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Peter M

Where do Australian Collectors get thier swords polished?

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Hello all,

 

I am after some contact details specifically from Australian collectors as to where they get thier swords polished. I realise that this infomation might be "sensitive" however any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

Peter McV

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Hi Peter,

 

Start bold statement

 

There is only one place to get your swords polished ... Japan.

 

End bold statement

 

I don't know of any Australian polishers worth their salt. There is a member of this forum (Andrew Ickeringill) who is currently being trained in Japan in the Hon'ami tradition. He is in the second year of his apprenticeship I believe. Once Andrew finishes, he will be the only Japanese trained togishi in Australia that I am aware of - he will also have a long list of swords ready to be polished :)

 

There are some good polishers in other countries (e.g. Louis Skebo, Bob Benson, etc) - some of whom are also part of this forum. The decision about who should polish your sword is really a personal one and it depends on the type, age and quality of the blade.

 

I will send you a PM soon with someone who might be able to assist you to get swords polished in Japan.

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Thanks Justin,

I have read enough to know NMB policy on polishing blades and too little to know of the process for getting blades polished from the far corner of the earth which is Australia. I almost made it to the Sydney Shinsa (sp?) which would have made a great start , however work and family commitments clashed.

 

The blade I would like to get polished has been discussed previously on this forum here

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2589&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

 

I realise that it is extremely unlikly that there is a Japanese trained polisher here in Aust that is why I am asking for where the guys here get thier swords polished and the process they use.

 

All PM's would be greatfully recived.

 

Many Thanks

 

Peter M

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G'day Guys,

 

I'm also after info on the best way to have blades here in Oz sent to Japan for polishing. It seems that the process and togishi used is somewhat protected info. Perhaps it comes down to the lack of Aussie nihonto societies, the huge distances involved and therefore minimal face to face collector meetings, all preventing good relationship building and information passage. I know about the regular meeting's in Sydney but for some they may as well be on Mars. It's not anyones fault, it all comes down to money in the end, unfortunately.

 

Perhaps there is a small business opportunity for someone with good Japanese contacts to act as an agent!

 

Looking forward to a fully qualified togishi here down under, keep going Andrew!! Let me know if you need any support from your home country.

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Hi Peter. One of your greatest challenges will be finding a sword worth the expense of polishing. You can look at this link http://www007.upp.so-net.ne.jp/m-kenji/service.html .Mishina Kenji, whose website outlines the expenses you are up for. BTW I have never used his services but he has been around a long time and speaks english.

 

I think finding the right sword for polish is your priority at the moment, and I don't think the sword you are pondering is the one, just my opinion. I think there are better prospects.

 

Do yourself a favour and get down to the Art Gallery of New South Wales where you can see a great display of swords, all with 1st class polish. Study them closely. Presently there is a Juyo token on display. Most of these swords have been found here in Australia. Here is a link to that thread. viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4666

 

Find the right sword is my best advice at present.

 

Regards

 

Mark

 

PS, just for comparison. Here at Aoi Art you can see there are grades of polish etc. http://www.aoi-art.com/hanbaikousaku/polish.html But again, my advice is to find a sword worthy of a top polish. I tried to do it on the cheap when I first started and it wasn't a satisfying experience.

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Mark is right when saying that the most difficult thing is to find the sword worth the whole polishing process/cost. Be very carefull when choosing your polisher because the cost varies in a huge range.

 

IMO, Unless you have a very very good sword to polish, don't go to Mishina san, he is one of the best polishers in Japan, his waiting list is probably considerable, Darcy's used his services and when you know his collection ..... (between Juyo and TokuJu).

 

Medium blade = medium polisher - top blade = top polisher

 

But before making your move, show your swords to different old Nihonto collectors to have an opinion if it is worth the expenses (Money is difficult to come by nowadays and eay to waste)

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Hi peter, :| It’s not that easy to send to Japan I don’t know if you have done biz with Japan in the last few months but it’s getting hard to ship swords

I just had to wait just under 3 months for a sword because you can no longer ship by air(maybe still a few?) I tried a lot of the shipping co,s and japans just as bad

Then say 3 or 4 monthsif you are lucky to have it polished and on top of that we have customs Japan and aust, and if you live in Melbourne

Customs want to see a exemption from vic police to import it back in if you live in Melbourne (you need an exemption to own in vic) to go through all this it better be something special ? I hope it go's well for you jim :D

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Hi Peter and all,

 

I believe collectors can be hesitant to give away their polishing contacts in Japan because in giving you these details it means they would basically be vouching for you and in doing so putting their relationship with their contact at risk if something goes wrong.

 

As Justin states, there are no polishers in Australia worth their salt, in fact I would say there are no polishers in Australia at all as I would not call what they do polishing.

 

I also can’t say I’ve ever seen a real top quality polish on a sword in Australia, but of course I haven’t seen every sword in the country!!

