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KoaIsshin Antiques in UK


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A note to all members that I have just bought a sword from this dealer which on arrival turned out to have had almost the entire hamon ground/polished out.

He has refused to refund my money claiming that it was from his private collection even though it was on his website and that as it was a 'private' sale was not subject to retail laws.

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Chris,

If claims are going to be made here, I would like a photo or 2 to back up the claims please, and possibly some proof of the claim sent privately via pm if you have anything. Just like allegations to be backed up as much as possible if they are going to be entertained at all.

 

Brian

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I do have the whole story along with correspondence and a few pics now.

All I am unsure of, is how damaged the hamon is, as I cannot make out the lack of hamon from the pics. Perhaps best to try and post a few clear pics that show this reshaping/damage, as that is the whole issue.

 

Brian

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Thank you all for your kind support and offers of help which are much appreciated,I'm going to try the digital camera route initially in order to post images (and my own education!) but in all probability will accept one of the members offers in order to realise an unbiased opinion.

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Dear All,

 

I have read chrisf's comments with regard to his purchase of a sword, which was out of polish and sold by Koaisshin Antiques. As we all know when we buy a Nihon-To - if a sword is out of polish then we all take a certain gamble when we buy a sword privately until the sword is polished. Heavens, I have bought numerous swords and then sent them to be polished and they sometimes turn out to be great and some not so. I suspect that there is a lot more to this that 'chrisf' is telling...

 

I suggest to all, including the administrator of this excellent resource that derogatory comments about sword collectors and dealers should not be debated here. If I did the same as chrisf I would be slandering 'great' people and dealers like Billy Tagg, Peter Yorke, Regimentals, Military Antiques and the list would go on and on! It is something I would not do and I think it poor taste. When you buy an out of polish sword there is risk - end of story!

 

I think the message here is: know your subject, ask lots of questions, view every item you buy and accept there is an element of risk when you buy unpolished Nihon-To.

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Robert,

 

Please signed by your first name as per NMB rules.

 

I notice it is your first post on NMB, so I would like you to be sure you have read correctly all the posts of this subject.

 

Chris has written :

 

A note to all members that I have just bought a sword from this dealer which on arrival turned out to have had almost the entire hamon ground/polished out.

 

It is factual but has to be checked

 

He has refused to refund my money claiming that it was from his private collection even though it was on his website and that as it was a 'private' sale was not subject to retail laws.

 

It is factual and do not state if Chris is entitled to have his money refunded or not.

 

Unless you have all the documentation which Brian has, please refrain from any comments, and if your are a party in this case you are welcome to bring in your documentation and statement

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Hi Chris,

 

If you can make the Birmingham Arms fair at the motorcycle museum on Feb 13th, some of the people mentioned above will be there if you want to show your sword to someone.

 

The Northern Token Society has a table at the fair as well.

 

Regards

 

Mark C

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I do not entertain posts like this unless I have the full story and proof, which I do have from the buyer, along with email correspondence and other info. You are quite welcome to send me or post your side of the story?

Both sides are fully entitled to their say, but avoiding the issue of bad deals serves no-one in the Nihonto community except for dealers. I am awaiting proof of the hamon claim, but the rest of the story appears verified unless you have a counter argument? There are plenty of forums willing to avoid controversy and encourage pitfalls and bad experiences. Here were try and go a step further and encourage dealers and customers to work through issues and sort them out.

I do know of one recent case where a long standing and very expensive issue was sorted out with the assistance of this forum.

Please feel free to give us the rest of the story, as the side I have seems to be borne out so far. Only the claims of the hamon being missing need to be verified. If the sword is really ok, then why not try and work out a partial refund deal or negotiate another settlement?

That being said, I think a lot of blame rests with buyers too nowdays, who are too eager to buy online without a personal inspection, and should bear part blame for buyers remourse.

 

Brian

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From a legal POV, private sales aren't covered by retail laws. OTOH, it's a very grey area - if a sword is on a commercial website, can it be said to be a private sale? That is something the lawyers would have to argue.

 

Speaking only for myself, if it's on my website, it's not a private sale and I'd find it troubling to claim that it was. In fact, given that I sell swords as a business, I'm not sure that I'd want to claim exemption on 'private sale' grounds just cos I'd sold a sword without it going on the website. I sell swords - it doesn't matter if it's on the website or not. All my sales are covered by retail laws as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise where do you draw the line? If you are going to make the distinction, how do you distinguish between a private and a commercial sale if the person selling makes a living selling swords?

 

I guess that it all comes down to personal ethics. But then that's just my POV.

 

Kevin

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Otherwise where do you draw the line? If you are going to make the distinction, how do you distinguish between a private and a commercial sale if the person selling makes a living selling swords?

 

 

It seems very logical furthermore it avoids what we call in French "Conflit d'intérêt"

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Otherwise where do you draw the line? If you are going to make the distinction, how do you distinguish between a private and a commercial sale if the person selling makes a living selling swords?

The only exception I could see would be when it is a consignment being sold for a private owner and not in the sellers possession and labeled as such. Otherwise even a consignment should be accurately described as much as is reasonably possible.

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As a former lawyer my knowledge is that, according to the greek law (and I think most continental law systems), if an item is sold by a person that as a profession sells similar items or is displayed at his store that sells such items this can not be considered a private sale, unless explicitly stated so and can be proven so. And in this case it shall be in writting. Otherwise all means of consumer protection apply...

