A Flatwoods Monster Sword?October 12, 2021
The curator of the Flatwoods Monster Museum, Andrew Smith, has always been a bit of a martial arts fan, and admirer of old-world weapons. Recently, Smith discovered a Company which offers customizable Japanese style swords at very reasonable prices. The company is Han Bon Forge. After looking at the option on the site for some time Smith discovered that it would be possible to order a Flatwoods Monster themed sword! So an order was placed!!
You may be wondering… How is this sword (a Tanto to be specific) Flatwoods Monster themed? Let’s break down the pieces, parts, and colors to see how!
First, lets start with the colors and the parts chosen to be those colors. The Classic Flatwoods Monster colors are Red and Green, also yellow for the eyes. We chose to make the wrap on the hilt, or ITO, a red silk to match the “head” or “face” of the monster. The style of wrap chosen, is the katate-maki style which creates a solid section of the wrap in the middle of the handle. This style has the benefit in splitting up the exposed yellow ray skin sections underneath the wrap, also known as same’gawa. The top and bottom sections of exposed same’gawa represents the glowing or reflective eyes.
The color green was selected for the sheath, or saya, to represent the body of the creature, which was said to be green.
You might think the theme stops there, but it doesn’t. In the tradition of Japanese swords, the different metal fittings can also tell a story and this sword is no exception. The guard, or tsuba, was chosen because it depicts a scene of people near what looks like a wooded or jungle landscape. The tsuba represents the witnesses as they prepare to head into the woods to see what landed on the nearby hill top!
The other fittings at the top, bottom, and center of the hilt show birds which appear to be cranes and owls. These fittings were selected to incorporate some of the skeptical theories for what the witnesses may have actually seen, other than an other-worldly monster or machine. Misidentifies birds are often used to explain away signings of unknown creatures, and the Flatwoods Monster is no exception.
Like the Mothman of Point Pleasant, the Flatwoods Monster, is thought by some skeptics, to have simply been a misidentified crane or owl.
If you would like to order a Flatwoods Monster themed sword of your own, be sure to visit Han Bon Forge. The price for these start at $92, which is how much it would cost to exactly recreate the tanto seen above. However, higher end fittings and appointment are available. So feel free to get as fancy as you want! If you do decide to have your own custom sword made at Han Bon Forge, please drop us a line at info (at) braxtonwv (dot) org and let us know what you bought, we would love to see pictures as well! To order the exact same sword as us, please find our exact order below!
Flatwoods Monster Han Bon Forge Tanto specs:
- Hand Sharpened
- 1060 High Carbon Steel (BL01)
- No Groove
- Ito: Silk Red (C10)
- Same’Gawa: Yellow (R03)
- Tsuka-Maki: Katate-maki
- Saya: Green (S01)
- Sageo: Same as ITO
- Tsuba: BT20
- Fittings: BT32
- Habaki/Seppa: Brass
- blade engraving: フラットウッズ・モンスター
- Sword Bag: Red propitious clouds (B02)