Iaito Minosaka Shinto Higo Koshirae [Heavy Weight]

Average rating: 4.5/5 View/write review(s)
Made to Order | Production: ~
Order today and we will ship before
In stock: ships within 2 working days
Order today and we will ship before
Availability : around (Shipping date estimation)
¥108,000 ~
Excl tax - Shipping Included Excl tax - Shipping surcharge for Africa & South America
Price may increase depending on customizations
This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The Shinto Higo Koshirae Iaito is a high-end heavy model, especially designed for intermediate and advanced practitioners. The classic assembly of this model is a replica of the swords forged by Kotetsu Nagasone during the Kanbun era. Designed to maximize the speed of unsheathing the sword, his swords was slightly shorter than usual. The rounded Kashira, a typical form of the Higo Koshirae, is made of wrought iron, just like the Fuchi and the matching Kojiri presented on the Saya.

The Shinto Higo Koshirae can be fitted with silk Sageo and Tsukaito without additional cost. Silk offers a better durability compared to cotton and it allows to keep the Iaito for many years before having to refurbish the Tsukaito.

Option recommendations for this model, by Minosaka's craftsmen

  • Hamon: Suguha
  • Habaki & Seppa: Shonai brass Habaki & brass Seppa
  • Tsuba: Kasuga
  • Tsukaito: Brown silk, Hinerimaki
  • Same: Black
  • Menuki: Sake
  • Saya: Chaishime or Hon Chaishime
  • Shitodome: Gold Shitodome
  • Sageo: Brown silk

Although you are completely free to select the options you like the most, the options above show the standard mount as recommended by Minosaka. Those recommendation take historical records and aesthetic into account.

Technical Specifications
Fuchi/Kashira FKM111 - Higo Ishime
Fuchi: 40 x 21 x 9 mm
Kashira: 35 x 18 x 11 mm
Blade bottom width ~33 mm
Blade end width ~24 mm
Blade bottom thickess ~7 mm
Weight for 2.45 Shaku ~920 g without Saya | ~1,200 g with Saya

Iaito Customizations

All orders are final. No modification or cancellation will be accepted once an order is placed. Even shorter production delays do not give right to cancellation.

The production time is 3 to 5 weeks for Minosaka Iaito6 (standard) to 10 (full custom) weeks for Jisei Iaito (without including possible holidays) depending on selected options. We will contact you within 3 business days after you passed your order if the completion date estimated by the workshop is later than the shipping date indicated at checkout.

To ensure that you haven't missed anything, all options must be selected, even when you want a standard element.
Even if an option is visible on the product's pictures, it is not available for this specific product if it is not visible in the selection. All available options are displayed in that selection and we will not accept any request for options not listed below.

We strongly recommend reading in details our guide "How to Choose your Iaito" and taking time to make sure that each option corresponds to your wish before placing an order for a custom Iaito.

Blade Length

This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The blade length is measured in the Japanese traditional unit called Shaku. One Shaku equals 30.3 cm, or roughly 1 feet (0.994 Ft.). Its sub-unit is the "Sun". There are ten "Sun" in one "Shaku", so 5 Sun can also be written 0.5 Shaku. Note that the length of a blade does not include the Habaki (see pictures), but is measured in a straight line from the tip (Kissaki) to what is called the Munemachi (base of the blade), hidden under and partly covered by the Habaki. For reasons related to the alloy strength, light and standard blades are available for lengths up to 2.55 Shaku and thick/heavy blades are available for lengths up to 2.70 Shaku Wakizashi are available from 1.30 to 1.50 Shaku.

Here comes the text for the Satsuma Koshirae Monster

The blade length depends on your height, the length of your arms and the school you practice. The size table below is the official recommendation of the Japanese Iaido Federation. Women are advised to use a blade one size shorter than men of the same height. For people who are not specialist of Iaido (Aikidoists for example), we also recommend to use a blade a size shorter than the recommendation, because it will make the sword drawing/sheathing easier.

Please also make sure to consult your teacher to check that the size table below is applicable to your school.

