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First Nihonto. Trying to identify its age. More pics added.


oneshot onekill
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2 hours ago, oneshot onekill said:

Well... I was able to get my sword into the hands of someone with over 4 Decades of studying Nihonto. In his opinion it is definitely Koto and most likely made sometime in the late 1400's to early 1500's. He suggested having it sent to Japan for Shinsa and also obviously recommended getting it polished. Since he polishes swords I'll likely have him polish it sometime in the coming Months as I can afford it. I realize it's only an opinion but this gentleman actually held and studied the sword. There is no substitute for that from someone with decades of experience who polishes swords as well. The first thing he said which seemed to be because of the weight was, "This is definitely a Koto Sword". I've learned that older doesn't necessarily mean better but I was hoping for it to be a relatively "old" blade. I guess I should have trusted the Previous Owner when he told me the Sword Shop where he bought it in Japan years ago told him it was Muromachi.  

... Oh, he also said it had been shortened considerably and was originally a Tachi blade.

 

I'll do my part by being a meanie.

In most field being qualified does not mean you did something for 40 years. It means you achieved tangible results.

The problem with the statement quoted is that you are being invited to "definitely" spend 4-6k USD without any notion of what this blade is besides that its "definitely Koto" and possibly Muromachi. That's pretty wide shot for an "expert".

There are not many o-suriage Muromachi blades that are worth big money. The chance you'll get your investment's worth is slim.

I don't know why so many people give the same advice "you have to have it polish and send it to shinsa". Why on earth would you do something so expensive without having a good guess regarding what it actually is??? Do you buy dirty paintings from thrift stores and send it to the top conservations?

 

To have some bearing regarding what this one is, good pictures are needed of the boshi, hada and hamon. It does kind of look like one of the Yamato inspired works with a tendency for "weaker", less nie based hamon. These are seldom expensive in this condition.

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3 hours ago, Rivkin said:

 

I'll do my part by being a meanie.

In most field being qualified does not mean you did something for 40 years. It means you achieved tangible results.

The problem with the statement quoted is that you are being invited to "definitely" spend 4-6k USD without any notion of what this blade is besides that its "definitely Koto" and possibly Muromachi. That's pretty wide shot for an "expert".

There are not many o-suriage Muromachi blades that are worth big money. The chance you'll get your investment's worth is slim.

I don't know why so many people give the same advice "you have to have it polish and send it to shinsa". Why on earth would you do something so expensive without having a good guess regarding what it actually is??? Do you buy dirty paintings from thrift stores and send it to the top conservations?

 

To have some bearing regarding what this one is, good pictures are needed of the boshi, hada and hamon. It does kind of look like one of the Yamato inspired works with a tendency for "weaker", less nie based hamon. These are seldom expensive in this condition.

Blah, Blah, Blah... Actually, I believe having an experienced person have it in their hands is a thousand times better than posting pictures so people who have NOT had it in their hands can pick it apart without really getting the whole picture. No offense meant to those who don't feel the need to be the "meanie". FWIW, It has never been about the monetary value for me. I did a lot of paraphrasing in my last post because I didnt remember everything in detail. The value I was told this sword could potentially hold makes it well worth investing in a moderately priced polish and Shinsa but I'll probably only get it polished. Possibly Shinsa when it comes back around to the US closer than San Francisco.

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Very few qualified or even decent polishers in the USA. I can only hope that the man mentioned is someone like Bob Benson or Ted Tenold or one of the very few like them.
US shinsa is probably your best bet, and not expensive. You have time to catch the one coming up now.
https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/39208-2022-nthk-west-coast-shinsa-yes-its-happening

 

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8 hours ago, Brian said:

Very few qualified or even decent polishers in the USA. I can only hope that the man mentioned is someone like Bob Benson or Ted Tenold or one of the very few like them.
US shinsa is probably your best bet, and not expensive. You have time to catch the one coming up now.
https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/39208-2022-nthk-west-coast-shinsa-yes-its-happening

 

Thank you. I looked into the San Francisco show for that but I can't afford it right now. One of the kind other members here was guiding me on how to get that done.

