Sword Buyers Digest Halloween Edition 2021

Issue # 162 October 2021

It's true that with worldwide shipping clogged up, inflation on the rise and a whole year with an industry still struggling to restock itself properly - the sword industry is still a bit of a horror story in it's own right..

Indeed, there is a lot going on right now that is very 'frightful' - and while we will cover this in this months Sword Industry News Overview, with things in the sorry shape that they are these days, if you are like me you are probably sick and tired of hearing more bad news!

So with that in mind, let's dig into our traditional Halloween themed issue of the Sword Buyers Digest for some good old fashioned swordy escapism..!

But first, the news..


Sword Industry News

We won't harp on it too much in this issue, but everyone knows that - like almost every industry these days - the sword industry is critically effected by a growing shipping crisis as a flow on effect of worldwide efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic..

Prices are skyrocketing, shipping is snarled up and according to some recent news reports, the entire global supply chain is creaking under the weight of all the red tape and restrictions on movement and even threatening to collapse entirely..

Definitely horrific stuff and enough to make you want to keep a zombie apocalypse survival kit close at hand just in case..

But out of bad things, a lot of good can come. And that is very much the case with our featured news article..

Kult of Athena -

Out of the Bad, Good Things Come

I have often said that a key to improving and maintaining the sword industries integrity is transparency and open communication between the people who make and sell the swords and the people who love to collect and buy them. When there is an attitude of hostility, things get buried deep - but when communication is open, EVERYONE benefits..

And that is very much the core of a recent communication by the management at everyone's favorite sword store - Kult of Athena

It came to pass that in March and April of this year, three customers called into question the specifications of some blades purchased by Kult of Athena's inhouse brands - Devil's Edge and Balaur Arms. Taking pride in their brands as might be expected, KoA's management began digging deeper - and it turned out that they had been misled..

You can read the whole saga of how it played out, and how Kult of Athena went above and beyond to fix it and address the fact that their suppliers had lied to them on their blog here - but the most interesting development is the steel certification program that this event has been the catalyst for..

You can read more about the program here - but in a nutshell, after testing the steels of their Balaur Arms and Devil's Edge blades and finding that Balaur Arms in particular was using different steels than what they claimed - KoA decided to tackle this common problem by introducing a certification program and inviting their major suppliers to participate..

As is often the case, out of bad things something good can be found - often much greater than the original misfortune it grew out of, and we wholeheadtedly support this effort to improve the industry and make it more transparent and accountable as we navigate increasingly choppy waters..

Onwards and upwards as they say!

250 of the World's Most Legendary Swords

How many 'named' famous historical or mythological swords can you name off the top of your head?

There is Excalibur and 'Caliburn' of course, but how about other Arthurian Swords such as Galantine, Secace or Clarent the Sword of Peace?

And you have probably heard about Charlemagne's Sword Joyeuse or Muramasa, but how about El Cid's sword 'Tizona' or the Sword Loberta the Wolf Slayer?

If you haven't heard of these swords and are curious for a tidbit of info on each one, check out the inspiring and epic list of 250 named swords from mythology, history and of course - pop culture such as anime, books, video games, movies and TV shows at hobbylark.com

Epic List of 250 Legendary Swords



Kingdom of Arms

Medieval Feasting Set $129


Kingdom of Arms

Renaissance Feasting Set $129

Japan's Most Mysterious and Important Sword

the Tale of the Kusanagi no Tsuguri

Of all the swords of myth and legend, few are as mysterious as the Legendary Kusanagi no Tsuguri sword..

The last time this sword officially 'surfaced' was as recently as the coronation of the current Emperor of Japan, Naruhito in 2019 - though it was a ceremony conducted away from public eyes (in the main sanctuary of the Tokyo Imperial palace) and indeed, during the private ceremony, the box containing the sword was unopened..

No-one, not even the Emperor, has laid eyes upon it for a very, very long time..


