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Need advice on buyin a Samurai sword 2004/11/14 15:09
Im interested in buying a samurai sword. i wud love to buy a genuine samurai sword but since im only 17 and cannot afford one. i was thinkin of buyin this sword i saw online. can u advice me on this. its made with stainless steel. but will it be sharp. i dont mind it not being genuine and factory made as long as its sharp and looks like the real thing. and hopefully ill be able to buy a real one some day. http://www.martialartssupermarket.com/index.cfm?action
by Black8787  

Sword 2004/11/16 07:35
Since I am a 13 year old Kendo Student with 1 year of experiance, I have minimal experiance with Japanese Katanas, Wakizashi, Tanto, and other Japanese weapons. But I know that if you want to buy one to cut stuff with, then you should join Iaido or Iai-Jutsu because you could hurt yourself badly. If fo a wall hanger, then you could buy that one though I personally don't think replicas and fakes are worth it. If you really want it, then I say go for it!
by Jay rate this post as useful

heres your answer 2005/8/16 03:13
look kid i have been useing and studying katanas for 20 years. if you want the real thing you are going to pay around 2000 american dollars. for fair true katana. if you just want some piec of junk to hang on the wall hey go buy the cheap imitation its your money but stainless steel won't hold and edge in the same manner a true master craft katana will and you realy need to know how to oil and care for the blade. and because you are young and dont know ..you need to know the iron to carbon ration of the particular sword you are looking at. if you intend to do anything with it that is. to much carbon makes the blade brittle and will break if you go out trying to hack on trees. to little and the thing will ben like wrought iron. so save your money man and in about 6 years or so you can have the real thing and be proud of it and have the knowledge to handel and care for the blade as it should be
by Julius Cervantes rate this post as useful

Katana 2005/8/16 15:11
I've only recently got a few myself. The one your looking at is a cheap imitation and wouldn't even be able to cut butter, the sharpness is about the same as a cheap display sword.

Hanwei sells nice sharp katana that are affordable, they aren't like the REAL Japanese but are made with the same technique as the Japanese uses. I bought a Practical Plus Katana for about $460 AUD and my brother has an Orchid Katana that is about AUD$1200. I'm only 17 myself but you can get ones on eBay if you can get an older person to buy it for you. But beware of the cheap crap that are listed but the dozen on ebay from china and the likes, with starting price like $0.99 or $9.99 cause they are nothing more than a bunch of junk.

Well I hoped that helps!


Jen
by Jen rate this post as useful

diffrent types 2005/9/28 14:06
I have herd of the katana before but is the Masamune anygood?And waht are the stlyes of bushido called when you use 2 or more blades.I think 2 swods is double blade somethin and I forgot the rest
by brandon rate this post as useful

Samurai Swords 2005/9/28 18:36
Ithink that you firstly need to do some research. If you want a authentc samurai sword why waste money on something cheap and 'so-so'. You [in my opinion] would be better putting that money aside!
There are many places which will make a sword from scratch [about 8-9 months] Joina Samurai community - use the knowledge other people have accumulated from years fo studying swords.
I agree if you want to learn how to use a sword [there is an ettiquette to sword use] joing a class. Kendo , Iaido are two of many martial arts which use the sword.

by Bezerkangel rate this post as useful

Katana 2005/11/1 21:20
Hi, i was woundering where i can buy a real katana, but with out actually going to japan.
i live in canada, and i am going to save my money to buy a katana. i would just like to know, how much it will be, if it is worth it, and where i can go to get a realy good one. and i want to know where to go to learn on how to take care of the katana and to learn how to use it also.
thank you.
by Salman. M rate this post as useful

Iaido 2005/11/2 11:38
Try and find out if there are any iaido or kendo classes in your town Those are the martial arts which deal with sword handling. If you take classes in one of those arts, I'm sure your teacher will be able to give you advice about buying a katana.
by sazae-san rate this post as useful

Re Salman 2005/11/2 16:12
I would highly doubt they would allow you to purchase a sharp katana, if I remember correctyly, it's usually bokkens or shinai for kendo and blunt katana (forgot the name) for iaido.

Anyway, there are various online sites that sell sharp katana's, unfortunately I can't remember them at the moment, I'll have to ask bro. Hanwei and Last legend's are good from what I heard, but remember they need to be cleaned and oiled every three months without use, of course if you are cutting then that means more maintenance. Also you'll need to go get some experience with the katana before you start hacking away at trees. The best thing to start with are pool noodles, they won't stuff up the blade if you don't do it right.