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Your only bet on knowing what this is. Is by shinsa. But why wasn't the blade shinsad before being sold. I'm sure the Japanese had a clear idea of its potential and would have done all that themselves and sold it at a higher price if they beleive what your being told by the 40 year expert. 

 

It's still o suriage and you will have to hope it's early muromachi/ nanbokucho for it to fetch value. But the market right now doesn't favour sellers, unless you plan to keep it.

For example the other day I met someone who purchased a nanbokucho badly damaged and full of kizu for 300 bucks. Which he will polish. But the blade defo looked early muromachi just from the horimono and shape most of all. 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Paz said:

Your only bet on knowing what this is. Is by shinsa. But why wasn't the blade shinsad before being sold. I'm sure the Japanese had a clear idea of its potential and would have done all that themselves and sold it at a higher price if they beleive what your being told by the 40 year expert. 

 

It's still o suriage and you will have to hope it's early muromachi/ nanbokucho for it to fetch value. But the market right now doesn't favour sellers, unless you plan to keep it.

For example the other day I met someone who purchased a nanbokucho badly damaged and full of kizu for 300 bucks. Which he will polish. But the blade defo looked early muromachi just from the horimono and shape most of all. 

 

 

The original owner was a Military man (Marine) who bought the sword years ago at a sword shop in Japan during his time stationed there. I think it was more of an expensive souvenir for him, not an investment. My admittedly over-the-top need to have some idea when it was made was purely for the history. I just love antiques. The older the better. Especially being so wonderfully preserved with its original beauty. I don't care about the value because I didn't buy it with the intention of selling it for a profit... or selling it at all for that matter. I want to share it with others. Sometimes I spend long periods of time just staring at it and studying it. Imagining when it was being forged and what else was going on in the World during that time. Wondering who carried it first and how did he live? How did he die? How did it come from then to now?

This sword spoke to me.

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2 hours ago, oneshot onekill said:

The original owner was a Military man (Marine) who bought the sword years ago at a sword shop in Japan during his time stationed there. I think it was more of an expensive souvenir for him, not an investment. My admittedly over-the-top need to have some idea when it was made was purely for the history. I just love antiques. The older the better. Especially being so wonderfully preserved with its original beauty. I don't care about the value because I didn't buy it with the intention of selling it for a profit... or selling it at all for that matter. I want to share it with others. Sometimes I spend long periods of time just staring at it and studying it. Imagining when it was being forged and what else was going on in the World during that time. Wondering who carried it first and how did he live? How did he die? How did it come from then to now?

This sword spoke to me.

 

I can see that you only want to hear good things about your sword and I think you are a bit obsessed with it, which is totally fine. But, please remind the fact that this sword was sold at a sword shop in Japan. Which means shop already knew what this sword was and there was a reason why this sword was sold to a "tourist" instead to a Japanese connoisseur&collector.

 

As you stated many times, this sword spoke to you :) We get that. Sadly, the swords I own don't speak to me but I speak with them...The only swords are speaking to me are the ones I can't afford to buy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@Okan

@oneshot onekill

 

You both make great points. 

 

John absolutely you would want to study its history ect, that's the reason I'm in the business. 

 

And as Okan said quote rightly that a sword shop in Japan would have done more with it if it carried value. 

 

But judging by your responses John you have to accept what the blade and love it for what it is, even if it doesn't turn out to be the dates your hoping for. 

 

Shinto or shinshinto are still valuable. And I dont think its a good idea to be ever biased to one era as their are amazing stories in all eras. 

 

I personally enjoyed edo period works because it was such an interesting time ! 

 

Regards

Paz

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42 minutes ago, Okan said:

 

I can see that you only want to hear good things about your sword and I think you are a bit obsessed with it, which is totally fine. But, please remind the fact that this sword was sold at a sword shop in Japan. Which means shop already knew what this sword was and there was a reason why this sword was sold to a "tourist" instead to a Japanese connoisseur&collector.

 

As you stated many times, this sword spoke to you :) We get that. Sadly, the swords I own don't speak to me but I speak with them...The only swords are speaking to me are the ones I can't afford to buy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do so many here start out with negative or derogatory statements? It's OK... just a little disheartening. To me, there ARE only good things to say about my sword. I take in every opinion that has an explanation. I am learning from everyone here. Even the ones I don't agree with.

