Jump to content

Opinion for 1st time purchase!


Nicolas Maestre
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

 

Iaido practitioner here, but not an expert when it comes to Nihonto 😊

I am in search of what will be my first Nihonto, and I would like your opinion on this one: https://www.Japanese-sword-katana.jp/katana/2210-1007.htm

 

While I'm aware that the "bishu osafune + name" kind of refers to kazuuchi-mono (most of the time), this one caught my attention. 

First, it is dated. Then, why bother with unokubi zukuri for kazuuchi-mono? Also, carving a bo-hi and so-hi?? Oh and does having Hozon paper mean anything?

 

So what's your opinion on this sword? Any feedback from the experts here would greatly be appreciated 😊

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Nicolas, 

I don’t think that this would be considered kazu uchi mono as it is signed and dated so it probably lies in the middle ground between the best, custom order blades (signed with the smith’s personal and art name), and unsigned blades. So one you could buy off the shelf from the smith rather than sold in a bundle to a daimyo to arm his arrow fodder. 
 

I don’t think that this would be called unokubi zukuri as it has a yokote. Bear in mind also that the grooves may not have been done by the smith but added at a later date. Young, fit Samurai are as prone to getting old as everyone else and it maybe that the owner needed to lighten what is still a stout blade. 
 

The Hozon paper gives you, and anyone you sell it to, the comfort of knowing that it’s a genuine 16th century blade and has no fatal flaws. Beyond that it doesn’t say much as regards quality as poorer blades than this will still pass if they are in a decent state of polish and have no hagire etc. 
 

Hope that helps. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Stephen said:

I wouldn't wait, now shown its going going gone.

Ha ha, that's what I figured out... Just sent the order 😁

I followed your advice Jean 😉

 

And by the way, any French fellas around here? Am I to expect import fees??? Since it's a very ancient product, no VAT right? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Nicolas Maestre said:

And by the way, any French fellas around here? Am I to expect import fees??? Since it's a very ancient product, no VAT right? 

 

Ha, you wish!

AFAIK, in France antiques older than 100 years should be subject to a reduced VAT rate of 5.5% instead of 20%. However, in order to get the proper rate, it is vital that the description for the customs mention explicitly that the item is a >100yo antique, and include the appropriate tariff code 9706.000000 (see this link). And even when the description is correct, the carrier might "pre-process" your customs payment and apply the full VAT rate just to avoid complications. I had this problem in the past with both DHL and EMS/Chronopost. The former eventually reimbursed the difference (as their own invoice for the VAT payment contained the code that they had obviously disregarded) but the latter told me that they would only reimburse the sender, even though it was me who paid the tax to unblock the shipment. Since the sum involved was tiny I just let go, but in your case you want to make sure that you don't pay a 14.5% extra...

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Nicolas Maestre said:

First, it is dated. Then, why bother with unokubi zukuri for kazuuchi-mono? Also, carving a bo-hi and so-hi?? Oh and does having Hozon paper mean anything?

 

Why only hozon? 

 

According to Sato sensei, quality is the most overlooked step in kantei. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, PietroParis said:

 

Ha, you wish!

AFAIK, in France antiques older than 100 years should be subject to a reduced VAT rate of 5.5% instead of 20%. However, in order to get the proper rate, it is vital that the description for the customs mention explicitly that the item is a >100yo antique, and include the appropriate tariff code 9706.000000 (see this link). And even when the description is correct, the carrier might "pre-process" your customs payment and apply the full VAT rate just to avoid complications. I had this problem in the past with both DHL and EMS/Chronopost. The former eventually reimbursed the difference (as their own invoice for the VAT payment contained the code that they had obviously disregarded) but the latter told me that they would only reimburse the sender, even though it was me who paid the tax to unblock the shipment. Since the sum involved was tiny I just let go, but in your case you want to make sure that you don't pay a 14.5% extra...

 

Ha ha, me being naive again... Ok, thanks a bunch for the detailed information! I'll make sure to specify this code to the vendor then. Indeed, 5.5% would be ok, but 20% not so much 🙄.

We'll see... Still waiting for the order confirmation... 

 

10 hours ago, Franco D said:

 

Why only hozon? 

 

According to Sato sensei, quality is the most overlooked step in kantei. 

 

Hum... Sorry but you lost me there, what do you mean exactly? That the sword is worth more than only Hozon?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John explained the Hozen paper...............genuine

Hozen=worthy of preservation.

 

This is an Hozen level blade.

 

These papers are enough for a lot of people, dont need anything higher, even for blades well above the quality of this particular blade.

 

Back up what they already think for themselves, which is how it should be, not just relying solely on a paper.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Nicolas Maestre said:
21 hours ago, Franco D said:

Why only hozon? 

 

According to Sato sensei, quality is the most overlooked step in kantei. 

 

Hum... Sorry but you lost me there, what do you mean exactly? That the sword is worth more than only Hozon?

 

 

 

Why is the subject sword only Hozon and not Tokubetsu Hozon? 