I'll get back to you later about the online sites.
by Jen rate this post as useful

sword in japan 2005/11/5 02:08
The name of the two sword style is nito ryu, pioneered bu Miyamoto musashi long ago. It is really hard to find a school in this but there are a few that still exist. And for julius, maybe you have lots of experience in this but it gives you no right to be rude. "Look kid" thats no way to treat anyone regardless of their age. Why not try to politely educate them and maybe in 10 years you will have someone to trade with:-)
by drue rate this post as useful

buying a Katana 2005/12/14 07:10
hi, I come from Poland but now I am working in the UK. I myself was much fascinated by Japanese culture and art for years, even got in touch with great actor Toshiro Mifune... always wanted to have a good sword... there's a lot of rubbish available on various websites, the costs are from GBP 40 (British sterling pound) up to GBP 120 per katana, wakizashi & tanto set + a stand. They may be good just for display, as a decoration, but then you'd better resist from being a father to avoid a tragedy... they're good for someone mature who has no little children at home, that's what I think... if you want a really good sword, my advice 4 u is: take some time - a few years, try to find a job (if u don't have one yet) and save some money; in the meantime try some research in local clubs / dojo's, try in internet, just start with google and then enter "katana", "samurai sword/swords" and start browsing. (Last Legend and Paul Chen's Hanwei swords are reported as very good ones but prices do vary.) Try to get more familiar with some knowledge on mainatining and sword care. after some time you'll be more mature (I mean your knowledge hopefully should be already developped) and prepared financially - don't expect good swords to be cheap. and by then you'll surely have your own credit card and will be able to buy the sword you want on your own. I know u may now feel impatient, I know that, I felt the same some years ago, but I'm glad I have been waiting for about 11 years before I bought my sword, which is Paul Chen's (Hanwei) Nami Iaito (Wave iaito); it is non sharp, it's not for cutting nor is it destined for sword-to-sword contact in real fight. it's done beautifully, it's lighter than the sharp katanas that are used for tameshigiri, it's perfectly balanced, has a lovely hamon, a blade has also a bo-hi and a nice kissaki with yokote. Tsuka is solid, with real same (ray skin) and there are 2 mekugi for additional security. it may not be too impressive when compared with, say, Bushido Katana, or Orchid Katana, or Golden Oriole or Shinto Katana but for iaido (drawing practices) it's very good. solid work for reasonable money. I wish you good luck!! ;-)
by Mateusz rate this post as useful

web sites you may want to visit 2005/12/14 07:49
Hi there again,

there are some web sites you may find helpful when looking for a professional sword:

www.swords.co.uk
www.barringtons-swords.com
www.theswordsmith.com
www.sword-trader.co.uk
www.swords-and-more.com
www.xyfos.com
www.oriental-weaponry.co.uk
www.mantisswords.com
www.by-the-sword.com
www.imperialweapons.com
www.swordsdirect.com
www.discountcutlery.net
www.swordsofhonor.com
www.replicaweaponry.com
www.knifezone.ca (Canada)
www.japaneseswords4samurai.com
www.e-bogu.com
www.bugei.com

Their repertoire may be similar, sometimes they may have the same swords but prices may vary so it is worth to keep an eye on it.

Cheers!
by Mateusz rate this post as useful

after 5 years of looking for one.... 2006/1/27 03:50
if you REALY want a samurai sword, and you are pationate about Bushido, then i advise going to Japan(as i intened to do this easter!), studying them a bit before and while your out there, and then buying the real thing. I bought 3 cheap ones on line, and there....crap. the blades spin in there sockets! but i was lucky to find a REAL one from post ww1 for only £60!!! This was made in japan for a comander and is AMAZING. Oh and i agree, that other guy was rude, he may kno much of the sword...but little of the way of the sword...the tru spirit of the samuria still lies in the swords....he has yet to learn this...we should look downat him and pity him..thus accepting that he has much to learn in his strive for inlightenment.
by under dog/sinui-san rate this post as useful

woops 2006/1/27 03:54
lol ok not 60 squares, 60 pounds (english sterling ....wat eva...in the UK) hehe good luck! ;)
by sinui-san rate this post as useful

