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Katsujinken

Shinsakuto in koshirae

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I am looking for a shinsakuto in koshirae suitable for batto.
 

I am especially interested in blades made by either Ikeda Norihisa (池田法久) or Fujiwara Motohisa (藤原元久). 
 

Nagasa needs to be 2.3 or 2.35 shaku (69-72 cm, give or take). 
 

Please get in touch if you’ve got something I should see. 
 

Thanks! 
 

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Don’t get me wrong Michael,

 

And I know they use Shinsakuto for that in Japan, but those are the future of sword collecting and I’m among those who think it’s a shame to risk damaging a work of art. Why don’t you settle on a Chinese repro for that? They cut well, look decent, inexpensive and expendable.

 

Cheers,

 

JP

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That’s a longer conversation, but suffice it to say that many swords are made to be used and the line between training tool and art is clear if you know where to look. 
 

Chinese and other production swords are simply not the same for a variety of reasons – especially in terms of feel – and it really does impact the training. 

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Michael this place is about preservation of Nihonto not the destruction of it.

I don't believe there is much of a difference in feel apart from knowing your cutting with Nihonto. 

There are excellent cutters made in China that do the job just fine but we are probably wasting our time trying to change your mind as it sounds like you've done it already.

You say you can find swords made for training if you know where to look. Well if you know where to look why ask here where you know its about Nihonto preservation.

Ultimately your going to do what you want but I hope you change your mind.  

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4 minutes ago, Greg F said:

Michael this place is about preservation of Nihonto not the destruction of it.

I don't believe there is much of a difference in feel apart from knowing your cutting with Nihonto. 

There are excellent cutters made in China that do the job just fine but we are probably wasting our time trying to change your mind as it sounds like you've done it already.

You say you can find swords made for training if you know where to look. Well if you know where to look why ask here where you know its about Nihonto preservation.

Ultimately your going to do what you want but I hope you change your mind.  


Greg, there’s a huge difference between historical / art sword nihonto and everyday shinsakuto made for actual use. What do you think everyone in Japan uses? There are gradations of quality in materials, workmanship, and finishing, all of which create a spectrum from tool to heirloom. 
 

I agree nihonto should be preserved, but there’s also nuance in there that should be acknowledged. 
 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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I know that but if newbies think its ok to use shinsakuto because guys on Nmb do it a whole range problems are likely to happen.

I get it , I got a low quality shinsakuto years ago because it was very cheap and used it for iaito for a little while but now I think even that sword deserves preservation, just my opinion. 

My Sensei is Japanese and thinks repro swords are suitable for cutting and iaito for iaido.

I also understand that sword smiths make part of their living making swords for this reason but I'm not sure Nmb is the best place for this, again just my opinion. 

F

 

 

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As far as I know, nowadays Japanese  sword smiths use "short cuts" when they make swords for martial arts. It is something done behind the curtains and it is almost impossible to tell the difference(s) between a blade made with "short cuts" and a blade fully traditionally made from A to Z. Both will be signed and dated.

 

If you find one online that is already in iai koshirae then it might be made with short cuts, if found in shirasaya it has more chances to be a real shinsakuto.

 

 

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I hope this doesn’t sound rude to either side in this debate (apologies if so I admit I’m ignorant and this is just a thought) but wouldn’t a Komonjo fitted in koshirae be a good compromise? I’ve never used swords for martial arts but I have a Komonjo and my impression is as far as having good geometry, balance, heat treatment, appearance etc they compare very favorably to non Japanese production swords; but at the same time, since they’re made in large amounts with likely shortcuts or machine assistance, have no provenance and might be gimei it’s not the same as risking an irreplaceable art sword. Also they’re much cheaper than shinsakuto and new ones are always sold.

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18 minutes ago, AntiquarianCat said:

I hope this doesn’t sound rude to either side in this debate (apologies if so I admit I’m ignorant and this is just a though) but wouldn’t a Komonjo fitted in koshirae be a good compromise? I’ve never used swords for martial arts but I have a Komonjo and my impression is as far as having good geometry, balance, heat treatment, appearance etc they compare very favorably to non Japanese production swords; but at the same time, since they’re made in large amounts with likely shortcuts or machine assistance, have no provenance and might be gimei it’s not the same as risking an irreplaceable art sword. Also they’re much cheaper than shinsakuto and new ones are always sold.

 

Truthfully I don't see it as a debate in the first place if everyone understands the semantics the same way. Your idea is totally valid. It really is a personal choice that is based on priorities, budget, and many other factors. I would never use an antique nihonto for martial arts. A shinsakuto made specifically for that purpose however is simply another tool. As I and others have said, plenty of shinsakuto exist or are commissioned specifically for martial arts use. 

 

For example, this sword was likely made with martial arts in mind: https://www.toukenkomachi.com/index_en_tachi&katana_A030720.html

 

It's in a 'batto polish,' iai koshirae (no shirasaya), and has ubu-ba. And with a quick search you can find art swords made by Ogawa Kanekuni that were never meant to be used.

