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twofish

i want to buy my first samurai sword...need advice

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i am wanting to buy a katana...

i am wanting to spend anywhere from $900 US to $1700?? US

but i want something unique...and i want high carbon steel to hold an edge and low carbon steel on the inside for toughness...i do not want a sword that is mass produced and stamped out on a machine 1,000 times a day...i want something made by human beings ... many skilled craftsman...

 

are there swords like this for sale in the above mentioned price range?

 

also

 

it seems that most swords for sale come from forges in China...i would like something made in Japan...is this possible to ship inside the United States?

 

picture is merely for showing high carbon and low carbon steel...i am fairly sure the sword in the picture is out of my price range :)

1516271537_a4bd7046bf.jpg

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If you are wishing to buy a katana, and you make no mention of whether you want a new one or otherwise, then the simple answer to your question would be no... There are no genuine traditionally made Japanese Katana in reasonable condition available for the price range you have quoted. A shinsakuto would cost many thousands of dollars and a Katana in good condition from say the Edo period would also cost much more than your current budget.

 

I would recommend in the first instance that you learn a great deal more about Japanese swords prior to buying one, if for no other reason than to have some idea of what you are actually buying. Wanting to own a katana is one thing, knowing what to look for is quite another. There are many excellent books available, full of useful information and from which you may learn a great deal before committing a significant sum of money to the purchase of a Nihonto. The FAQ section of this site, which appears at the top of the page will also be of great help, and you should in your own interest take the time to read it.

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Try this seller:

 

http://www.aoi-art.com/

 

I'm going to Tokyo in 3 weeks.

Anyone knows if i can go to a shop like OAI, and if i find a sword i like, buy it and leave the shop then bring it back to France in my luggage, as like i do in USA??

Or is it a specific way to export a blade?

 

thanks

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Be patient, many times people that are in your position think that wanting a sword means that you must buy one right away and then they buy a cheap one that will give them little joy.

As has been stated go to the FAQ section at the very top left of the page and read that and then read it again.

If you learn and buy books and read and spend time lurking this board you will increase the chance of getting a sword that you will be happy with.

Put some effort into deciding what you want and then buy exactly what you want.

If you want a beautiful mounted katana do not buy an out of polish blade with no mounts and think you will restore it, this is expensive and takes experience.

And save your money, your budget is at the very bottom line and if you save another grand or so it will be worth it but only if wisely spent.

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Here are some books that may help you as well.

 

Samurai Sword: A Handbook

~John Yumato

The Japanese Sword: A Comprehensive Guide (Japanese Arts Library)

~ Kanzan Sato

The Connoisseurs Book of Japanese Swords

~ Kokan Nagayama

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Sword-Han ... 0804805091

 

http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Sword-Co ... 0870115626

 

http://www.amazon.com/Connoisseurs-Book ... 4770020716

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thx to all who responded!!!!!

 

step one - save more money

step two - order amazon.com "The Samurai Sword: A Handbook" - Yumoto

step three - read book lol

step four - patience

i am genuinely interested in Japanese culture as a whole, so im sure it will be a great read

i was thinking about a book, so the advice on which to read is greatly appreciated...so thx 4 that one jamie jojo saku ;)

any other advice anyone else has is wonderful to read ... dont stop posting :) 8)

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Actually, the very first thing to do is to sign your messages with your real name. I kinda' doubt that "Twofish" shows up on your driver's license....

 

You haven't mentioned whether the katana you want to buy will be (1) hung on a wall, (2) used in some martial art, (3) used to cut down innocent trees & bushes, or (4) studied & appreciated. In the first case, pretty much any forge can put out a decent high-carbon-steel blade, sometimes even with a real hamon. In the second case, you're going to want to buy an iaito, rather than a shinken, & you're probably on the wrong forum, too. In the third case, see my answer to #1. If by some chance, you're really interested in buying a Nihonto, browse over to the For Sale Or Trade area of this forum (viewforum.php?f=4) & take a look at what our members have for sale. Larry (viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7784) has at least a couple of decent blades for sale in your price range.

 

But I agree with the other posts that you should first buy, read, & understand several Nihonto reference books so that you'll have at least some idea WHY you're buying a specific blade, WHAT you have once it's in your hands, WHEN & WHERE it was made, & WHO made it. Holding a piece of Japanese history & culture in your hands is a wonderful feeling...if you know enough to be able to appreciate it.

 

Good luck, & welcome to the forum.

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i would be happy with a new or used katana so long as the used katana is in great to excellent condition

the katana would be hung on a wall and studied / appreciated

 

perhaps i am in the wrong forum but it sounds like you folks know what you are talking about

 

what is the etymology of the word nihonto? i thought nihonto referred broadly to many Japanese bladed weapons like a katana or a tanto...

