Ryujin Swords

Gendaito by Masataka with both 1934 pattern shingunto koshirae and modern martial arts koshirae

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Period: Showa.

Mei: Bishu ju Masataka tokushu kou wo motte tsukuru. (Masataka who lived in the country of Owari made this sword with special steel)

Sugata: Shinogi-zukuri, tori-zori, iori-mune.

Overall length: 33.42 inches (849.00 mm).

Nagasa: 25.43 inches (646.00 mm).

Nakago: Ubu, 7.99 inches (203.00 mm), one mekugi-ana, sujikai yasurime, haagari nakagojiri.

Kissaki: Chu-kissaki. Boshi uncertain due to WW2 polish.

Moto-haba: 1.20 inches (30.40 mm). Moto-gasane: 0.28 inches (7.00 mm). Saki-haba: 0.84 inches (21.40 mm). Saki-gasane: 0.21 inches (5.30 mm).

Sori: 0.47 inches (12.00 mm).

Hamon: Suguha. There appears to be some activity in the hamon, including what appears to be sunagashi. However, it would need polishing to see it clearly.

Hada: Itame-masame, to judge from what can be seen through a small polished window.

Blade condition: In WW2 polish with some scuffs and nail catchers. No fatal flaws. It will however polish up beautifully, if so required.


Two sets of mounts. The first is a set of martial arts koshirae; an old iron tsuba, plain iron fuchi-kashira, sterling silver menuki, and a green lacquered saya. The second set of koshirae are unrestored standard 1934 pattern shingunto mounts. Both sets of koshirae are in fairly good condition.


This is a traditionally made sword. The term 'special steel' however suggests one of three possibilities; that it was made from Yasugi speciality steel (Yasugi hagane): that it was made from chrome molybdenum steel; or that it was made from Manchurian steel.

Chrome molybdenum steel does not produce a hamon; the chromium present suppresses the grain growth necessary for the formation of a hamon.

On the other hand, swords made from Yasugi hagane do not have a hada. With Yasugi hagane there was no need for the extensive folding seen in tamahagane swords. Like any modern steel, Yasugi hagane has a homogenous carbon content. Folding is only done to make the carbon content homogenous; it is therefore unnecessary, pointless and even counterproductive for modern steels. You'd really only do it for aesthetic reasons, because it would serve no other purpose.

This sword has both a hamon and a hada. The 'special steel' referred to is therefore Manchurian steel, and this is therefore a gendaito.