I'm not obsessed, but I am somewhat in awe.

Neither you nor I know the circumstances surrounding the purchase of this sword from Japan so speculation about that aspect is irrelevant.

I don't believe it is some Japanese national treasure. I'm not naive. The Tsuba doesn't fit very well. I think there are too many seppa and at least one of them seems new. It needs a polish. The muneyaki it appears to have is inconsistent so I think it was probably a flaw in the clay or something when it was quenched. Honestly, its not very sharp. I don't know what any or all of that means but it doesn't matter to me.

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42 minutes ago, Paz said:

@Okan

@oneshot onekill

 

You both make great points. 

 

John absolutely you would want to study its history ect, that's the reason I'm in the business. 

 

And as Okan said quote rightly that a sword shop in Japan would have done more with it if it carried value. 

 

But judging by your responses John you have to accept what the blade and love it for what it is, even if it doesn't turn out to be the dates your hoping for. 

 

Shinto or shinshinto are still valuable. And I dont think its a good idea to be ever biased to one era as their are amazing stories in all eras. 

 

I personally enjoyed edo period works because it was such an interesting time ! 

 

Regards

Paz

I'm actually in negotiations for what the owner says is an Edo Period sword. If I end up with it I'll post pics and I promise not to be too much of an ass to everyone. I'm taking a chance on this one because the pictures the owner has been able to send don't tell me anything about it except that it doesn't look Chinese and it's really inexpensive. I have no idea about this one. It could have been made last week or 300 years ago. If it's a turd I'll just tuck my tail between my legs and take the lashing. LOL!

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14 minutes ago, oneshot onekill said:

I'm actually in negotiations for what the owner says is an Edo Period sword. If I end up with it I'll post pics and I promise not to be too much of an ass to everyone. I'm taking a chance on this one because the pictures the owner has been able to send don't tell me anything about it except that it doesn't look Chinese and it's really inexpensive. I have no idea about this one. It could have been made last week or 300 years ago. If it's a turd I'll just tuck my tail between my legs and take the lashing. LOL!

Instead of taking a chance, why don't you post its pics and ask for help before buying it?

 

 

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8 minutes ago, oneshot onekill said:

Why do so many here start out with negative or derogatory statements? It's OK... just a little disheartening. To me, there ARE only good things to say about my sword. I take in every opinion that has an explanation. I am learning from everyone here. Even the ones I don't agree with.

I'm not obsessed, but I am somewhat in awe.

Neither you nor I know the circumstances surrounding the purchase of this sword from Japan so speculation about that aspect is irrelevant.

I don't believe it is some Japanese national treasure. I'm not naive. The Tsuba doesn't fit very well. I think there are too many seppa and at least one of them seems new. It needs a polish. The muneyaki it appears to have is inconsistent so I think it was probably a flaw in the clay or something when it was quenched. Honestly, its not very sharp. I don't know what any or all of that means but it doesn't matter to me.

many here are trying to help you but you get defensive for the reasons I'm not sure why.. Most of them are way more experienced than you are but you still don't agree with some of them..

 

Also, I'm not speculating, circumstances doesn't matter. It was out of polish. It doesn't have any papers. It was in a sword shop instead of an auction. It was sold to a tourist. All for a reason..Sword dealers are not idiots, you now..

 

No offense but If I were you, I would really invest in books instead of a new sword. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Okan said:

many here are trying to help you but you get defensive for the reasons I'm not sure why.. Most of them are way more experienced than you are but you still don't agree with some of them..

 

Also, I'm not speculating, circumstances doesn't matter. It was out of polish. It doesn't have any papers. It was in a sword shop instead of an auction. It was sold to a tourist. All for a reason..Sword dealers are not idiots, you now..

 

No offense but If I were you, I would really invest in books instead of a new sword. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do appreciate everything you are saying although it may seem like I don't. Thank you for conversing with me. I'm listening. You're absolutely right about books instead of another sword. But this one presented itself by someone who needs money and may or may not be taking a loss on it. His pictures are terrible so I'll just post some when and if I get it.

