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The Manjushree AKA The Nepali Gladius

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Steely_Gunz, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    The ever lovable mailman just dropped off the newest addition to my HI family. I'm cleaning up the handle today, and I'll bring in the wife's camera tomorrow for some pics, but I wanted to get my absolute awe down now. Small sword lovers, you owe yourself a Manjushree.

    As a long time receiver of the famous triangle boxes, I know how to take my time unwrapping a khuk or sword. Gone are the days where I tear into the package to eagerly horde my edged prize. No. I know that slowly peeling away the layers like a flaky biscuit is far more fun. The manjushree was no exception. However, had I known then what I know now, I probably would have tackled the mailman, torn the box from his arms and gnawed at the cardboard. I've seen a lot of beautiful blades from HI, this is one of the 3 that has ever literally made me gasp at its craftsmanship.

    I'll start with the handle (since that's what I unwrapped first). This thing is caked in rouge, but I can clearly see not one but TWO burls living beneath the carved dragon. These "beauty knots" are what Uncle Bill used to call "glow in the dark". They almost seem to radiate from within. The coiled dragon almost seems to be breathe when you rotate the handle in the light (sort of like holographic baseball cards:D) Unlike the first editions of this sword a few years ago, this has a through tang that is peened at the end over a keeper (much like a Cherokee Rose). The almost goofy soccer ball/carbon atom is gone on the ball pommel. Instead is a simple 5 point star with the peen/keeper as its center and pickets/spear tips extending between the arms. Then, of course, you have the coiled dragon around the grip itself. It's your typical Nepali dragon. Peaceful and tranquilly guarding the blade. It's phenomenal work, and will look exceptional once I get the gunk off the wood. The only down side is that it looks like the temperature/humidity change caused a hairline crack at the dragon's toe and tail open further. I'll fix it with some super glue, and no one will be the wiser once it's finished:thumbup:

    Now, the blade...wow oh wow is the blade something else! First of all the 20" blade is massive for a sword. My Everest Kat is beefy for a Japanese sword, this one would eat it for breakfast. Double fullered and nearly 1/4" at the hilt, this is serious blade for a serious battle. The fullers, while obviously done by hand, are excellent. One side tends to be deeper than the other, but that's what you get when you want handmade;) The double edges of the blade came sharp. Not polished smooth sharp, but as sharp as you want a battle ready blade. I mean, how sharp does a 2lb sword have to be to get the job done?:D Bura did a great job on the tip. As this thing has obtuse and abrupt point of a Gladius variant, I thought that one side of the blade point would be steeper or more shallow. I'm sure that I would be able to tell if I get out my protractor, but as near as my eye can tell..they're perfect. Furthermore, Bura was no dummy about the tip. He understood that a tip on this style of blade is not going to be used to whittle a wooden heart for your sweetie...it's all business and meant for thrusting. He beefed up the tip to withstand that kind of punishment...very nice:cool:

    Finally the scabbard. I know what you're thinking, "Who cares ! A scabbards a scabbard, right?" Not so. This is by far the best fitting sword scabbard that I have ever seen from HI. It was literally made for the sword as it was sitting there. You take the sword out, flip it around, and resheath it and it will sit a little off center with a lot of rattle. Take it back out, flip it around again, resheath it, and it fits like a glove. No rattle, no wiggle, and flush up to the steel hand guard. On top of the that awesomeness, the scabbard is made to look as to have fullers itself! Now that is what I call tying the whole package together. The theme of this blade is obviously the fullers. The scabbard transmits that perfectly. Also, it's suede leather.:thumbup:

    With the detailed carving, the glow in the dark burl, and the almost "fuzzy" scabbard, you really feel like you are carrying a living thing. I've never handled a sword with more energy. So far, I haven't cut anything with it. However, it will slice the air with a **thwip** both forehand and backhand, and I am a total sword novice. The point of balance is 6" from the guard, so it is a point heavy sword. However, I could see the "specialty" of this blade being one to deliver a devastating downward thrust with the off hand capping the ball pommel for extra force and leverage. Once again, I have no idea if this is correct, but it sure feels...right:)

    All in all, this Manjushree is a fantastic short sword. I don't think that I could be more pleased with a sword than this one. Everything about it is well executed in both fit and finish. I have no doubt in my mind that this is truly a battle ready sword. I want to thank Yangdu for the typical fast and wonderful shipping and service and continued kindness. This piece is heirloom quality. Period. End of Statement. I also want to thank Bura for such a fine piece of work. I know our favorite kami has been through much over the last several years. However, he still has his special touch. I don't think that I've ever seen anything so remarkable from him in the 5 or so years that I have been collecting HI pieces...and I have handled quite a few Buras;)

    If any of you are in the market for a short sword for the impending zombie invasion (and I know that a lot of you are;)), give the Manjushree a shot. It'll hack, slash, and thrust...and look good doing it.

    Crappy pics to follow tomorrow:)
     
  2. Grappler1911

    Grappler1911 Banned BANNED

    720
    May 20, 2003
    I'd love to see a pic in the hand.

    I almost jumped at that one.
    Love short swords.
    I Hate buying swords or knives without holding them first.
    Sounds like you got yourself a winner.
     
  3. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Thanks Grappler:)

    I've got very medium hands. If i choke up to the guard, I have about 3" from my little finger to the end of the ball. If it weren't for the ball, you might get a good hand and a half on it. However, the ball might also be helpful in guiding the blade where you would like for it to go. I'll try to get a pic in hand tomorrow.
     
  4. munk

    munk

    Mar 22, 2002
    That's a great write up, Jake. I can't help but admire the improvement and sophistication of your writing now when thinking back to the "kid' of many years ago.

    Put me firmly in the column of those ripping the heart out of the package, success being little time spent and no damage to the product. I open HI packages the same way small children eat candy; all at once.


    munk
     
  5. Yangdu

    Yangdu [email protected] Himalayan Imports-Owner Moderator

    Apr 5, 2005
    Great write up, thank you Jake
     
  6. Svashtar

    Svashtar

    Dec 28, 2003
    Nice review Jake. Great design for sure. I notice that this one has a unique ball at the end of the handle, which I'll call the "third generation" of design for this model.

    Dave Rishar has the first one of a kind ball design, and all the rest have pretty much been variants of the soccer ball design. This is really neat with the carving and striations in the work, and the burls are just a plus for you. Looks like they also redesigned the scabbard for this one.

    Norm
     
  7. H2OCutter

    H2OCutter

    672
    Mar 11, 2007
    Good review Jake, I was looking at a Gladius recently and decided that I wanted a Manjushree, should have it by the end of next week.
     
  8. DannyinJapan

    DannyinJapan

    Oct 9, 2003
    Majushree or Dukti?
    I thought the Dukti was the gladius-looking sword...
     
  9. H2OCutter

    H2OCutter

    672
    Mar 11, 2007
    I think they are similar, the Manjushree being a couple of inches longer around 28" than the Dukti and the Gladius around 291/2 inches overall. But now I want a Dukti as well.
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