Note that the size recommendation does not apply to Wakizashi as the Iaido federation does not provide such recommendation. However, we do recommend to avoid too long blades to smaller practitioners

Your height Length for men Length for women
~ 150 cm 1.30 shaku / 39.4 cm N/A
~ 150 cm 1.35 shaku / 40.9 cm N/A
~ 150 cm 1.40 shaku / 42.4 cm N/A
~ 150 cm 1.45 shaku / 43.9 cm N/A
~ 150 cm 1.50 shaku / 45.4 cm N/A
~ 150 cm 2.20 shaku / 66.6 cm N/A
~ 155 cm 2.25 shaku / 68.2 cm 2.20 shaku / 66.6 cm
~ 160 cm 2.30 shaku / 69.6 cm 2.25 shaku / 68.2 cm
~ 165 cm 2.35 shaku / 71.2 cm 2.30 shaku / 69.6 cm
~ 170 cm 2.40 shaku / 72.7 cm 2.35 shaku / 71.2 cm
~ 175 cm 2.45 shaku / 74.2 cm 2.40 shaku / 72.7 cm
~ 180 cm 2.50 shaku / 75.8 cm 2.45 shaku / 74.2 cm
~ 185 cm 2.55 shaku / 77.3 cm 2.50 shaku / 75.8 cm
~ 190 cm 2.60 shaku / 78.8 cm 2.55 shaku / 77.3 cm
Up to 200 cm 2.70 shaku / 81.8 cm NA

Blade Groove

This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The groove, called “Hi” or “Bohi” in Japanese, has several purposes; it can make the blade lighter and more flexible or help to drain the blood for instance. Minosaka offers a few custom options for the groove but of course, there are no finish available when the option is "without groove".

  • Standard groove: the most classical groove.
  • Without groove: this option makes the blade heavier. Removing the groove increases the total weight by about 50 g on standard blades, and up to 150 g on heavy blades. The whistling sound disappears almost completely.
    This option requires a fully custom made blade, which pushes the production time to about 6 weeks.
  • Hi Dome: Standard: the groove has an ogival shape and stops approximately 4 cm from the Habaki.
  • Hi Dome: Kakinagashi: the groove goes on under the Habaki. It makes the blade even lighter and moves the balance of the blade further towards the Tsuka.
  • Hi Saki: Shinken: this kind of finish looks like the grooves that can be found on Shinken. The tips of the grooves where it connects with the Kissaki (tip of the blade) are manually and delicately crafted so that both merge very naturally in the form of a triangle (standard groove have an ogival shape). This option is particularly good-looking.

Blade Hamon

This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

In the case of real steel blade, clay is applied on the blade prior to the cooling process, and the difference in hardness between the edge and the rest of the blade results in this line called "Hamon". It outlines the transition between the region of harder martensitic steel at the blade's edge and the softer pearlitic steel at the center and back of the sword. This difference in hardness is the goal of the whole process; the appearance is purely a side effect but the Hamon became a very important artistic feature that defines the level of mastery of the swordsmith. Iaito being made from an alloy, the Hamon is printed by depolishing the blade using specific patterns and Minosaka's craftsmen do their best to reproduce the most famous Hamon.

The Suguha, Midare, Notare and Gunome Hamon are standardized Hamon. They are a kind of mix between the most common type of existing Hamon. All other models are fairly faithful reproductions of Hamon existing on antique blades. Hamon are named either by the name of the Samurai who possessed the sword (for famous swords) or the name of the Swordsmith (for the most famous swordsmith). Their price depends on the quantity of work needed to reproduce them.

Habaki & Seppa

This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The habaki is the piece of metal circling the base of the blade. It has the two main purposes, locking the tsuba in place, maintaining the sword in the Saya.
Unlike Shinken Habaki, that can be incredibly expensive, Iaito Habaki are standardized and gently forced in place. This means that it is not recommended to remove/change the Habaki on a Iaito blade.
Habaki are made of brass and available in two different designs, standard and Shonai (ancient design) and 3 different finishes, black (oxidized), gold plated and silver plated. Note that due to the oxidation process, it is not possible to blacken the Shonai design.

The seppa are washers used in front and behind the tsuba to tighten the fittings, made of copper or brass. They are mandatory to keep the Tsuba in place securely.
They are available in black (oxidized), gold plated brass and silver plated brass.


This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The Tsuba is the guard for the sword and has the function to protect the hand from the opponent's blade but also from having one's hand sliding onto the blade during Tsuki (thrust) techniques.
It though has two more qualities: aesthetic and balance adjustment. During the Edo period, the Tsuba turned progressively into a decorative ornament, often generously worked, giving every sword a personal and special touch.

