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Japanese Blade from Court


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  • 10 months later...

Short update since I have been asked several times by members anyway and recently made aware of good news: the blade was sent to Japan and after a very long time it took it to go through customs it was shown to Tanobe san who said the signature is authentic. Then it was submitted (unpolished as is) to NBTHK Shinsa. I have been informed today that NBTHK as well classified the signature as authentic, but for papering they‘ll need to see it polished. So it will now be polished as well as a Habaki and Shirasaya being made.

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What Nihonto bedtime stories are made of.

Also why we should call a moratorium on calling gimei just because we dont like a hook on end stroke. Leave to the experts.

My sentiments Stephen. It's been rolling around in my head for a while - there seems to be a group of guys who's pre-set approach is "Gimei!!!". It's like the "Shoot first, ask questions later" attitude. I know gimei exist, no question. But the percentage of blades that are proclaimed gimei on these forums seems unlikely. It's like 80% are gimei, 5-10% are legit, and 10% are could-go-either-way.

 

I understand the need for the skeptical eye (yes even Mantetsu are being faked these days!), but is seems to me that some guys have fallen past skepticism to pessimism. Now, that simply may be because, in life, these guys ARE pessimists. But it sure puts a downer feel on everything. I'm obviously a "glass is half full" kind of guy, and admittedly often asssumes the good too easily. But I'd rather enjoy my hobby and be dissappointed now and then, than be "Bah Humbug" all the time, with the occasional surprise of joy.

 

I doubt I've converted any Eeyores out there into Tiggers, but I needed to get that off my chest!

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On the other hand, maybe they are realists.
Look at it this way. There are possibly more gimei out there than shoshin. Then take into account it has been 75 years since the war. In that time, many of the swords with decent signatures have been through shinsa. And many swords have come out of Japan...especially onces that would not have passed shinsa or been bounced. Along with whatever the eBay sellers there dumped on the market that had no local interest in Japan.
So you have 75 years of semi decent swords having a chance to be papered. And a ton of average stuff coming out of Japan. And even the "out of the woodwork" swords have reduced in the West. No..of course they haven't stopped, and of course there are still shoshin swords out there to be discovered. Lots of them. But the ratio to gimei? I don't find it so unusual that the first and easiest call is gimei when we see these swords pop up.
The one thing that people SHOULD learn to accept, is the fact that gimei doesn't make a bad sword. And should not be the end of a collection.

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I did not have the feeling nor the impression that people in here tried to make me believe my blade was gimei. Some thought this way, some said there are chances. At least that was opposite to the Wehrmacht-Awards Forum where I originally asked. Funnily some members there who in public told me my blade is a Gimei on the other hand sent private messages asking if I would sell it. This did not happen in here and I really enjoyed the discussion since I also learnt some new terms. During all of this process it was very interesting for me to see that most were highly reluctant. Especially if someone like Darcy tells you he does not dare to give an opinion and it should be looked at in Japan, I heard exactly the same from the contacts in Germany from the European NBTHK. The final conclusion of those was that it has differences from known samples, yet all of them said it needs to be looked at at very high level plus told me to go through the risk and hassle to get it to Japan. I've also been told in private by some that most out of Japan and/or without having it in hand would not dare to either call it original or gimei because if Japan said this or that, well then they would in public be the ones that said exactly opposite to Japan.

 

Anyway, all of this encouraged me to get the blade to Japan through a contact in German. I followed all of the recommendations this person gave me, and so far everything was more than 100% correct and I'm highly satisfied with my decisions and really curious to see the result of the polish.

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I can see merit for both sides of the coin here, however telling someone their piece may be worth a fortune or straight up saying its gimei without proper explanation can be a bit deceiving or falsely build up their expectations. Excited to see the pictures after polish :)

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It was approx one year until I got confirmation of it being original, that includes export to Japan. From what I learnt quite fast. No idea how long polishing takes, not much worried on this at all. Can‘t go much wrong from now on, quality is more important than speed. And since I‘ve been asked, everything is handled by japanische-schwert-galerie of Germany.

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If you had been last year‘s European NBTHK gathering in Munich, that was where a personal and local friend of who is also into Nihonto handed it over.. you may had been able to take a look at it there. Well, now I am highly looking forward to get it back!

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Hi Georg,

 

Best of luck.  Just to help with your and others' possible misconception: when you say "Can‘t go much wrong from now on", unfortunately that's not really correct.  Actually, a lot can go wrong and often does go wrong even with the very best polish in Japan.  A polish will often reveal previously hidden defects or core steel, so you still need to be "keeping your fingers crossed" for a good outcome.  

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  • 1 month later...

Congratulations Georg, this is a dream come true.  Many of us collectors spend decades collecting and don't have such a fortunate find, so you have done very, very well.  I also look forward to seeing the final result after polish etc.  Do you plan to submit it to the highest level of papers it can get?  

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  • 5 months later...

Dear George.

 

This is a wonderful story with a wonderful outcome.  My imagination is working over time on what your sword looks like now, can't wait to to see pictures when it returns to you.  Are you planning on having the koshirae restored as well?  Given the age of the sword this is most likely it's original outfit.

 

All the best.

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Myself, as the person who messaged you on WA and told you to come here, I am personally very, very glad at this outcome. It is a huge success story for the forum and is one of those dreams that we all wish would happen to us.
Congrats Georg. I am so glad I was on WA at the time and was able to steer you here, and that you followed advice. This is going to look amazing in polish and will live on for many hundreds of years.
Bravo.

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This is a great story Georg, congratulations. I haven't checked back through the posts but I think I was probably one of the ones that suggested caution. I think this is due in part to the very, very high numbers of fakes of this smith in existence and partly my naturally pessimistic view of life that such good things don't happen. I am delighted to be proven wrong and that such fairy tales do come true. I look forward to seeing the blade in polish. Congratulations

 

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