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Chicago Shinsa - Process?


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#1 Mark S.

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:48 AM

I apologize if this has been asked before, but I would like to submit a blade (my first shinsa ever) at the Chicago Show in April. I live locally, so will be able to attend in-person and submit the blade. For those who have been through the process, can you give a few pointers and a quick rundown of the process?

Main questions:
1) When reserving a 'time slot', is that the rough time the blade should be dropped off, or when it will be judged by the Shinsa team, or when it will be available for pick up after having been reviewed by the team?
2) If the time slot is not the time the blade should be dropped off, how soon before the time slot must the blade be presented?
3) How soon after blade is judged can it be picked up?
4) Any other advice?

Thank you in advance,
Mark

#2 Stephen

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:57 AM

Time slot is when you drop it off.
It can run a hour or sooner.
If you go look at tables you'll forget about time.
Good luck on your entry!

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#3 seattle1

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:50 PM

Hello:
Chris Bowen will tell you when to show up with the blade, they usually are running slightly late, but be on time. The time from intake to you being able to come back and pick it up runs about an hour as the blade must be physically documented, seen by a judge, notes made, and if passed photographed. You will probably be asked to present it in a paper saya wrap, habaki not included, and by all means have no oil on the blade. Things usually go very smoothly. When you get your walk out worksheet copy it will have remarks in Japanese however the key info of smith, date, etc. will probably be noted in English or you can ask that it be indicated. Final payment if it passes in cash.
Good luck.
Arnold
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#4 Stephen

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 03:36 PM

Thanks for full process Arnie, my post was at midnight for hourly WC call. 


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#5 Mark S.

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:19 PM

Appreciate it. So if I am planning to attend most of the day on Saturday (I roam for HOURS), I just need to try to schedule a time slot when I will have plenty of time on both ends (drop off and pick up). Should I really stick to that time, or is early drop off acceptable/proper? Want to 'respect the process' while still being safe. I'm sure Mr Bowen gets deluged with this same question, so just trying to educate myself beforehand.
Thank you again,
Mark

#6 Mark

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:39 PM

Mark

 

best to drop it off at the assigned time. that helps the shinsa team keep on schedule. When you drop it off ask when it will be ready, they will give you an idea, i usually come back after they say as it usually takes longer.


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#7 Millsman

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 04:18 PM

Curious about value of shinsa documentation. I am unable to attend so will have to have someone act on my behalf to submit. As there is a fair amount of work on their part their fee will add substantially to the cost. So my question is, to what extent do shinsa papers add to the value of the sword, in particular when both mei and date are unquestionably valid? Any thoughts or comments welcome. Thanks in advance.


George M

#8 seattle1

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 04:48 PM

Hello:

 That is the classic question and there is no absolute answer either from the point of view of full appreciation of the blade or of economic value as there are so many variables at play. The term "unquestionably valid" only begs the question of in whose eyes. Even the greatest experts can reasonably argue about the validity of a mei. If your library is large enough you will find many illustrations of side by side mei, one declared right and the other wrong, and the most minute of differences distinguishing one from the other.

 If there is one rule of thumb, in my opinion it would be that the importance of expert documentation, origami and/or sayagaki, is directly proportional to the rating of the smith. If money is no object most collectors would doubtless prefer all of their blades to be papered I would guess. To carry it to the extreme there is nothing more satisfying than to have multiple origami and sayagaki all in agreement on the same blade!

 Arnold F.



#9 raymondsinger

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 07:16 PM

There is a mail in service for $100 per item. Unsure how much it is costing to have someone carry the blade in for you, but there may be some savings using their mail in service.

http://www.chicagosw...sa-information/

#10 NihontoCollector

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 08:25 PM

Curious about value of shinsa documentation. I am unable to attend so will have to have someone act on my behalf to submit. As there is a fair amount of work on their part their fee will add substantially to the cost. So my question is, to what extent do shinsa papers add to the value of the sword, in particular when both mei and date are unquestionably valid? Any thoughts or comments welcome. Thanks in advance.

 

 

This can not be answered. For example a pink paper won't add to a blades value at all but hurt your wallet. Papering a 50 USD Tsuba will add 0.00 to teh Tsuba vaklue but again hurt your value ... having some nice Mumei blade paper to Masamune or Kyomara will maybe add some hundredthousand dollars to your bank account.

 

So again there is no serious way to answer your question. Papering anything bwlow USD 1500 in value probably make little to no sense ...whaty ou paper needs to raise atleast USD 300 - 400 in value afterwards. The NTHK Shinsa is probably best to confirm signatures.


Luis


#11 Mark S.

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 12:36 AM

I guess another way to look at it is, is it worth $275 minimum to you (and only you) to get an expert opinion of your blade or signature whether it adds value or not?

Once again, no one can answer this for you. You just have to decide if the financial gamble is worth it, or if the 'expert education' you will receive of your item is worth the fee.

#12 Wayben

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 07:09 PM

I'm new to submitting for Shinsa, this will be my first.  When will we find out our time slot?  Is that sent out ahead of time or the day of the show?

Thanks.


Wayne B.

#13 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 08:30 PM

Contact Chris. I’m not sure when he’ll be done slotting times, but he is the guy to ask
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#14 Wayben

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 11:23 PM

Thanks Joe!!


