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New Member Introductions


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Hello everyone,

 

I’m Brandon, and I’m a new member and beginner-level student of the Japanese sword from Ontario, Canada. I’m very excited to have found this forum, and I’ve already learned far more than I’d imagined possible reading through various topics and posts, so thanks very much to you all for contributing to this great resource.

 

I’ve long been a collector of Great War and WWII era firearms and militaria, however my passion has always been earlier history since University days, and my interests have now shifted to reflect this (Admittedly, this shift has also been impacted by recent political realities in Canada). I find the reverence of the sword in Japanese culture fascinating, and I’d be hard pressed to identify any objects of great significance as well preserved to this day as Koto. I’ve picked up many of the books recommended in other introductory posts, so I have much to look forward to learning. 

 

If any members in the Ontario region could recommend shows, clubs, etc which could further my knowledge of these blades I’d be greatly indebted to you. Also, I’m quite used to travelling down South to the Show of Shows in Louisville, so if any of our American friends could suggest the most ideal sword-related events as well that would also be fantastic.

 

Thanks again for establishing a great community here, and I wish you all the very best!

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Hi Brandon:

There is a sword club in Toronto at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (J.C.C.C.), 6 Garamond not too far from the Science Centre. Our meetings have been put on hold until the Cenre reopens. We meet on scheduled Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. Meetings are usually on the second floor. If you are interested p.m. me your email address and I'll add you to our mailing list. Oops I forgot to say Welcome to the board.

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Hi Brandon:

There is a sword club in Toronto at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (J.C.C.C.), 6 Garamond not too far from the Science Centre. Our meetings have been put on hold until the Cenre reopens. We meet on scheduled Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. Meetings are usually on the second floor. If you are interested p.m. me your email address and I'll add you to our mailing list. Oops I forgot to say Welcome to the board.

 

Thank you Barry, much appreciated! PM sent with my email for the mailing list. 

 

Cheers

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Dear Brandon,

 

Welcome to the NMB.  While I've never been to the particular meetings that Barry described above, I can tell you that the best way to learn about swords is to join a group and go to meetings.  Therefore, I'd highly recommend that you attend the meetings with Barry.  I'll bet that if you get to know them, they will be happy to share some of their treasures and hard earned knowledge with you.  There is no better way of learning than seeing swords in person.  There are a few shows around the USA each year, and some of the members here are responsible for those shows and work very hard to make them a success.  However, in all honesty, it does appear that the shows are starting to die away recently (in the "old days" that was one of the only ways to see a bunch of swords, but the availability of fairly high resolution pictures and the ability to purchase on the Internet seems to be killing/hurting the sword shows).  The largest in the US is in San Francisco.  The big annual show in Japan is called DTI and is in Tokyo.  It is many times the size of the largest US show and the quality of items on the average is several times higher (but so are the average prices...)  It is easy to go to Japan and visit the show, even if you don't speak any Japanese.  Welcome again, and I hope that you'll love nihonto and tosogu as much as we do.

 

P.S.  I saw something on the Internet that said Japan was considering promoting the restart of its tourism by subsidizing vacations to Japan by as much as 50%.  Might want to keep this in mind - DTI is in the beginning of November this year.

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Hi George,

 

Thank you very much for the welcome, and for the great detail above! I couldn’t agree more that any significant learning in regards to these blades will have to be done in hand, there is just so much history to contend with and so many details to consider. I suppose that’s (at least) half the fun though, and I look forward to the journey. I appreciate you mentioning some of the main events and shows as well. It’s too bad that these seem to be trending downwards, but I am happy that we still have great assets such as this forum for bringing interested parties together. Your note about subsidized trips to Japan is more than appealing also, and definitely deserves tracking! 

 

Thanks again for the great input, and all the best.

Brandon

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello I would like to introduce myself and on his insistence my 6 year old boy. I'm Adam and he is Ned.

I collected many many years ago at a very low level where quantity seemed to outweigh quality and my acquisitions were not exactly great stuff but I had a lot of it and my ignorance was complete.

After a significant lifestyle change occurred I parted with everything but a Koto o-tanto.

