The Shinsakuto Katana is an incredibly powerful melee weapon with long reach and surprisingly high conceal-ability, but suffers from an extremely slow charge rate. It boasts one of the highest maximum charge attack damage along with the Great Sword (450, without skills) and can output the most damage at 140 DPS, beating The Motherforkers' previous 133.33 DPS, making it the most powerful melee weapon in the game in terms of damage output.
The Shinsakuto Katana possesses the unique ability to decapitate or bisect Cloakers, though only when wielded by Jiro. This can only occur if it is charged for more than 2 seconds, and the attack must be a killing blow. It does not function in combination with the Counter-Strike skill.
If a player wishes for more knockdown, use Martial Arts Aced.
Given the weapon's extremely long charge time, it is not recommended to attempt to use its charge attack against an incoming cloaker if Counter-Strike is not taken and aced. Use it only against Cloakers you are sure you can ambush and strike before they are able to kick you first.
Because of the way that charge attacks work, charging the weapon partially will result in a respective increase in the damage dealt. For this reason it is very effective to charge this weapon before an attack. Even if it is for only a brief 1-second or less the corresponding damage output will be noticeable because of the Shinsakuto Katana's extremely high base charge damage.
The Shinsakuto Katana is highly recommended if you choose to use some of the more ammo-constrictive weapons (Such as the Flamethrower, the HRL-7, or any of the Bows or Grenade-Launchers) as under certain conditions it will allow you to remain effective in combat (such as if you suddenly needed to reload while enemies were close by) or to conserve your ammo by using it to dispatch weaker or damaged enemies, or enemies that are by themselves and would be a waste of a high-damage area-effect weapon.
The term "Shinsakuto" is used to refer to all nihontō made post-1953. This effectively makes the name of the weapon mean "new sword" in Japanese, which is appropriate considering its alleged mint condition.
Despite this, the in-game weapon visually resembles an older design known as the uchigatana instead, as evident by its moderate-length curved tsuka (hilt) that was designed for rapid unsheathing of the blade and swift follow-up strikes.
What seems to be a Starbreeze Studios logo can be seen on both sides of the sword's fuchi (the lower band immediately underneath the guard).
Despite being seen wielded single-handedly by Jiro in the Yakuza Character Pack trailer, the in-game Katana is a two-handed weapon.