Wayne B.

#15 kissakai

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 10:27 AM

I agree with Arnold that we would like everything papered but the cost would be to prohibitive 

I have 5 tsuba in for shinsa as I'm unsure of the school but with papers as a known standard (hopefully - everyone can make mistakes) it gives me a known reference point that I can compare against my other tsuba

So for me shinsa gives me a point of reference


Grev UK


#16 seattle1

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 03:09 PM

Hello:
I was told by Chris Bowen that he has just mailed out information for folks with shinsa slots that will help with their preparation for the shinsa.
Arnold F.
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#17 Mark S.

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 08:36 AM

My letter arrived today.

Mark S.

#18 Stephen

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 01:31 PM

May all your papers be good papers, with no pink in sight! Have fun guys, bar winning the lotto another one is going to pass. :sad:


                        Stephen C.

               USMC DEC 63 APR 73                                                

          "Alas,  Everyday i know less"


#19 Wayben

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:22 PM

I received my letter yesterday.  Only two weeks away!!


Wayne B.

#20 Fred Geyer

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 03:25 AM

All,

 

Really looking forward to seeing everyone at the show, I need everyone to save and bring lots of $ to the show I will be bringing a lot of great stuff to really advance your collection and study to the next level be it sword or tsuba.... hozon to juyo .......out comes 30 years of really great stuff !! Why you ask...just shuffling the deck so to speak....... so please stop at my tables and lets talk !    

 

Fred 


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#21 b.hennick

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 03:44 AM

See you there Fred!
Regards,
Barry Hennick

#22 Millsman

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:31 PM

Curious about value of shinsa documentation. I am unable to attend so will have to have someone act on my behalf to submit. As there is a fair amount of work on their part their fee will add substantially to the cost. So my question is, to what extent do shinsa papers add to the value of the sword, in particular when both mei and date are unquestionably valid? Any thoughts or comments welcome. Thanks in advance.

OK my sword went off to the shinsa. Was very pleased to get a positive reception. However all I can base that on is the 75 point score awarded as my Japanese is non existent. If someone would be kind enough to take the time to translate I would be most appreciative. 

 

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George M

#23 Vermithrax16

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 02:34 AM

Hello George M, fellow Bostonian here!


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#24 Mark S.

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 02:43 PM

So... while we wait for the Shinsa paperwork to arrive in the mail from Japan... can anyone describe what the process looks like once the judging team arrives back in Japan? Is it simply a matter of transcribing the judgment score sheets or do the judges reassemble to discuss items, confirm information such as smith dates, etc.?

Also, I would assume there is a catalog process for all the items they judge. How do they catalog the information they collect? Simply by year of Shinsa, by smith, other? Any idea on numbers of items catalogued by the different organizations?

Thanks,
Mark S.

#25 seattle1

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:11 PM

Hello Mark:

 You would have to ask Chris Bowen about the process once back in Japan. There might be some mei about which further study might lead them to add an explanatory observation about a generation or some such, but the out come for the paper is pretty well determined once it has left the judges' hands in Chicago. It is then  a matter of making notations on the origami issued to you which will carry a unique number for the item, a photograph and various stamps. For a visual example see: https://.japaneseswo...om/origami.htlm   

Arnold F.



#26 Stephen

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:56 PM

http://www.japaneses...com/origami.htm

 

see if this works


                        Stephen C.

               USMC DEC 63 APR 73                                                

          "Alas,  Everyday i know less"


#27 seattle1

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 04:00 PM

Thanks Stephen - it does.

 Arnold F.



#28 DavidF

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 04:33 AM

Curious about value of shinsa documentation. I am unable to attend so will have to have someone act on my behalf to submit. As there is a fair amount of work on their part their fee will add substantially to the cost. So my question is, to what extent do shinsa papers add to the value of the sword, in particular when both mei and date are unquestionably valid? Any thoughts or comments welcome. Thanks in advance.

 

Hello George,

 

I might have some thoughts on the value of shinsa documentation.  The value of shinsa documentation as you have already probably discovered is worth very little on its own.  In your case, you have a gorgeous quality blade in polish with a clear signature.  If you paid a fair price for the blade, it probably won't add much to the value to blade.  The value of a sword is ultimately based upon the sword itself, although the NTHK papers are based upon the relative quality of the item.  So, the grading sheet can give you a third-party expert opinion as to the quality of the blade.

But there is one notable exception.  If you have a sword that is out of polish, has crap fittings, that you picked up for a song, and you take it to, say for example, the Chicago sword show and everyone laughs at you and tells you to not get your hopes up, but you did your reading and you did your research and you really believe in your blade.  And you put it through the shinsa and it scores, say for example, 77 points, and people stop laughing at you and your rather hapless blade.  The shinsa is so worth it.  :laughing:   Not that anything remotely like this has ever happened to me.   ;-)  

Actually, I find that the best part of the shinsa is the grading sheets.  Ideally, you should know as much about your blade as the grader, but the fact is that they have spent a lot more time looking as blades.  They have an eye that can see things that you wouldn't otherwise notice.  And even years later, I occasionally go through my grading sheets and learn new things about my nihonto.  What I learn about my nihonto makes the shinsa worth it for me.

 

David.


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David F.

 

"He said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.'" (Luke 22:36).





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