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Thread: Thaitsuki Nihonto Sword Review

  1. #1

    Thaitsuki Nihonto Sword Review

    Hello all,

    I am a bit new to the sword forum and I am still finding my way around. So far it is great to read threads about opinions, thoughts and reviews from fellow sword martial artists and enthusiasts alike; especially when all my friends only want to talk about computers and new hardware.

    I have done some searches for Thaitsuki Nihonto katanas and found a few mix reviews but mainly all good. I actually ordered the Masayoshi katana, ktn2 model back in December with some Christmas money. (Thanks Uncle John!) The people at www.thaitsuki.com, which is there USA site, seemed pretty knowledgeable and assured me that quality and customer satisfaction is their number one concern. They also emailed me some more detailed pictures and videos so I could get a better idea of what they looked like and how they performed. I emailed many other sword sites and it was refreshing to actually talk to a live person and I am pretty confident that these guys know what they are talking about and are truest worthy.

    I have read a lot of threads that regard the Thaitsuki katanas but most of them are 3rd hand knowledge and hearsay. Only a few people on the forum have one of Thaitsuki’s katanas and are generally happy with them. The only review is about 2 years old and they have seemed to have changed a bit since.

    My question is (before I ramble more), is there anyone else out there that has a Thaitsuki katana. I am expecting my Masayoshi Katana in the next week or so and was hoping there would be someone out there that may have recently purchased one of their katanas and would share their thoughts on it with me. I have a general understanding of swords but don’t know completely what to look for, if there might be a problem. The general census is that sine they are all hand made they are a little different from each other and quality control is very important to watch out for. Although thaitsuki.com said the swords are inspected by them before shipping, is there anything that I should look out for incase they may overlook something?

    After I get the katana I would be more then happy to write a review on it and post some pictures if anyone is interested. Just let me know what pictures you want and want you want to know about it and I will do the best to review it for you.

    Thanks for taking the time to read through my drawn out thread!

    - Mike S.

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    My comments are found here:

    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...906#post529906

    Chris.
    "The limits of tyrants
    are prescribed by the endurance
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    Smile Thaitsuki Masayoshi Katana

    Hi,

    I got my Masayoshi Katana in december and bought it from a destributer in the US. I had to wait about 4-5 weeks before I got the katana. This because the destributor didn't have it in stock. It was shipped directly from Thailand to the Netherlands, where I live. The packaging was very well and I did get the katana with a nice swordbag like this one:

    I got also a certificate which stated that the KTN2 was approved by Thaitsuki.

    This is my second live blade. I own an Iaito too. My second life blade is a PPK. I have not a lot of experience with swords and I have never cut targets with the Masayoshi katana. I did with the PPK, but only soft targets and the box it came in . But I find the Masayoshi more pleasant in my hands than the PPK. I find the balance better too, nearly the same as my iaito. I can say that the Masayoshi is a little sharper than the PPK, because it cuts easier through paper. The weight of this Masayoshi katana is 980 grams.

    A few days ago I made some pictures of the Masayoshi katana. And when I read this thread I decided to share them with you.
    Here are some pictures of katana in it's saya:
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Katana.JPG
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Katana_2.JPG

    Here there is a picture of the katana without it's saya:
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thait...thout_saya.JPG

    Here some pictures of the Masayoshi Nagasa. You can see the hamon clearly in the pictures, but if you hold the katana in your hand the hamon is a little harder to see. I was surprised when I looked at the pictures to see the hamon so clear on the pictures. I think that the polish of the blade could be better, but for that price I think is it good:
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Nagasa.JPG
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Nagasa_2.JPG
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Nagasa_3.JPG
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Nagasa_4.JPG

    This is the best picture I could take of the Kisaki and Monouchi
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thait...i_Monouchi.JPG

    After taking these pictures I decided to dismantle the Masayoshi katana and was hoping to see the smith signing like you get to see on the web-site of Thaitsuki, I mean this one:

    But this sign is on tsuba if I'm not wrong. Here are some pictures of the Nagako(Tang) of the Masayoshi katana. The tang is about 20-21 centimeters:
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Nagako.JPG
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Nagako_2.JPG