 

It could be that the submitter only wanted to verify the mei and stopped when it passed Hozon, not continuing on to challenge Tokubetsu Hozon. It's also the case that the NBTHK will let you know when an item will not be considered for higher papers.  It could also be that TH was challenged and it didn't pass.  If it was submitted, then why didn't it pass TH? It's signed and dated, no obvious visible problems of any kind really. Considering the price jump if did pass TH, at least in my mind raises suspicions that this sword just doesn't meet the quality requirements of TH. And that question needs to answered before buying. 

 

 

Mass production Koto period Bizen swords aside, it would be advisable to read what Yamanaka and Nihonto Koza has written about later Koto Bizen swords in general when considering buying one. Yes, buy what you like, but know what you're buying.

 

 

 

NBTHK shinsa standards ... http://www.nihontocraft.com/Nihonto_Shinsa_Standards.html .

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Nicolas Maestre said:

Ha ha, me being naive again... Ok, thanks a bunch for the detailed information! I'll make sure to specify this code to the vendor then. Indeed, 5.5% would be ok, but 20% not so much 🙄.

We'll see... Still waiting for the order confirmation...

 

In the EMS/Chronopost case I had even asked the sender to write "TVA reduite" in the description, but Chronopost – which took over the shipping from EMS at CDG and dealt with the customs – couldn't care less.

 

OTOH, for an earlier shipping with the same carriers the 5.5% rate for antiques was correctly applied. I guess it just depends on how lucky you are with the employee that deals with your package...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Franco D said:

 

Yes, buy what you like, but know what you're buying.

 

 

Yes, I agree 100%, this is what matters most. In this case, I think I’m buying a genuine sword from late Muromachi, with official NBTHK Hozon paper, that has no fatal flaws, and is aesthetically pleasing for me 😊.

If this simple statement is valid, then I’m the happiest man alive… Just thinking what this sword has seen over the centuries, is mind blowing.

 

I am fully aware that this is definitely not a high quality sword, but that is not what I’m after 😉. To sum it up, I think it’s fair to say that the fact the blade is properly signed (not just the two kanji “Sukesada”) and is also dated suggests that this is no Kazu-uchi mono, but rather a reasonably well made, average quality, sword. According to the vendor (I asked AFTER I committed to buy) to summarize, the work is clearly not Kazu-uchi mono. Also according to him, the Koshirae may be Edo, and the tsukamaki in particular seems modern. Also he thinks the sword has never applied for Tokubetsu Hozon.

 

There we go guys, thanks a lot for all the inputs, much appreciated.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Bencld said:

Have you considered having it submitted for Tokubetsu Hozon whilst it is still in Japan ? It is considerably easier while it is still in country !

 

I've actually thought about it... But quickly decided not to. The thing is that I'm already at the top end of my budget, but most importantly, I don't care that much about what it's actually worth tbh. I don't plan on selling it any time soon either so... 

 

4 hours ago, Surfson said:

Congratulations on a good buy Nicolas.  That looks like a very nice package at a reasonable price.

 

Thanks man 😊

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nicolas, a good buy indeed.  Time and your collecting future and direction will tell you when the time is right to release it back into the world.  It took me 15 years to release my first buy, a mumei Sue Kotou blade in a very nice Shinguntou koshirae.  That the time was right was decided when a top-level ubu Shintou Hizen katana came into my orbit, also in a good Shinguntou koshirae and with a photo album and letter from the Japanese major surrendering it.  I still miss my first, more for nostalgic reasons than anything else, though it did exude a feeling of its time and place in history, and it was a real sword that was deemed worthy of taking to war.  Congratulations on your journey so far, but its a long and winding road...

 

BaZZa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys 😁

 

19 hours ago, waljamada said:

Oooo, a naganita-hi....one of my favorites.  Love the look of it and I can already see the smiles when it finally arrives in your hands.  Well bought and enjoy!

 

Adam

Ha ha, yup, smiling and nervous at the same time!!! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/16/2022 at 9:12 AM, Nicolas Maestre said:

thanks a bunch for the detailed information! I'll make sure to specify this code to the vendor then. Indeed, 5.5% would be ok, but 20% not so much 🙄.

 

I've just found the article of the French tax code that specifies the reduced VAT rate for antiques, I post it here for future reference (it might come useful to you in case you need to argue with the carrier):

https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/codes/article_lc/LEGIARTI000043002420/

In particular section I.1 reads:

"Les importations d'œuvres d'art, d'objets de collection ou d'antiquité, ainsi que sur les acquisitions intracommunautaires, effectuées par un assujetti ou une personne morale non assujettie, d'œuvres d'art, d'objets de collection ou d'antiquité qu'ils ont importés sur le territoire d'un autre Etat membre de l'Union européenne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/24/2022 at 3:41 PM, PietroParis said:

 

I've just found the article of the French tax code that specifies the reduced VAT rate for antiques, I post it here for future reference (it might come useful to you in case you need to argue with the carrier)

Wow, thanks a lot, that could prove useful indeed 👍👍👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

 

Just wanted to share my experience with this first purchase, and especially the shipment…

 

Getting the export permit from the ministry of cultural affairs was pretty quick, less than the 3 weeks announced initially. So the sword was shipped on Feb 9th, great!