Fact. 2006/2/24 04:05
Do you really know that they uses Carbon to make the Katana?
after 20 years of studying, You should know that they used Bor instead of Carbon to make the katana.
If you want a real Katana I suggest to find one with the old Ingredience "Bor" and Folded edge.
In that case, Do anyone know if they still uses Bor in katanas or Carbon?
If someone knows about someone that is using Bor please let me know, I would like to buy their products.
And By the Way: this about they used Bor in Katana is still a secret. (I think)
by Zin rate this post as useful

If your are serious 2006/3/19 07:56
www.tokensibata.co.jp

For antique shinken, yaroi and accessories.
by ADIO rate this post as useful

Paul chen 2006/3/30 10:41
What you are looking for is a practical Katana, Paul Chen has some cheap one. and Buy a real one when you have the money and the knowledge of Japanese art and swords try www.weaponsgalore.com Good Luck!
by Mr rate this post as useful

Treasures not toys 2006/4/10 14:46
The only place in the world to get a real Japanese sword is in Japan. However the Government of Japan has banned the export of these weapons. The Japanese revere the sword as a holy object.

I've been to Japan several times, you can't go there as a gaijin and expect to learn anything about swords than you would at a museasum. The Japanese are polite to an extent but you're still an outsider and will never be accepted fully.

The best you can do as far as buying a real Katana, would be to either buy an antique for around 6,000 to 20,000 dollars US, or to buy a modern reproduction, for around 2,000 dollars US. Some of the reproductions are fine swords - BUT THEY ARE NOT TOYS, these are weapons made to kill and cut people. They are as dangerous as a firearm make no mistake about it. They aren't meant to go hacking at straw mats or whatever else you dig up. They are made to cut flesh and bone and to end lives.
Real Samurai never hacked away at things to practice cutting, they knew the sword would cut, they practiced the art of drawing the sword and making cuts, and killing opponents. This art was called Iado. You can take Iado classes all over the world but experts agree that much of the true art has been lost.

It takes decades and sometimes a lifetime to become a master of this, and until you're fully trained you shouldn't even really touch a sharp sword.

In Iado you would use a bokken to practice the technique of drawing for a long long time until you are fit to move up to an Iaito or a dull practice Katana usually made from Zinc or Alloy. Even with these practice swords people cut themselves often.

Kendo is stick fighting, and has about as much to do with real sword fighting as the biathlon shooters in the olympics has to do with real gun fights.

You have to ask yourself what do you want with a real Japanese sword? You certainly aren't going to need it to defend yourself, if you want to learn the art of sword fighting then Iado schools can be found. Be serious and learn as much as you can. You don't need anything to start, just money for classes.

In the end you'll find yourself having more respect for these weapons as a true art form and some day if you still feel the need to buy one, do it, and respect it as a treasure. Not some toy or wall thing to be forgotten in a closet when the next movie turns your interests elsewhere.
by Shepard rate this post as useful

Treasures not toys 2 2006/4/10 14:57
If you are still interested in purchasing a real Katana after training, then take these words of advice from Bugei.

1. The Steel: The most important consideration you should make regarding the purchase of a Samurai sword is with the steel. It is after all the extraordinary steel that the Japanese smith made with the forging and folding process that gbeath the impurities out of the raw iron ore.
Over the past 100 years, metallurgy technology has progressed to the point that gpureh steel is available as a beginning material. Swedish Powdered Steel is one of these new steels. It is the purest form of steel with the least impurities.
Picking steel with the most even distribution of carbon will insure that there will be no weak spots in the finished forged blade. Beginning with very clean Swedish steel allows for a very controlled and precise heat treatment regimen that results in a very fine grain structure. It is this fine grain that creates a blade that is stronger and less prone to deflection and breakage.

2. Forging: This process defines the Samurai Sword. Authentic Samurai Swords are forged. Many companies are selling gstock removalh steel swords. These blades are not forged and do not have the integrity of a forged blade. Ask for forged steel blades when purchasing your Samurai Sword.
The one real benefit of a forged blade often overlooked is that each blade is unique and made by a skilled craftsman. Unlike modern blades that are stamped or milled out by the 1000fs, each identical to the last, every forged blade is a one of a kind piece.
Forging allows the smith to determine how much each blade needs to be worked in order to obtain the best results. As each piece of steel is worked, it is folded repeatedly. This process tightens the grain pattern of the steel making for a more beautiful blade. This personal forging means that your sword is unique. No other blade will be the same as yours. Each forged and folded blade is an individual expression of the steel, the fire, and the smith.

