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mas4t0 last won the day on July 6 2020

mas4t0 had the most liked content!

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About mas4t0

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    Jo Jo Saku
  • Birthday 05/06/1991

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    Leeds, England

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    Mark H
  1. For anyone curious: It's worst when you're just above the threshold. I bought something once that was ~£16 (with a £15 threshold), the customs fees were ~£3 plus a £12 fee. That was nice.
  2. You mean the disparity in the handling fee? It depends on who handled the collection of the customs fees. It's only if customs fees are due that you're liable for a handling fee. The handling fees vary somewhat between different couriers and £8-£12 are within the range I'd expect. Was one Royal Mail and the other Parcelforce?
  3. Printed books are zero-rated for VAT. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-no-import-duties-and-vat-on-miscellaneous-documents-and-related-articles#P134_16188 Nihonto books should also meet the requirement for duty exemption:
  4. Thank you for the information Paul. Very important to know.
  5. I think that's a vital point Adam. How long we expect to stick around and continue to learn about this subject. We have the expression “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” but perhaps we should also have its inverse: “Start learning a new language or an instrument, and make small talk with a stranger, because life is long, and who knows what joy could blossom over many years’ time.” When balancing favorite experiences and new ones, nothing matters as much as the interval over which we plan to enjoy them. A sword doesn't need to be anything special to please someone who spends an hour looking around before buying and then brings it out once a decade for a few minutes to examine. But for someone who puts a few hundred hours into it, many of those pieces may become unacceptable.
  6. I think Mark that it stems from different underpinnings as to why people collect. It's not my place or anyone else's to say what anyone should collect, but I think we can make observations on what people with particular goals actually do collect and if their purchases align with their goals long term. I would guess that a part of the perceived elitism stems from the belief that this forum is devoted to collecting Nihonto. I would argue that it's actually much not inclusive than that. There are people who collect swords in general, there are people who collect military and historical artifacts, there are art collectors and there are Nihonto collectors. My belief is that most people who are true Nihonto collectors would be best served to buy papered blades which correspond well to established Japanese notions of assessment criteria. The so called 'lesser' blades are perfectly adequate for other types of collector. *By which I mean that they will likely be pleased with their purchases long term, not that they are deserving of a lesser standard.* I also believe that Paul's blade in this thread is a special example and it would require Paul's level of knowledge (which most of us here lack) to make a properly informed assessment of the piece. Hence why the post was interesting and informative. *I'm not meaning to imply any kind of heirachy of collectors, just trying to put labels on things for the sake of clarity. I would consider myself to be more of an art collector than a Nihonto collector.*
  7. I've attached a couple of excerpts from The craft of the Japanese sword by Leon Kapp. I don't agree with some of what I've quoted, but I think this might be where some of the conventional wisdom on this originates. I think that from a practical standpoint, it's purely decorative. From a materials perspective, I would expect that roughening the surface of the metal would increase the coefficient of friction between it and the wood. This would likely require surface roughening (as with sandblasting) rather then the application of a pattern, and then polishing the surface; which might actually reduce the overall friction by reducing the contact area. This would of course only be relevant where the habaki and the saya are actually in contact.
  8. I feel like the comments regarding covert networks pushing each others items is a serious allegation and it's seemingly being made without any real data or research. There's too many conspiracy theories on the off topic as is, without creating new ones about other forum members. It wouldn't take me long to go though the sale threads over a certain time period and do a factor analysis. I can do this if people are curious and it would have any worth. It would tell us immediately if it's certain sellers that gain positive comments (from certain other members), or if it's certain price ranges, eras, etc. If on the other hand, nobody cares to know what's actually happening, and would rather continue to make (as of yet) unsupported allegations against other members... If anyone is going to make an allegation against anyone else, it is their responsibility to support their claims with evidence of some kind. At the point where you overreach and go beyond what you can prove, it's slander. That's not what we're here for, and if people have problems with other members, maybe try and work it out privately?
  9. I think I understand his issue. I think the criticism is that there are listings from time to time that omit important information, and may (intentionally or otherwise) mislead a buyer. I personally don't see an issue, as generally the community will ask the relevant questions, but I can understand how a new collector without much study or guidance may not know the right questions to ask. This could maybe be helped a little by a checklist of required information.
  10. Thank you Paul and Piers. Piers, I can guarantee that you know far more about Nihonto than I do. This is a fascinating detour and I hope you don't mind the tangent Paul. I've been using both terms to express visual surface characteristics, the visible exposed layer and not as describing the metal itself beyond that. I would usually use Jihada to express the pattern we see. Jigane to express the activity we see on the surface, and Hagane/ Kawagane to express the metal itself. So in the sence of, 'the Jigane and Jihada are visible on the polished surface of the Hagane.' Would you consider the Jigane to be the visible surface or the full outer layer of the lamination?
  11. Am I mistaken in thinking that... Jihada is simply the pattern of the steel, so a blade which has been polished without heat-treat would still show clear jihada. Jigane is mostly concerned with the activity in the steel, as a result of heat-treat. So a traditionally heat treated non-Japanese monosteel shinken would still show Jigane in proper polish. I'm not sure if Jigane would also encapsulate Jihada. Kitae is the forged lamination, the structure, so would be visible if we broke the blade and polished a cross section. Those were the definitions I was working with. I'd appreciate being corrected of I'm mistaken.
  12. mas4t0

    Habaki - tosogu?

    Ford, Do you have any ideas for a true art habaki, and would you consider a commission for it if so? Or a truly full matched set, including all tosogu plus seppa and habaki? I have no idea what that might look like, but I get the feeling it could be quite special.
  13. That's amazing Matt! Thanks for sharing.
  14. Wonderful write up Ford. Thank you for sharing your insight. I feel like an organic living thing becomes perfect (or at least works towards it) by living, by growing, adapting and changing. It's developing and becoming more complete, mature and complex as time passes. In that sense, it feels as though a lot of Japanese art really is imbued with a life of its own.
  15. In England we use dodgy to mean something or someone unreliable or suspicious So in Aus would dodgy mean naff too? Also, here, 'a bit' is often a polite was of saying 'very'. ????
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