Not all big, bad monsters are the stuff of legend, but this legend is a big, bad monster
Like some terrible mythical beast, Shinwa’s “Colossus” Odachi is enormous, powerful and downright frightening. And for good reason! At a monumental 60" long overall, with a fully functional, razor sharp 36" blade, this imposing two-handed samurai sword packs awesome might, savage bite and untamable brutality on par with the biggest, baddest, most terrifyingly oversized beasts of lore. But unlike the Titans, Cyclops, Goliath, the Nephilim or any other giant(s) of legend, the monstrous Colossus is real. Very real. And reality can be far scarier than fiction – especially when you’re on the receiving end of this potent Shinwa odachi.
”Would you like to supersize that?” Odachi swordsmiths always answer, “yes”
One of the largest sword types in Japan’s long, storied history of innovative swordcraft, the “odachi” represents the legendary capability of the katana multiplied two- and even threefold. It’s so hefty, in fact, it must be wielded with two hands to maintain sufficient control - especially important when brandishing a weapon of this intensity and magnitude. History is full of mammoth “two-handers” – the Chinese Miao Dao, the Spanish Espada Bastarda, the Scottish Claymore and many others; but none can match the odachi’s awe-inspiring ferocity and formidable cutting clout. Shinwa’s Colossus is no exception; it even dominates other odachi, outperforming many of the world’s most expensive custom examples. And like all Shinwa swords, the Colossus is every bit as much a “beauty” as it is a “beast.”
Monstrous power and size, refined style and grace
A hulking brute adorned in the trappings of royalty, the Colossus dons all the aesthetic hallmarks that make traditional Japanese cutlery so visually appealing, plus plenty of smart contemporary updates and chic original appointments that epitomize Shinwa’s knack for combining the best of old and new, fusing tradition with innovation. Delicately textured genuine ray skin same and braided ito cloak the tsuka, which is gracefully elongated to accommodate two hands, boosting leverage, improving control and counterbalancing the hefty blade for an ideal center of gravity. Flawlessly cast, the tsuba bears an intricate, exquisitely detailed dragon motif and is bathed in a rich, warm patina for a charmingly antiqued look.
An incredible 2,000 layers on 36" of black Damascus steel; only one sword can claim it
And while most Japanese swords’ style and allure is concentrated at the tsuka, rarely extending onto the unexciting, largely utilitarian blade; the Colossus’ blade is teeming with visual splendor – a breathtaking wonder in its own right. Hand forged from Damascus steel, the bewitching super-sized tanto blade is a tumultuous sea of contrasting lines, waves, swirls and other mesmerizing patterns. Each line is a distinct variety of steel, hammer welded and hand folded repeatedly to yield the more than 2,000 layers in each Colossus blade. The unique metalsmithing technique’s roots stretch back to the Middle Ages, and today it’s still painstakingly performed by seasoned hands – no automation, no mechanization.
Hand forging this huge blade is massive undertaking
To make each Colussus Nikko blade, a Shinwa master swordsmith fires a stack of steel blanks - each piece a different alloy - in a white-hot forge until the metal glows red hot. He then removes the stack and hammers it until it’s around half as thick as the original. Then he folds the metal onto itself lengthwise and hammers each half together. The process is meticulously repeated – hundreds of times in some cases – until the desired layering effect is achieved, at which point a final quenching strengthens the resulting blade blank and an acid etching highlights vivid contrasts in the layers. And the slow, laborious process itself it just the beginning! In order to achieve sufficiently dramatic contrasts, Shinwa’s master smiths must expertly select an appropriate combination of steel alloys of varying color, luminescence and other visual qualities. For the sake of strength, resilience and countless additional blade factors, the smiths must also must consider each alloy’s distinct melting point, proper stacking order, forge temperature and myriad other variables. Simply put, an unbelievable quantity of blood, sweat and tears goes into every Colossus blade. Furthermore, like a steel snowflake or fingerprint, the patterning on no two Colossus blades is exactly alike.
Awe-inspiring “Colossus” demands the spotlight
From beauty to power to originality, everything comes bigger on the Colossus. This large-and-in-charge odachi casts a far-reaching shadow that obscures other swords, making them seem comparatively dim and lifeless. Even far more expensive custom odachi tremble in the shadow of Shinwa’s Damascus steel Collossus. Upon wielding it for the first time - experiencing the raw, unbridled energy and might it conveys with every swing - you’ll never want to put it down. But much as you may want to, you can’t clutch it 24/7; thankfully, the Colossus is perfect for display when not in use. The elegant yet in-your-face odachi demands attention and admiration, especially when mounted on a wall or perched atop a handsome sword stand. And, of this, you can be sure: what the mighty Colossus demands, the mighty Colossus gets.