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First Sword Purchase


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I am interested in buying a nihoto katana, I have wanted to start a collection for 10+ years and this year is going to be the year I think. I have found a beautiful piece from the samurai museum in Japan for about £4500 gbp. It is an authentic nihoto katana from the early edo period, made by "Jyumyo" and given the "Hozon" certification by NBTHK.

 

Any advice from other collectors?

top-19-scaled.jpg

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The paper suggests that this sword dates from what would be called the late Edo period, the so-called "Shin-shinto era." Swords like this are commonly traded on the collectors' market. They are out there. I urge you to meet and visit with other collectors. That is a good way of meeting new people, learning, and seeing swords. Enjoy!

Peter

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Not questioning your decision or saying if you should or shouldn’t buy it because it is your money and YOU are the only one who has to be happy with it… 

 

But just some general questions with regard to collecting that we all ask ourselves about any purchase.  Why this blade?  Why do you like it? Does it speak to you?  Have you studied Jumyo and you find this particular smith or time period or school interesting?  Does it ‘fit’ into your collection?  What will you learn from it?  Have you compared it to like/similar blades?

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Mikaveli said:

Looks nice - do you know / did they indicate the smith the sword is attributed to?

 

I'm a complete novice, but I've also just purchased an Edo period Shin To from that site.

Jyumyo

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Hi Matthew,

 

I am also new to this so you will probably get much better advice from others.  My only comments would be, if that is your budget try to get Tokubetsu Hozon rather than just Hozon.  Jyumyo looks to be the school rather than an attribution to a particular smith.  They have one on sale slightly cheaper than yours which has Tokubetsu Hozon, and another slightly more expensive.  Also, for that period personally I would want it to have a signature.  

 

As I say, I am new to this too so this is just my personal opinion.

 

All the best with your purchase,

John

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With the understanding that I haven't seen the sword in hand (it may be wonderful) and also, since I do sell swords, I have a dog in this fight, I think you can do better for the money. 4,500 GBP is about US$6,150; I would expect something more exciting than unsigned Jumyo in shirasaya with a paper for that amount.

Grey

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I personally like Jumyo and I own several of them - mostly signed with horimono. The blades usually are made for life longevity among other blessings.  

 

Here, you'll learn a lot of useful information as to how to approach nihonto however I disagree with some folks' pricing complaints as that creates an additional discrepancies across the board but - different subject. As what some say - the sword will pick you rather than the other way around.

 

And of course check the for sale section. The sellers are knowledgeable and trustworthy. 

 

I wish you success.

 

J.

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I'd echo what Grey and Brian have said. Unsigned and/ or shortened shinto and shin shinto blades aren't that desireable to collectors and you may well find that you won't get back what you paid for this if or when you decide to move it on. For me it looks like it might be machi okuri but that might be my eyes, however, this would mark it down for me.

 

There are many swords out there and you are looking at spending relatively decent money. I'd hang fire for a while and get a better feel for the market before diving in - don't be afraid of missing out. Keep an eye on the sales section on here as reasonably priced good quality items pop up fairly regularly.

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Hi @matt8064

 

Please feel free to pm me. I'm also from the UK. 

 

But I'm also new to nihonto and have just recently purchased my first sword, however not new to the Japanese sword world or JSA. 

 

You will find some great advice on these forums, and you did a favour to yourself by asking. 

 

When I went for my first sword I was looking for a few things personally. (I haven't got my sword yet, still waiting paperwork)

 

First of all time period. I began looking at edo period and then even modern blades. However as I did more research I began to perfer slightly older or koto. But if I saw a edo period sword for a good price which appealed to me I would not have hesitated to buy one. 

But I wanted the sword to be over 100 years. Also I'm far more into history of Japan, which also influenced my decision. At the end of the day you are buying a piece of history aswell. 

 

The next aspect Is the hozon by the Nbthk. This usually signifies that the sword is approved by the governing body. 

 

But all this apart, if you like what you see and have substantial images of the sword in question then go ahead. 

My problem was that the dealer I got my sword from showed laminated images rather than in person photos. Which meant I needed to do more digging. 

 

Samurai museum shows some great photos compared to others. 

 

Most of all don't be in a rush. If the blade does not impress you , remember the history might be greater.  But shopping around also helps. What is your budget in general? 

 

Regards

Paz

 

 

 

 

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On 1/9/2022 at 10:55 AM, matt8064 said:

Any advice from other collectors?

 

 

 Shinshinto sword; should be both signed and dated, ubu (not even machiokuri), smith should be rated, preferably 27" or longer, no flaws. Preferably in excellent polish, or discounted if in need of. Koshirae should be evaluated separately.

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Franco lays out nice, concrete characteristics of “collectible” swords. To his list, I would add that main lines are always much more desirable than  the work of documented deshi or later generations. Major smiths always had and maintained a corps of guys who “studied” and supported the main man. Presumably, these smiths went on to fulfill the blade needs of their communities, but as far as I can tell, “school” blades are ‘slow movers’ except maybe in their home towns.

Peter

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