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TheBigAL

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TheBigAL last won the day on September 29 2020

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    AL Lee

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  1. Hello! Chifan, I have been hoping to find a chance to get to know you. We are both Kojima-san's friends/customers. Here are the photos of my sword made by Kojima-san that also has Yaki-Otoshi. It seems like it is not uncommon for Kojima-san to make swords with Yaki-Otoshi since one of your swords made by him also has Yaki-Otoshi. By the way, Chifan, this sword of mine in the photo is the sword that has the Shingane that one of your students held in a group photo that you and your students got at Kojima-san's forge during the summer of 2019. 😆 http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/US1.html Best Regards, AL
  2. I agree with Michael 100%. Shinsakuto can be used in sword appreciation and martial art training or combat (but yea, gun is more effective to kill your enemy in combat and hopefully we never have to confront any life and death combat during our life) while antique swords (mainly swords made before the Showa era or swords made by swordsmiths who have deceased) should only be preserved for sword appreciation and be regarded as important artworks and historical artifacts. It is actually good for modern swordsmiths to continue to make Nihontos for martial art practice. The customers who seriously practice martial art can give the swordsmiths valuable feedback to ensure newly made Nihontos are still practical for combat. If modern swordsmiths stop making Nihonto for martial art training/combat, they would focus too much on making "fancy" art swords and forget the practical elements of the sword (for example, general shape of the sword, balance of the sword, weight, curvature, and the balance between sharpness and durability). If the swordsmiths of the current generation and the following generation stop to make practical Nihonto, the true art of Nihonto craftsmanship would be lost and the future Shinsakuto could only be considered as "sword-like artwork". But on the other hand, JP's concern is understandable. It is always sad when swords are damaged during martial art practice. For example, a sword could be bent during a failed tameshigiri practice. This kind of incidents should always be avoided. And that is why, in martial art training, Shinsakuto should only be used by serious and experienced martial art practitioners who have the right and mature knowledge about how to take care of their swords. And of course, martial art practitioners should always be careful not to hurt themselves. All of these being said, please enjoy watching this video about Yoshindo Yoshihara made a sword for a martial art master to test the sword's strength when dealing with a Japanese helmet:
  3. Sorry for the late reply. I was off in the past two weeks... If EMS is available, it is always the best option in my opinion. As for your second question, whether surface mail is safer or less safe comparing to air mail/EMS, it is hard to say. At least for my own experience, I have safely received my sword from Japan last month through surface mail. It took three months for me. So the waiting is super painful. The swordsmith who made my sword also sent other swords to other customers in the US. And all the swords he sent through surface mail have been delivered.
  4. wow! That's an amazing stand with incredible decoration. 98,000 Japanese Yen for the final price though. Auction for it has ended with zero bidding. 😂
  5. 鐔tsuba 無銘unsigned 奈良Nara 寿long lived 老人elder 図picture But since 壽老人 usually refers to one of the Japanese blessing God for long life, using the direct Japanese pronunciation in English as a noun is good. So, "a picture of Juroujin" for 寿老人図. 素銅槌目地 means the general material of the tsuba is Shakudo and the surface is hammered. 長丸形 long circle shape 薄thin 肉 flesh/meat 彫carving/engraviation. So 薄肉彫 means the engraviation/carving is thin. 毛hair 彫 I think this is referring to the engraviation of Juroujin's beard 片切 half or sided cut 彫 I think this is the description of the general style/method of the engraviation of the long-lived elder picture. 金・赤銅象嵌色絵 means gold and shakudo (or golden colored shakudo) were inserted when the picture on the tsuba were made. 耳ear・ 打返しhammered back. This is a description of the tsuba's rim. Please check this English webpage from Mr. Kojima, a very nice contemporary Japanese swordsmith http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/Nobuchika.html for more information about this term. 無銘であるが奈良派あたりの作で、重さがあり、図柄.色合いともに好ましい鐔である。江戸後期。 Although this tsuba is unsigned, it is believed to be made by an craftsman from the Nara school. It is a tsuba with certain weight, picture design and tasteful color. Made during the end of Edo period. (The long paragraph before this paragraph is a bit too long for my lazy brain to work. 😵 I am sorry. 😣) 縦七二.六㎜ vertical 72.6 mm 横六六.二㎜ horizontal 66.2 mm 厚さ四.九㎜ thickness 4.9 mm 七万五千円 So this tsuba has been valued for 75,000 Japanese yen in this article.