The Tsuba can present one or two holes on the sides that were used to draw the Kogatana (small knife) or Kogai (hair spike) that were fitted inside the sides of the Saya. The Tsuba used to be made by entire dynasties of craftsmen who only specialized in that particular field, almost vanished in the present time.

The average weight of a standard Tsuba is 120 g.
A heavy Tsuba (> 120 g) will tend to shift the balance downwards the handle, making the Iaito easier to handle whereas a light Tsuba (< 120 g) will push the balance towards the Kissaki, the tip of the blade. The latter is recommended if you decide to focus on cutting training. You will find below some photos of all our Tsuba but also details on size, material, and weight.

Please note that the pictures above only display the front side of the Tsuba. You can find pictures of the backside on each standalone Tsuba product page.

Tsuba Technical Specifications

Tsuba Technical Specifications
Description Material Dimensions Weight
Eagle Blackened iron 75 mm x 70 mm x 4.1 mm 136 g
Name of a famous Samurai clan. Also called Kuruma Sukashi. Blackened copper 75 mm x 73 mm x 5.3 mm 123 g
The 7 treasures (gold, silver, pearls, agate, crystal, coral, lapis lazuli) Blackened iron 74 mm x 70 mm x 4.1 mm 135 g
Favored by the famous samurai Hanjiro. Blackened copper 79 mm x 65 mm x 6 mm 142 g
Design by a famous blacksmith of the Edo period Blackened iron 84 mm x 75 mm x 4.3 mm 150 g
Gourd (calabash) Blackened copper 71 mm x 70 mm x 5 mm 126 g
Used by the most famous of all samurai Blackened copper 74 mm x 74 mm x 7.1 mm 146 g
Kasuga refers to the shape of the Tsuba. Blackened iron 84 mm x 76 mm x 4.1 mm 138 g
Dragon under the rain Blackened iron 81 mm x 77 mm x 4.1 mm 147 g
Holothuroidea (sea cucumber) Blackened iron 74 mm x 69 mm x 4.1 mm 90 g
Plain (no pattern) Blackened iron 74 mm x 69 mm x 4.1 mm 134 g
Butterfly shadow Blackened copper 74 mm x 72 mm x 5 mm 106 g
Waves Blackened iron 81 mm x 77 mm x 4.1 mm 145 g
Design by a famous blacksmith of the Edo period Blackened copper 76 mm x 72 mm x 4.5 mm 120 g
A famous design of the Higo province (now Kumamoto) Blackened iron 75 mm x 71 mm x 4.1 mm 90 g
Shin Umetada
Design by a famous blacksmith of the Edo period Blackened iron 85 mm x 76 mm x 4.1 mm 165 g
Icho Zogan (Kasuga)
Kasuga shape with silver ginkgo arabesque Blackened iron 84 mm x 77 mm x 4.1 mm 141 g

Tsuka Length

This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The Tsuka, or handle, is made of Japanese hackberry wood. On a Shinken, the Same is a piece of shark skin wrapped around the wood to reinforce the Tsuka structure. However, to make the cost reasonable, Tsuka on Iaito only features smaller pieces of shark skin that are embedded in the wood on each side, the purpose being only aesthetic.

The length of the Tsuka is measured including the Fuchi and Kashira. Depending on the kind of Tsukaito (cotton, silk, leather), the length of the Tsuka can be adapted slightly to get a fine result.
In most schools, the length of the Tsuka should be enough to put one hand of the practitioner three-time (that is, there should be a space equivalent to one hand between your hands when you hold the sword).
The length of the Tsuka will also be rather important regarding the balance of the Iaito. If you want to keep a standard balance, we recommend that you follow the indications below.

