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ken kata

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Posts posted by ken kata

  1. On 11/4/2021 at 12:49 PM, Surfson said:

    Was that polished by Brian Shimizu?

    Hello Robert,  :)

    Did you mean Byron Shimizu?

    I don't know him personally, but, I do remember that name.

    This is from Robert Benson's Website..

    It is on Robert's "ABOUT US " page. 






    Byron Shimizu
      My first apprentice was Ralph Oquendo in the early 80's. While he was here  in Hawaii, he studied kendo where Byron Shimizu was also a kendo student. Byron Shimizu watched Ralph and I work for several years and in 1985 I agreed to take him on as an apprentice. Byron's ability increased to being confident in  handling of Juyo Token class. He distinguished himself by the mid-90's  of easily polishing blades that would be submitted for the Juyo Token shinsa.  For numerous years the three of us, Woodrow, Byron and myself  worked in the togi heya on the large togidai polishing. It was in this daily work schedule  that Woodrow advanced to being a far above average  polisher. His ability can be directly attributed to Byron Shimizu as the two would work side by side  for long hours and Byron would give him guidance. The two of them experimented with how to best use hatsuya, jitsuya and  different nugui on all periods and schools. I am confident in saying that these two have shown that they are well qualified in the true Honami style of polishing.
     Mike Christianson, John Brostowictz , Robert Tanner  are some of the other  devotees who have dedicated  the time to study the art of polishing. 


  2. Hi John,

    Thanks for the suggestion.. 

    I was doing "search Feature"  and re reading the older post about US Shirasaya makers, and, was in the "Internet" searching for John Tirado contact info again...

    There are other forums that have post for guys wanting Shirasayas.

    The sayashi.com  page is gone.. 


    In hindsight , 10 - 15 years ago, the profession of Shirasaya making should have been on that High School 

     " List of professions / Jobs that was going to be in demand in the next decades ".


    Added to replies below : 


    Thanks Ray and Barry.

    I did not want to bump this post , so, I hope you guys see this .. 








  3. Hello Ray,

    Thank you for your experience / acknowledgement of possible damage.


    I got two blades in Shin-Gunto scabbards ( Mounts). 

    The Blade with the leather covered Scabbard  one seems to be " O.K." , sliding out smooth,


    the other,  Brown  "Metal" Scabbard seems to have caused scratches ( already there on the blade when bought) along the blade .

    That is the Blade I worry about.


    On the other hand, I wanted to get the Blade in the Leather Scabbard into a Shirasaya first..


    I have been searching for contact info. for a USA Shirasaya maker, but, I can not seem to find their e-mail,

    or, my computer takes me to a sign-in page for " Messenger "..

    I do not have a phone or Facebook either.

    I do want to ask/inquire/start the process,  about getting at least one blade into a Shirasaya now..

    I do understand that there must be a waiting list..

    If you can, please help me..

    Thank you.. 


    Thanks for viewing..


  4. Hello Guys/Forum..


    I have been looking around , but,  I can't  find information about the Preservation Qualities, or, how safe are the Military type Scabbards for Nihonto Blades.


    What are your thoughts on  Nihonto that was mounted into Military Type Scabbards, do you guys find the need to get the Blades into a Shirasaya, or, how do you feel about leaving Nihonto Blades in the Military Mountings / Scabbards? 


    As a preventative/responsibility **  move more than a "personal / affordable decision?"


    Thanks for viewing..



    **  A quote I heard on the  Discovery Channel's   ARTIFACTS : The Soul of the Samurai" 


      "The value of a Sword is far greater that it's material worth.

    It is a repository of history.

    It's owner, a temporary guardian of the sprits of the past honors, thus,

    obligated to cherish, respect and maintain it for future generations,

    so it can pass on to them the sprit it embodies " 

                                                                                    -  Dr. Kevin-John McIntyre




    • Like 1
  5. Hello Mark,

    Thanks for showing us this book. 

    I just found / bought one in "like New" condition for 15 dollars .  :thumbsup:

    I did not think of a book of "commentary" for this samurai classic.


    Had one copy there that was in "acceptable condition " for little over 8 dollars . 


    There is so much to learn/gain in these commentaries.

    On DVD Videos, THE CRITERION COLLECTION 's Seven Samurai ( and many other Kurosawa movies) has audio commentary, too... , and, are quite informative and is time well spent.