 

Sending a sword to Japan for polish is perhaps becoming more difficult (so I’ve heard) but it is really the best option unless you send it to a polisher who was trained in Japan but now living outside of Japan, of which there are very few. But do take care and research carefully no matter what you do, there are many shabby polishers about, even in Japan.

 

I agree with Mark and Jean that finding a good candidate sword to send for polish is the most important thing, the best advice I can give you is to see as many Nihonto in the flesh as you can. Come to Japan if possible!! You can learn much more here by viewing the masterpieces in museums than you could ever learn from the purchase of a single sword at the same cost of a ticket.

 

As for me, my plans are to head back to Australia to setup shop once my training here in Japan has finished, this will take some years so in the meantime pm me if you would like my help, I may be able to act as an agent for you or anyone else interested.

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Hello all,

I would like to thank everyone for their responses on the forum and via PM, it has been really helpful. I have been reading as much on the board as I can ever since I found the forum as it has been a great database of useful and elucidating information and opinions. I feel that I have come a long way from the person who originally purchased the uchigatana with the intention of doing a home polish to one who would never dream of such an event. So you all managed to save one sword at least!

 

This brings me to the question of polishing this sword. I have read and re-read the comments on this forum regarding my sword as well as getting a couple of books and web searches. Everything points to the fact that this is in all likelihood (Jean leans to a ratio of 95%)a bundled sword of little to no commercial value. From reading between the lines on this sensitive issue of polishing through the many posts on this forum, I THINK that I would therefore struggle to get ANY Japanese polishers to even attempt to polish this sword due to its low value. This factor coupled with my non existence polishing contacts, primary school knowledge of the Japanese language and general inexperience in this field makes the process of sending overseas daunting to say the least. Both Mark and Stephen have provided some excellent links to Polishers that from what has been said on this board refuse to polish this sword. I can understand their reasoning behind this as the whole process from what I have read is time consuming and punishing on the joints...why waste it on this sword when they could be spending their time on other swords of more cultural and historical importance.

Andrew I would love to know your response to this...do you see this type of low commercial value sword coming through the shop from inside Japan or from outside the country? The link to the sword showing the rust and overall poor state are at the top of the post. Will Send a PM in the next few days.

 

Regarding Sending out of Australia. I have no objection to this and would send it tomorrow if/once I find a polisher to take it with some reasonable fees and timeframe. I will keep sending out those emails. I live In Queensland which as of yet does not have the same restrictive import/export laws as Melbourne when it comes to Nihonto.

Regarding the worth of the sword for polishing. The first posts on this sword lead me to the conclusion that I would never purchase another in poor state requiring a polish. My attempt at my second purchase was I THINK even less successful. I Have read and re-read this post to try and detect the undercurrent which is I think is that it too is of little value due. I realised when purchasing that it was of no value due to Flaws BUT did not think that it would be a fake or ShinShinto age wakizashi. I thought I was getting an older wakizashi in polish at a cheaper price because of flaws when I really got a newer flawed wakisashi!

Here is the link to the second sword;

 

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4841&p=37537#p37537

 

 

I have got some great information from this post so I will keep watching for more replies.

 

Thanks to everyone

 

Regards

Peter M

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Hi Peter,

I think you're asking the wrong question. Rather than, "Will I find a polisher willing to take on this sword?", how about, "Will I learn anything from the process?"

As I said on another thread, newbies want to have their swords polished. More experienced collectors want to own swords worth polishing.

Grey

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Regarding Sending out of Australia. I have no objection to this and would send it tomorrow if/once I find a polisher to take it with some reasonable fees and timeframe. I will keep sending out those emails.

 

http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/

 

They speak good English, have fair prices, a wide range of polishers to choose from, reply to all emails in less than 24 hours and have top notch customer service.

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Regarding Sending out of Australia. I have no objection to this and would send it tomorrow if/once I find a polisher to take it with some reasonable fees and timeframe.
Well I don't quite understand why you ask for advice, get good advice given, and then seemingly choose to ignore it.

 

I THINK that I would therefore struggle to get ANY Japanese polishers to even attempt to polish this sword due to its low value
There are plenty of commercial polishers around who will polish about anything you send them. It is their living.

 

Again my advice is to wait for a better sword. But it is your money, do what you want.

 

Mark

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Well I don't quite understand why you ask for advice, get good advice given, and then seemingly choose to ignore it.

 

Hi Mark,

I agree with you. I asked for everyone’s input....got great advice...I did not think that I had ignored anyone.

 

Wait for a sword worth polishing is excellent advice and I am looking. I suppose it is my historical background coming out when I want to get the muromachi uchigatana polished. I think it would be a great waste to continue down the path of leaving it to rust. I have sent out some emails to those polishers that were suggested to get some more ideas.

 

If you have any suggestions for a good buy that warrents a polish let me know

 

 

Regards

 

Peter

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