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Old 09-02-2010, 07:33 PM   #4
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Horses and sword guards (tsuba) on the Japanese sword

Forgot to answer the other question. The mane and tail are shakudo, a copper and gold alloy. Shakudo "polished" looks like a dark copper. But given time (or a proper treatment) it will develop a lovely dark patina. It was a favorite soft metal among artisans in Japan as it has very nice working qualities and it will "heal" its patina naturally over time if it is damaged.

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