    Here are some pictures of the tsuka of the Masayoshi katana. I have to say that the tsuka wrap is very tight and nicely done. And that all the components of the katana fit very well:
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Tsuka.JPG
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Tsuka_2.JPG

    Here some pictures of Fushigane, Tsuka, Hibaki, Seppa and wooden pins. The pins seem to be made of a sort of wood, but I don't know which one:
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thait..._furniture.JPG
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thait...urniture_2.JPG

    Here is a picture of the complete dismantled katana. I added a ruler in centimeters so you can use the picture as reference, although the ruler is not that clear:
    http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thait...led_katana.JPG

    I hope you have now a clearer picture of the Thaitsuki Masayoshi katana. I'm still pondering if I'll use this katana for cutting practice, because I wouldn't like to damage or scratch it.

    If you have any comments about this Thaitsuki Masayoshi katana I would like to hear them.

    Greetings,

    Ivan Rosaria
    Last edited by I. Rosaria; 02-25-2005 at 05:39 AM.

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    Very distinct tool marks on the monouchi image. Looks like file marks or coarse angle grinder marks.

    Is there a secondary edge bevel as well? In some of the blade images it looks like there is.

    How tightly does the tsuka fit to the nakago? Nice and snug, or does it need the pins to tighten it up?

    The diamonds on the wrap seem a bit uneven, but if it is nice and tight that is forgiveable at the price point.

    What is the saya fit like?
    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
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  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Andrew W. Priestley
    Very distinct tool marks on the monouchi image. Looks like file marks or coarse angle grinder marks.

    Is there a secondary edge bevel as well? In some of the blade images it looks like there is.

    How tightly does the tsuka fit to the nakago? Nice and snug, or does it need the pins to tighten it up?

    The diamonds on the wrap seem a bit uneven, but if it is nice and tight that is forgiveable at the price point.

    What is the saya fit like?
    Yes I was wondering too, what made thede marks om the monouchi image. Maybe they are grinder marks.

    No there is no secondary edge bevel, I think this is caused by the refection of the flash of the camera.

    The nakago fits precisely in the tsuka. The tsuka is tight. It did cost me some effort to get to the pin that is partialy coverd by the leather. The first hole on the left: http://www.thunderwar.dynu.com/thaitsuki/Tsuka.JPG

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Andrew W. Priestley
    What is the saya fit like?
    The saya fit is ok. The habaki fits good in the koiguchi of the saya, when the blade is nearly fully inserted it feels like habaki is clicked in the saya. I think this is because the blade in not used a lot yet. There is no rattling either.

    Greetings,

    Ivan Rosaria
    Last edited by I. Rosaria; 02-25-2005 at 05:35 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Thaitsuki Masayoshi Katana

    Originally posted by I. Rosaria
    Hi,

    I got my Masayoshi Katana in december and bought it from a destributer in the US. I had to wait about 4-5 weeks before I got the katana. This because the destributor didn't have it in stock. It was shipped directly from Thailand to the Netherlands, where I live.
    ...
    ...

    I hope you have now a clearer picture of the Thaitsuki Masayoshi katana. I'm still pondering if I'll use this katana for cutting practice, because I wouldn't like to damage or scratch it.

    If you have any comments about this Thaitsuki Masayoshi katana I would like to hear them.

    Greetings,

    Ivan Rosaria
    Excellent review, Ivan! The photos came very handy, saved me the effort of disassembling Masayoshi KTN2 (I was curious what nakago did it have..) The tang looks pretty solid on your pictures and with double mekugi it should be fairly safe.

    I did some cutting with KTN2 on "soft" targets - water filled 2L plastic bottles. The blade cuts nicely with no marks at all left on it.
    I would not recommend trying it on something harder than that, though. KTN2 is a pretty expensive sword in comparison with PK or even PPK. And it looks more expensive overall as well, by the way!

    The saya is exactly as you described it, it "clicks" when fully "on". I believe this is done for safety reasons - you do not want a heavy shinken falling off the saya in hands of an unknown beginner buyer..

    IMHO the sword is a nice collection piece suitable for occasional cutting! I would not use it for iai kata practice though.

    Regards,
    Andrei
    Last edited by Andrei K.; 04-09-2005 at 04:16 PM.

