Shikoto Clay Tempered Katana
Sword wielding experience at its richest, swordcraft at its peak
Savage yet beautiful, tough yet graceful, Shikoto's “Touchstone" Katana is a wild animal in the refined trappings of a nobleman. This traditional Japanese samurai sword is beautiful, eye-catching and no doubt impressive from the very first glance. But many of the Touchstone’s greatest treasures lie beneath its striking visual facade, and some - like clay tempering - are even altogether intangible. The Touchstone is a veritable swordcraft goldmine, never ceasing to yield rich sword-wielding experiences from the moment you first grasp the tsuka to your inaugural cut and every time you brandish it beyond.
Made of blood, sweat, tears, and premium T10 steel
Shikoto developed the Touchstone with the serious swordsman in mind. Master smiths painstakingly hand forge every Touchstone blade, and each blade tang bears the unique signature of the individual artisan who forged it. From vigorously hammering the formless, molten steel to gingerly tapping the delicate wooden mekugi into the tsuka, every step in the Touchstone's construction receives the utmost care and precise attention to detail. Some of the world's - and history's - most revered, time-tested techniques are employed, and every material is top-of-the-line. A quintessential example is the Touchstone's potent T10 tanto blade. One of the most sought-after high carbon steels in modern swordcraft, T10 alone would yield a blade with a nasty bite. But the Touchstone takes it a step further, enhancing the blade with a time honored differential hardening technique called “clay tempering.” Unique to traditional Japanese swordcraft, clay tempering was developed centuries ago by Edo-period smiths and is integral to the katana's longstanding, well-earned reputation as the sharpest sword on earth. A T10 blade may have a “nasty bite,” but aclay temperedT10 blade like the Touchstone’s is nothing short of devastating. And the “devastation” persists, battle after battle, cut after cut…
Sharpest in the world and stays that way, thanks to clay tempering
Clay tempering imparts edge retention that's simply without equal. Like a koi gliding through a still pond, the Touchstone's blade slices through rolled bamboo tatami mats and even cinder blocks cleanly and effortlessly, suffering neither crack nor fissure and all-the-while retaining its razor sharp edge. The Touchstone can withstand such punishing cutting trials thanks, largely, to clay tempering. Prior to the intense heat of the hardening phase, Shikoto's seasoned swordsmiths coat the newly formed, unrefined blade with clay - a thin layer along the edge, a thicker layer on the body and spine. When the blade emerges from the hardening forge, the clay layers' contrasting thicknesses cause the steel to cool at slightly different rates, yielding two distinct hardness regions. The less-insulated edge cools faster, making it harder for superior edge retention and shear strength. The thicker, more insulating coat of clay causes the body/spine to cool more slowly, rendering it "tougher"- less brittle, more flexible and better equipped to absorb impact energy. Though conceptually simple, clay tempering requires skilled hands and years of experience. It’s a slow, labor-intensive process that has changed little since its 15th century origins. But when you see the Touchstone in action, you’ll undoubtedly agree it’s well worth the time and effort.
Sublime feel, practically Zen-like wielding experience
The Touchstone's weight is shrewdly distributed to maximize swinging momentum and power, blow after devastating blow. This impeccable balance also improves control and responsiveness, allowing for greater agility and flexibility in combat. The delicately textured genuine ray skin same and soft braided ito that cloak the tsuka afford a comfortable, no-slip grip, further enhancing the Touchstone’s superb feel. Flawlessly cast from iron like katana of ages past, the tsuba is embellished with fine reliefs depicting a menacing dragon-like sea monster swimming in a tempestuous ocean marked by roiling waves. A classic brass menuki is nestled between ito and ray skin same, offset by traditional bamboo mekugi.
"Touchstone" of swordcraft excellence, year after year, generation after generation
The Touchstone has proven itself time and again, and it holds its own against any of today's most expensive katana, outperforming many. But the old cliché is true - "action" does indeed "speak louder than words," and at this unbeatable, downright unheard of price, why deny yourself the opportunity to experience Shikoto's Touchstone Katana for yourself? No matter how you use it, with proper care you can enjoy it for a lifetime, then pass it down to your children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren! The Touchstone is heirloom-quality and built to be treasured by generations of your descendants - your legacy preserved in hand forged steel.
- Embodies 2,500 years of knowledge and proven battle capability - handcrafted with painstaking attention to detail, time-honored techniques with roots stretching back to Bronze Age Japan
- Hand forged 27 1/4” T10 high carbon steel blade; clay tempered for exceptionally tough spine, legendary sharpness and unrivaled edge retention; natural hamon line; impressive 62 HRC
- Wooden tsuka wrapped in genuine ray skin same; ray skin's tea-dyed patina adds warm, rustic charm; beautifully offsets black ito wrapping; traditional wooden mekugi
- Solid brass habaki; intricate brass dragon menuki bathed in rich antiqued patina; solid iron tsuba with subtle texture, tastefully simple relief design
- Classic black wooden saya, hand lacquered and polished to stately gloss; accented with coordinating black sageo
- Accept no imitations - certificate of authenticity affirms genuine hand-forged status and is signed by the master swordsmith who crafted the blade; certificate also includes detailed forging specs
- Overall length: 39 1/2" - ideally sized, powerful and battle-ready; the quintessential full-sized Japanese sword