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For $40 I wasn't expecting much, and I wasn't disappointed. Box arrived today just as TrueSwords said it would. Upon inspection this is what I found...the saya is a nice black "lacquer" on the end that fades to...brown, not red. Same color as my leather couch. I like the dragon stencil on the saya, but you can see where they laid the stencil down and spray painted it on (slight discolored square around the whole dragon). The kurikata is only hanging on by the the cord wrapped around it, cheap Chinese glue didn't hold very well apparently. Nothing Gorilla Glue won't fix though. The blade is loose in the saya and at the mouth of it. Turn the sword upside down and out it slides. Blade is free of rust and cracks, and is fairly straight. Wouldn't trust it not to bend though with even the slightest incorrectly done hit. The tsuba is some kinda metal that has had a thick coat of black spray paint applied and is chipped in a few small areas, but it is held in place tightly with no rattle; everything on the sword is tight fitting. The fuchi and kashira look and feel like plastic, not metal. The ito is cotton but tightly woven. They ray skin is a white color, and looks real to me but I am no expert. The bamboo mekugi are extreeeeemly rough cut and uneven, almost like they were cut with a hatchet or pinched between a pair of bolt cutter blades. All in all, for $40, I can't and won't complain. Nice looking sword for display, so long as you don't look to closely, and I'm sure it would be a fine occasional use lightweight cutter. Thanks Trueswords! Will definitely do business with you again in the future.
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