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Caleb Cox




Location: California
Joined: 14 Oct 2017

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2019 6:46 pm    Post subject: Modern Katana Identification help         Reply with quote

Hi, looking for any info on this katana repro I got used from an elderly lady. Doesn’t have a fuller, and it seems to have a ko kissaki. Thanks!


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Alexander Ehlers




Location: Utah
Joined: 21 Jul 2015
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps you can tell us what material do you think the blade is made out of ? This might help us narrow down the manufactures.
Never give up without giving a fight, fighting is an opportunity for victory.
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Tom L.




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 20 Jun 2008

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it might be an early Hanwei practical katana. I used to own one and bought mine in 2000. At some point, they changed the sword by making it with a lighter and thinner blade and also changed the guard from being a simple flat disc like the one in your photo, to one with a beveled edge and also gave it a pitted texture (the guard/tsuba on yours is flat and smooth like the early versions of this sword was).

Some people like the early model because it was robust. There were complaints that the next couple of versions suffered from the blade being too easily broken (Hanwei fixed this with much later versions of the sword).

If I remember, this sword cannot be taken apart without destroying the handle. The tang is supposedly designed with a notch to allow it to be keyed to the grip to prevent it from coming out of the handle should the bamboo peg keeping the blade attached to the grip fail.

Hope this helps.

I have a cunning plan Mr. B.
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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 517

PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd agree with Tom,
early Paul Chen-Hanwei practical type series, exact name escapes me as there were a few with subtle differences back then,
blades were listed as EN45 rail track or rail road steel blades,
excellent katana for the prices,
the keyed info is interesting, hadn't read that about this model, but had read it about their Zaitochi shira saya version, blind swordsman sword,
thanks Tom,
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Caleb Cox




Location: California
Joined: 14 Oct 2017

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 10:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tom L. wrote:
I think it might be an early Hanwei practical katana. I used to own one and bought mine in 2000. At some point, they changed the sword by making it with a lighter and thinner blade and also changed the guard from being a simple flat disc like the one in your photo, to one with a beveled edge and also gave it a pitted texture (the guard/tsuba on yours is flat and smooth like the early versions of this sword was).

Some people like the early model because it was robust. There were complaints that the next couple of versions suffered from the blade being too easily broken (Hanwei fixed this with much later versions of the sword).

If I remember, this sword cannot be taken apart without destroying the handle. The tang is supposedly designed with a notch to allow it to be keyed to the grip to prevent it from coming out of the handle should the bamboo peg keeping the blade attached to the grip fail.

Hope this helps.


Thanks guys for the help. That definitely looks like the right model. I appreciate it!
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Tom L.




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 20 Jun 2008

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Wed 25 Sep, 2019 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're welcome Caleb.
I have a cunning plan Mr. B.
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