I was told by the previous owner the sword I have looked better when he got it but he didn't really know how to take care of it and it got worse when he tried to clean it.  He bought the sword around 50 years ago from what I found out recently. There was other paperwork with it but sadly it was lost over years of moving around.

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9 hours ago, oneshot onekill said:

I'm actually in negotiations for what the owner says is an Edo Period sword. If I end up with it I'll post pics and I promise not to be too much of an ass to everyone. I'm taking a chance on this one because the pictures the owner has been able to send don't tell me anything about it except that it doesn't look Chinese and it's really inexpensive. I have no idea about this one. It could have been made last week or 300 years ago. If it's a turd I'll just tuck my tail between my legs and take the lashing. LOL!

 

I hope this isn't 1k up. Or few hundred. 

 

To me you absolute need papers if your at the beginning stage. Or you'll end up wasting money on regrets. Please post pics of the sword. 

 

Think, only you will benefit from it no matter what. 

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6 hours ago, Paz said:

 

I hope this isn't 1k up. Or few hundred. 

 

To me you absolute need papers if your at the beginning stage. Or you'll end up wasting money on regrets. Please post pics of the sword. 

 

Think, only you will benefit from it no matter what. 

For some reason I keep getting a Network Error when I try to attach the one picture I think is the best one.  

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Jean said:

In fact John, Nihonto for you is a key for dreaming and not for learning😀

Yes Dreaming... Of course. But also learning. The two go hand in hand. Learning about something like Nihonto without dreaming as well is pointless to me. YMMV.

I do appreciate the advice of getting books and I will heed that advice. I've amassed libraries of books about other things I've collected over the years but only after I've had a good start collecting those things. I know that's backward to most people here but it has always worked for me. I carefully weigh out how much I'm spending vs the potential losses. I never go into purchasing ANY collectible without being willing to lose that investment if I made a mistake. It's called "The School of Hard Knocks" and I'm fully ready to be beat up. I've also started out not spending much money. I'm not wealthy at all. In fact, I know I'm in way over my head but I'm hooked. One day maybe I'll be able to afford even a moderately priced, signed and papered sword but not today. Heck, I can't even afford to have the sword I have papered... let alone polished.

 

FWIW I think the Internet is also a good source of basic information but I know there is a lot of misinformation as well. I've read a lot of what Markus Sesko has put online. I also go through AOI's auctions and offerings strictly as a study guide. They have good pictures and descriptions. I study pictures of hundreds of blades as well as I can online. You cannot get the whole story that way but you can learn some things. A picture is worth a thousand words. I have always had a good eye once I have a base of information for comparison.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Jean said:

John,

 

in this case, you must buy blades in perfect polish, nobody has never learned anything from an out of polish blade.

 

Here is a post I wrote years ago:

 

https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/12646-advices-for-newbies-buyers-rules-of-thumb/

 

Yes... absolutely. I read that post and the lion's share of it falls in line with what I have learned... Whether I like it or not. I won't even consider buying a blade that doesn't have some degree of polish. If I can't tell that it at least appears to be traditionally made I run away. I'm afraid to make any calls on WWII mounted blades because I just don't have the knowledge or experience. I've recently seen blades on auction sites that are actually rusty and impossible to identify (except for a signature that could be a fake) that the seller is asking tens of thousands of dollars for! Crazy! Maybe worth it, but not to me. I think I know my limitations. But maybe not. Time will tell. 

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On 7/5/2022 at 10:20 AM, oneshot onekill said:

For some reason I keep getting a Network Error when I try to attach the one picture I think is the best one.  

Well, The deal fell through. It was a nice looking sword with lots of activity. It was likely an Edo Katana based on the condition and shape of the nakago, the weight(Heavy), the price and how tight the Hada was. The Hamon was Suguha (Chu Suguha) with visible Nie and yes, it was under $1000. I got it in my hands and immediately found a problem. The blade had a slight bend. Actually it was bent at the HaMachi and MuneMachi. The Nakago was straight but the blade was bent off at a slight angle. The Koshirae was nice, and old but the Tsuba was a bit loose. One more Seppa would have tightened it up. And I don't think the Habaki was very old (The edges seemed to sharp and squared. Old Habaki's  usually seem worn more given the rest of the Koshirae seemed old). The important part was the blade and if it hadn't been bent I would have loved to post pictures and get opinions (without throwing my amateur thoughts around). 