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    Re: Re: Thaitsuki Masayoshi Katana

    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    I would not recommend trying it on something harder than that, though.
    Because it might twist or bend due to the blade being thin and having a bo-hi, or because you wouldn't want to scratch it?
    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    IMHO the sword is a nice collection piece suitable for occasional cutting! I would not use it for iai kata practice though.
    As someone who doesn't practice Iaido, why wouldn't you want to use it for kata practice? (Assuming you know how to handle a live blade...)

    I'm asking since I'm planning on (hopefully) buying a Masayoshi soon.

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    Re: Re: Re: Thaitsuki Masayoshi Katana

    Originally posted by Camilla B.
    Because it might twist or bend due to the blade being thin and having a bo-hi, or because you wouldn't want to scratch it?

    As someone who doesn't practice Iaido, why wouldn't you want to use it for kata practice? (Assuming you know how to handle a live blade...)

    I'm asking since I'm planning on (hopefully) buying a Masayoshi soon.
    No, the blade is not thin by all means. But it is a bit soft I think. At least it looks softer than my kitchen chopping knife from IKEA ;-)

    The sword would probably cut a lot of various things.. I am just being careful..

    About iai practice. I may have expressed myself incorrectly. I would not use a shinken in a dojo for safety reasons when there is a lot of people around.

    The second reason is that it takes some effort to draw the sword off its saya initially. I found I need to help it by pushing the tsuba with a left hand thumb. But I have seen some Japanese iaitos just sliding off the saya by their own weight..

    Apart from this, nothing else. The sword balance is ok.

    Some people on this forum mentioned that Thaitsuki quality check at the factory is not very consistant. Some times they produce an exceptionally good sword and some times a not very good sword.

    I think a lot depends on the dealer and how thoroughly they inspect the product before sending it to the customer. Try to find a respectable dealer who has a fair returns/refunds policy.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    No, the blade is not thin by all means. But it is a bit soft I think. At least it looks softer than my kitchen chopping knife from IKEA ;-)
    I'm sorry, I don't parse such things very well... What do you mean?
    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    I think a lot depends on the dealer and how thoroughly they inspect the product before sending it to the customer. Try to find a respectable dealer who has a fair returns/refunds policy.
    There's a retailer here in Stockholm who carries the Thaitsuki line. From what I've read elsewhere, he's trustworthy. I'm also trying to educate myself to the point where I can make a final inspection myself. Buying a handmade sword (even a production blade) over the Internet seems too much like a lottery to me.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Camilla B.
    I'm sorry, I don't parse such things very well... What do you mean?

    There's a retailer here in Stockholm who carries the Thaitsuki line. From what I've read elsewhere, he's trustworthy. I'm also trying to educate myself to the point where I can make a final inspection myself. Buying a handmade sword (even a production blade) over the Internet seems too much like a lottery to me.
    I only mean that katanas are not designed to be used against hard objects. (One of my other "hobbies" is cooking so I have got a decent set of cooking knives. Their steel is much harder and they never need sharpening, but, of course, they are not as flexible as the sword blade. By the way, there is an impressive video clip on Thaitsuki main website showing the flexibility of their blades.)

    Good luck with purchasing your sword! Maybe you can try to take with you someone who has a good experience in swords when you go there.
    Last edited by Andrei K.; 04-10-2005 at 06:51 AM.

  12. #12

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thaitsuki Masayoshi Katana

    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    The second reason is that it takes some effort to draw the sword off its saya initially. I found I need to help it by pushing the tsuba with a left hand thumb. But I have seen some Japanese iaitos just sliding off the saya by their own weight..
    From what I've read and what I understand... you NEVER want the shinken or iaito to come out "by their own weight". Too dangerous. It should fit firmly but not too snug, require some effort to clear the habaki of the mouth of the saya.
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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thaitsuki Masayoshi Katana

    Originally posted by Alexander K Gee
    From what I've read and what I understand... you NEVER want the shinken or iaito to come out "by their own weight". Too dangerous. It should fit firmly but not too snug, require some effort to clear the habaki of the mouth of the saya.
    Yes, that's what I thought as well until I saw it.. Maybe it was wrong.. I will have a closer look on those iaitos and their sayas.

