Monosteel Katana by Anthony DiChristofano
Among the American makers of Japanese inspired works is Anthony DiChristofano. His earlier works were rendered in monosteels as many western smiths chose to work in. This particular sword is one such work having been made from 1050 which is a simple steel composition that is suitable for creating attractive and resilient blades. It has been the choice of steels for many smiths that catered to the practitioners of martial arts. Anthony has since moved into traditional compositions and materials through the tutelage of traditional Japanese swordsmith, Yoshindo Yoshihara, and continues to make bold shapes inspired by Bizen schools.
This sword is mounted in flashy, contemporary style with fuchi, kashira, and tsuba hand crafted in iron by Patrick Hastings. The seppa, habaki, and fittings on the saya are silver with a strong brush finish. The finish on the saya is silver and black tiger stripes. The menuki are the designs of pine trees and shrine gates, likely by Fred Lohman company, held onto the tsuka by a very well done black jabaramaki. Jabara are several individual threads that are braided to create a detailed and complex handle wrap requiring skill and significant time to braid with even sizing and tight tension.
The blade has a big shape with okissaki emphasized, and deep torizori. It is polished in a modern hybrid method and illustrates the large midare hamon with clusters of nie structure, as well as utsuri that appears in places through the length of the blade. Utsuri is not a very common element of western makers and is a visual marker of metallurgical transitional zones of hardening created during the heat treating process. It adds an additional element of interest and enjoyment to this blade.
- Nagasa: 73.1 cm (28 ¾ inches)
- Motohaba: 3.05 cm
- Sakihaba: 2.65 cm
- Motokasane: 6.5 mm
- Sakikasane: 6 mm
- Sori: 2.9 cm
- Tsuka Length: 30.9 cm
- Weight of mounted blade in hand (without saya): 1186 grams
This would be a fine sword for either the collector of contemporary western makers, or the practitioner of sword arts.