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About piryohae3

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    Chu Jo Saku

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  1. Can you see the details of the jigane when looking behind glass at a museum? I wonder how easy or difficult it is to see hataraki, hada, etc. when you can only see the blade head on. I imagine I'd have to do some bobbing up and down to see the subtleties.
  2. This is all I could find: https://www.touken-world.jp/modern-exbition2019/ Doesn't have any pics of the entries, unfortunately.
  3. These pics indicate that mono-steel was around koto times though I heard it's harder to make and more expensive which is why the kobuse method gained prevalence during the Sengoku Jidai when they needed to make swords ASAP. I wonder if mono-steel or kobuse is better at maintaining "must not bend, must not break, must cut well." I know there are more complicated lamination methods like soshu kitae but as far as I'm aware none have been confirmed to be made this way. I just know that kobuse is by far the most common, especially by contemporary smiths, along with some being sanmei.
  4. From Paul Martin's website: "Swordsmiths in Japan are regulated by the government. Smiths have to be licensed and are restricted to making two long swords or three shorts swords per month." I have some books that mention the sword and gun (juh-to-ho) law faces much controversy for making it too hard for them to make a living and the extreme pricing keeps potential customers away.
  5. The law limits a tosho to making 2 katanas or 3 wakizashis per month but do these restrictions apply to tanto, yari, naginata, ken, etc?
  6. It looks like fire, probably some kind of saka choji variant but it doesn't have the usual clove look. Whatever it is, I really like it and haven't seen it before.
  7. Oh wow thank you and your friend for this! Usually there are no pictures at all for the annual competition except for catalogs (which cost a lot to ship). I love that you can even see the hada in the pics. I'm surprised there were a few shinsakuto in the polishing section. Amazing!
  8. Does anyone have the results of the 2020 NBTHK competition results? I saw a post on Facebook by Akamatsu Tarou saying he got an effort award this year for what a appears to be an utsushi of the Sanchomo. Although Paul Martin said the NBSK did not host theirs this year.
  9. I found this on https://www.touken-matsumoto.jp/eng/blog/ though I don't know if this is the results for sword making or polishing.
  10. This is awesome to hear that people still commission swords as I feel that shinsakuto are greatly underappreciated by collectors due to overwhelming bias for koto swords.
  11. There are some I can think of who are as prominent as Yoshindo Yoshihara like Gassan Sadatoshi and Kawachi Kunihira though they may not be as well known outside of Japan, I'm not sure. Also it looks like Takami Kuniichi, the newest mukansa smith, is a prominent young smith with lots of potential. It's unfortunate that the sword and gun law puts such a restrictive production limit on smiths. Instead of making the limit 2 katanas *or* 3 wakizashis per month, I think changing it to 2 katanas *and* 3 wakizashis per month can really help make shinsakuto accessible to more people. Even though there's more interest among young people especially from girls due to Touken Ranbu, few of them would be able to buy nihonto, much less commission a shinsakuto. From what I've read there are 200-300 licensed smiths in Japan but only around 30 are able to make a living doing it full time with the rest either getting a second job or giving it up altogether.
  12. In the book Nagayama Kokan said that contemporary smiths can make swords that are comparable with first class shinto blades but this was written 20 years ago. If he were still alive I wonder what he'd think about current shinsakuto with the progress made by the past 20 years.
  13. I have that book too and most of the smiths seem to believe that koto-like hada comes from material. But in another thread I started, most people felt that It was all about technique. Some smiths and polishers believe that tamahagane from koto times have more impurities which creates more interesting hada and that iron sand sourced from different localities gave them unique characteristics. If this is the case then perhaps the NBTHK should "dirty up" the tamahagane they make. Again, others insist that it is technique only and not material.
  14. I'm not so sure. I read in some books about post WW2 and modern smiths and a good number of them seem to think that material is key to making koto-like swords in addition to techniques lost to time. There was mention both in the books and on NMB about how tamahagane production was centralized and is a reason why the steel in swords looked the same despite being made in different provinces because they're not using local materials so they don't have their unique characteristics like they used to. Maybe the tamahagane smiths use today is too pure. In one of my books togishi Sasaki Takushi remarked that koto steel is less pure than what's being used today so those impurities appear as complex activity in the steel.
  15. Here's one that's available https://www.a-janaika-Japan.com/order-made-Japanese-sword/the-Japanese-sword-by-swordsmith/akamatsu-taro-kanemitsu-katana.html
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