I am happy to join the NMB where Nihonto passionates meet to exchange.
As Aikido practitioner that I was for a long time, I came across the world of Nihonto in the early 1990s and this was reinforced when I acquired the beautiful book "One Hundred Masterpieces from Dr Walter Compton Collection" in 1993.
In 1996, after one year of Japanese evening class, I decided to travel 3 weeks to Japan to visit as many museums I could where swords (among others) were shown - great trip it was indeed! I came back with a few nice books from Kodansha. It was only in 2002 that I purchased my 1st katana (koto), a bit used up but I cherished it many years until 2017 where I finally started studying more seriously, as I started working for the subsidiary of a Japanese company, and finally went to the next step when I acquired a nice Shinto katana with signature. I also joined the NBTHK-EB in Germany where I live and work after having moved from France.
I got the advice to read Markus Sesko's books which really create a serious base or reference library to complete what I had. I also advise all members that have not been there yet to visit the Janssen foundation in Berlin - amazing place dedicated to samurai art : www.samurai-artmuseum.com
I have learned a lot in the past 2 years, and at every occasion, and I am discovering new things all the time (and I love it), getting slowly acquainted with different schools and smiths, etc, but I still see myself as a beginner. I will read your posts with interests, and ask questions not only about the swords themselves but about visiting places where I can see them, as I very much enjoy traveling.
Best regards to all