    Amazing details can be learned.



    Thanks for posting... 

    Edited/Added on 9/10/21 -

    Did you know, even though Akira Kurosawa had Toshio Mifune at TOHO Studios,

    Akira Kurosawa  never made a  " Miyamoto Musashi " Movie.

    It was Hiroshi Inagaki that made the movie ( Trilogy )  based on Eiji Yoshikawa's novel "Musashi".  Just a trivia about Kurosawa.







    • Like 1
  6. Thank you for posting Steve. :)

    You're such a helpful guy.. :thumbsup:


    I can "see" the dilemmas  when looking to obtain/renewal an old blade.

    The risk maybe costly, rewards may be wonderful. 


    I was thinking, it might be better to just buy  a Blade that's polished, in a shirasaya and has Origaml.


    Since I'm here.. :) Polishing Trivia

    I was reading

    "THE ART OF Japanese SWORD POLISHING" ( Taikaiwa,Yoshihara, Kapp)

    Chapter 4 - History of Polishing -

    Had this.... 

    Blades excavated in the 6th century and 7oo's had some preserved sections that has a polish similar to the Nagura stone,

    which was said to often " bring out most of the details of the Hamon".


    Thanks for viewing..

    Alton :)




    • Thanks 1
  7. Hello forum/Guys..

    1st. - I did not want to bother any Togishi with this question, because they are busy Polishing/working , and they must have many important e-mails / messages to reply/answer.


    I was wondering...

    If there is a blade that people might want a small section polished, ( Window ) to see " what the blade has/shows " 

    What if , or can we,  ask  for the Kissaski is Polished, to see the Boshi 1st? 

    I remember Steward Ueno. said , the Boshi can be unique, showing the Swordsmith's or School's traits..

    If so, isn't that want the window was trying to do? 


    1)  I don't know if it is a "cost" factor, as, many be a window is cheaper to do?

    Or, any other reasons, like the finished Kissaski might get scratched if the rest of the Blade is "worked on/polished " later.


    2)   Another thing is, if there is a window made, and the blade is not worth polishing:

      Would the blade look odd with a polished section?

      And, would it be more acceptable and still look O.K. if  just the Kissaki was polished and the rest of the Blade was not?


    Here's the link to the video. The whole series is time well spent. :thumbs:

    "Beauty of the Blade" - Episode  2

    6:40 timeline into the Video:




    • Like 1
  8. 13 hours ago, Rich S said:



    Have you looked carefully at the very end of the nakago to see if you can see any indication that it was actually folded over not just inlayed?

    If you can see actually see a fold, I would doubt gimei; if not ??



    I am not a knowledgeable Nihonto person..


    I did watch this part  of a good Nihonto Lecture about what I think Rich is mentioning. 

    Just trying to help..


    6:54 Time Line ...  into the video :    Added 9/2/21 : 4:45 timeline. Sorry :)



    • Like 3
  9. Hello,

    Hi John,

    Thanks again. 

    For me, this thread had many post that lead to lot of readings that seem to connect,

    and form part of the Nihonto world (Blade history and smiths). I enjoyed the articles. Time well spent.

    Also, the worn/tired low cost Swords I have must be one of the many made throughout the times.

    There was more Kanesada Schools/smiths, too.

    Hachiya Kanesada, many Seuseki and Ganmaku School students that many have been Kanesada.. 


    I was going to try to get the blade "re polished" and into a shirasaya , but,  ....  :cry:

    I do have other blades to look up and read/learn more.

    This post is over..


    Thanks all .  :)


    Added :  Ohtani Hits 41st Homerun .. :thumbs:




    • Like 1
  10. " Life is a Fractal"  - Alton :)

    When I saw "Parallel  Universe ", in his post,  it made me think Chris H had Star Wars in mind.. 


     ' Some of it lives on in Hizen in a parallel universe. "   - STAR WARS Episode IV : A NEW HOPE


     " Smashes the right tail of the distribution of geniuses ,

    which would have turned grand-masters. "  - STAR WARS Episode V : THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK


    Suishinshi Masahida Revival  -  STAR WARS Episode V! : THE RETURN OF THE JEDI 

  11. Hello Forum/Guys.

    John and Michael  , again, thanks  ..


    About the 1591 Yoshii Flood. I did not know the details . Thanks for the link.. 