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14 hours ago, oneshot onekill said:

Well, The deal fell through. It was a nice looking sword with lots of activity. It was likely an Edo Katana based on the condition and shape of the nakago, the weight(Heavy), the price and how tight the Hada was. The Hamon was Suguha (Chu Suguha) with visible Nie and yes, it was under $1000. I got it in my hands and immediately found a problem. The blade had a slight bend. Actually it was bent at the HaMachi and MuneMachi. The Nakago was straight but the blade was bent off at a slight angle. The Koshirae was nice, and old but the Tsuba was a bit loose. One more Seppa would have tightened it up. And I don't think the Habaki was very old (The edges seemed to sharp and squared. Old Habaki's  usually seem worn more given the rest of the Koshirae seemed old). The important part was the blade and if it hadn't been bent I would have loved to post pictures and get opinions (without throwing my amateur thoughts around). 

The way it reads you sure THIS wasn't a koto 🤣🤣

 

 

Just buy papered swords and save yourself 

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14 hours ago, Paz said:

The way it reads you sure THIS wasn't a koto 🤣🤣

 

 

Just buy papered swords and save yourself 

No, I can't be sure. I'm not that knowledgeable or confident. I'm going by what I've studied and what the seller told me. He said it was late Edo but didn't tell me how he knew that. Honestly, I'd love to buy papered swords. I simply can't afford them. I can't generally even afford signed swords. My budget is generally less than $1000. Even saving up for something is difficult. 

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23 minutes ago, oneshot onekill said:

No, I can't be sure. I'm not that knowledgeable or confident. I'm going by what I've studied and what the seller told me. He said it was late Edo but didn't tell me how he knew that. Honestly, I'd love to buy papered swords. I simply can't afford them. I can't generally even afford signed swords. My budget is generally less than $1000. Even saving up for something is difficult. 

In that case John take my honest advice please. 

 

Just save that 1k and don't buy anything. Maybe books for 100 bucks yes definitely. 

 

But if you save to up around 5k or 4k then you should be in the market to  buy something good, papered and also you will have more knowledge. 

 

I didn't enter this hobby until I was ready to spend around 6k. And then I spent 300 bucks on books which some cost around 40 each. 

 

Don't do what i did many years ago and buy replicas or take big risks. 

This hobby is very expensive and requires more knowledge than some of us can fathom. 

 

Even when I had my budget I still ended up buying and selling 3 nihontos. 

 

Maybe come back to buying in a few years. You will be glad you did. 

 

Kind regards 

Paz

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11 hours ago, Paz said:

In that case John take my honest advice please. 

 

Just save that 1k and don't buy anything. Maybe books for 100 bucks yes definitely. 

 

But if you save to up around 5k or 4k then you should be in the market to  buy something good, papered and also you will have more knowledge. 

 

I didn't enter this hobby until I was ready to spend around 6k. And then I spent 300 bucks on books which some cost around 40 each. 

 

Don't do what i did many years ago and buy replicas or take big risks. 

This hobby is very expensive and requires more knowledge than some of us can fathom. 

 

Even when I had my budget I still ended up buying and selling 3 nihontos. 

 

Maybe come back to buying in a few years. You will be glad you did. 

 

Kind regards 

Paz

Excellent advice and I'll definitely be getting books and studying more and more. But I'm a "Treasure Hunter" by nature and by that I don't mean hunting for things of great value for profit. I mean finding that "Diamond in the rough" that was hidden in someone's closet for decades or mis-appraised for whatever reason or just parted with because interest was lost. In my life I've hunted for and found silver coins from a fleet of ships that sunk off the Florida coast in 1715. I've lucked into buying rare firearms because neither I nor the seller knew what it was until I researched afterward. I've found many things with a metal detector. Because its my "nature" you may still see me here posting pictures of my latest find, asking for opinions because Nihonto is my latest "Treasure" to search for.

But I WILL be more respectful to the knowledge found here. 

Besides... I think at least some of the members here like to see people's Treasures and everyone has an opinion. 

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