This pristine white katana replicates the Sode no Shirayuki magical weapon borne by Rukia Kuchiki of the Japanese manga Bleach. The physical form of her potent sword is a normal katana with a hilt colored brownish-red, but the shikai or second stage weapon is a lustrous, pure white.
This Rukia sword strives to reproduce the shikai stage of the weapon, created when the owner utters a magical battle cry. The shikai form — a pure white katana with white ribbon tassel — becomes capable of much more than its ordinary counterpart. The tsuba or blade guard shifts to a simple white snowflake pattern within a hollowed circle, and the pure white weapon grants Rukia the elemental powers of ice and snow. Transformation of the blade is accompanied by a blast of cold wind.
This 42-inch-long replica katana features a full tang blade with 26-inch-long single cutting edge of 440 high carbon stainless steel. Half the length of the white grip is covered by a traditionally styled woven white ito. The scabbard and sageo also mimic a traditional Japanese design, but using pure white materials. The white satin ribbon, which sprouts from the kashira or butt-cap of the handle during transformation, measures four feet in length.
Called Sode no Shirayuki or “sleeved white snow” in the story, this shikai weapon is considered one of the most beautiful in the complex saga of the spiritual war between the Soul Reapers and the Hollows. Each important character in the story possesses a weapon with three potential forms — one physical; a second which forms in response to a battle cry or shikai; and a third which only manifests to individuals with advanced abilities.
See the Kisuke Urahara Katana for another example of the weaponry of Bleach.
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