Since a trip to Japan last year and a once in a lifetime visit to the excellent Japanese Sword Museum in Tokyo, I have become quite enamored of Japanese blades. My interest is mostly in handmade knives (I will never be able to afford an authentic sword) with hand forged steel. One craftsman in particular I admire is Takeshi Saji. Below are pics of some of his knives I have collected. The blades are layered hammer forged carbon steel. Handles are wood and rayskin. Sheaths are wood.
My questions to members of this forum who are a lot smarter than me...while I purchased these knives strictly for display purposes only, how do you think they would stand up to hard use if necessary? Also, any recommendations on care for the steel? Should I do the traditional mineral oil and rice paper route or can I use lubricant/protecting products I already have like CLP or Triflow?
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December 31, 2008, 03:03 PM
I have Katanas and Wakizashis that I use CLP on and they hold up just fine. Just try to avoid getting CLP or the oils on the same (rayskin) it can stain it to something other than white.
Beautiful set of knives you have there.
December 31, 2008, 03:15 PM
I have one of his that I bought in Japan, it is wrapped with cane strips only.
They are made to be used and while I used to fear the traditional Japanese method to mount the handle, it is a solid design that has been used in Japan for at least 1000 years by foresters and carpentry workers.
I think that you can use whatever oils that you want to on it. Just use an appropriate oil/lube that can be eaten if you prep foods with it. Also be prepared for tarnishing of the steel.
December 31, 2008, 04:01 PM
As has been said, they're made to be used.
You should be able to use modern corrosion preventatives on the steel, but keep them off the handle.
If these are to be used for food prep you should think about using balistol or food grade mineral oil since I wouldn't want some of the stuff in CLP in my innards.
December 31, 2008, 05:43 PM
They are good stuff usually. The ore could be a better source, but thats why Japan went on their little war of resources.
I have two Japanese swords that were brought back from WW2. One of Iwo Jima and one from the mainland by my wife's uncle. Quite scary when you look at them. I should try and take some pictures of them sometime, when I get a working digital camera again.
January 1, 2009, 02:55 AM
In every issue of Shotgun News you'll see an add ''top dollar for WWII Japanese swords''.The Japanese are trying to get those swords back.My buddy Tom had an interesting sword,it was just a blade with an inch and a half wide strip of white linen about four feet long wrapped around it for a handle.Tom told me it was a ''last ditch'' sword,made at the end of the war,and that the faint writing on it were well wishes from the family of the soldier,and patriotic sayings from his friends.
January 2, 2009, 10:08 PM
There's nothing wrong with good old choji or light mineral oil, and it doesn't cost a fraction of what CLP or any other fancy stuff does.
That and it won't dissolve any glues in the handle, or mess with any habaki or something.
January 11, 2009, 08:07 PM
i have a shigametsu knife, folded steel over a thousand time, razor sharp and its fun to use when i nead to cleave meat
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