Photos of the Sakabato Shinuchi from SoraNews24.com
One of my favorite anime series growing up was Samurai X, better known internationally as Rurouni Kenshin. It follows the story of Himura Kenshin, a former assassin known as Hitokiri Battosai during the Meiji period in Japan. The series, originally a published as a manga in the ’90s, revolves around themes of atonement, peace, and romance.
Well, According to Sora News 24, Kenshin’s iconic katana—the sakabato—is now a real thing that exists. It’s a reverse-edged katana with its cutting surface on the inside of the curve (instead of the outside, like a regular katana). This allows the swordsman to win his fights without killing his opponent since he vowed to never take another life. The sakabato is a completely fictional weapon made specifically for Rurouni Kenshin—until now, that is.
The Sakabato Shinuchi (“shinuchi” means “truly forged”) was created and is currently on display at the Meijimura museum. It can be located inside the Meijimura complex in Inuyama, Japan. The complex is composed of relocated buildings from the Meiji era. This sakabato is the first official real-world version of the iconic blade.
As Sora News describes it, “One thing you’ll notice right away is that the hamon, distinctive tempering lines that appear along the cutting edge, are on the inner curve, providing immediate visual proof that this is an actual reverse-edged sword.”
The sword was forged by Kanekuni Ogawa, a highly decorated swordsmith. His skills are so important that he himself is officially deemed an important intangible cultural property by the city of Seki.
Swordsmith Kanekuni Ogawa with the Sakabato | Image: SoraNews24.com
The Sakabato Shinuchi is available for viewing at the Meijimura Museum from now until December 15, 2019.
Were you a fan of Rurouni Kenshin? What was your favorite part about the manga/anime?