    Anyway, coming back to Thaitsuki Masayoshi KTN2 katana subject, I think this is a good sword, well worth the money spent and at the moment I am not thinking of changing it to anything else.

  14. #14

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thaitsuki Masayoshi Katana

    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    Yes, that's what I thought as well until I saw it.. Maybe it was wrong.. I will have a closer look on those iaitos and their sayas.

    Anyway, coming back to Thaitsuki Masayoshi KTN2 katana subject, I think this is a good sword, well worth the money spent and at the moment I am not thinking of changing it to anything else.
    Yeah, what could happen is that the saya were tight to begin with but loosened up too much..... hm. Thanks for the review, Yet another one to watch .

    John H: works for me: http://www.thaitsuki.com/ (USA)
    Last edited by Alexander K Gee; 04-10-2005 at 07:04 PM.
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    ....:(

    I can't access the Thaitsuki website, anyone know why?
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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thaitsuki Masayoshi Katana

    Originally posted by Alexander K Gee
    Yeah, what could happen is that the saya were tight to begin with but loosened up too much..... hm. Thanks for the review, Yet another one to watch .

    John H: works for me: http://www.thaitsuki.com/ (USA)
    Yes, that is what probably happens. I also found one of Don Nelson's posts highlighting the fact (see URL below, tip no.4):

    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...threadid=33104

    ************************

  17. #17

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thaitsuki Masayoshi Katana

    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    Yes, that is what probably happens. I also found one of Don Nelson's posts highlighting the fact (see URL below, tip no.4):

    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...threadid=33104

    ************************
    Yeah, I'd seen that thread, definitely pressed home a very important issue. When you're dealing with a large, rigid object, often sharpened to some extent and pointy, the weight + carelessness gives lots of problems....

    So I guess those iaito couild hvae their saya shimmed?
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    Re: ....:(

    Originally posted by John Hyde
    I can't access the Thaitsuki website, anyone know why?
    Yea there is a comma in the address line when you click the link. Just delete it and you'll get through.
    I'm lost---- I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

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    Wink

    Thaitsuki KTN2 bottle cutting exercise..

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    Angry

    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    Thaitsuki KTN2 bottle cutting exercise..
    (For some reason the image has not been attached to the previous message.. How do I attach images to the post? I tried to add image using "Attach file: Browse..." but it did not show up in the preview.. ???)

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    (For some reason the image has not been attached to the previous message.. How do I attach images to the post? I tried to add image using "Attach file: Browse..." but it did not show up in the preview.. ???)
    Hi,

    I think that putting images via the "Attach File" function does not work on this forum. You have to put the imagessomewhere on a WEB server and use the "IMG" function and put the http link to the image between the tag's. The "IMG" function is in the same toolbar as where you can chose FONT, COLOR, FONT SIZE etc. were you can post a thread or reply.

    And is your Thaitsuki Masayoshi the same as the mine? Does yours have slight grinder marks?

    Greetings,

    Ivan Rosaria

  22. #22
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    Sorry, but the Attach File funciton works fine. I have uploaded every picture to this forum that way. But you will NOT see the picture in a preview.

    Just as a test, here is a picture, uploaded with the Attach File function....

    Best.

    Chris.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "The limits of tyrants
    are prescribed by the endurance
    of those whom they suppress."
    -Frederick Douglass

    "Quality. There is hardly anything in the world that some men cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey."
    -John Ruskin

    www.inaharabladecrafts.com

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Andrei K.
    (For some reason the image has not been attached to the previous message.. How do I attach images to the post? I tried to add image using "Attach file: Browse..." but it did not show up in the preview.. ???)
    Another attempt (without preview..)
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by I. Rosaria
    Hi,

    ..
    And is your Thaitsuki Masayoshi the same as the mine? Does yours have slight grinder marks?

    Greetings,

    Ivan Rosaria
    Hi Ivan,

    No, there are no marks on the monouchi as big as on your blade. Maybe the polish on mine is slightly better. I believe they use the same process for every blade they make..

    Btw, thanks, Chris, your method works! No preview then.

    Best regards,
    Andrei

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    By the way,
    There is a thread on this forum about cutting abilities of Thaitsuki swords -

    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...threadid=50141

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