipping over itself (much less chance of the pointy end hitting something if you do that!), I tend to practice that particular kata (at home) by throwing one of my Togakure bokken towards a tree, picking thinner and thinner trees as I go.
 
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