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The Nihonto Learning Curve


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When I first became fascinated by nihonto and started to learn about them, like many newbies, I had absolutely no idea how little I knew.

 

Now, after several years I have come to the realisation that I know very, very, little. I see this as positive progress. At least I have learnt something.

 

 

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I'm right there with you guys...except I really am an actual beginner.  Even though I feel like I've learned so much over the last couple of months, I feel like there may not be enough years left in my life to learn all I wish I could.  I'm damn sure going to try to learn as much as I can, though I will never be able to learn it all and that will continue to drive me to keep learning what I can.

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Trying to get a grasp on everything in the beginning can be a little intimidating. I keep reading books and study different katana on all the auction sites. Baby steps I guess, there is just so much to learn and the field is vast.

 

Researching specific topics of interest is better than trying to absorb everything at once. I was chasing my tail at first trying to figure out what direction to go in. Taking a deep breath and realizing that this is a lifelong hobby that will take a lifetime, maybe two lifetimes to fully appreciate all the nuances of nihonto collecting.

 

I had to chuckle a couple days ago. I was explaining sword terms and other basic info to a person interested in pursuing WW2 blades. He commented on how much knowledge I had about the swords... I laughed and rolled my eyes. I told him the info I gave him was barely the tip of the iceberg. I didn't want to scare him away, but I also wanted him to understand the complexities of this hobby.

 

Nihonto collecting is just like anything else in life. You get out of it what you put into it.

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One of the very best ways to learn is to go to as many shows as possible. This is where many good swords are gathered. Join and attend the American branch nbthk meetings. They are worth far more than membership costs. Studying on line pictures is not even close to seeing a single blade that's at a show. Concentrate on looking at the best swords there and not buying something in your price range.

Attend a few and you'll know some people and they will show you many good swords.

I saw literally one sword in Sf this last show that made the trip worthwhile.

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Agreed, I've been reading books and cruising through the site for a few years now.  ALWAYS something new to learn and figure out that these waters are as deep as the Mariana Trench.  This site seriously and graciously puts up with us younguns though :D.  The next book up pumped to read is Mr. Sesko's book on Gendiato.  My wife just rolls her eyes when she sees how excited I am to study this hobby.

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Good Thread!  I am right there with you guys and a beginner as well.  I think we are lucky to take up the study now because of all the information that is available to us through books, shows, and internet.  Not to long ago this info was scarce to come by!    ;-) 

 

Best Wishes 

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