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Thread: Hanwei Raptor : U-no-Kubi Zukuri

  1. #51
    I must say, I really like that blade - all of it, exactly like it is. Then again, I always like those rare variants that look a bit unusual.

    I don't like the look on the tsuka, though. I mean, I know fairly little about katana but even I think it looks oversized...
    "This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
    -Homer Simpson.

  2. #52
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    They apparently have several new blades, a tanto, a wakizashi, a Nambochuko period katana, and a Kogarasu Maru. It almost makes me feel like they are outsourcing the blades because the Kogarasu Maru looks a lot like the Cold Steel / Oni Forge version. Straight tsuka and curved blades. The Dynasty Forge version has a straight blade and a curved tsuka, so it's not a Fred Chen direct I don't think. Hanwei definitely mounts them though.
    Every time I put on a suit for a wedding or other event, I feel like I'm wearing optimal clothing for an epic fight scene...

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  3. #53
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    They also have a new series out... the "Dragons of the East"

    There is a new Unokubi... a $1000 unokubi... with the same weird kissaki geometry... where on Earth did Hanwei get this idea?


  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.K. Ridgeway View Post
    They also have a new series out... the "Dragons of the East"

    There is a new Unokubi... a $1000 unokubi... with the same weird kissaki geometry... where on Earth did Hanwei get this idea?


    Hmmm... that might go against the outsourcing thing if they are making folded versions of them as well, unless the it was from a Last Legend type brand or something. The bo hi stopping before the habaki was a Last legend thing, I rarely saw other places other than Iaito do it.

    But that kashira, yeesh. I thought the koshirae looked great until I saw those claws sticking out.
    Every time I put on a suit for a wedding or other event, I feel like I'm wearing optimal clothing for an epic fight scene...

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  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Justice View Post
    But that kashira, yeesh. I thought the koshirae looked great until I saw those claws sticking out.
    From an on-line description:

    "The kashira depicts a dragon claw also holding an agate “pearl”, the pearl being set so that it is free to rotate within the claw, yet another first for the forge."

    It seems to me that they could have offered the sword at a lower price and attracted more customers without that completely unnecessary little touch. But the tsuba is pretty neat and the wakizashi blade looks more promising though.

  6. #56
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    Hey Joo, welcome back!
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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joo-Hwan Lee View Post
    From an on-line description:

    "The kashira depicts a dragon claw also holding an agate “pearl”, the pearl being set so that it is free to rotate within the claw, yet another first for the forge."

    It seems to me that they could have offered the sword at a lower price and attracted more customers without that completely unnecessary little touch. But the tsuba is pretty neat and the wakizashi blade looks more promising though.
    Hey Buddy !!!

  8. #58
    Hehe... Hey amigos!

    The strange kissaki might be James Williams' contribution (who was, I think, largely responsible for the design of this particular series). I thought his replies to questions about the "lip" were somewhat evasive, but he did seem to say that it's based on a historical example. From the Bugei forum:

    This is a classical grind, and not Nagimaki naoshi. The kissaki of a sword is under enormous pressure when it strikes something hard. This particular shape makes for a very strong kissaki. Not everyone did this however the variety of shapes in ancient Japan is far greater than people realize. The purpose of these swords is to provide a very strong, tough, and durable cutting blade with classical proportions and shape along with good weight and balance.

    [snip]

    I do not have the original however I will see if I can get pictures etc. I have seen this shape however it has been a few years.
    The discussion is here: http://www.swordforumbugei.com/Board...c.php?f=6&t=26
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

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  9. #59
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    make the historically uncommon common? interesting. not an approach i'm a big fan of. while i don't doubt that such a design *may* have occurred historically, the same can be said of a lot of blades most people laugh at, or that we don't even know existed, they were so rare. when will hanwei come out with a reverse blade? how about a chokuto? i wager a lot of people who buy the uno kubi are going to end up grinding off that... i guess we're calling it a lip? i don't mean to question james' statement at all, but the skeptic in me is definitely going to have to *see* the historical example before i give the design much credence. not that my opinion matters, hehe, but all the same.

    edit:
    If it was based in some historical example, I'd love to add it to my mental collection of oddities. If on the other hand it was dreamed up in some back room by people that are trying to be innovative, in a craft that has largely already been played out, then say that instead. I am sorry if this comes off a bit course.
    looks like adam more than eloquently put the question forth. all things considered, i'm of the mind that if the uno kubi has as strong a diamond section as it appears to, i'm not sure how much added strength the lip actually has. i've seen some *extreme* diamond sections, for example from howard clark, that didn't suffer in the kissaki from the resulting "missing" material in the shinogi ji. of course all this is irrelevant. it doesn't seem to effect performance in any way, and anyone who gets it can grind it off. *shrug*. at under $250 a little diy is reasonable. if it's all about james "admitting" to some evil intention to reinvent the sword, well, kind of seems like a pissing match i'm not willing to get into! james is unquestionably a huge contributor to our hobby, you know?

    i'm as guilty as anybody of being overly nit-picky. now, on the $1k blade, on the other hand...
    Last edited by les yeich; 07-10-2009 at 10:44 AM.
    les yeich (pronounced yike)