    The flood maps in that link, are known as Flood Inundation Maps.


    Your 2nd paragraph,  Satsuma Grand  Kei chi Sugata.  Kiechi, in 1596 / deep Sori? I was searching for that part.


    Paragrph 3 was for this  ' Some of it lives on in Hizen in a parallel universe. ".. 

     " As regards shinto Hizen swords, the core style of the founder of the school, Tadayoshi, was aimed at reproducing the works of the Rai school from the late kamakura and early nanbokucho period and this influenced the works of the later smiths. Swords with elegant sugata, suguba hamon and finely forged ko itame ( konuka hada as it became known ) predominate. "

    Enjoyable post. The attention to detail for your kind of explanation really does paint a better picture.


    and Thanks Michael.. You guys " Point the Way "..

    I read that there was no record for the 5th to the 8th Generation .

    And , there was Kazu uchi mono, made/imported  in the "Millions"?

    The hamon saved me? :)



    Alton :)

    Kissaki 1.jpg

    Kissaki 2.jpg

  12. Hello :),

    Thank you Michael. 

    I got Yuri's book on order / in transit. I have the Blue "Connoisseur's' Book and the Red Book  ( Facts and Fundamentals).

    Just received both books,  "THE ART OF"  Polishing and Japanese Swords .. Kapp/Yoshihara versions

    Markus books in transit.  :wow: $$$..

    I got  Ian B. and Clive Sinclaire books.

    I got a J. Yumoto book, and, it is signed. Y. Kubo / P. Martin Book (signed too ) 

    I do read a lot, but, poor Random Access Memory.. :)

    Not to be or sound arrogant, but reading is passive memory. (No to sound negative, as, it is very important)

    I do notice, a lot of times, you guys explain something and I remember reading/seeing  it and now it all falls into place.

    ( Most times...) 

    Recognition and Recall..  Active part of Memorization?  :)


    John,  Thanks for the good reading /post.

    Lots of the asking , could be related to the things I am going through with this Kanesada Blade I have and am "Going over".

    It seems to be Gimei, now.

    At first, I thought it was a type of Sanbon-sugi, but, I read about Gunome with Togari-ba. no photos to compare mine to.

    then, I read about Gunome-Madare swings on Notare line and has Togari.


    Sugata / Sori looks to be Tensho, but, could be Tenna .

    Blade seems Mino, but, could be Nara mono from Osafune.. 

    Or, Satsuma Shinto smiths started by Ujifusa of Mino. The Tograi lead me to Satsuma.


    If the blade is Kanesada..

    Akasaka Ju Kanesada, Aizu Kanesada in Iwashita, Izumi no Kami Kanesada ( Name change from Kanemoto)

    None of their Mei matches the mei on the Blade I have. 


    Thanks for viewing guys,

    Alton :)



    Kanesda  Mei.jpg

    Hamon 4.jpg

  13. Thanks Alex, :)


    I forgot to mention, it was mainly questions  #'s  1,  2 , 5, 6 and 7.

    Like question #2,   ' Some of it lives on in Hizen in a parallel universe. "

    Question #5 had, " smashes the right tail of the distribution of geniuses which would have turned grand-masters. "

    Question #6,  Suishinshi Masahida Revival ?  Search feature gave me this link: 



    Question 7    Was it a Split the Kabuto Test? 


    Question 8   I saw  "Amadeus" .. :)






  14. Good Morning to you  all...  from a quiet, peaceful Sunday Morning in Hawaii  :)


    I was reading one of my favorite Thread on NMB" ,  "What Makes Koto Swords So Desirable"  , and,

     Chris H. posted these interesting " Tongue and Cheek " nuggets :)  ( Thanks Chris) 

    Being ignorant,  ( rather than being  arrogant ) for my level of Nihonto knowledge,  I thought it was humorous  .

    But,  " My ignorance caused me problems, again      " ...

    May I please ask...

    Can someone tell the history/facts of each of these " Nuggets " ?


