Thursday, February 27, 2014

Product Review: Geisha's Blade, Shinobi Ninja Sword (2nd Generation)

(As stated on Geisha's Blade website)
• Blade Material: Black powder coated 1050 carbon steel (mono-steel)
• Edge: Fully sharpened
• Treatment: Hand Forged, Through Hardened, Heat Treated and Tempered, Water Quenched
• Overall Length with saya: 42 inches
• Blade Length: 27.5 inches
• Tsuka: 11.5 inches wood
• Saya: 30 inches glossy black lacquered finish
• Tsuba / Fuchi / Kashira: Zinc alloy
• Habaki / Seppa: Brass
• Tsukaito and Sageo: Black synthetic silk
• Mekugi: 2 bamboo pegs
• Samegawa: Real ray skin panels
• Nakago: Full tang
• Hamon: None

     This sword is one of the many fine quality sword being sold by Geisha's Blade, an online sword shop which pioneered the selling of Japanese Style sword in the Philippines. Geisha's Blade is the only online sword shop in the country. It is based on Mandaluyong, Metro Manila but they don't have a physical shop. The humble beginnings of Geisha's Blade was rooted on the proprietors' love for Japanese tradition, arts and culture. Jaimee and Aldwin started out selling swords from their personal collection online in eBay and later on in Sulit. Then in 2008, Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃 was officially launched.
     From then on they have been providing Filipinos with their main product, the shinkens or modern crafted katana that are meant for cutting practice. These swords are hand forged (minimal usage of machines in the process), heat treated, oil or water quenched and then polished also by hand. Non-sharpened swords for cosplay, iaijutsu and kata practice are also available.
     With the mission to educate, promote and provide Japanese style swords, its appreciation, usage and history, Geisha's Blade is committed to offer the finest quality Japanese style swords and accessories.

Aldwin and Jaimee, proprietors of Geisha's Blade                            Photo courtesy of: Geisha's Blade

Date of purchase: August 22, 2012
Price: Php 9000.00
     Being fascinated by the ninjas, I have always dreamed of having a ninja sword of my own. But in the Philippines, it is so hard to get one. The usual swords being sold in the tiangge during town fiesta or in the malls are the samurai swords or katana, popularly known as samurai (although it is a misconception: samurai are the military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan carrying katanas or samurai sword). Also these off the shelves swords have low quality and will be very dangerous to use in practicing. Then with the help of Google search, I stumbled upon the website of Geisha's Blade. I was really awestruck by their catalog of fine looking swords. But what has attracted me most is this Shinobi Ninja sword. I immediately placed an order and after a few days of waiting in excitement, I lay my hands on my very own Ninja sword.

My own Shinobi Ninja sword from Geisha's Blade

     What I love the most on this sword is the dragon tsuba. The japanese dragons are mostly water deities and associated with rainfall and bodies of water. Being born with the water sign, I feel that I am one with my sword. The tsuba is particularly designed with functionality in mind. This is being used as a foothold in scaling high obstacles. The hole in the tsuba is used to tie a rope in the sword for easy retrieval after climbing on top of the obstacle.

The dragon ornamented tsuba.
     Here are the measurements of my sword. These may vary a little from the specifications provided by Geisha's Blade. They have clearly stated on the notes that sword specifications may vary slightly from sword to sword. For me it is another proof that it is hand forged and not mass produced by machines. The overall length of the blade from the tsuba (hand guard) to the kissaki (point or tip) is 700 mm. Width of the blade at the edge of the habaki (blade collar) is 32mm and then slightly tapering up to the yokote, the width of the blade measured perpendicular to the yokote is 22 mm. 
      The tsuka (handle) which is made of wood and wrapped in black ray skin and black synthetic silk tsuka ito, has a length of 292 mm from the tsuba to the kashira (pommel). Width of the tsuka with the tsuka ito and samegawa is 32 mm. The saya (scabbard) made of black lacquered lightweight wood is 765 mm in length. The tsuba is rectangular in shape, the length of the side perpendicular to the mune (back edge of the blade) is 70 mm and the other side is 86 mm. The center of gravity of my Shinobi Ninja sword is 122 mm from the tsuba. There is also a bo-hi (grrove) with a width of 7 mm, this gives the sword a nice swishing sound when you swing the sword.

Side by side with  Kenshin Himura's sakabatou katana. (Shinobi ninja sword on top)
     The Shinobi Ninja sword is forged from a 1050 carbon steel. According to AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute), the chemical composition of 1050 carbon steel is as follows:
  • Iron (Fe)                     98.46% to 98.92%
  • Manganese (Mn)         0.6% to 0.9%
  • Carbon (C)                 0.47% to 0.55%
  • Sulfur (S)                     less than or equal to 0.05%
  • Phosphorous (P)          less than or equal to 0.04%
     Also based from AISI standard, 1050 carbon steel has a tensile strength of 690 MPa, yield strength of 580 MPa, elastic modulus of 190 to 210 GPa and Brinell hardness of 197. Using a hardness tester, I measured the hardness of my Shinobi Ninja sword and I get a Brinell hardness of 563. This is 2.8 times higher than the AISI standard for 1050 carbon steel.

Hardness testing of my Shinobi Ninja sword
     Because my sword is powder coated, surface roughness test will be irrelevant and will not distinguish metal surface irregularities. But still just to show the quality of the sword finish, I have also tested for surface roughness and got 0.671 micrometer.

Testing the surface roughness
Surface roughness measured value
     Other products available from Geisha's Blade are mediaval swords, replica of swords used in movies, animes and games. Uniforms, Bokkan, Shinai, Japanese armor, mounting racks, tsuba, sageo, sword cleaning kits and other sword accessories are in their wide array of product line. They also provide tsukamaki restoration service.
Game sword replica Metal Gear: Raiden’s High Frequency Blade (Coated Version)      Photo by: Geisha's Blade
     I am neither a sword-smith nor an expert in Japanese swords, the contents of this blog post has been made to the best of my knowledge, resources and research. This blog post is an official entry to Geisha's Blade article writing contest but this does not influence this blog post in any way. I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on topics or products that I blog about. The views and opinions expressed are all my own. Any product claim, statistic or other representation about the product should be verified with the manufacturer, Geisha's Blade.
      As stated on website, their  swords are sold only for training under expert supervision, for demonstration of forms, collection or display. The user has the responsibility to inspect swords before use to ensure they are in proper condition. Geisha's Blade will not be responsible for any and all forms of use, misuse, injury, disability, damage, any other serious risk, or loss incurred. By purchasing any of products, the buyer agrees they are 18 years of age, is fully responsible and assumes all liability.


  1. Fckng Awesome!!!!!
    Dre ahve a great time slicing watermelons.

  2. This is great!!!!! I want one!!!! not because I know how to use a sword...but because I have a geisha outfit...:D