But even more mysteriously, the sword in this iconic ceremony is a representatioin of the sword - the sword itself, is believed to be elsewhere..

The actual origins of this sword are lost in time (we can probably rule out the 'growing out of a Dragons tail' origin story out) and the last most quoted account of whatever was inside the box actually being seen firsthand dates back to the Edo period and was noted by a Shinto Priest performing maintenance on the box and the treasure it contained at the Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya..

In this account, the sword is described as being: "about 82 cm (32 in) long. Its blade resembled a calamus leaf. The middle of the sword had a thickness from the grip about 18 cm (7.1 in) with an appearance like a fish spine. The sword was fashioned in a white metallic color, and well maintained."

Below is an artists impression based on this telling:


However, one must question the reliability of the account.. Because after seeing this sword first hand - it was said that the priest was banished and the other priests who saw it with him all died suddenly under mysterious circumstances..

So what and where could this sword really be?

Most believe that the Edo account is correct and that the sword is STILL at Atsuya shrine in Nagoya, though there have been many official replicas such as the one used at the 2019 coronation event.

However, a replica or the real thing was believed to have been lost at sea in the 12th century, and other accounts that suggest that the sword at the coronation event is not a replica at all..

Whatever the case may be, because it is such a sacred symbol of Japanese identity, no-one is going to go around and start checking what is inside the various 'sword boxes' that may or may not contain it and it will remain a mystery..

However, stripping away the mythological origins - chances are that if there is an ancient sword in one of the boxes, it will be one of the earliest types of swords - Jōkotō swords - and logically would have most likely have been forged before the 4th century Yamato culture, and so would probably not be a Chinese style Chokuto (and waaay too early to be a Katana) but would most probably be a Yayoi period blade - based on a Chinese Jian and, as the Edo account suggests, shaped like a Calamus leaf and relatively short bladed..

Chances are that if it is a real sword, it is a cousin of the Inariyama burial-mound sword and other early period swords that were made using the Chinese method (and often using Chinese steel).


For another overview, check out this cool article at Gizmodo.com: https://gizmodo.com/the-search-for-kusanagi-no-tsurugi-the-lost-imperial-s-500171708 or watch the quick video below:

Whether it is at Atsuya shrine in an unopened box, was lost at sea in the 12th century or is in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, as one of the three sacred treasures that make up the Imperial Regalia of Japan (the other equally mysterious objects, a 'jewel' and a sacred mirror) it lives on as a symbol of the virtues of valor in the hearts of the Japanese people as it has done stretching back into the very mists of time, and will almost certainly continue to do so long into the distant future..


Best Forum Posts

Recommendations for a Custom Falchion

The forum's current recommendations to a member looking to have a custom Falchion made. Who's who of custom European swords in 2021..

End of an era - the member who bought the last Kris Cutlery Katana

One of our members is lucky enough to live close to the legendary Kris Cutlery HQ - and was able to buy out the very last KC Katana as Cecil closes his doors. Another chapter in the book of modern sword history comes to a close..

How old were you when you got your first Katana

The name says it all - but who got what? The answers may surprise you..

The REAL Sword Frogg..

Just when you thought 'Sword Frogg' was gone for good, he makes a sudden and unexpected visit in the pool noodle of one of our forum members! Talk about living dangerously (luckily, the Frog was unharmed!).


Video of the Month

This one definitely falls into the 'trick' rather than the 'treat' variety, though knowing how it is done is quite a treat in itself really..

It is an age old feat of magic - but in this case done with a modern, very readily available 'sword substitute' and that is the old 'sword through the gut' trick..

In this video, the 'masked magician' shows you how it is done. Very clever really..


That's it for the October Halloween edition of the digest. Hope you have a good one and be sure to clean your swords quickly if you will be cutting up pumpkins - the acid will stain your blade in less than 30 seconds, so keep an oily rag and some WD40 handy..

Until next time, happy Swordening and:

Happy Halloween