 

But from there basically, anything that could go wrong… went wrong…

 

A couple days later (in Tokyo), tracking info said “returned to sender”… What a good way to start such a long trip.

 

I immediately contacted the vendor, who replied promptly telling me the package was considered oversize. So had to wait a couple more days for it to be received by the vendor, repackaged, and shipped again.

 

I do really hope that the level of protection offered by the package was not compromised too much to accommodate for the size… we’ll see…

 

So on Feb 14th, sword was shipped again, and cleared customs in Tokyo in the following days. And then… What I feared the most happened: held by French customs… Reason? Missing invoice.

 

I know the vendor attached it to the package, but anyways… I had to call multiple times (toll of course), twice a day, and send multiple emails, all of them with the damn invoice attached. I was told that I had to wait for 10 days (typically) for it to be resolved.

 

I don’t know if that did the trick but I put aside any dignity that I had and literally begged for them to clear the shipment, explained the value, both historical and financial, and used all the more sophisticated and polite words I know. And after about 5 days, all was good and sword was on the move again.

 

It was a relief, but I then had to pay for taxes…

 

And… You guessed it: 20% instead of 5.5 !!!!!!!!!!!!! So almost 1K. They completely ignored what was written on the invoice, that is item being an antique and over 250yo.

 

They just don’t give a f***. They make it VERY clear that if you don’t pay, item will be returned to the sender. So I paid (and had a fight with the wife because of it 😊).

 

Anyways, sword should be at my door any day now… but definitely an unpleasant experience!

 

 

NB: for French fellas, if you find yourself in the same situation with the shipment being held by customs “en raison d’une facture manquante”, you have to send emails to both these addresses, referencing the tracking number: import.cei@laposte.fr and disjoints.cei@laposte.fr

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had numerous issues as your in various EU countries and yes - they don't give a f***. I'm glad it got resolved and I hope you receive it in good health and of course - as described. 

 

Cheers

 

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I'm not surprised. I don't know the French VAT law, but as far as import is concerned, the laws on this in the EU are quite similar.

 

In Germany, for example, there is no reduced tax rate on antiques, only customs duties are waived for items older than 100 years.

 

In order to get the reduced tax rate, the item must be of ethnological or collection significance.

 

A circumstance that in reality is hardly justifiable at the customs, if you are not a curator of a museum...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Nicolas Maestre said:

Hi everyone,

 

Just wanted to share my experience with this first purchase, and especially the shipment…

 

Getting the export permit from the ministry of cultural affairs was pretty quick, less than the 3 weeks announced initially. So the sword was shipped on Feb 9th, great!

 

But from there basically, anything that could go wrong… went wrong…

 

A couple days later (in Tokyo), tracking info said “returned to sender”… What a good way to start such a long trip.

 

I immediately contacted the vendor, who replied promptly telling me the package was considered oversize. So had to wait a couple more days for it to be received by the vendor, repackaged, and shipped again.

 

I do really hope that the level of protection offered by the package was not compromised too much to accommodate for the size… we’ll see…

 

So on Feb 14th, sword was shipped again, and cleared customs in Tokyo in the following days. And then… What I feared the most happened: held by French customs… Reason? Missing invoice.

 

I know the vendor attached it to the package, but anyways… I had to call multiple times (toll of course), twice a day, and send multiple emails, all of them with the damn invoice attached. I was told that I had to wait for 10 days (typically) for it to be resolved.

 

I don’t know if that did the trick but I put aside any dignity that I had and literally begged for them to clear the shipment, explained the value, both historical and financial, and used all the more sophisticated and polite words I know. And after about 5 days, all was good and sword was on the move again.

 

It was a relief, but I then had to pay for taxes…

 

And… You guessed it: 20% instead of 5.5 !!!!!!!!!!!!! So almost 1K. They completely ignored what was written on the invoice, that is item being an antique and over 250yo.

 

They just don’t give a f***. They make it VERY clear that if you don’t pay, item will be returned to the sender. So I paid (and had a fight with the wife because of it 😊).

 

Anyways, sword should be at my door any day now… but definitely an unpleasant experience!

 

 

NB: for French fellas, if you find yourself in the same situation with the shipment being held by customs “en raison d’une facture manquante”, you have to send emails to both these addresses, referencing the tracking number: import.cei@laposte.fr and disjoints.cei@laposte.fr

 

In the uk at least you can claim back the overpaid taxes with a C285 form 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-apply-for-a-repayment-of-import-duty-and-vat-if-youve-overpaid-c285

Here is the uk link, i know it's not what you can use but you can use it for comparison at least.
 

Try and find the equivalent for France

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The import VAT is determined by means of a tax assessment notice. As with any tax assessment notice, an appeal can be lodged. Here in Germany, the deadline is 1 month after notification.
Justify your objection well, and argue especially with the existing Hozon, with which the NBTHK as a non-profit organization classifies the sword as authentic and worth preserving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...