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Buying Shinken and importing to US questions.


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After many years of buying antique swords, and wasting money on reproduction swords, I'm finally thinking of taking the plunge and buying a new Shinken from Japan. When I search online for information on how to do this all I find are discussions from years ago so I wanted to get some feedback that is relevant today.

 

First off I'm looking at Shinken that are listed on the site e-sword.jp, any feedback on dealings with this online seller would be appreciated. The site has some information in English but most is in Japanese so recommendations for translation sites would also be nice.

Second is in regards to importing and customs. Their site says that once payment is confirmed they apply to the J.A.C.A but I'm unable to find any further info on this process such as time frames, complexity, and are there additional costs?

Lastly if anyone has suggestions on other reputable dealers please let me know.

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Hi,

 

There is a shinken for sale on the forum, I believe? Widowmaker is selling his Kanehide. I do not know much about shinken, but the general consensus from the comments seems to be great sword at incredible price. Its in the sale/trade section, so check there if the measurements fits you :-)

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I agree with Gasam, look around here, sometimes shinsakuto (I assume that's what you're referring to) pop up and the Kanehide is a good example. Here's another gendai blade from the 80's on Fred Weissberg's site http://www.nihonto.com/rh477.html. So you can find them in the states as well. If you want a list of dealers, the NMB front page has like four pages worth :).

 

If you really want something from Japan just be aware that it takes 2 weeks to get an export permit on top of the shipping time, as far as any custom fee's I've never been charged any (United States). Never bought from that site before but they do have a lot of interesting swords!

 

The only thing I can say is that, since it seems you don't really know what you wan't other than a Japanese made blade(?) to get the book "The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths" to start. A lot of good interviews and gives a small insight to what shinsakuto, motivations and process, are all about.

Good luck!

 

 

Grant

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The e-sword site is trustworthy, as similar sites like aoi-art or sanmei, who are all specialized in export.

They all sell second-hand-shinsakuto of various qualities.

 

The dealer applies for export license and from payment to arrival it takes usually 4 weeks.

 

The pictures do not tell everything, so you better ask precise questions about condition like flaws, polish, sharpness etc.

These questions will usually be answered honestly, but there always remains a risk if you buy something online without having seen it before or without an agent who has viewed it for you. Always remember that it is almost impossible to return a new sword to Japan.

 

There are dealers and collectors in the US. I would check out this market first. There is no need to rush, there will always be lots of new swords on the market in Japan in case you do not find anything in the US.

 

Best, Martin

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Thanks everyone for the great suggestions and yes I was referring to a shinsakuto. I had seen the listing by Widowmaker in the sale section and actually loved everything about it except for the length, at 6' tall I need a longer blade, plus I was looking for a blade with bo-hi.

I've been in touch with Masayuki Hirako at e-sword and found the communication great, despite the 13 hour time difference. They were able to explain the process and time frame clearly so believe me I wouldn't be pulling the trigger on a $5k blade unless I felt 100% confident in the seller and the blade. I was able to find the smith as well on several registries, his name is Kimura Kaoru so if anyone is familiar with this smith please post. If anyone has the book "The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths" do you know if he is in it? I've ordered the book but it won't be here till the weekend.

Thanks again.

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I was able to find the smith as well on several registries, his name is Kimura Kaoru so if anyone is familiar with this smith please post. If anyone has the book "The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths" do you know if he is in it? I've ordered the book but it won't be here till the weekend.

Thanks again.

 

He is not in the book, I'm afraid.

Good book nonetheless.

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Jeff, I have the book at home. Believe it or not I am playing Donkey Basketball for a fundraiser tonight, so it will be about 8 or 9 when I get home. I'll check and let you know if the smith is in there. Great book though, I love how it lets the smith talk about his life and work.

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Had one quick question. When the seller in Japan applies for an export permit I've read that the Torokusho is handed in and an export permit is issued. Does this mean that the buyer does not receive the Torokusho with the sword and only receives the export permit? I thought I had read that the Torokusho document had to stay with the blade at all times, though I'm assuming that's only relevant in Japan.

 

Edit* Looks like I was right, it appears to be be replaced with the export document when sent abroad.

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Decided to buy a buy a shinsakuto from e-sword.jp, very easy transaction and really nice people to work with. I'm guessing it will be here by the end of November. I hope it's ok to include a few pictures, smith is Kaoru Kimura aka Kanehiro according to the folks at e-sword. I wasn't in the market for an art piece, I plan to have this mounted and use it in the future for Iaido and Tameshigiri, but I did want something more traditionally made.

KaoruKimura1.jpg KaoruKimura.jpg

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