Ronin Dojo Pro Ko-Katana # 10
Ko Katana (short wakizashi blade, standard length handle)
A Ko Katana is basically a short sword with a standard length handle, allowing for extremely fast cuts and traditionally was found to be very effective for indoor use and the blade itself is very similar to some historical accounts of a Ninja 'Shinobigatana'.
The tsuka/handle assembly itself is exceptionally tight and well put together, double pegged with silk ito wrapped over REAL (blackened) rayskin, alternating in the traditional style to ensure it does not move or slip when used, and tightly bound to a quality wooden core.
Furthermore, the handle is also properly ergonomically ‘shaped’ to follow the curve of the blade AND fit comfortably into the hand, creating a safe and firm grip - another rarity at this price point.
The tsuba is made from solid steel, blackened to match the rest of the sword and is an exact copy of an actual Edo period antique.
As you can see from the picture, these swords feature high end brass seppa (spacers) and habaki (blade collar) expertly fitted to the blade.
The saya (sheath) itself is thick and made from high quality wood, after all you don’t put hand cut and polished buffalo horn Kurikata, Koguchi and Kojiri on an inferior saya.
The strength of the fittings ALONE are head and shoulders above any other sword maker anywhere near this price point, but the 24” blade takes it to a whole new level again..
These 1060, through tempered, no nonsense mono steelblades are exceptionally HONEST and RELIABLE.
Hand forged and solidly built, there is not a trace of pretentiousness about them – no fake hamon, no bo-hi and no BS.
They are quite simply just extremely practical, utilitarian blades made according to the Dotanuki forging tradition – a school of sword making that made simple ‘maru’ lamination blades with a reputation for being plain, practical and to the point (speaking of which, the kissaki tip of the blade is reinforced with a diamond shape for added durability and transitioned much nicer than most other hand made monotempered blades at this price point).
Weighing 2.6lbs with a point of balance 5” from the tsuba these swords are designed for the CUT, not fluffing around with. In short they are serious blades with serious fittings designed as SERIOUS dojo workhorses..!
How to Use
Materials and Construction
Featured positive reviews:
I bought this sword on the recommendation of a friend. He knew my passion for European swords and that I wanted to try Asian weapons as well. I can honestly say that this sword quickly became a favorite.
The speed and control of the ko-katana is remarkable. It took next to no time to become a proficient cutter with this fine sword. Admittedly, I have been cutting for a few years with European swords, but I expected a "learning curve" before I could cut confidently with Japanese swords, but not so. This sword seemed to come to life in my hands with my first few attempts. (Actually, there were no "attempts" since every single swing was a clean through and through cut.)
I am extremely satisfied with every aspect of this little giant. Fit, finish, strength, balance and edge were well beyond what I expected at this price. Though the edge was a bit uneven, a few passes with an Arkansas stone brought a fine edge that has stayed keen with nothing more than strop now and then.
Since this was my first Japanese sword and made by Ronin, I have bought two more Katana from this company and every one of the three has been a very good performer and well worth the price. The ko-katana is still my favorite Asian sword and I doubt that I will ever willingly part with it.