The Masahiro Shadow Warrior Sword (also known as the white Ronin) is a strikingly attractive and unique piece that is available for just under US$100 if you know where to source it from.
And while Masahiro are known for somewhat hit and miss quality control, making buying them from a reputable seller of utmost importance (after all Masahiro have no manufacturers contact details online), it is more than suitable as a display sword and strong enough for some light cutting duties, as you will see in this hands on review...
Review by by Keith "Fatecaller" R, Manitoba, CANADA
There's a sad story behind this sword, and I wish to tell you all. It started about a year ago just shortly after I joined the SBG family. One evening sitting around the dinner table, I began talking about this awesome forum I joined and how its all about swords. I have all my life been fascinated with swords and armor and pretty much anything to do with them. A friend of mine was big into collecting and kind of got the fire lit under me.
After bragging to my dad about being able to buy Samurai swords that were fully functional, folded steel and the works at reasonable prices, the unthinkable happened. Little did I realize that after showing him the one I wanted, he bought it before I had the chance. Not only was I short on cash but it would have been my first bought sword so I was kind of hesitant to buy it and I paid the price for it. Shortly after that it arrived in the mail...the sword I wanted...sitting there in front of me...and I wasn't allowed to touch it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not mad at my father....anymore, but it was an eye opener. So just remember kids...don't tell anyone anything about what your doing...be greedy and buy everything before anyone else can...make sure you have more, better toys then anyone else.....muahahahaha. (Please omit that last line, I had a flashback)
Blade 29 1/2"
POB 5 3/4"
The design of this piece is very unique. I was quite drawn to the white leather wrapped handle as well as the overall length of the sword. The gold palm ornaments and butt cap accents complimented not only the white leather but the black same and saya as well. It also has very neat blade etchings on both sides of the blade. Overall it is a very good looking sword.
As already mentioned, the blade is very ornate. Engravings on both sides, a 3/4 length bohi and hamon (fake) complete this blade. It was polished well from manufacturer and looked very clean when we unpacked it. The engravings are not perfect so they dont look machined which I think looks better, making it look more authentic.
White Leather...uh huh. The contrast between the black same and the white leather just explode in a visual euphoria. Throw in a few Gold accents and now were talking.
This is a very classy looking sword and a lot of that has to do with the color scheme. It is narrower then the classic cotton wrap so it does certainly feel different when holding or swinging it. The fact that it is white also means that you need to take precautions that your hands are not dirty when handling it as the leather will stain very quickly. The leather does give it very good grip and a nice feel as well. The handle was very well put together on this model by Masahiro, good job.
I will have to admit that Masahiro does an awesome thing with this sword and that is including a second tsuba. Both very different from each other they allow the owner to express themselves in there own individual way. One is a fancier design with a more spoke type pattern while the other is more traditional being a solid plate with flower patterned holes drilled into in 3 places. I personally like the spoked one, I think it looks better on this sword but as I said, it is up to the owner to choose which one they like better.
I hope this review of the Masahiro Shadow Warrior has been helpful. To return to A Beginners Guide to Authentic Japanese Swords from Masahiro Shadow Warrior Sword Review, click here