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OTH a dealer who pops in here occasionally has suggested that certain pieces are of juyo quality and they have papered to Juyo. This has happened enough times that it was not a one off accident. 

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To be honest, I can't understand the discussion.
Does the sword suddenly become more beautiful when it gets Juyo overnight?
And what sense does it make to advertise this sword for a Juyo-Shinsa if you have failed with it yourself?
Sure, to mention the possibility (emphasis on possibility) for Juyo is sales-promoting. But I assume (or hope so) that everyone who wants to buy something from this price range knows exactly what they are doing.

The TH is damn new. For Tokuho the condition was obviously sufficient. A very good polish would be necessary for a Juyo Shinsa. How long would the wait even for Aoi be until a very good polisher accepts the job? How long would it take to polish? Then registering for an annual juyo shinsa? 3 years? 4 years? What would the additional costs be? Will the sword really get the Juyo? What does the situation on the collector's market look like given the current uncertain global economic situation? These would all be questions if I were a dealer.

I could understand it with a sword made by an important and famous swordsmith, whose blade also promises visible potential.

Which is also funny, for a few more cake crumbs, Aoi offers a Kinju with Juyo. An important swordsmith, an absolutely rare swordsmith. One of the Juttetsu Masamunes, a founder of Mino-den alongside Kaneuji. The forefather of the Seki swordsmith. An important sword for any serious collector (no, I'm not Tsuruta).

But sorry, I'm just seeing it's just a waki. No katana. Uninteresting...
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Hi all,

 

At the end of the day a sword's quality is inherent to it. It is always a gamble when buying a TH sword and trying for the Juyo "game".  I only took the gamble with this one because it looked a bit neglected and rusty and needed a polish anyway (so unlikely had been submitted for Juyo recently) and was relatively healthy and lively attributed to an Ichimonji school.

The sword has not made it to me yet due to the post-shinsa exhibition etc and Covid.

 

Paul Martin was kind enough to take some photos for me before the shinsa. I'm generally bad with photographing nihonto anyhow.

 

With the Aoi one the safest thing would be to take a look at the sword yourself before making such a person, or if not possible (especially now) get someone trusted and experienced in country to make an assessment

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Looking at the pictures of your sword Matt it is in good shape and the steel looks good. There is (only from what I see in the pictures) a good amount of Niku, all in all a nice sword. The Aoi one is THozon but that is part an parcel of a lot of criteria that warrants the THozon such as its age and attribution to Katayama Ichi, which I feel is an important school, just not the most important in the Ichimonji range. The Juyo panel is doing interesting moves these days with outlying schools passing where before it was mainly reserved for the big names. I have even seen a Mumei Enju that has passed TJuyo and that surprised me. I think quality is everything in this case and I would not place the quality of Aoi's K-Ichi as a high one (My pictures show the boxes outlining the flaws but it is very blurry when I upload it - bug maybe?) In the context of Juyo, there are meh Juyo and there are outstanding Juyo so within the range of quality you can see vast differences from a Juyo Katayama Ichimonji that has TJuyo potential and a Juyo Katayama Ichimonji that will never go TJuyo. Congratulations to Matt on the pass, it was one of the toughest sessions. 

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Agree with John, Paul Martin's services are a blessing and he's an utter gentleman, always willing to help!

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Paul is the greatest, where would we be without such help, I shudder to think. We should do our best to continue to support him especially during this difficult time of COVID. He is working on some great projects so I really cannot wait to see them, Gotoba based subject matter that we should support and encourage. We get so few English language based documentaries on sword history that anything that detailed from someone of such repute is a treasure. 

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I sat and watched quite a few on YouTube the other night. Outstanding gentleman with outstanding knowledge and an interest in passing that knowledge on to others.

I would be happy to support his endeavours and as he is now entering into the murky depths of tosogu even more so.

But I wonder whether I'm collecting at a level that would warrant his services.

I think my items pretty high quality based on most stuff I see but I expect it's more mediocre in the great scheme of highest end collecting.

Still my pockets are not super deep.

I think the most I have spent on and set or single item is about £1500.

 

 

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@sabiji The sword itself does not change while passing Jūyō shinsa but its valuation might change. In overall average Jūyō will be much more valuable than average Tokubetsu Hozon. Many of the dealers target the buyers desire to be smartest and beat dealers in their own game. You'll see varying amounts of hype depending on who you deal with. And I do think there are lots of people buying in this range and above that maybe do not have enough knowledge yet.

 

As Ray hinted above an attribution to Katayama Ichimonji is pretty much a pass to Tokubetsu Hozon if it is at least in decent condition and you will send it. For example I think I have c.40 mumei Katayama Ichimonji tracked down. 1 Hozon - 4 Tokubetsu Hozon and rest are all Jūyō & above. And the only Hozon papered one I have tracked might very well have passed onwards to Tokubetsu Hozon if the next owner had chosen to send it, as I feel it should pass to TH, nice and wide suriage sword.

 

Personally I like naoshi that Matt has regardless of the papers it has as I like the shape it has. The one at Aoi doesn't feel like special to me when I just look at the shape. Shape and initial feeling of the sword is my 1st priority at the moment. I think I could not own a sword which would have a shape that I don't like, even if it was a masterpiece.

 

Also I agree what Thomas is saying about Kinjū there above, I feel that Kinjū & Kaneyuki are really underappreciated in general.

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