Introduction: Ashitaka Kiridashi - Princess Mononoke

About: What's up everybody?! I am a self-taught hobbyist that loves DIY projects. I like to make food, drinks, décor, repurpose/recycle and some fandom type items. I learned a lot from books, friends, YouTube, and Te…

After creating a replica of Zidane's Butterfly Sword from a broken saw blade, the next idea that sparked in my mind was an Ashitaka sword from Princess Mononoke.

Not only that, as opposed to making a displayable replica (which is perfectly cool), I figured I could add more of an edge to make it functional, too.

Hence, the Ashitaka Kiridashi. I found a few screen shots and various other photos that got me an idea of what dimensions I needed (pic 3-4). With this and the workable area I had of the saw blade, I could get to it. Let's go!


Protective Equipment

If you cannot Forge an Iron Ball from Lady Eboshi, an Old Useless Saw Blade is fine

Brass Ring (I used a broken valve)

Marking Tools

Hack Saw

Angle Grinder

Various Files, Sand Paper, Buffer with compound

Clamps &/or Vise

Epoxy, CA glue, &/or E6000

Leather Lace

Step 1: Video of the Process

Here is a video of my work and hopefully it will help explain the steps below.

Step 2: Cut the Brass Ring

I had a valve with busted internals and it was easier to replace it than to try and refurbish it. I used that as the impetus to the pommel of the sword. I cut a large piece off, marked the ring with a fine marker, and secured it in my vise (pic 1).

I got to work with a hack saw but I took my time to ensure this was uniform in shape. To do this, I would take a bite of the hack saw teeth just to ensure it was cutting along my marked line. Then I would rotate it slightly, cut into it, rotate, repeat.

Once I got all the way around, I started cutting fully (pic 4). Take your time and ensure you are riding the line all the way through. Once that was all done, I had to show off my fabulous new ring...hehe (pic 5).

Alternatively, if you have a piece large enough, you could cut one metal piece with the ring pommel included. That way you could brass brush/plate the heated ring pommel to make it look like brass and you wouldn't have to worry about the ring staying secured. Hopefully that makes sense but Pneumatic Addict talks about this process and I kind of feel that may be easier? I don't know. Experiment, that is what is fun about being a Maker!

Step 3: Buff the Ring

Needless to say, this thing is a bit rough and in need of some smoothing.

I started with a round file to get the majority of the burrs and rough edges (pic 1-2). Once that was smooth to my liking, I took the ring to my buffer (pic 3-4) to smooth it out further. Once I was satisfied (pic 5), I put it aside while I went to work on the blade.

Step 4: Cut the Blade

Similar to my Butterfly sword from Final Fantasy IX, a busted saw blade makes for good replica fodder. Looking back at the intro specifications, I drew up the template for cutting on the blade (pic 1-3) and went to work with the angle grinder (pic 4). Be safe, take your time.

I used the angle grinder for the entirety of excess metal removal. If you looked back at Zidane's Butterfly sword, you'll notice that I removed some of the metal with a cold chisel, but fortunately, that extra step wasn't necessary here.

Once the shape was cut out (pic 5) it was time to get filing.

Step 5: File the Blade

Secured in the vise, file away removing bulk excess with a bastard file, followed by smoothing with a smoothing file. I worked ALL edges up to my marking line (pic 1-7).

The face of the blade was sanded away to make it less grody (pic 8-9).

Next, I worked on the blade itself by making an angle block at 15 degrees (pic 10). This would act as my guide for rough filing (pic 11-14). I worked the point and the edge on both sides, working towards the marked center. I marked the center with a scribe, which, the overall thickness of my blade was 3 mm.

This took the longest time and takes a lot of patience (I really need a belt grinder for this kind of thing) … However, I eventually got to where I wanted it to be and took some passes off of my guide block (pic 15-17).

Step 6: Attached

Using some two part epoxy, I mixed thoroughly with at round stick. I worked this until satisfied that it was mixed properly (pic 1-2).

I roughed the mating edges of the ring and the handle with a file (pic 3) and stuck them together and allowed it to work overnight (pic 4-5). The next day, I shook it up and down to ensure it wouldn't slip off while securing it further with the leather wrapping (pic 6).

Speaking of, since this glue up was effectively on "one side" of the pommel, I place a dab of CA glue on the other side just to hedge my bets. I am not too worried about it because the wrapping in the next step with secure it tightly.

Step 7: Wrap the Handle

I used the same red leather lace that I acquired from a craft store as the Zidane sword and I started lacing in the way that reminds me of tying a neck tie. You can see this process through the first 4 pictures starting by placing one end through the ringlet (pic 1). Coming out the other end, wrap it around the handle (pic 2) and go back through the ringlet a second time (pic 3). Begin wrapping down the handle (pic 4) and continue down until you reach the blade (pic 5).

At this point I unwrapped a few loops and placed an old broken drill bit inside (pic 6-8). This will help secure the other end of the leather underneath your wrappings. Cut the leather leaving an excess to pull underneath the wrapping. I used a pin to maneuver the other end through the slack and pushed it through with tweezers (pic 9-11). Pull it tight and remove the rest of the excess (pic 12). I used the pin again to wiggle the end fully underneath the wrapping (pic 13).

And there it is (pic 14)!

Overall, I went up to 3000 grit at 15 degrees on the marking edge of the kiridashi, for what it's worth. Take it as scary sharp as you desire.

Step 8: In Full Affect

With Ashitaka's Kiridashi complete (pic 1), I took it for a test on some scrap hard wood. It marked clean, as intentioned (pic 2-4).

I chiseled out some of the wood and displayed it next to my other geeky stuff on my pegboard (last pic).

I hope you enjoyed this weekend project and if you try one yourself (or maybe San's spear..!) send me a picture.

Catch you on the next one!!

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