Recently I tested the Kiku Katana. The version I’ve got is without bo-hi.
I will start with this review with the looks, fit and finish of this katana. Then I’ll tell you
what kind of tests I performed with it, and my conclusions about the Kiku katana.
The Kiku is delivered in a blue sword bag, which is suitable for full Koshirae ( the katana fully equipped with tsuba etc. )
The first thing which strikes me when I see this Kiku katana is the sori ( the curvature of the blade ). Even with the blade in the saya it is obvious that this katana is unlike the average katana. The sori is prominent and gives it quite a different look ( and feel, but that is for later in this review ).
The Kiku katana in his saya.
The katana has a tight fit is his saya and doesn’t rattle. It all feels very sturdy. The saya is painted in shining black. The paint work is tight and can withstand some abuse.
The sageo is nicely wrapped and is made of woven cotton. The ito is tightly wrapped on the tsuka and it’s made of imported Japanese cotton. The same is of real ray skin. The menuki is a koi Carp. The fuchi is simple but has a good finish. The tsuba resembles a “water theme”
The menuki. Fuchi, seppa and tsuba.
The tsuka is attached to the nakago with two mekugi. The entire tsuka etc. can be dismounted for maintenance of the katana.
The blade has a fine polish, and its yokote is clearly visible. The Kissaki is nicely shaped.
As the katana is thru-hardened there is no hamon line present.
Yokote and Kissaki. The Kiku katana in full.
Total length : 103,5 cm
Tsuka : 27,5 cm
Nagasa : 75,5 cm
Thickness tsuba : 0,5 cm
Point of balance : 14,0 cm van de tsuba
Steel : 1060 spring steel
Of course I’ve tested this katana. For this testing I’ve done several cutting tests.
For starters I have been cutting some paper. Just to see how sharp the edge would be.
This was no problem for the katana. To make it more of a challenge I’ve tried to cut
some pieces from a telephone book. This is also quite easy to do. After this I tried to
cut the telephone book in two with a single blow. It worked, but because of the sori
I couldn’t cut entirely through the length of it. Just half an inch stays together.
Cutting paper is easy. Even a telephone book isn’t a match for the Kiku katana.
I also tried the katana on some bottles, including a double cut on two bottles on top of each other. The Kiku is quick and manoeuvrable enough for this kind of action. A container from the orange juice is so nicely cut with the first stroke, that the top stays on while cutting it a second time. This shows U how sharp the Kiku katana really is.
The telephone book, cut in pieces. Second slash through the container, the
top stays on.
For my last two tests I first take a rubber boot and stick a hard plastic bottle in it. The katana
slices through this without any delay. Than I got an old sneaker which I tried to cut in two.
The Kiku gets through this as if it wasn’t there. But again I made a mistake with the sori of this katana. Because of this the last centimetre of the sneaker stays together.
You can watch al those tests here :
This Kiku katana is a nicely finished katana. Suitable for dojo exercise but also for many fun filled hours of backyard tameshigiri.
I really had to get used to the sori of this katana, as it is much more prominent then with any other katana I owned. But once you get used to it, it cuts like a hot knife through butter.
It’s definitely worth its money.