Nothing special, but I kept it as a last handhold on nihonto. Many years passed and my interests turned towards Tosogu. Eventually I got the Tanto down from the loft and my then 4 year old got bitten by the bug. He has a few items of relatively low quality and a couple of home made (he made them) koshirae and I've provided tsunagi to keep it safe. Thing is he's as mad as I am about nihonto now at 6yrs he is very passionate about what he has and displays it regularly for my and my friends (also collectors) to appreciate.

 

Me?

I was fortunate to be educated by the late John Lissenden aka Docliss in that he opened my eyes to a different level of appreciation of Tosogu through a friend. What I thought was perhaps high quality was challenged and clearly was a long way from being even mediocre.

Only by holding, feeling and seeing quality do we really start to understand and get real joy from these mini masterpieces.

I appreciate beauty is in the eye of the beholder though.

John's huge collection of very nice fuchi kashira, kogai& kozuka amongst many other things was exceptional in my opinion. Not always busy or packed scenes but wonderful minimalist tranquility which must have been a nice respite from the realities of the world back then for people.

John's collection was enhanced in 1955 when he was given the WA Young collection (collected from late 1800's to 1931)

These items have never been out of private collections and shinsa was not a consideration back then.

I'm lucky to have several of these pieces in my modest collection, problem is there is no turning back from exposure to this quality.

 

So now I'm out for the Koto three/four a Koto katana is my last target. I have the O wakizashi (ex Tachi) the Tanto and a nagimaki naoshi reshaped from a naginata. The sword fittings are where I really get my enjoyment.

Regards Adam (and Ned)

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John was a member here and a great guy. Miss his input terribly. You had a good teacher, and sounds like you have some great items. Look forward to hearing more from you and Ned. He's going to be a wonderful collector. :)

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Hi All -

 

My name is Jim and I recently joined this board. I have to admit I have been a long time lurker as I tried to educate myself on this wonderful hobby over the years.

 

A little background on me. My first introduction to Nihonto was in the late 80's on a business assignment to Japan while working for Toshiba America. I was sent to Ome, outside of Tokyo, for 6 months to work with the Toshiba teams in an effort to foster relationships between the two groups. That trip started a fondness for Japan and Japanese culture that I hold dear to this day. This assignment also allowed me to spend a great amount of time in the various museums where I first saw some magnificent antiquities, including some amazing swords.

 

Fast forward through life and the kids are finished with school and retirement is just around the bend. I promised myself that one day I would participate in this hobby and that day appears to be here. I thank all of you for putting your knowledge out there to help the newbies as myself tackle a significant learning curve. 

 

Thanks,

Jim Blubaugh

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Hello my name is greg akin I just joined the forum. I have been hooked on Japanese swords scents i was 11 years old i'm now 65 my unckle showed me his sword he brought back from Japan at the end of ww2 .he worked with dr.comton. at miles labs.dr. Compton sad it was made around 1590s .and i was hooked still am i have a few nice blades i will try to put up some pictures.I have a lot of questions. But i will kick back read posts and try to learn all i can.Thank you all for this opportunity to join this community. greg akin

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Greg,

 

Glad to have you aboard for a wonderful journey into the world of nihonto.  Dr. Compton, I knew very well.  Your uncle was  fortunate to have it examined (he was a Dr you know)  to a koto blade. I assume it was not signed by the maker, and is called a  (unsigned) mumei sword.. Would like to see a pic of it someday.  Cheers.

 

 

Tom D. 

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Hello all,


 


I'm Eckart, a new member here from Singapore with a Japan fascination.  I'm excited to have found this forum for learning about Japanese edged blades.  From what I've read thus far, I'm happy to discover I'm at least not alone in diving in first by purchasing a sword and then later finding more serious literature and commentary.


 


I'm very much at the beginning and am currently trying to understand attribution types (ato mei vs. kinpun mei vs. gimei generally!) and the different reasons that drove them.  While I'm hoping to learn a bit more about my own blade from members here, I'd be grateful if anyone has pointers for a community events in Singapore. 


 


Thanks for establishing and keeping this community vibrant!


 


EF


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