Blade Length Recommended Tsuka Length
1.30 ~ 1.35 Shaku blade 5.5 ~ 6 sun Tsuka
1.40 ~ 1.45 Shaku blade 6 ~ 6.5 sun Tsuka
1.50 Shaku blade 6.5 ~ 7 sun Tsuka
2.20 ~ 2.25 Shaku blade 7.5 ~ 8 sun Tsuka
2.20 ~ 2.25 Shaku blade 7.5 ~ 8 sun Tsuka
2.30 ~ 2.35 Shaku blade 8 ~ 8.5 sun Tsuka
2.40 ~ 2.45 Shaku blade 8.5 ~ 9 sun Tsuka
2.50 ~ 2.55 Shaku blade 9 ~ 9.5 sun Tsuka
2.60 ~ 2.70 Shaku blade 9.5 ~ 10 sun Tsuka


This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The Tsukaito has two main purposes: it serves as a grip and it holds the Tsuka tightly together. A tightly wrapped Tsuka is extremely important for security.

Cotton allows better absorption of the sweat but is less durable than silk and leather. It is the standard option on most Iaito.
Silk feels a little harder and may not be recommended for beginners but has a significantly longer lifespan.
Leather does not absorbs sweat but offers an excellent grip and is the most durable material. Leather is available in standard and suede version (napped finish). The latter has a slightly better grip but is slightly less durable.

Please be aware that since those materials are made traditionally, colors can slightly vary depending on the batch.
In general, the Tsukaito is of the same color as the Sageo to keep the fitting harmonious, but this is not mandatory and you can select two different colors if you like.

Tsuka Same & Maki

This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The Samekawa or "shark skin" is the part under the Tsukaito. Despite being called a "samekawa", and because shark hunting isn't really a thing nowadays, stingray skin is used instead. Its main purpose is to keep the Tsukaito in place and to reinforce the Tsuka structure. The same is sanded and polished in order to produce a durable high-quality type of leather.
On live blades (Shinken) mount, the Same is a "maki same", wrapper around the Tsuka wood. However, for cost reasons, Iaito Tsuka are made with two rectangular pieces of same embedded in the Tsuka. This is called Tanzaku-same.
Makisame, is a large piece of stingray skin wrapper around the Tsuka. It makes the Tsuka slightly bigger, but more importantly, very strongly reinforce the Tsuka structure and offers a much better grip to the Tsukaito for maximum durability. The Makisame option is made the exact same way Shinken same are made.

Please note that we also provide a plastic same option for customers concerned about animal protection. The plastic same is only available in white and in black, and as a "tanzaku same only" (Makisame is not possible).

The Tsukamaki is how the tsukaito (cord) is wrapped on the Tsuka. Hinerimaki is the standard wrapping, known by all practitioners.
Hiramaki is a very specific wrapping that makes the center of the Tsuka flat. This is a popular wrapping in Iai schools with an important number of single-handed techniques/moves.
In order secure the Menuki correctly, the cord goes over the Menuki on each side (which may significantly hide the Menuki on the smaller ones). >Finaly, the Katatemaki style is more suited for decoration than practice because it doesn't hold as well as the other wrapping. It is however attested that it was the wrapping used by famous Samurai Akechi Mitsuhide. Given that side parts of the Tsuka are left naked, this wrapping is only available with Makisame.

In option, we offer to put 2 mekugi (peg) in the Tsuka. This may reassure you as 2 mekugi feel safer, but from the craftsmen's point of view, since Iaito are very rarely taken apart, this option is unnecessary). This option is not available for Hiramaki.


This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The Menuki are ornaments on the tsuka to fit into the palm for grip and originally meant to distract the eyes from the mekugi (peg). It is generally placed under the wrapping, but may also appear over the wrapping, especially with a Ikkan-maki or Hira-maki wrapping style. Several thousands of designs have been created over the centuries. It is considered as jewelry and as such, inspired many craftsmen.

The Menuki are usually placed upon the left (omote) side and down on the right (ura) side. We also offer two other possibilities: center both Menuki (on each side), or reverse position (also called Sakasa Menuki) which will place the Menuki on your palms rather than under your fingers.

