Posts Tagged ‘Ninja-to’

Another Copycat Blade…

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I am a big fan of shirasaya patterned swords, even though the design was originally developed for storage, rather than actual use. I find them such simple, clean designs. No muss, no fuss, no ornate furniture, no complex tsuka-maki, etc. I just really like the clean lines of the design.

However there are tactical disadvantages to using shirasaya styled sword furniture when compared to traditional sword designs. Obviously, without tsukamaki, your grip on the tsuka will not be as good. And without a guard, you are limited in the number of ways you can parry a strike. However these issues can be mitigated via training, and in the end, they become no more or less difficult to use than the purpose built shikomizue.

But I’m rambling. The real reason why I brought up the subject is because I ran into another shikomizue styled blade:

Custom Ninja Sword aka Sasukes Kusanagi Grass cutter

Custom Ninja Sword aka Sasukes Kusanagi Grass cutter

This interesting little blade, modestly called a Custom Anime Ninja Sword, bears a striking resemblance to a sword from a previous post. None other than Sasuke Uchihas’ Kusanagi Grass Cutter (aka Kusanagi no Tsurugi) from the anime Naruto! Obviously this is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that a sword company decided to make a copy of a cool anime sword. But as cheap rip offs go, this one is a pretty good likeness.

About the only differences between this and the original is that this one lacks the signature Uchiha clan fan symbol on the Tsuka, it has a cheap cast habaki, and the point is a sharply angled tanto point, as opposed to a traditional katana point. But it has a straight black blade, just like the orignial, a feature that I absolutely love, and the long, straight white saya with the rectangular cross section with the black racing stripe down the middle.

I think that black stripe adds like 9000 points to the hit strength of the sword, but I could be wrong. 🙂

Sasuke’s Kusanagi Grass Cutter (aka Kusanagi no Tsurugi) rip off – [True Swords]

An Evil White Sword…

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Today we step, once again, into the “way back” machine, and journey back in time to the 80s, when Saturday morning television wrought untold corny and cheesy carnage upon the youth of America. A surreal world in which brutal, unbridled war could be waged with weapons of mass destruction and gory dispatch, and yet, spill not a single red drop of blood. I speak of non-other but the scourge of 80’s Saturday morning cartoons, G.I. Joe!

OK, so I admit to waxing a *wee bit* dramatic with that intro, however it is not without reason. I have always found it amazing how Saturday morning cartoons seem to try to indoctrinate our kids of the nobility and honor of war, while obscuring it’s ugly truths. War is mindless, bloody and indiscriminate. Even when you win, you lose. And yet it is glorified in all manner of media, and in song, and deed. Absolutely mind boggling. But anyhoo, allow me to get of my soapbox and talk about weapons!! : P

I brought up G.I. Joe for a reason. While browsing one of my favorite sword sites I came upon a ninja sword belonging to one of the villains of the series, Storm Shadow. Much like the sword of his arch rival and all around good guy Snake Eyes, his sword possessed a sinister simplicity of design, which I found very aesthetically pleasing. In addition, it had the unique quality of being an all white sword!

An interesting side note is the play on color based roles that Storm shadow and Snake eyes adopted. The good ninja (Snake Eyes) wore all black and carried a black sword, while the bad ninja (Storm Shadow) wore all white and carried a white sword. This was a very interesting play on color role reversal. But I’m not going to go there. Instead I’m going to talk about Storm Shadows cool Ninjaken.

Storm Shadows Sword

Storm Shadows Sword

Storm Shadows sword is of a simple but effective design. It is almost entirely straight, but incorporates the mildest of curves, combining the compact form of the straight traditional Ninjato with the added cutting power of a slightly curved blade. The handle is equally simple. A white round guard, a snake skin styled check pattern handle, and an equally subdued rearing cobra pommel finish off the look. Simple, elegant and sinister all at the same time.

Storm Shadows Sword

Storm Shadows Sword

My only question is: Why white? For the kind of work you can imagine this guy does with it, the sword would never stay clean. And don’t even get me started on his clothes!! A White Shinobi Shozoku? You have got to be kidding me. That’s gotta be breaking some evil ninja law or something…

Storm Shadows Ninjato – [True Swords]

Snake Eyes! Nope… No Dice.

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Today, we go back into the annals of Saturday morning cartoon history. I read that G.I. Joe was a big thing for kids of the 80’s. I wouldn’t know anything about that : P.

But I do know that one of the primary heroes of this old school animated series was none other than… a Ninja. Snake Eyes could possibly have been Americas very first animated Ninja hero. But what makes this particular ninja important to us dark-bladers is that he had a pretty sweet black sword.

GI Joe - Snake Eyes sword

GI Joe - Snake Eyes sword

Now that, my friends, is what I call a sinister looking sliver of black steel. But from a practical perspective there is one design feature that I think would weaken the overall strength of the blade. The narrow blade section above the handle.

GI Joe - Snake Eyes sword

GI Joe - Snake Eyes sword

The section that has been removed from the spine would certainly lighten the sword considerably, and while transferring the center of mass forward, but at the same time it would introduce a structural weakness into the blade, especially at the ingress point just above the serrated spine section if the blade.

I suppose if you were an Uber Commando Ninja like Snake Eyes, this would be of little consequence, as his enemies would have been forcibly separated from life before ever being aware that he was there, much less that his sword possesses a weakness of any sort. But forgive my idle speculation.

In spite of the mechanical shortcomings of the design, there is so much I love about this sword. The sword incorporates a beautiful combination of sweeping curves and abrupt lines, combined in a very complementary way.

The short saw toothed section on the back edge adds to the utilitarian effect of the sword. Even the narrow section removed from the spine, adds to the no-nonsense aesthetics of the blade, as does the simple guard, and the elegantly carved curving handle.

It is as beautiful to me as it is sinister. Which, in my twisted little mind, are in fact the same thing.

No, I don’t need therapy. I can separate the two whenever I want. Really.

No, really…

Snake Eyes Ninja Sword – [True Swords]

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