I started feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so I opted for some not-running-around time this morning. Among the things far down on my to-do list that I could do from home is this: post a couple pictures of the katana given to me by the estate of Jim Rigney, the writer most famously known as Robert Jordan.
So here I am standing outside our front door, holding the unsheathed weapon. You can see the gentle swoop that characterizes these weapons (as a point of trivia, this curve is the result of the way the blade is cooled, not the way it is forged). You can also see what makes this particular katana somewhat abnormal: the full-leather hilt and scabbard. Ordinary katana are not fashioned this way. Near my left hand you can see the way the little side-knife has been incorporated into the scabbard, which is another minority design feature. Most interestingly, from my point of view, you can also see a little post-card piece of paper tied to the scabbard by a worn string. This is the original label describing the katana, the basis on which Rigney bought the weapon (indeed, it includes the price he presumably paid for it, a bit of information I’m not going to disclose).
This is a close-up shot of the blade near the hilt. You can see the leather wrappings, a bit of the “Damascan” steeling along the edge, and the unsheathed side-knife. Most noticeable, however, you can see the somewhat draconic crocodile stamp in the base of the blade itself. It’s a wonderful little feature, one that must have been captivating to Jim.
All in all, the katana is quite a treasure, and my thanks once again go to Jim’s estate for allowing me to have it.