Menuki Technical Specifications

Menuki Technical Specifications
Code Description Material Length x Width
This made in Japan Menuki features is a caltrop, also called "devil pod", an aquatic plant. Aluminum 15 mm x 34 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features a chum salmon. Sake symbolizes luck and was a very common offering to the gods. Brass 14 mm x 45 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features a dragon wrapped around a sword. Aluminum 09 mm x 68 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features a dragonfly. The dragonfly, or Tombo in Japanese is also called "Kachi Muchi", insect of victory. Aluminum 13 mm x 39 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features cherry blossom, the luminous and beautiful yet fleeting and ephemeral Japanese cherry tree flower. Aluminum 11 mm x 11 mm
Ryu Sho
This made in Japan Menuki features a small dragon. It is similar to the bigger version. Brass 11 mm x 38 mm
Ryu Dai
This made in Japan Menuki features a big dragon. It is similar to the smaller version. Brass 11 mm x 53 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features a horsetail, or Equisetum for its scientific name. Brass 06 mm x 58 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features a peony flower. Brass 12 mm x 54 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features a lamb, symbol of peace and well-being. Brass 11 mm x 27 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features the "Maru ni Kenkatabami" Kamon. This Japanese crest was very popular among the samurai class and was adopted by many clans. Bronze 16 mm x 49 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features a Mukade, a rather huge Japanese centipede. Brass 9 mm x 52 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features the symbolic 9 planets in the Buddhism cosmogony. Bronze 15 mm x 45 mm
This made in Japan Menuki features a prawn. Its popularity comes from its symbolism of vigor and longevity. Aluminum 11 mm x 7 mm

Saya Lacquer

This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

The Saya is made of two-piece of Japanese hackberry wood that are glued together. It is reinforced by both the Sayajiri (end of the Saya), the Koiguchi, and of course, the lacquer. For cost reasons, unlike Shinken, the lacquer of Saya for Iaito are not made from traditional Urushi lacquer but from modern urethane lacquer.

Lacquer with a name ending in "ro" have a glossy finish, with a perfectly smooth surface. Lacquer with a name ending in "ishime" have a grainy finish, with a rough feel. The "ro" finish being smoother, the Saya is easier to slip in the Obi (belt).
If you plan on moving a lot with your Iaito, we recommend a "ishime" finish, which has better resistance to scratches.

  • Inro (SY221): the large wave pattern goes all the way down to the Sayajiri. The wave pattern acts as grip and therefore might have a slight impact on your practice. It is the standard Saya for the Yagyu Koshirae Iaito and available only for the Yagyu model. Of course, you are free to select another model as well.
  • Kuroro (SY101): glossy black lacquer.
  • Kuro-ishime (SY102): grainy black lacquer (scratch resistant).
  • Cha-ishime (SY103): brown-black lacquer (scratch resistant).
  • Hon Kuroishime (SY200) and Hon Chaishime (SY201): those two Saya have several additional layers of lacquer and significantly tighter grain. They can be considered as "Deluxe Kuroishime/Chaishime".
  • Tsuishu (SY202): traditional red lacquer with black and gold painted patterns.
  • Kuro Hirumaki (SY203): Black "tornado" lacquer). The name refers to the traces left by a leech ("Hiru") that would go around the Saya.
  • Shu Hirumaki (SY204): Red "tornado lacquer). The name refers to the traces left by a leech ("Hiru") that would go around the Saya.
  • Chogai (SY205): ground pearl oyster shell - trapped into black lacquer.
  • Shinobue (SY206): it is the name of a Japanese flute, which the lacquer patterns represent.
  • Inden (SY207): the name refers to a traditional artistic pattern, reproduced here in black and red.
  • Shuro (SY208): crimson red lacquer.
  • Inro (SY221): the large wave pattern goes all the way down to the Sayajiri.
  • Han Same (SY209): A piece of shark skin wrapped at the top of the Saya.
  • Han Fuji-maki (SY210): A piece of wicker wrapped at the top of the Saya.

  • Saya Kurikata (optional)

    All mandatory fields must be filled.
    This combination is unavailable. We have reset the options.

    The Kurikata is the piece placed 7.5 cm from the Koiguchi (Saya hole) on the Omote side of the Saya, used to nest the Sageo.

    The Kurikata is usually placed 7.5 cm from the Koiguchi. Depending on your body type and the school you practice, you may want to move away the Koiguchi a little bit. You can set the position up to 20 cm from the Koiguchi, but it shouldn't be farther than 12 to 15 cm. This option increases the production time to about 5 to 6 weeks.

    The Shitodome is a small piece of brass, gold or silver plated, inserted in the Kurikata (the hole in which the Sageo goes). The Shitodome is purely decorative.

    Please note that Shitodome only fit on regular Kurikata. If you select a Shitodome for a Dotanuki model with a metal Kurikata, it will be replaced by a standard Kurikata.