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Humbleshogun

Blade Advice

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I know that purchasing a blade is a matter of personal taste. However, there are some practical considerations that need to be taken into account such as authenticity, flaws, poor school recognition. I was hoping to elicit personal advice on the cons of this blade (if any). Assuming you like the blade are there any negatives of this purchase? Is this a fair and reasonable price?

 

http://www.e-sword.jp/sale/0870_1072syousai.htm

 

Thanks in Advance,

 

Paul

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Hi Paul,

 

You obviously like this blade (I do too!), or else you wouldn't be considering it. Your liking it is the most important part of the purchase, and what other people say about matters little in the end.

 

As for the fair price, that's hard to pin down. Like any fine art or antique object, it is worth as much as (or as little as) someone is willing to pay for it. If it is worth 800,000 yen to you, then that is a fair price. But if you are not sure, then you can always try to negotiate the price down so that you will at least get some satisfaction from knowing that you had some discount.

 

I was recently in a respected old-time dealer in Tokyo who has been in business for four generations. I was looking at a koto Gassan in koshirae with a NBTHK hozon paper, and the price tag said 700,000 yen. No sooner than I started asking about it, the proprieter said "We offer 10% discount for paying cash." (Paying cash, in Japan, means not opting for their layaway plan.) This reflects the current state of sword business in Japan, I believe. Dealers are hurting for sales and are willing to discount, even at an established and reputable store. I didn't have enough money to purchase the Gassan, even with the discount, and that too speaks for the current state of the economy in Japan.

 

Dealers have to make a living, and like any other merchandisers, they have to mark up their goods heavily to account for their expenses and slow moving inventory. But at the same time, buyers too should bargain for the best price possible because their funds are limited too. When the two parties agree on a price and are satisfied, then that to me is the fair price.

 

Good luck,

 

Kaji

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Hi Matsumoto-san,

 

I have been very interested by your post. It seems that in Japan, the Nihonto market is not at its top. Does this trend apply also to Juyo blades?

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Mr. Moriyama,

 

I have not reserved the blade. I inquired via a translation assistance of the web page but have not received a response. It has been more than a week. I am inclined to think that Japanese is a requirement for this site.

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It seems that in Japan, the Nihonto market is not at its top. Does this trend apply also to Juyo blades?

 

I am not familiar with the market trend of Juyo blades. Most of them are out of my reach, so what I cannot have, I shall not see and desire. Apparently, though, they are moving. At one sword auction (for dealers only) late last year, I saw six Juyo blades change hand in one morning, ranging from 2,000,000 yen to 6,000,000 yen. I don't know whether the prices realized were higher or lower than expected. And since this was a wholesale auction, I don't know if they were eventually retailed and at what prices.

 

Juyo blades vary greatly in their prices, and my feeling is that, once you get into the very high end of the market, their prices don't change much. The number of people who can buy them are very limited, and those rich folks who buy them don't need to ask how much. The juyo blades on the lower end, ones selling for 2,000,000 or less, however, may be affected by the general economic trends since they are within reach of those of us in the middle class.

 

When the sword prices skyrocketed during the bubble years, that was a mixed blessing. It was nice to know that the swords I owned were worth so much, but at the same time I could not afford to buy any more because they were too expensive. Now that the prices have come down, they are more affordable, but then I hesitate because the pieces I own aren't worth much and lost lots of money on them. :steamed: So to anyone who is thinking of Nihonto as an investment: You will be better off putting the money in your bank! Buy swords only if you are willing to treat them like beautiful women -- you can love them and appreciate them but have to pay dearly for the privilege. Oh, and, if not handled carefully, you can seriously get hurt. :rotfl:

 

Kaji

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Oh, and, if not handled carefully, you can seriously get hurt.

 

YOME TO TANMONO WA HIRUMA ERABE

insert nihonto for piece goods

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