Wo Yao Dao (Japanese style waist saber) is a single handed saber. It has a slender profile, with an accelerated curve towards the tip, which is typical for Ming to early Qing sabers. It has a ridged cross-section, much in the style of Japanese swords but without the kissaki that is so characteristic for Japanese work.
Since the Song Dynasty, the quality of Japanese swords was well received and the Ming government set up import trade agreement with Japanese feudal lords of the sword production areas in Japan. Between the 115 years from 1432 to 1547, there were 11 official sword import contracts and many unaccountable smuggling of Japanese swords via Macao. The number of Japanese swords imported were number over 200,000. These Japanese swords were often made to Chinese specifications to adapt to single handed use and the imported swords are of various qualities and not all were heirloom quality.
With the abundance of Japanese imports as inspiration, Chinese sword makers craft swords with Japanese influence and with Chinese forging techniques, the results were often blades with equivalent quality of the imports with the added benefits of local repair and restoration if needed.
This Wo Yao Dao is closely based on an antique Late Ming Dynasty Yao Dao in the fame Mandarin Mansion Collection.
Sword only weight: approx. 987.5 g (2 lb. 2.83 oz.)
Blade length approx. 77.3 cm (30.43")
Handle length approx. 16.7 cm (6.58")
Total length approx. 94.0 cm (37.00")
at base: 7.0 mm
mid-point: 4.7 mm
near tip: 3.0 mm
at base: 30.0 mm
mid-point: 26.5 mm
near tip: 22.0 mm
POB from hilt: 15 cm (5.9")
Steel option 1
Folded pattern steel:
1060 carbon steel + T8 tungsten-vanadium high-speed tool steel
1060 carbon steel
T8 tungsten-vanadium high-speed tool steel
Tungsten <= 0.30
Vanadium <= 0.02
Molybdenum <= 0.20
Steel option 2
GB 60Si2MnA High Carbon Manganese Spring Steel
(Compare to AISI/SAE 5160 spring steel)
Element % 60Si2MnA AISI/SAE 5160
Carbon 0.56-0.64 0.56-0.61
Silicon 1.60-2.00 0.15-0.35
Manganese 0.60-0.90 0.75-1.00
Phosphorus <=0.030 <=0.035
Sulfur <=0.030 <=0.040
Chromium <=0.35 0.70-0.90
Nickel <=0.35 <=0.25
Superior heat treatment: Hardness 54-55 HRC.
Through spring tempering with oil quenching.
Blade rebounds to true after bending,
Pommel secured by peening.
High quality white wood scabbard wrapping with "vegan" black ray skin
"Fang Shi (Square style)" Iron Fittings
Hand guard, handle ferrule and pommel - iron
Scabbard fittings - iron
Military Green cotton cord wrapped handle and wrist cord.
Fit and finish
We perfected the fit and finish of our swords and the assembly is meticulously performed by our senior craft masters. It takes one whole working day for a craftsman to assemble our swords.
Japanese influence on Ming Saber design
The Ming's love affair with the Japanese swords