- 3 1/2" mosaic Damascus blade forged from 15N20 and 1084 carbon steels
- Sidelock, stepdown, screw construction
- Abalone handle inlays
- Engraving: Japanese motif
- 24 gold and platinum inlay
- Sole authorship
During a war between China and Japan (1655 -- during the Edo period), the Chinese temples were raided by Japanese soldiers, who then brought the rare phoenix rooster (shokoku phoenix) back with them to Japan as exotic gifts to the gods for victory in battle. They were then raised in the sacred temples of ancient Japan. The chickens soon developed the fantastic tails known in today's fowls (the tails can grow 15 - 20 feet long!), and they were revered as holy birds that belonged to the gods, the emperor, and the royal family. They are generally kept in special boxes called tombaku.
In feudal Japan, long tail feathers were given to the victorious samurais as powerful symbols of fighting prowess, luck, and long life as granted by the spirits and the gods. The long, beautiful flowing black tail feathers often adorned the spears and sword hilts of the very best warriors.
The "bolsters" (which are integral to the rest of the handle) depict a bamboo grove inlaid in 24k gold. Gold and platinum inlays and engraving combine into a Samarai holding a shokoku phoenix in a tombaku. His robes are engraved and appear to flow. 24k gold accents on the robe, sash, katana, and rooster add to the sense of life. The tombaku is held protectively as the samarai draws his katana. Wind lines are engraved into the Damascus -- adding to the sense of movement. At the rear 'bolster' (also integral), is inlaid and engraved a shokoku phoenix. On the left side, the onagadori (honored fowl) is shown in fighting posture -- with wings outstretched. On the right side, the same bird is shown head down, pecking for seed. The right side depicts a geisha. Her sash and robe are accented with 24k gold. Her face is detailed in platinum.