The Ashigaru roughly translates to “light foot” and refers to the infantry employed by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The first reference to these foot soldiers is noted in the 14th century. The name makes it easier to understand the homage the Kensei Ashigaru pays to these soldiers. This modern flipper folder reminds of us the 8-10″ Japanese Kaiken daggers the Ashigaru may have carried in their efforts.
The Kensei Ashigaru features a 4″ 440A stainless steel straight back blade with a mirror polish finish. It’s .12″ thick and looks more or less like a tanto blade with a curve rather than a corner.
The action on the Ashigaru is quite good, as this liner lock also has a ball-bearing pivot. And though we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here, we loved the decorative copper pivot cap on that pivot.
The handles are black and red layered G-10. They mimic the final wrap and pattern found on traditional Japanese swords. The five-layer thick G-10 alternates between red and black and rests on steel liners. This gives the Kensei Ashigaru an unusual thickness in comparison to other modern folders on the market.
The Kensei Ashigaru closes down to 5″ and has a removable pocket clip and an internal pommel post that could easily hold a lanyard. It’s a full 9″ overall and weighs in at 6.88oz.
Kensei Ashigaru Details
- 4″ 440A Stainless Steel Straight Back Blade
- Mirror Polish Finish
- .12″ thick
- Manual Flipper
- Ball Bearing Pivot
- Liner Lock
- Layered Red and Black G-10 Handles
- Tip-up Pocket Clip
- 5″ Closed
- 9″ Overall
- Weighs 6.88oz.
This is another interesting and different offering from Kensei Chris Rossman, and there are seven other Kensei knives or swords on the market. The Kensei Ashigaru runs about $30 retail, and you can find it by clicking any link in this article or the button below.
All images courtesy of Smoky Mountain Knife Works – smkw.com.