C1844

Token Zuko [Katana / Samurai Swords.

Author:

Nobumitu Kurihara (1794 - 1870)

Rare Samurai (Katana) sword maker’s catalogue of the sword maker Token Zuko, c1843 (Tempo 14), 132pp.  Katana were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords that were used by the Samurai of ancient and feudal Japan. The blade of the … Read Full Description

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S/N: JB-SAMURAI-1844–230573
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Details

Full Title:

Token Zuko [Katana / Samurai Swords.

Date:

C1844

Author:

Nobumitu Kurihara (1794 - 1870)

Condition:

Rubbed, minor ageing but otherwise very good .

Technique:

Stitched paper binding

Image Size: 

108mm 
x 165mm
AUTHENTICITY
Token Zuko [Katana / Samurai Swords. - Antique Print from 1844

Genuine antique
dated:

1844

Description:

Rare Samurai (Katana) sword maker’s catalogue of the sword maker Token Zuko, c1843 (Tempo 14), 132pp. 

Katana were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords that were used by the Samurai of ancient and feudal Japan. The blade of the katana is always a curved, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip to accommodate two hands.

Katana are traditionally made from a specialized Japanese steel called tamahagane,[26] which is created from a traditional smelting process that results in several, layered steels with different carbon concentrations.[27] This process helps remove impurities and even out the carbon content of the steel. The age of the steel plays a role in the ability to remove impurities, with older steel having a higher oxygen concentration, being more easily stretched and rid of impurities during hammering, resulting in a stronger blade.[28] The smith begins by folding and welding pieces of the steel several times to work out most of the differences in the steel. The resulting block of steel is then drawn out to form a billet.  At this stage, it is only slightly curved or may have no curve at all. The katana’s gentle curvature is attained by a process of differential hardening or differential quenching: the smith coats the blade with several layers of a wet clay slurry, which is a special concoction unique to each sword maker, but generally composed of clay, water and any or none of ash, grinding stone powder, or rust. This process is called tsuchioki. The edge of the blade is coated with a thinner layer than the sides and spine of the sword, heated, and then quenched in water (few sword makers use oil to quench the blade). The slurry causes only the blade’s edge to be hardened and also causes the blade to curve due to the difference in densities of the micro-structures in the steel.[18] When steel with a carbon content of 0.7% is heated beyond 750 °C, it enters the austenite phase. When austenite is cooled very suddenly by quenching in water, the structure changes into martensite, which is a very hard form of steel. When austenite is allowed to cool slowly, its structure changes into a mixture of ferrite and pearlite which is softer than martensite.[29][30] This process also creates the distinct line down the sides of the blade called the hamon, which is made distinct by polishing. Each hamon and each smith’s style of hamon is distinct.[18]   Example of a hamon After the blade is forged, it is then sent to be polished. The polishing takes between one and three weeks. The polisher uses a series of successively finer grains of polishing stones in a process called glazing, until the blade has a mirror finish. However, the blunt edge of the katana is often given a matte finish to emphasize the hamon.

During the Meiji period, the samurai class was gradually disbanded, and the special privileges granted to them were taken away, including the right to carry swords in public. The Haitōrei Edict in 1876 forbade the carrying of swords in public except for certain individuals, such as former samurai lords (daimyō), the military, and the police.

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