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Not sure on pinks, but as I reported from Chicago last year, the other NTHK group didn't have much of an appreciation for gendai (including Meiji) work and all 6 blades I submitted received 70 points. The NPO this year gave the Tsukamoto Masakazu and the Yoshihara Kuniie (sosho mei) 76 points each and my Shigemasa tanto 77 (firmly in TH level comparatively to NBTHK).

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Not sure on pinks, but as I reported from Chicago last year, the other NTHK group didn't have much of an appreciation for gendai (including Meiji) work and all 6 blades I submitted received 70 points. The NPO this year gave the Tsukamoto Masakazu and the Yoshihara Kuniie (sosho mei) 76 points each and my Shigemasa tanto 77 (firmly in TH level comparatively to NBTHK).

My understanding was that NBTHK Tokubetsu hozon is in the 80's point wise, not 70's that's comparable with hozon.

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Not quite accurate. See here for an explanation:

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1728933930663768/

Hello Chris,

 

I got this list from Jean. Besides from a collector standpoint NBTHK Tokubetsu hozon certificates are regarde higher than NTHK kanteisho, especially after the split. It's quite obvious that blades or fittings with TH command higher prices than NTHK kanteisho.

In my limited experience I have noticed that collectors and dealers equate the NTHK kanteisho with the NBTHK hozon level.

Certain well known dealers in Japan even told me that they don't consider the NTHK kanteisho certificates as reliable and only use NBTHK papers.

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This is what Kazushige Tsuruta wrote to me concerning this topic.

 

"Dear Mr. Maximilian Bini.

NTHK-NPO kanteisho. is not reliable Kantei.

Thank you very much for your inquiry.

Kind regards.

Kazyushige Tsuruta"

 

"Dear Mr. Maximilian Bini.

In Japan, the most reliable Kantei is Tanobe sensei's sayagaki.

NBTHK paper. Fijishiro Kantei are quite well known Kanteisyo.

Other Kantei is not reliable.

Kind regards,

Kazushige Tsuruta"

 

Personally I don't agree with them not being reliable, I have NTHK NPO certificates myself. I do consider them to be comparable to NBTHK Hozon level though.

 

If I'm misunderstanding something here, please explain so I can correct my view of the NTHK NBTHK levels. Thank you.

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It is all opinion, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. One needs to keep in mind which market the organizations cater to primarily: NBTHK shinsa was set up to accommodate dealers, who are still their primary customer base. NTHK-NPO is geared more towards collectors. If you compare the information contained in their kantei-sho, I think that will be obvious.

 

Personally, I know the judges on the NTHK-NPO shinsa team, and I know their backgrounds and experience. I know their head judge has won more kantei contests than anyone alive and having known or met most of the top experts in Japan over the last 25 or so years, I can't name a single one who I think is clearly more knowledgeable in general than Miyano Sensei. Everyone though has their favorites, their own opinions.

 

As for the NBTHK, I can't name a single person on the NBTHK shinsa teams so I have no way to judge their backgrounds and experience and thus the current value of their opinions.  Brand names are very important in Japan, but reputations can and do come and go. A brand can only handle so many scandals; the NBTHK has lost members and its reputation has taken a hit among the collector community in Japan. Of course, Tsuruta and other dealers will and must support them for obvious reasons. Believe me, not everyone shares his opinions and their name/kantei-sho are not everyone's gold standard. Sometimes perceptions and reality can and do differ.

 

What I have told people in the past is this: if you buy swords for investment purposes, or are a dealer, go NBTHK. If you want to learn about your sword, go NTHK-NPO. Of course I reserve the right to change my opinion as future events unfold...

 

That is about as far into the NBTHK vs NTHK-NPO debate I will wade. I hope that at least provides you with another pespective.

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95% of the time they're both going to be right, it's the other 5% mainly on mumei swords by lesser known smiths that i imagine you'll find the main differences. I have seen more strange calls from the NTHK but that's not exactly taking a scientific approach.

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I think this debate has gone round the block many times. I agree with Chris in many of the points he makes and not least that the perspective changes over time.

Each of these bodies has something to offer, each something slightly different. No one is forced down a particular route you have to satisfy yourself as to which organisation is best placed to fulfill your expectations. Often these have nothing to do with accuracy.

All three of the main bodies are producing opinions based on their  knowledge and experience. I have no experience of the NTHK-NPO but agree Miyano Sensei has a very high reputation from competition and is known for the accuracy of his kantei. Personally I hold Tanobe-sensei in very high regard not only for his skill but for his willingness while at the NBTHK to take time to help starters like me with my basic questions.

 

Regarding scandals I dont think these are unique to the NBTHK and the other bodies have also had issues that have done their reputation few favours. Therefore I am not sure resurrecting that as an argument about current validity is a worthwhile thing to do.

At the end of the day all of the participating judges have far greater experience and exposure to swords than I do so I think it very fooloish to disregard their opinion because it doesnt agree with what I want to hear.

