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Longquan is China's main sword making location and produces everything from some truly grim stuff suitable only for decoration right through some pretty nice stuff - interestingly enough sometimes from the same forge.
A five year old article:
http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/Sword ... er-12.html
Workmanship was good. The silk and ray skin is real but the ray skin is rather pedestrian without the large nodules some are willing to pay extra for.
Scabbard nicely lacquered with a touch of bling.
Nicely put together guard and spacers and the first view of the one extravagance - clay tempered iron-sand steel. It's best not to call it tamahagane around folks familiar with the subject but that doesn't stop the importers from doing so. Theoretically "tamahagane" is descriptive and might be used to describe any similar iron sand steel produced in a similar fashion to the Japanese - but it's best not to do so. The Japanese product is strictly controlled and collected only by nubile virgins on Walpurgis night from a specific lot of sand in a specific area of a specific prefecture. The Chinese looks the part though and the first of those legendary Japanese smiths were imported from Korea and China though I think this was before the Mongols suggested a change from the Tachi to the Katana.
A little better shot of the hamon:
Office lady was kind enough to assist in getting a full length pic of the thing:
It does have a totally different feel from a stainless steel decorative item. Makes me want to find a stand of bamboo to level toot sweet.