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  10. #60
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    Even if it is historically based doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea. The very fact that James seems to be the only one to have seen an actual example means that the unokubi-with-a-lip zukuri would have been very rarely used and this generally translates as "it was a bad idea" because if it were an improvement over anything I'm sure it would have been more widespread. Kinda like tsukamaki; there are dozens of variant styles, but almost 90% of what we see in old pieces is either hiramaki, hinerimaki or tsumamimaki.
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  11. #61
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    oh, i agree. even if it has some functional merits aesthetically speaking it definitely interrupts the "flow" of the sugata, and i imagine polishers would find that shinogi ji a bitch to polish (not to mention burnish).

    i just think the issue is going to be up to the buyers, you know? it's not that much work to get rid of it. i think the kissaki was quite over-engineered, basically. the thought being that the "weakened" shinogi could be reinforced. i'm just kind of thinking it's unnecessary. i've abused the *crap* out of several of the original kriscutlery 26" and 29" kats, which had *extremely* thin blades of a material and strength more or less identical to the raptor series, and i never had any problems with those kissaki. i've seen those where the shinogi was no more than 4mm at the kissaki, and as thin as 3mm.

    when are we actually going to see someone grind the lip off, though? i wonder if anyone's even going to think it's worth the effort when they have the blade in hand...
    les yeich (pronounced yike)

    helden wie wir sterben doch allein,
    einsam unerreicht werden wir sein.
    - the "great" jasmin wagner

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by les yeich View Post
    when are we actually going to see someone grind the lip off, though? i wonder if anyone's even going to think it's worth the effort when they have the blade in hand...
    I wonder what kind of tool it'd take to grind that off. Personally, I'd rather save myself the hassle and not buy it in the first place.

    I'm also a bit confused about how that effect was achieved. Obviously, it's either A) material removed from otherwise normal kissaki (tapering grind from mune-machi), or B) material "added" on top. My guess is A) would be relatively easier to accomplish in terms of factory production, but I guess I'd need to see the thing in person to be sure. Anyway, just thinking out loud~

    Last edited by Joo-Hwan Lee; 07-10-2009 at 02:10 PM. Reason: or not...
    "It is my feeling that to make a good sword, one must make a weapon first, and art second. But if it is really "right", it is both things at once, and in equal measure." -- Howard Clark

    "I cannot compensate for improper use of a sword. Nothing is bullet proof and idiots prove on a regular basis that nothing is idiot-proof -- they're just too creative." -- Keith Larman

  13. #63
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    my guess would be "a", as well. i'm reminded of a picture from one of those ebay sellers, where the guy has a stack of dao. seems they might forge these with that sort of swell, and grind back as you suggested. the alternative -incorporating the shaping into the same step as bringing back the shinogi ji at the bohi transition- seems like it would waste a *lot* of material. kind of makes me wonder how much additional work is put into that feature.

    as far as grinding it off, i don't think it would be too hard. might take awhile, and would definitely take some effort to make sure it looks decent afterwards. i don't think i would undertake it unless i was planning on a whole remount. i suppose it's not a realistic project for the average prospective buyer.
    les yeich (pronounced yike)

    helden wie wir sterben doch allein,
    einsam unerreicht werden wir sein.
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joo-Hwan Lee View Post
    From an on-line description:

    "The kashira depicts a dragon claw also holding an agate “pearl”, the pearl being set so that it is free to rotate within the claw, yet another first for the forge."

    It seems to me that they could have offered the sword at a lower price and attracted more customers without that completely unnecessary little touch. But the tsuba is pretty neat and the wakizashi blade looks more promising though.

    My good friend Dr. Zoidberg! I mean, Joo! Welcome back.
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  15. #65
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    Welcome back, Joo!

    Yeah, what this whole thing looks like to me is that the shinogiji was sloped too far and made the actual mune too thin...maybe even edgelike? Then it was ground down to make it more dull.

    Perhaps the slope is milled on using the shinogi as a guide and depth is not adjusted as the blade tapers?

    I dunno. It does look weird, though.
    I'm totally super cereal!

  16. #66
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    Wink "The Lump"

    From this thread it appears that there are several people of what some members of this sword forum think about the sugata of the Unikubi-Zukuri Raptor series and offerings like it from Hanwei. Some really dig it, some really abhor it, some want to "fix" it, some will wait and see.....etc. I'm not going to go into which group of people I fall into, but isn't it interesting to observe what a small lump of metal that weighs almost nothing can do?? Amazing!!! Have a Good Day!!
    Bob Dabroski
    Last edited by Robert Dabroski; 07-12-2009 at 11:11 AM. Reason: grammar error

  17. #67
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    i believe the saying goes "the devil is in the details"
    les yeich (pronounced yike)

    helden wie wir sterben doch allein,
    einsam unerreicht werden wir sein.
    - the "great" jasmin wagner

  18. #68
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    I wouldn't say that there are 'camps', rather just people who agree or disagree on certain points brought up in a conversation.
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  19. #69
    Very nice review on the raptor. Where do you buy the green bamboo at?

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by D. Stock View Post
    Very nice review on the raptor. Where do you buy the green bamboo at?
    I'm in GA, it grows wild all over the place.

  21. #71

    And the rest?

    Great review. I was wondering, are the others in the raptor series just as robust?

    Larry L.

  22. #72
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    they should be. with this line the geometry is kind of taking back seat to the material and heat treatment methods.
    les yeich (pronounced yike)

    helden wie wir sterben doch allein,
    einsam unerreicht werden wir sein.
    - the "great" jasmin wagner

  23. #73
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    From what I understand, the Shobu is way more robust than the Uno... I havent heard anything about the shinogi zukuri though....

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