 

Now for antiques another question is risen. Is the seller obliged to deliver an item with a healthy hamon and without age flaws? It all comes down on the agreement and description of the item. If one sells an item as " healthy blade with no fatal flaws" and it has some kitae ware then it is ok as they are considered compatible with age. If there is a hagire then it is a clear case of misdescription.

In order to be able to provide a safe assumption more of the agreement and item description must be provided.

 

Like the Romans said "Da mihi facta, dabo tibi jus"

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Of course, the other reason for saying that it is a private sale is that it won't then go through the books and the taxman won't know about it. Mind you, the taxman is likely to find out sooner or later, cos they do check on things . . .

 

Kevin

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Have been off the NMB for a while ,found this interesting and not defending anyone but have to say that selling swords is damned difficult. Two examples come to mind, the first when selling a Daisho from my collection around eight years ago, a gentleman who desecribed himself as a "Newbe" spent around three months demanding oshigata & Photographs all of which were sent along with my opininion based on signatures in Fujishiro and other, that is seemed genuine and was one of the three good smiths from around 1300,dropped the price and deal was agreed.............he was in fact a dealer in the US,put the sword to shinsa and it was declined,his reaction was that it was my fault that his concluisions were wrong.

 

Second is similar in some aspects, an Itomaki no Tachi sold to a chap around five years ago,good mounts and blade with Gimie inscription,he took it to a dealer who came up with the classic comment...."If you were here last week I could have sold you a far better sword at half the price"

 

Moral....ask questions & then if you are sure enough to part with money and can afford to buy,go for it. If you have made a mistake learn from it..............

 

 

Roy

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  • 4 weeks later...

I sent the sword to a professional sword dealer in the UK who is not known to me personally for his objective appraisal and he emailed me the other day to say that he had forwarded his views and some images to Brian for his consideration.

I hope to be able to post further news of my own progress in due course.

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The opinion sent to me is that it has had an amateur and badly done polish, perhaps some grinding and reshaping. The jamon gets very narrow in places, but unclear if it does run off or not due to the polish. Under 1mm in places though. Fittings of no real consequence, and tsuka not fitting well.

This is going to have to be between the buyer and seller. I would advise some compromise from both sides to try and sort this out to the benefit of both parties. If the seller is unwilling to negotiate though, then not sure where one goes from there.

 

Brian

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Brian,if you check the emails I copied to you,you will see that I did offer to take a reduced refund to cover his expenses which was flatly refused and I have initiated action to recover the money.

The sword under discussion is a gendaito made in 1980 and shows a 'dip' from the hamachi into the hamon,which has been polished back so far as to be virtually non-existent and when specifically asked about the condition of the blade the dealer stated that there were 'no problems'.

He also said that he received the sword from Mr Otake at the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu but the tsuka is fitted so badly as to make it impractical for serious use.

He also posted on Feb 2nd under the name 'krut',unsurprisingly suggesting that further discussion of this type be disallowed but couldn't be honest enough to declare his interest in the matter,pretending to be making an objective comment.

I would like to hear from anyone with genuine connections to the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu if they would be so kind.

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One would imagine that if the sword had been owned by Risuke Otake who is a master teacher and Shihan of the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu, then it would be documented and therefore easily established. It is a significant selling point if the sword had passed through Shihan Otake's hands. If the Mister Otake referred to is indeed Risuke Otake, he would be a very old man now (85). Risuke Otake was born in 1926.

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That is correct,he told me that the sword had been used by Otake Risuke and his sons and given to him when he was training at the Ryu.That's why I would like to contact someone who is genuinely connected with the Ryu and who understands what's going on and can advise me on the best way to proceed in order to confirm this.

I feel that it would somehow be rude and improper to just write and ask for confirmation without an introduction,I know that there are properly licenced instructors accredited by TSKSR in the UK but attempts to contact them have failed and I was hoping that someone might pick up on this thread and contact me.

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Chrisf.

 

Members of the TSKSR Who hold a teaching license (Kyoshi Menkyo) would be reluctant to help you contact Shihan Otake. Simple truth... they are bound by oath (an oath they take very seriously) to not involve the Ryu in any possible controversy lest they themselves be also drawn into that controversy and so bring the Ryu into disrepute The TSKSR is itself an intangible cultural property and its administration comes under the department of cultural affairs. Your best bet I think would be to approach the Ryu through those channels in the first instance.

 

The following is a personal observation based upon common logic.

 

(1) It would be unusual for Shihan Otake (or any Sensei of any Ryu) to present a sword to any student. A sword is an object of the highest esteem in Japan and moreso within the cofines of the Ryu. The presentation of one, even a casual gift, is a mark of the highest honour and deepest respect. They dont give swords away like plastic toys in packets of cornflakes, you have to have earned such an honour. Service to the individual or the Ryu itself may deserve such a gift, but it would be well documented.

 

(2)Since the quality of the sword given is a reflection upon both the one giving the sword, and the Ryu he is a member of, Then a sword so given is usually of much higher quality and in much better condition/state of preservation and polish than this example you have posted.

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Yes,I absolutely agree with you about the importance of the Ryu and the stature of Mr Otake which is why I felt it improper to send a letter asking for such information unless it had been approved by someone knows and understands the etiquette better than I.

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Kevin raises a good point here. The admin of the TSKSR will be more amenable to answering enquiry pertaining to the status of registered students particularly at the headquarters of the Ryu itself . Gaigin students are relatively rare, so it should be a simple matter to verify any given non Japanese student past or present. Just remember you are dealing with a very old and proud institution. The prestige of having studied there is immense.

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