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Do You Still Have Your First Sword?


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Just out of curiosity, how many of you still own the first sword that you ever acquired? I still have the first gunto that I bought, and I really can't see myself selling the first nihonto that I bought. My mind might change later, but I really enjoy just holding it in my hands and studying it. It certainly didn't cost a fortune, and is only has hozon papers, but I think it is a beautiful piece. I look forward to acquiring higher quality blades in the future, but short of winning the lottery, I don't think I will ever have a juyo blade in my collection. 

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It's not saying much, since I acquired my first two blades this year, but I still have them. :) Again, not that it counts for much as I'm at the beginning of my journey, but I don't see myself letting them go in the future.

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No, I do not. This is not counting the Chinese replica wall hanger which I bought as a student and is still in my dad’s flat.
As as regards genuine nihonto, in fact I have sold the first four blades I acquired in order to upgrade my collection. My goal is to own not more than 10 swords and even that is probably too many. So I try to not become emotionally attached to blades or objects which are not of strong familial sentimental value. 

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Oh yes!  An accidental arrival but it is a Mino den katana/tachi with an iron tsuba, clearly battle damaged in WWII and mounted as a Burmese dha.  Worth almost nothing but can't ever let it go.  It started me on a journey of discovery for which I will always be grateful.

 

All the best.

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1 hour ago, b.hennick said:

I still have my first sword, bought in 1976. I thought at the time that every blackbelt needed a sword. Who knew that it would start me on this long journey. 

Me also Barry, I got my Shodan in 1981 and like you felt that I needed a Nihonto. A friend of my brother got me this little beauty.  Then I like you started on the "LONG JOURNEY TO NIHONTO".

Made the mistake then of going down the Chinato path, But luchily over time I was educated and got rid of them all and now only have a few decent Nihonto and Iaito.

To date I am now a Godan in Shotokan and a Dan Grade in MJER and still training every week and practising at 66yrs old. What was your grade in ?

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Still have my first mumei kanbun shinto 27.5" nagasa in early type 98 higher end gunto fittings with rust damage on the top 3" of the blade.  Has a name carved onto the tsuba. I will always love her.  Its got an amazing blue hue to it's metal and carries its flaws decently well.  But that's me looking at it with a "parents" eye.  I will keep it as long as I collect nihonto.  Got to the point now where, kind of like Gakusee, I will probably make a rule to sell one if I buy one.  Will make for some tough choices down the line. 

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Sold and upgraded along the way. Same rule here: buy one, sell one, keep the count low and the quality high. 

 

Tastes evolve over time, and what was once interesting turns less interesting as one's tastes matures and learns more along the journey. 

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11 hours ago, Moley said:

Me also Barry, I got my Shodan in 1981 and like you felt that I needed a Nihonto. A friend of my brother got me this little beauty.  Then I like you started on the "LONG JOURNEY TO NIHONTO".

Made the mistake then of going down the Chinato path, But luchily over time I was educated and got rid of them all and now only have a few decent Nihonto and Iaito.

To date I am now a Godan in Shotokan and a Dan Grade in MJER and still training every week and practising at 66yrs old. What was your grade in ?

 

Nice going Gwyn! I do hold my manhood cheap for dropping out of Shotokan karate as a lowly 1st kyu in the mid 1990s but, as usual, life and work got in the way. It's great to hear from some of the serious martial artists on here swinging swords and pounding boards in their 60s and 70s.

 

Sorry for the hijack. I don't have my first sword but don't regret not having it. I like my swords but wouldn't be unhappy to part with them. I do, however, have some fittings that really speak to me and they would be one hell of a wrench to let go.

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No, I sold it years ago to upgrade my collection. In almost 40 years of Nihonto collecting, I get rid thrice of my collection to upgrade it to finish by:

 

 

 

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No - my first was a decent shinto wakizashi by Echizen Shigetaka

Moved it on to continue the nihonto journey.

Was very inspired by Jean's Gokaden collection which I am now trying to accumulate (very slowly)

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As far as swords go, no I don’t have my first purchase. I went into this blindly with one little book and a solid belief in fellow collectors and the “ it’s a  Vet bring back bought directly from the family” . I was so proud of my first purchase of a Japanese sword that you couldn’t get the smile off my face, that was until I found out from a true collector and now friend and mentor that my Prized Sword was a Chinese Fake😒. It took me a year to get my money back from the seller but finally did. After a couple years of reading and a lot of help from this forum and my now Two mentors I have a modest collection of REAL Japanese Nihonto. Thank you to all here that have helped me with this journey and allowed me to become the care taker of some of your prized pieces. A little side note I do still have the first K98 Mauser that I brought home on my bicycle 58 years ago.

   MikeR

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Like Barry and some others I had set getting shodan in Kendo as the point I would save till to get my first. Life events and such dragged that process out about 10 years so I had plenty of time to save up and learn a bit. My first nihonto was an o-wakizashi signed Dewa Daijo Fujiwara Kunimichi, and assessed to be one of his later works, or the 2nd gen depending on which theory you go by.

 

Have learned a lot more since then, not sure if I'll ever trade it up yet. Most of my other pieces and interests have been much older koto and in my range ones just attributed to broad schools, and it's been nice to have a signed piece and be able to research a smith who has a little bit more of his life documented or written about in various journals.

 

I need to get some of my own photos, this one has been tricky to capture appropriately.

 

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Yes, still have mine, a wakizashi that I bought in the mid '80s.  I think I described in an earlier thread how I accidentally smuggled it out of Japan in my suitcase without realizing it has to be surrendered to the police and de-licensed.  

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I still have my first blade. I was going to sell it to upgrade my collection but I haven’t stumbled across anything I like more than this first juyo Ichimonji kamakura period tachi. I’m still looking.

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Yes, an ornamental Samurai sword i got when i was around 10 years old, never had the heart to get rid of it.

 

Also, not so long after, a Ninja sword with a Towkay 440 steel blade (whatever that is) along with a bunch of throwing stars etc.

 

Found a pic, xmas 1982. Easily pleased back then not like kids of today with the ps4 etc etc (i was a strange kid tho)

 

It was all the Ninja movies at that time.

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I forgot to mention that once I became more knowledgable about swords, I realized that my first sword wasn't that great, as it was a mumei (cut down) wakizashi with a kizu, so I sold it.  I started to feel bad about it, and bought it back a year or two later.  

 

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