This mythical sword with non-melting abilities will kill your thirst and replenish your spirit

Japan is a country forged on tradition, and one of those traditions is the art of making swords. While the people of today don’t have much practical use for the sharp-edged katana blades of yore, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a great demand for them, particularly in the city of Seki, in Gifu Prefecture, which is renowned for its sword-making history.

Blades have been manufactured in Seki since the 13th century, and the town is so famous for its craft they have a Hamono Festival dedicated to edged tools every October. The skill of the master Japanese swordsmith remains strong here, and during a recent trip to the area, we were told about a legendary modern-day sword that was crafted by a 26th-generation craftsman. Locals promised us it would be a sword like no other we’ve ever seen, and they were happy to give us directions to the place where it could be found.

▼ The mysterious sword was housed here, inside a Seki Milk store.

Milk shops aren’t usually known for housing sword collections, but dutifully following the instructions we’d been given, we headed inside and asked the owner if they had a sword created by a master craftsman. They immediately knew what we were talking about, and after reaching into their freezer, they handed us this.

▼ The legendary sword was actually an icy sweet called “Katana Ice“.

Crafted under supervision from 26th-generation swordsmith Kanefusa Fujiwara, who belongs to a 600-year-plus lineage of Japanese swordsmiths, this is no ordinary ice cream. Not only has it been styled to perfectly resemble a genuine katana sword, the blade itself is resistant to heat, meaning it won’t melt, even on the hottest of summer days.

There were three flavours on offer when we visited – natsu mikan, mixed berries, and Seki Coffee – but we chose to go with the natsu mikan, or “summer mikan”, a bitter mandarin that we hoped would give us a flavour as sharp as a Japanese sword.

We took our sword out onto the street and held it aloft at the sun’s rays at 4:50 in the afternoon. It was a hot August day, and even though it was getting late, the temperature was a stifling 35.4 degrees Celsius (95.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

▼ After one minute, not much had changed.

After two minutes inside its bag in the sun, the sword remained firmly intact, holding up strong against the heat.

After three minutes, we took it out of the bag to inspect its condition, and, amazingly, it was still hard as steel!

We were beginning to sweat at that point, and it was becoming harder for us to resist devouring the katana in the summer heat. We persisted for another couple of minutes, and at the five-minute mark, we still couldn’t see the blade releasing a drip of moisture.

▼ A truly legendary sword crafted by a legendary craftsman.

Looking at the packaging, we found the reason for the blade’s impressive unmeltability. It had been crafted with kuzu, (written on the packaging as “kudzu”), a traditional starch extracted from the roots of the kuzu plant. The kuzu plant is native to Japan and China, where it’s prized for its medicinal properties, and often used in confectionery as a jelling agent.

The idea for the melt-resistant Katana Ice was actually born from the mind of a local high school student, with the frozen confection becoming a new signature product for the town, sold in long-established stores in and around the area.

While its non-melting abilities could’ve held up against the summer heat much longer, we were ready for a taste, so we put the blade in our mouth and took a taste. It was sharp, bold and, most importantly, delicious! Plus, the tsuba, or guard, was a chocolate-coated soft cookie that added even more flavour to the iced confection.

The kuzu starch gave the sweet an interesting, elastic texture that was surprising at first, but it soon became quickly addictive. The inside of the blade was more frozen than the outer layer as well, which added more textural layers to create a really premium product.

The Katana Ice is a tasty treat that’s well worth trying, and at 1,000 yen (US$9.45) a pop, it’s a much more affordable alternative to other sword-themed souvenirs like these Evangelion sword dolls.

Store information
Seki Milk / 関牛乳 株式会社
Address: Gifu-ken, Seki-shi, Kannonmae 41
Hours: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (weekdays); 9:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (weekends and public holidays)
Katana Ice website
Katana Ice Stockist List

Photos ©SoraNews24
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