The Kogarasu Maru, or "Little Crow," is a unique Japanese tachi sword rumored to have been created by legendary Japanese smith Amakuni during 8th century CE.
The Kogarasu Maru is sometimes referred to as a Kogarasu Zukuri as the blade of the Kogarasu Maru was forged in the Kissaki Moro Ha Zukuri design. The Kogarasu Maru is unique as a bridge between the old double-edged Japanese Ken (based on the traditional Chinese straight sword) and the traditional Japanese tachi and eventual katana.
The Kogarasu Maru was designed with a curved double-edged blade approximately 62.8 cm long. One edge of the blade is sharped in normal tachi fashion, but as the edge comes to a point the blade continues in the reverse direction back towards the hilt of the sword, similar to a European sword or a Japanese yari spear, but stopping midway. A single bo-hi style groove runs down both sides of the blade to the hilt. The forging process yielded a sugaha "straight" style temper line on both sides of the blade.
The Kogarasu Maru "Little Crow" is the most famous of the known Kogarasu Zukuri blades and currently in the Japanese Imperial Collection. The tang of the Kogarasu Maru is not signed but the blade is believed to have been made during the either the early Heian period or late Nara period, by the famous Japanese swordsmith Amakuni, who is said to have created the first curved Japanese sword and is believed to have lived during this period. Two other Kogarasu Zukuri blades exist from this era, but many other blades of this type have been created throughout Japanese history.
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