 

This daisho that Joe posted definitely was not made for martial arts use: http://sanmei.com/contents/media/A58786-7_S2229_PUP_E.html?fbclid=IwAR3sIBjfH4045wDc7niYzgdwkTW2EaOWYfbDk-HN4gaYe59_9Wq-f5EoB6M

 

And here is a sword made by the same smith who made the daisho that absolutely was intended to be used: http://www.osaka-ryujindo.jp/Table/Page/201404/23154330/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0dMO18FuKkZF3QAoBwllwFMrvxMrHb9nr8vg0CquOdf_hZGGvJxgn8LA8

 

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I don't see a problem using shinsakuto for martial arts. Interviews and videos of swordsmiths say they regularly have Japanese customers who buy their swords for martial arts. There are smiths today who make swords specifically for martial arts use. The Komiya family today is well known for making swords for battodo. Of course a martial arts swords will be slightly cheaper because of the lower polishing cost. A well made shinsakuto will have the qualities inherent in nihonto since its invention - must not break, must not bend, must cut well. A martial arts blade can be "retired" and have an art polish applied to it later. 

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But that’s the point!

 

Sorry again, but I even think what follows about Komonjo blades (still don’t know what they actually are but pretty sure they are Japanese iaito).

 

Even if shortcuts are applied, you say yourself they can later be retired and applied an art polish, so why use them and risk damaging them when they can become art swords later?

 

Yes, the Japanese use them (but they don’t have another choice, do they?) and yes, they are numerous... today! In two hundred years, they’ll be antiquities and much less numerous. So the question is, do we have the right to risk damaging them when there are valid alternatives available?

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I dont have a problem with a sword used by a Japanese martial artist thats made for them in Japan as much as I do a westerner trying to feel mord like a Samurai by using Nihonto when they can get the same results practicing with a repro.

I spoke with my Sensei about this who is Japanese and when I asked him if he thinks its ok for westerners to use Nihonto for training he laughed and shook his head.  

 

 

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Gentlemen -

There is no difference between a properly trained westerner and a properly trained Japanese employing a Shinsaku-to for Iai or batto. If you visit AOI arts and other websites you will see swords, mostly Shinsaku-to but sometimes antiques specifically outfitted and sold as ready for Iai. While I know of no secret short-cuts used to make shinsaku-to for practice I know that swords made as art swords are made using the best materials and extra effort that is reflected in the selling price.

 

I think Michael has the right attitude, this simply may not be the best place to find what he is looking for. Antiques should not be used for destructive practice and that has not changed. I wish him luck in his search.

-tch

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2 hours ago, Toryu2020 said:

Gentlemen -

There is no difference between a properly trained westerner and a properly trained Japanese employing a Shinsaku-to for Iai or batto. If you visit AOI arts and other websites you will see swords, mostly Shinsaku-to but sometimes antiques specifically outfitted and sold as ready for Iai. While I know of no secret short-cuts used to make shinsaku-to for practice I know that swords made as art swords are made using the best materials and extra effort that is reflected in the selling price.

 

I think Michael has the right attitude, this simply may not be the best place to find what he is looking for. Antiques should not be used for destructive practice and that has not changed. I wish him luck in his search.

-tch


100% this. 
 

I did end up finding a shinsakuto in the end. It’s in iai koshirae with a batto polish. Totally setup for martial arts use, from the beginning.

 
Guess some of us will just have to agree to disagree. That’s okay. 

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6 hours ago, Katsujinken said:


100% this. 
 

I did end up finding a shinsakuto in the end. It’s in iai koshirae with a batto polish. Totally setup for martial arts use, from the beginning.

 
Guess some of us will just have to agree to disagree. That’s okay. 

Sad to see a sword die... :(

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I agree with Michael 100%. Shinsakuto can be used in sword appreciation and martial art training or combat (but yea, gun is more effective to kill your enemy in combat and hopefully we never have to confront any life and death combat during our life) while antique swords (mainly swords made before the Showa era or swords made by swordsmiths who have deceased) should only be preserved for sword appreciation and be regarded as important artworks and historical artifacts.

 

It is actually good for modern swordsmiths to continue to make Nihontos for martial art practice. The customers who seriously practice martial art can give the swordsmiths valuable feedback to ensure newly made Nihontos are still practical for combat. If modern swordsmiths stop making Nihonto for martial art training/combat, they would focus too much on making "fancy" art swords and forget the practical elements of the sword (for example, general shape of the sword, balance of the sword, weight, curvature, and the balance between sharpness and durability). If the swordsmiths of the current generation and the following generation stop to make practical Nihonto, the true art of Nihonto craftsmanship would be lost and the future Shinsakuto could only be considered as "sword-like artwork". 

 

But on the other hand, JP's concern is understandable. It is always sad when swords are damaged during martial art practice. For example, a sword could be bent during a failed tameshigiri practice. This kind of incidents should always be avoided. And that is why, in martial art training, Shinsakuto should only be used by serious and experienced martial art practitioners who have the right and mature knowledge about how to take care of their swords. And of course, martial art practitioners should always be careful not to hurt themselves.

 

All of these being said, please enjoy watching this video about Yoshindo Yoshihara made a sword for a martial art master to test the sword's strength when dealing with a Japanese helmet: 

 

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