 

perhaps i was wrong...in any case the sword would hang on a wall and be appreciated...i would spare the innocent bushes and trees...

 

also, i see often swords being sold without the grip...is it difficult to pay someone to add that part to make the sword fully functional? is it insulting to the sword smith to have the grip added? or added by someone not fully appreciative of the sword? i do understand that a full tang is important and that the endpiece is where the sword will have a signature though...i was just curious about the grip part...

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My My, we do have a lot to learn dont we? That's OK. :D

 

First the sign up rules are posted under board index at topof page in the file path immediately above the title of this thread. Just click on board index and go from there. Your name can be automatically added to all your posts without writing it each time. Go into your profile and set up your signature there. :thumbsup:

 

Next..... Nihonto refers to all Japanese swords, wakizashi and tanto as well as naginata yari etc, made in the traditional manner from Tamahagane. I'm not sparing you on the proper terms here, and if you dont understand them, then please look them up. It will be good for you. Nihonto actually means Japanese sword (Nihon..... Old name for Japan. To...... sword).

 

The grip you refer to is a Tsuka in Japanese. Yes you can have one made professionally. That some swords are without a tsuka is merely a product of the original one being lost or damaged. I doubt the original Kaji will be offended if you put a tsuka on a sword that he has made. Hanging a sword on the wall is probably more of an insult.

 

A nihonto is best kept at least on a katana kake (look it up), rather than on a wall where it will attract dust and rubbish and will certainly deteriorate. You will learn more about this as you read more. A katana must be maintained, cleaned and reoiled periodically. Hanging it on a wall and taking it down periodically to admire it and gush over it is hardly appreciation, in fact it is downright neglect. :shame:

 

Its nice to know that the lives of sundry innocent shrubbery is not in any immediate danger from any sword you may buy, but first please read at least all the books previously recommended.

 

Happy reading.......... :D

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When you sign up, the process requests a real name so I can add it when/if people miss the numerous requests to sign with a real name.

In yours, you wrote "T. York'" so if that is not your real name, please let us know, as I take these things seriously.

Most of our focus here is educational from a serious art/collectors point of view. Sorry if the replies come across as otherwise, but we are pretty passionate about the subject, and do not focus on modern copies, cutting tools and other non-traditional impliments.

There is a lot of basic info you still need to acquire. As a start, read the FAQ section at the very top left of the forum. Then take a browse through http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/nihonto.htm

That should get you a good start, and answer many of the beginning questions.

 

Regards,

Brian

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thx to all who responded!!!!!

 

step one - save more money

step two - order amazon.com "The Samurai Sword: A Handbook" - Yumoto

step three - read book lol

step four - patience

i am genuinely interested in Japanese culture as a whole, so im sure it will be a great read

i was thinking about a book, so the advice on which to read is greatly appreciated...so thx 4 that one jamie jojo saku ;)

any other advice anyone else has is wonderful to read ... dont stop posting :) 8)

Glossary of Japanese sword terms..most helpful http://members.shaw.ca/nihontonut/glossary.html

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thx for all of the great links everybody...

 

yes, i do have a lot to learn...basically everything to learn...except for the fact that innocent shrubbery should be left alone :clap:

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Twofish,

 

I would not reccomend buying a nihonto if you are looking to cut things with it. When you own the blade you are responsible for anything that may happen to it. I have been studying nihonto for about 6 months now and i am still a bit uneasy handling my wakizashi much more then just usual matienance. If you are looking for something unique and something you can practice kendo/iaido with i would reccomend thaitsuki forge. They have some very nice,custom-made, swords for well within your price range, But please do not rush into buying a nihonto, it is a great responsibility to own one. As we are merely care-takers holding onto them for the future generations to study. Also here is a link to the thaitsuki website-

 

http://thaitsuki.com.p8.hostingprod.com ... ords.shtml

 

Cheers,

Andrew S. Wickstrom

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Twofish,

 

I would not reccomend buying a nihonto if you are looking to cut things with it. When you own the blade you are responsible for anything that may happen to it. I have been studying nihonto for about 6 months now and i am still a bit uneasy handling my wakizashi much more then just usual matienance. If you are looking for something unique and something you can practice kendo/iaido with i would reccomend thaitsuki forge. They have some very nice,custom-made, swords for well within your price range, But please do not rush into buying a nihonto, it is a great responsibility to own one. As we are merely care-takers holding onto them for the future generations to study. Also here is a link to the thaitsuki website-

 

http://thaitsuki.com.p8.hostingprod.com ... ords.shtml

 

