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Showato or Gendaito? Help with nie nioi

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... but a much better one. Still going with Gendaito. There’s activity there.


and no dark spots that would make ,e feel of water quenching.

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Dear Jesse.


Please don't take this amiss, it is meant as an encouragement.  In the acquisition of skill there are often said to be four stages; unconscious incompetence, where you know nothing and don't even realise it, conscious incompetence, where you begin to realise how much there really is to this and that you know nothing, conscious competence where you start to understand if you really think about it and unconscious competence where you don't have to think, you just know.  I suppose we could call that last one connoisseurship.  


According to your own declaration that means you are already at stage two, only two more to go!

(Of course, not all stages take the same amount of time but, hey ho, progress is progress.:))  


You are asking questions and really looking at what you have and that is the start.  The feeling when you really 'get something' for the first time is worth it all!


All the best.

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4 hours ago, 16k said:

No they’re not ,but could be muji and the Hada (if there is any) is obscured by the poor polish.

Hi JP,

sorry comment was directed to the Jesse: I thought he was looking at buying and was weighing what was on offer. 

I agree with your comments re the hamon but this isn’t a pool that I would fish in as it’s hard to know what you are getting. Even genuine  gendaito made this era can seem vague in terms of their attributes and it’s easier to err on the side of caution. 

Jesse, if you are looking for tradionally made blades, I’d suggest you go for something that has obvious known qualities. It’s easier to learn that way than where hamon and hada are vague  - even Kantei competitions in Japan use clear cut examples. 

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  • 2 months later...

Its hamon activity for one Andrew.  I passed on the above blade because it was too hard to tell if Nie and nioi were present due to bad photos and old polish.  I can definitely see the activity on my Yoshimichi blade, and it has helped me learn.

I have also learned to stay away from liveAuctioneers sales as they are really not as described in the photos.  As you ask for more pictures the trash becomes apparent.

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i paint this fast to explain.




On the upper side you see gendaito / down side showato.


You see on a gendaito the structures of the pearl matrix of the iron after hardning in water. On a showato all is uniform. with a mostly dark line during the hamon and dark shadows in the spikes of the hamon if it is not suguha-ba (straight hamon). Most of the gendaito where forged in masame hada - straight lines. Most of the showato you didn't see a hada between the layers of the iron. If you see some dark or bright shining spots which looks like asteroids rocks in front of the sun, this is nie and dark ones like ara-nie and a sure sign of gendaito.


Btw: Don't forget that a wartime polish isn't such shining as a modern polish. The sword looks much more decent and you must play with the lights and angles to see all the beauty of a blade.



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Chris and Jesse,


Thank you for your explanations. I am half way through reading your website on RJT Gendaito Chris, and am keeping your remarks in mind when making my way through the content. 


I have been looking at higher quality blades/nihonto to increase my pattern recognition. Some of these points I have managed to deduce myself, but the activity of the hamon has been something that has been hard to quantify. You have done an excellent job putting this into words.


If anyone else has further contribution, I would love to hear.



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