  6. I am sorry if it is bad to revive this thread after three months. But besides the material and the technique of the swordsmith, maybe the way the polishers polished the sword can affect the steel color as well? A sword can look totally different between Sashikomi and Hadori style of polishing. And different polishers have different ways/formula to do Nugui. So one sword can also look very different if it is polished by different artisans. In addition, an ancient sword could have been hundreds of years old while a newly made sword is less than a few decades old or just several months old. So the ancient swords have been taken care of with lots and lots of Uchiko powder + sword oil and been polished by many different generations. All of these elements can affect how the swords look like today.
  7. https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/word/kanji/逆/#jn-54100 both "saka" and "gyaku" are the pronunciation for 逆.
  8. Thank you very much for your help, Curran! Your information is very helpful. 😀 one hundred thousands yen though. That is basically 1000 USD. It looks really nice though. If the quickest/best way to get a good sword stand with drawer is still by ordering from Japan, I will just go with this one from this website: http://www16.plala.or.jp/katana-iimura/hikidasitsuki.html This website and company is managed by the family of Mr. Iimura, the author of Touken Youran and those huge Koto, Shinto and Shinshinto Taikan books.
  9. Wow! Sayagaki from Sato Kanzan sensei. I like his calligraphy works. Sato Kanzan sensei and Honma Kunzan sensei were the leading founders of NBTHK and the heroes who saved Nihonto from being destroyed after world war II Amazing! This sword really is a treasure.
  10. Thanks for the information, Curran! I was hoping to get one from someone living in the US since international mailing is not in the best situation right now due to COVID.
  11. Hello! James, the Hamon pattern is described in the bottom left of your picture after the words for Tanto 短刀. 逆丁子 Gyaku-Chouji can be translated as "reversed clove pattern". This dagger has won two awards 特別賞第三席 third place of special award 岡山県教育長賞 Okayama prefecture education director award The swordsmith who made this dagger is 久保善博 Kubo Yoshihiro. He is one of the most accomplished students taught by Yoshindo Yoshihara. In NBTHK rank, he is Mukansa.
  12. agreed, according to the third picture from Bruce. The inscription in the first picture from Bruce has been grinded down too much to be read.
  13. Hello! Tyler, i will be glad to do the translation for you. But could you please convert your picture files into JPEG files please? Although HEIC files can be downloaded and then viewed in PC, I can't view HEIC pictures directly on the webpage. And I prefer to just view the pictures on the webpage. Thanks for your understanding! AL
  14. this is one of the best articles in English for people to get information about import/export Nihonto. In my case, I guess they must have categorized my sword to either 1. 9705.00.00: item of historical or ethnographic interest (etc.) or 2. 9706.00.00: antique item more than 100 years old. The thing is, the US customs has the authority to determine how much the US government will charge me for importing Japanese swords into our country. In other words, even if I want to pay duties tax, if the US customs say no tax, I can do nothing but obey their decision. 🙃 By the way, about concerns for importing weapons into the US, swords are not a problem. Please read this article from US customs official website: https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-329?language=en_US Although this is an article about traveling in and out the US with swords, this last paragraph in the article I quoted here still apply to sword shipment: "Customs and Border Protection does not prohibit the importation of swords, although your local police jurisdiction might have regulations restricting having these weapons in your home. Switchblade knives* and other spring-loaded knives are prohibited and may be subject to seizure (there is an exception for one-armed persons)."
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