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Gakusee last won the day on August 14

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About Gakusee

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    Koto swords in order of personal preference: Bizen, Soshu, Yamashiro

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    Michael S

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  1. We seem to be conflating sword societies and paper. The original question asked about the survival of sword societies and provided a timeframe - in the near future (presumably). However, that is only an assumption, as we do not know whether paper will be phased out in the near term or medium term. Arguably, it is a moot point in the long term. Therefore, we need to go back to basics and focus on whether sword societies will survive. This is a difficult question. Theoretically, they should, as long as the hobby and collecting interests persist. However, an alternative theory is that they become much looser associations of individuals, on a much more federated (as opposed to centralised) and possibly purely, or largely, virtual basis. If people feel sword societies bring benefits (educational, emotional, etc), they should survive as the members will persevere to sustain these organisations. However, if sword societies become irrelevant (through obsolescence of ideas, education, unavailability of study materials etc), then the threat of oblivion is very real. Another stream of analysis, which posters often digress into, is how best to study - with swords in hand, electronically (photos on a website or other repository), by reading books (physical or electronic). Again, this is a different topic entirely and merits its own debate. In my view, study should be multifarious and variegated - physical, electronic, by virtue of passive information absorption (reading/listening) and active participation (kantei, debates). Once, we abstract the method of information provision and internalisation as described above, as long as sword societies provide the avenues for learning or enjoyment, I hope they will survive. As Paul has outlined regarding the U.K. and as far as I know the US NBTHK are also doing, combinations of physical meetings, electronic videoconferences, printed materials, electronic materials, debates etc energise and excite the membership and retain it. in my view, membership retention is one serious challenge. People often sign up but fall away as: personal conflicts arise, member aspirations are not met (these societies are not museums with vast collections and are not universities with dedicated teaching materials and courses; funds are not unlimited; volunteers donate their own free time for others’ benefit; societies cannot provide definitive answers members sometimes seek and definitely cannot shortcut hard work and learning) and sometimes members just join for the wrong reasons. Another challenges are the age and sex factors: middle-aged and ageing males predominate. So, we need to diversify our membership bases by being more inclusive, more pluralistic and democratic in our outreach to prospective members, more tolerant and broad in subjects we cover (tosogu, kodogu, blades, restoration etc). There is much more to say but this is such a vast topic that has often preoccupied my mind. We try to recruit and supplant membership decreases but my observations across several societies are that we are barely maintaining membership. We are not expanding or growing and we just about manage to stay at the same size. Other societies just fold and disappear.
  2. So, I think, Luis you are starting to answer your own questions: why the prices of certain items, what the valuable things were, where value lay…..as mentioned, a lot of the instances, where there was value, it was in the tosogu and koshirae and not the blades.
  3. Thank you, Mark That is very helpful and that is why I wanted to ask questions of the knowledgeable and experienced katchu collectors and users. I had never heard of that organisation before, and I now understand a bit better who they are and what they represent. In fact, I agree that slandering or degrading comments should not be posted and I had assumed the original bewildering comments were directed at me. Hence, my request for clarification of what was meant by Simon. Guido helpfully clarified by inserting a link to another social media platform. In any case, I wish to clarify that I am not intending to pass judgement or make critical remarks and apologise if my enquiry has been deemed insulting.
  4. Simon, I am sorry but your response seems rather perplexing rather than elucidating. Would you so graciously disabuse me as to who Kokusai Nihon Kachu Bugu Shinko Kyokai is? I am only familiar with the Japanese Armor Society in Japan, Nihon Katchu Bugu Kenkyu Hozon Kai (NKBKHK). If you could kindly share your perspectives on KNKBSK, I shall be grateful. If not, I shall ask Luc T as he might have a view. Curiously, several of the armours in this Bonhams sale come with attestations from KNKBSK, and the more knowledgeable katchu members here might have a view on the strength and recognition of their opinions. I am only somewhat familiar with NKBKHK, which I only recently joined (around 3-4 years ago).
  5. Does anyone know who "Kokusai Nihon Kachu Bugu Shinko Kyokai (International Society for the Promotion of Japanese Armor)" are? I have not heard of them....
  6. I think gradually the collective wisdom is crystallising the truth: in most cases the koshirae held the value in these offerings. In fact, as Bob alluded to, there were 3-4 instances where there were very valuable things to be had.
  7. Bob, it does indeed look almost identical but with some subtle differences. Clearly from the same “playbook”.
  8. Luis, those of us who bid clearly have had our thoughts about these things. Prices are indicative of people having certain expectations. There were some pieces that possibly, with the right restoration in place, could get high papers - not sure about Juyo but at least TH. The problem with all these things is that we are competing against each other, so information sharing cannot be too extensive....
  9. Brian, well done, the whole thing looks great. And the Sakura horimono is interesting and you have nice koshirae. Great
  10. Yes, a lot of unsold items from the previous few auctions
  11. In the U.K. do not forget the 5% VAT on antiques…. Search this forum more thoroughly and you will find all the answers
  12. To Geraint’s post above about item 104, I think one of the best descriptions was penned by Darcy when he described the theme here: https://yuhindo.com/goto-joshin/
  13. Gakusee

    kitsch or art?

    Unfortunately, John, in common parlance “kitsch” means garish and tasteless, excessive and ostentatious. So, kitsch might be collectible, but it does not make it tasteful or elegant. Now, of course, we are entering the realm of personal preferences and tastes. There is not winning in that morass Sometimes, I like a bit of kitsch too, so perhaps I am a culprit too. Overall, I try to steer clear.
  14. Can we pause here for a bit please. Could someone juxtapose the before and after photos so that we can ensure it is the same sword? It does take a looot of polishes to remove hi. Even Koto swords with polished down hi normally have remnants of the hi remaining in the ji
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