BLUE DRAGON SWORD (青龍偃月刀 – sk. Ch’ongnyong On Wolto)
This handcrafted Blue Dragon Crescent Broadsword is 7 foot long and weighs 13 pounds. A horizontal gusset protruding from the dragon’s mouth was added to reinforce the blade at the hilt and provide greater rigidity. The blade thus looks like a flame of fire coming out of the dragon’s mouth whether viewed from the side profile of the blade or from the top with the tapered flame-shaped gusset.
The dragon’s head was constructed from seven different pieces of steel: (1) A length of pipe to fit over the shaft, (2-3) two flat plates that were cut and shaped into oblong disks, (4-5) two pieces of metal to form the top and bottom center of the dragon head, and (6-7) two thick plates to create the sides of the dragon head. These pieces were welded together to create the hilt and shaped based on my own design. After polishing the head was given a dark brown patina.
The butt end of the shaft is fitted with a spike made from a solid rectangle of steel welded to a steel pipe. The block was then cut in the shape of a pyramid and ground so that each side was concave. The spike is held in place by brass screws that stand out against the brown patina.
This three inch diameter sword guard was modeled after a tsuba pictured in B. W. Robinson’s The Arts of the Japanese Sword (1961, plate 63). It features a spray of orchid flowers with the back side presenting a reverse image of the face.
SWORD HILT PARTS
This fuchi and kashira (the pommel and base of hilt) have a pattern of crossing orchid leaves that matches the tsuba above. The menuki (hilt ornaments) were purchased from Fred Lohman Company (Portland, OR).
IRON FAN (鐵扇 – Ch’ŏl Sŏn)
The inner ribs of this iron fan were made from the supports taken from old hanging file folders and the outer spokes were fashioned from steel bars. The caligraphy cut into the outer spokes is a stylized version of the characters (黑豹 – Hŭk P’yo, “black leopard”) created to capture the appearance of looking down at the body and tail of an advancing leopard. When completed the fan will be given a dark brown patina and fitted with a white silk.