The design of an
existing sword should aim at creating a unique version for the benefit
of the owner of the sword and for the uniqueness of the design.
The Kogarasu-Maru can lend itself for a little
innovation, which appears on the second half of the central
original groove or bo-hi.
Compare the traditional design below, and note that
there is a groove going from the habaki all the way to the point.
The darkened area
in the front of the blade is the groove while its continuation is a
flat surface, good for parrying if need be and corresponding to a
centered shinoji. The habaki has been rendered in silver
and the tsuka is in samegawa with blued tachi mountings with a small
sori. The traditional end curved nakago was removed.
I suggested that a middle-dark blue tsunami ito should be used. I
will somehow convoque the memory of a later tachi mountings sageo
which was partially made of velvet. I did not use tachi mountings for
the blade as while it was rendered, it was to be a 25 inches lenght
blade. I searched for some uniqueness, and the use of sapphires
seemed to be very much a unique touch in the menuki and the
Here is a large
thumbnail in which every detail has been considered.
1. The first drawing shows all the details of the blade seen
sideways, including a hole with the size of the center flat area. It
will not weaken the blade at all. However it is just an alternative
which can be ignored.
2. In this second drawing the blade has been colored with
shades of gray. Some of them display a grain, which is a way to
signal the surfaces that are to be polished in a less than mirror
finish. The areas where the gray is plain, the surface is to be
polished to a mirror like finish. So by clicking the thumbnail
the more and less shinny surfaces are easily identifiable. This brings
again a new interplay between different finishes to the steel. Gloss
and buffered, resulting in an unconventional approach.
3. The fittings are to be custom made , but are to be plain, except for the tsuba which
contains a parallel to the edge groove shown in lighter color as well
as the kashira. They are to be chemically blued into a dark
shinny blue. The kurikata should also be of blued metal, mild
steel or other item.
There is also a ring in the saya which is to carry a semi
circular sapphire stone. This piece will have to be made with a soft metal
ring that will then receive the semi circular stone and its own
4. Habaki is silver.
5. The tsuka is presented here just in plain samegawa
but is to be wrapped in dark blue tsunami ito.
The menuki should remain the same circular button with a sapphire shown
sapphire should be around 8mm maximum diameter, with the
rounded shape like this one since there are others more oval.
The one for
the saya medallion spoken in 3. should be larger,
about 1.2 cm maximum.
6. The blade should have a consistent 3 cm width and the
groove should be 8 mm wide.
7. The saya is to be covered by snake skin dyed blue. The color
shown here is not to my satisfaction because it is not of the same
family of blue from the fittings. It is now up to Eric to resize the
saphires in so as to keep them in proportion. The snake skin
will be clear lacquered so as to protect from any scratch on the
scales or the entire snake's skin.
8. The blade
sections are shown and the same 8 mm groove will be
transformed in the first half of the blade as a flat shinning surface
similar to the shinoji.
Actually, as it can be perceived by the right blade
section, there are two mune, the upper one being oblique and the
transition to the mune is to be rounded so as to keep in tune
with the double edged front section of the blade.
This sword was conceived both as a weapon and a modified unique
kogarasu-maru, and bears all the qualities of an art piece in
5160 steel through the way the steel is treated, polished and the
fittings conceived. It does not bear tachi mountings as I think that
such a small sword would look ridiculous in the complicated tachi
sageo that would overwhelm the entire piece.
See the evolution of Eric Littons great renderings in this team work