Mitsubachi – The Honey Bee
This is a Huawei shobu katana, customized in a honey bee theme. I enjoyed trying out some new ideas and techniques on this project and I hope you enjoy it as well.
Steel type: T-10
Nagasa: 27 9/16″
OAL: 40 1/4″
Sori: tori/.70″ .
Weight w/saya: 2.30 lbs
Weight w/out saya: 2.72 lbs
Nakago: 9 3/8″
Hamon: gunome midare
The sword features a T10 steel shobu-zukuri blade with a traditionally clay hardened sanbon-sugi hamon. The shobu blade style does not have a yokote or transition point separating the kissaki from the rest of the body as seen on the more common shinogi-zukuri blades but instead, the shape of the kissaki resembles that of an iris leaf and flows smoothly from body to tip. Or in this case, I felt it could also represent the smooth and tapered stinger of a bee.
This is an agile yet powerful sword with ample niku, suitable for medium to heavy targets. It feels very lively in hand, maneuvering easily while also having good blade presence.
The tsuka was given a new, top level samegawa panel upgrade featuring a large oyatsubo with many other big and tightly packed nodes throughout and finished in a deep black lacquer.
It is tightly wrapped in imported nubuck leather ito, custom dyed the color of dark amber honey. Under the strong but supple leather is a set of custom made brass Menuki with the kanji for Mistubachi etched on the faces. A black delrin mekugi secures the tsuka to the nakago.
The Fuchi and Kashira
This set of brass fittings has been decorated with a customized “hive” mon featured on the top of the kashira and both sides of the fuchi. Lightly carved flower designs decorate the background and an antiqued patina finishes off the look.
The seppa were hand-cut from brass and were given a micro coin edge and lightly textured faces.
This tsuba was hand-cut from mild steel in a square shape with rounded corners. With a combo of etched designs and cutouts, It features a bee and hive motif on the omote side and a bee and flower on the ura side. The edges are raised and smoothly rounded and the tsuba is finished in a dark patina.
The solid brass habaki has a different bee etched on each side and a smooth satin finish.
This saya originally came without any horn fittings so all new hand cut and shaped black horn koiguchi, kurikata and kojiri have been added. It has been re-lacquered in a black ishime finish with a thick satin clear coat and features black on black stripes near the kojiri end and a gold leaf flower near the kurikata. The saya is topped off with a premium quality imported gold synthetic silk sageo tied in a cho-misubi knot.
The Mitsubachi is a serious shinken that can take on various targets with great handling and power while also looking beautiful on display. Honey bees are necessary to maintain balance in nature and I tried my best to achieve a balance of modern and traditional with this very special and unique sword.