    Some nuggets: 

    1. Late Muromachi, Seki methods spread and dominate during Shinto times, leading to loss of school-level variations. 
    2. Brief Momoyama effort to resurrect the old methods, fades quickly. Some of it lives on in Hizen in a parallel universe. 
    3. Shinto peace times reinforce the non-utilitarian aspect of swords, craft is driven by fades and fashions which are disconnected from function. 
    4. Centralized Tamahagane production leads to loss of regional specificity in iron
    5. Reduction in demand for swords during Shinto times leads smashes the right tail of the distribution of geniuses which would have turned grand-masters. 
    6. Shinshinto Masahide revival starts from scratch after observations that swords are no longer functional. 
    7. Two generation, destruction test on Naotane swords reveal that the Masahide school wasn't successful in returning functionality.  
    8. Mozart Kyomaro manages to reproduce some of the beauty of old Koto but then dies young and full of debt.
    9. Sword ban strangulates the craft even further...
    10. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
    • Thanks 1
  15. On 8/19/2021 at 1:12 AM, Brian said:

    Ooh...I think there are some nice themes coming up. Just spent about $150 on new themes and software, without the bill from the guy who did it. :(
    But I think it will be worth it. Loving the look of some of the paid themes. I'll activate them once I finish fiddling. Some themes may be only for Gold Members...I need to start making that a more attractive option. I'll update with new features as I come across them.

    Hello Brian,

    Small donation sent. :)

    Do not credit me and, nether, do  I expect any thing.

    It's just to give something back and help the expenses. 


    If anything.....

     give credit, thanks,  and accolades all the guys that help me, the forum and members ,

    and , LOL :) , put up with me.


    For the amount of Nihonto information, comradery, time well spent, and learning experiences ,

    it's a small 'Price to pay".. :)


    Thank You Brian and Richard (?) ( the other gentleman that helps) 


    Alton  :)


    • Like 1
  16. Hello Guys, :)

    L.A. ANGEL'S Shohei Ohtani is Pitching today in Detroit  , 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time.


    So, I got time for Nihonto this morning. . :laughing:

    I know I am not up to the level of the other members posting here, but, I am interested in Dwain's blade and the Kantei.


    Not to Highjack this Post, but, that " Sanbonsugi" that  Austin mentioned , and Dwain's Blade photos  caught my attention.

    Just before I was fussing around my Shimada Blade, I was looking at my "Kanesada"  Wakizashi.

    I  too, can up with that "Shubonsugi" , and, it looks similar to Dwain's Hamon.

    Also, I too, can up with Mino , but,  Aizu Kanesada , Oshu District?

    I think I bought my blade as a Koto Bade. 

    Polish was rough and looked like rust started to show over the surfaces. and, Kanesada mei might be a gimie.

    I did not post , as, I wanted to Ask Bob Benson about the Blade first.


    Alton < Enthusiast Level  < Japanese call this " Gasa Gasa  " ? :o



  17. Hello Ron,

    Nice to meet you. :)

    As we say in Hawaii.. "Aloha". :)

     I'm Alton T. :) 

    Ken Hawaii is one of our top leaders, an  Ambassador and spokesperson  of Nihonto in Hawaii.

    I'm just a Nihonto Enthusiast.. 

    There's Steve Shimanek, Screen name SAS  here too.  :)


    There is the Japanese Sword Society of Hawaii. ( JSSH ) 


    Had this posted there:

    "Japanese Sword Society of Hawaii monthly meetings postponed indefinitely due to Covid ... online postings and information will continue."

    They usually meet on the 1st Sunday of each month. One of the members is a Nihonto dealer Steve S.. He had lots of items.


    There is only people on Craigslist that buy/sell Nihonto. I think Hawaii is too expensive to operate /have a store front.

    https://honolulu.craigslist.org/d/for-sale/search/oah/sss?query=Japanese swords&sort=rel


    As for me. I only got Dagashi . ( Worn/Tired Blades ) The only kind I can afford. :doh:


    Robert "Bob"  Benson just came back from San Francisco, I was in contact with him before he left.

    I thought I'd let him rest the week before I contacted him again..


    Bob at Facebook :


    If you scroll down , you can see the photo of Woody Hall, Togishi . 


    Robin Buntin and Family -They were at the 2012 JSSH Sword show too.


    Not sure if they have Nihonto. Their son is an Iado swordsman and might have swords.

    He did a demo with his fellow swordsmen at the JSSH Show in 2012.



    Not sure if they have swords.. 


    I do not drive, or, own a phone.

    I'm old and I just watch my Mother. 

    Sorry, I am useless. 

    Alton :)




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