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A short analysis.

 

As it has been emphasized, NBTHK is the Japanese organization business minded, totally oriented towards the inland market and its dealers. Its success comes from its origin and the legendary men who founded it, Tanobe sensei is the heir of this lineage.

I have seen Tanobe sensei in total disagreement with NBTHK kanteisho.

 

NTHK organizations are rather collectors' minded/oriented...

 

Now, which organization is really business oriented? I let you decide and I keep factual.

 

When you submit a sword to NBTHK, it is for a Kanteisho level, each time for money.

When you submit a sword to NTHK organizations, you will have their opinion on what is worth the sword once for all.

 

Now, individuals are probably as good in all these organizations.

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I had a signed Wakizashi which passed NTHK NPO kanteisho, then I submitted it for NBTHK and it came back as gimei!?

I was surprised about that discrepance. 

Don't be, it is quite common.  It happens with papers from all issuing organizations, opinions vary.  That is why those papers you have are not a guarantee !  They are a educated opinion.  These guys, be it Tanobe, Miyano or other's give you their opinion based on a lifetime of study.  They are the best opinions you can get, but they are opinions.

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This is what Kazushige Tsuruta wrote to me concerning this topic.

 

"Dear Mr. Maximilian Bini.

NTHK-NPO kanteisho. is not reliable Kantei.

Thank you very much for your inquiry.

Kind regards.

Kazyushige Tsuruta"

 

 

Tsuruta-san is also known to publicly write on his website when he considers specific NBTHK papers to be completely wrong or just questionable. Quite a few of those were done in the past 2 years; quite a few come from 70s. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules here.

It was my first submission to NTHK NPO and I was very pleasantly surprised. Many thanks to Chris Bowen for his efforts. Disclaimer: I did not get very high scores (77 tops). Some of the submissions were due to the need to replace NBTHK judgements.

 

In Japan, NTHK papers are typically not given any consideration, in my strictly personal opinion. However, Miyano-Sensei is very well respected, though some would argue more in Kansai+ area rather than Tokyo. 

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Rumour has it, that "someone" submitted "that" sword to shinsa.
"That" sword, whose name shall never be mentioned here, rhymes with Monjo Hasamune.

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

 

Anyone know the details of whether the owner did submit it, and what the outcome was? Tentatively dipping my toe into this subject for now....tread lightly :)

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Hello:

 In the newly published Yushu volume of the NTHK (NPO) published in 2015, and very closely following the three earlier similar volumes done by the Yoshikawa version of the NTHK when under the direction of Yoshikawa Koen sensei, there are two Masamune, both described as "Den, Soshu Masamune". I believe I was able to handle one of them in Japan, if it is indeed the same blade, and it is a very fine and healthy 2.27 shaku sword and dated to Shoo (1288-93). I have seen a number of other Masamune in Japan, but not in hand, and some of them cannot hold a candle to the one illustrated in the NPO catalog. The sword, however, was most assuredly not in the Tampa shinsa.

 By the way for the collector willing to spend a few bucks on books, all four of these NTHK catalogs are very well worth having. The Koen versions have somewhat more text and are available in translation, but certainly OP now, and the NPO version is fresh but not quite a rich in text and at least for the moment not in translation. What is most valuable about all four is the examples shown, which by implication, give you a feel for the criteria differences between the NBTHK's Juyo selections and the somewhat different, but no less valid, criteria of the NTHK.

 I believe that the various bookdealers have them, at least the older ones, from time to time.

 Arnold F.

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Arnold, I was specifically talking about the one that is supposedly living in the USA in poor condition and has been speculated about for years on various forums.
Little birdie told me that this sword (buried, dug up, moved around, discussed to death etc) was submitted to the shinsa in Tampa. I think if true, I would love to know the outcome.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rumour has it, that "someone" submitted "that" sword to shinsa.

"That" sword, whose name shall never be mentioned here, rhymes with Monjo Hasamune.

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

 

Anyone know the details of whether the owner did submit it, and what the outcome was? Tentatively dipping my toe into this subject for now....tread lightly :)

Hahaha, the Monjo Hasamune!!! I like that Brian. :laughing: 

Yep, the sword was at shinsa. It did get Kaga Kiyomitsu.  All I can say is that one was my fault.

Chris advised me to have a window put in it by a trained polisher, no amateurs. I didn’t have the time to take off from work to take the trip.

If a judge can’t see what needs to be seen because a sword is rough condition, that would be the owners fault for not having a polish done. I’ll take the blame for that one.

Hopefully in the future, I will get her polished or a window and take it back. :thumbsup: 

Chris and the Shinsa team were very organized and are to be congratulated for all their hard work! :clap: 

It was a pleasure to meet you Barry Hennick!!

And Guido…. I still believe……. :laughing:  

All the best!!

 

Stephen. T

 

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