Cheers,

Andrew S. Wickstrom

 

i dunno, read this thread, especially post from "santdhai" about half way down

 

http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?threadid=64157

 

and i think you may have misunderstood me, i dont want to cut the poor innocent shrubbery

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Twofish,

 

 

My mistake, from what you said about the blade retaining its edge and toughness i assumed you would be using the blade. :oops: . Thaitsuki makes blades merely for heavy training, they are not licensed nihonto smiths as they would be much more expensive. Alas they still make some sturdy blades from what i have personally heard before this article. I believe you could find a couple modern made true nihonto for around $2000. I saw a website posted on the board a while back that had a nice katana made by an American trained smith for around $2200 i believe, but the site has slipped my mind. :dunno:

 

 

Cheers,

Andrew S. Wickstrom

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Go to the sword buyers guide website (sbg), great site with a wealth of info on good modern katanas.

 

With your price range you would be able to get an excellant modern made katana. Most are made in china now for cost reasons and none whatsoever are made in Japan if i understand their laws correctly. For a $1000 you would have a lovely piece, mostly made by hand, that would look fantastic on a wall, would be a lethal weapon, and would cut through targets with ease if you ever fancied practicing with it.

 

This site is dedicated to true nihonto pieces, which have more in common with works of art than modern production katanas made elsewhere. With your price range you would have difficulty finding a nice condition nihonto as i am finding out!. If you were willing to have a blade in shirasaya only, or prepared to have a smaller wakizashi or tanto instead of a katana, you might have better luck finding something in acceptable condition.

 

Good luck with your hunt. Paul Chen blades are a safe bet and you would be able to get one of their higher end pieces with the money you have available.

 

If however your interest lies with authentic, historical pieces of culturally significant art that is nihonto, then i suggest spending some of your budget on books and doing some research. I was in exactly your position a few years back and despite many books later im still a complete novice.

 

I cant help feeling that if you want to buy just a single katana for display, then a modern made non-nihonto katana from a chinese or an american smith is the way to go. The sbg site i linked you to actually sell their own katana for about less than half of your budget, and have real clay tempered blades made from super tough T-10 steel that have wonderfull hamons (temper lines) and good quality fittings.

 

Good luck with your hunt

 

Adam Hart

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Kyle,

 

You seem to be getting on the right track. You wrote:

 

"step one - save more money

step two - order amazon.com "The Samurai Sword: A Handbook" - Yumoto

step three - read book lol

step four - patience"

 

to which I would add:

 

Step five: buy more books

Step six: read books

Step seven: get to a sword show or study group or even a museum to see fine blades

Step eight: save more money

Step nine: more patience

Step ten: more book study

Step eleven: more hands-on study

Step twelve: buy first sword

 

Now most of us here will admit to jumping to step twelve before working through the others, but that's why we're here in this 12-step program :-)

 

Nihonto = Nihon (Japan) To (sword)

 

If you are interested in more aspects of Japanese culture, you might visit my website or other specialty booksellers.

 

About the katana as first sword issue, everyone wants a fully mounted katana, or even a daisho, for their first Nihonto. I remember Jim Kurrasch (RIP) making the case that the ideal first sword for a beginner was a mumei Koto wakizashi in shirasaya. Plenty to study and appreciate without the price premium found on katana or tanto, and mumei (unsigned) takes away any worry that the signature is fake and forces you to look at the sword. Any comments?

 

- Craig

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to play devil advocate....

step one spend to much on tired sword... ..

step two learn all that's wrong with your sword.

repeat

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You're a masochist Stephen, and a sadist too, if you want to watch someone else suffer in that manner. Just because we all did it that way to some extent! It would be nice to see someone do it exactly as we advocate and should have proceeded in the first instance :D

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I kind agree with SM Stephen above :) ;) .

 

I understand peoples sentiment about waiting and studying etc but where is the fun in that if you simply want a sword?

 

I would suggest doing a bit of study, buying some books, doing all that everyone has suggested and also getting a sword at the same time when you have a handle on the basics. A koto wakizashi in shirasaya in polish seems like a good start but bear in mind that you get what you pay for and 200,0000 yen may seem expensive for a piece of metal but that price is actually peanuts and you will not get anything totally satisfy you if you progress with your studies.

 

I think this would be a good place to start looking;

http://www.aoi-art.com/sword/wakizashi/main.html

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look in the sales section as they are usually a few for sale and all will be genuine ...or you could go out and spend 1000s and then find out its junk......i know what i would do

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Franco great cartoon.

 

once when I was at the SF show buddy and I went to little Tokyo. going thru some shops I struck up a conversation with bent with age Japanese shop owner who knew Nihonto well. I ask him if he was going to make it over to the show. He said " No, to many dealers" still smile to the day remembering it.

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