3. Heat Treating: The authentic Samurai Sword has a differentially heat treated edge. (Ha) The pattern you see at the sharpened edge is the signature of the heat-treating. (Mon) The name of this attribute of all Samurai Swords is the Hamon. This heat treatment changes the molecular structure of the steel into martinsite at the edge (Ha) and a softer more ductile pearlite body. The heat treated Hamon allows you to glookh into the steel and see the beauty of the activity and the different crystalline structure. Always demand a truly differentially heat-treated Samurai Sword. Some manufactures either try to gpolish onh this look or use a chemical etching to achieve this look. This only gives a cosmetic look to the blade and has not achieved the purpose of heat-treating which is to change the steel into the different molecular structures.

4. Design and Shape: The design and shape of your Samurai Sword should be historically correct. Authentic samurai swords follow historical tradition. There are many shapes and designs in the market place today that have very little in common with the gfeudal erah sword. The shape and balance of a properly made Japanese sword evolved over centuries. The life of the warrior depended upon his sword and he depended on the smith to make a blade that he could rely on in the direst of circumstances. You should purchase a Samurai Sword from those that honor this tradition and manifest these qualities.
The evolved shape of the authentic samurai sword determined the strength, the cutting performance, and the balance. You want all these attributes in your Samurai Sword.

5. Balance: Rarely considered by most is the balance of the sword. This is a very important factor in choosing a Samurai Sword. You should think of balance as functionality. Remember that the Samurai was a highly trained warrior and his sword had to be able to function in an extreme combat situation. Many modern swords are no longer made with this function in mind and are not capable of withstanding the stresses and strains of serious use. As you practice and train with your Samurai Sword you will acquire the strength to wield it properly. It is balance that will give you this benefit of strength when using a traditionally balanced blade in your training.
Beware of some sword sellers who say that their blades are in gcutting polishh. The reality is that they donft finish them at all beyond a simple and poorly done foundation polish. (Itfs kind of like selling a car in gworking finishh, however, in reality it would be just primer.)
The Japanese have a tradition of stone polishing by hand. This process takes days if not weeks of individual work. A traditional polish today would cost thousands of dollars per each blade done in this manner. This process is not practical today, however, the blade that you purchase today should be gfullyh finished to display the hamon, folding pattern of the steel, and the various activities in the steel. It takes a great deal of extra time and care to finish blades to this level. If you are serious about the sword you are buying, you should expect no less than a full finish.

6. Polish: Polishing the steel brings the Samurai Sword to itfs final shape. The shape of the sword determines itsf success as a cutting instrument. Polishing a Samurai sword is a painstakingly long and tedious process requiring all surfaces of the sword to be refined and brought into harmony with each other, while maintaining the shape the sword smith originally intended for the sword. It is a process that requires hand finishing. Many swords today are finished on machines, which do not contribute to the swords efficiency or final beauty, but are merely made gmirrorh bright with rounded lines and no visible characteristics of the forging and heat-treating the smith created in the blade.

Beware of some sword sellers who say that their blades are in gcutting polishh. The reality is that they donft finish them at all beyond a simple and poorly done foundation polish. (Itfs kind of like selling a car in gworking finishh, however, in reality it would be just primer.)

The Japanese have a tradition of stone polishing by hand. This process takes days if not weeks of individual work. A traditional polish today would cost thousands of dollars per each blade done in this manner. This process is not practical today, however, the blade that you purchase today should be gfullyh finished to display the hamon, folding pattern of the steel, and the various activities in the steel. It takes a great deal of extra time and care to finish blades to this level. If you are serious about the sword you are buying, you should expect no less than a full finish.

7. Mounting: The Samurai sword has many specific characteristics that make it what it is. The scabbard (saya) is made of wood. The opening has a water buffalo horn ring that reinforces the wood which helps prevent splitting at the area. A water buffalo horn part is attached to the saya allowing for the cord (sageo) to be attached. The metal fittings (tsuba, fuchi/kashira, menuki, and shitodome) should be of the authentic materials including steel, copper, silver, and gold. The handle (tsuka) should be a proper length to balance the blade and be held with two pins (mekugi). The under wrapping material should be ray skin (samef) with proper cording (ito) or leather wrapping the handle in a traditional pattern.
A Samurai sword is vastly more than the sum of its parts. It is not enough to have a decent blade with cheap fittings, or a nice blade, but poorly executed tsuka. A Samurai sword is a synthesis of the blade, habaki, tsuka, and saya. With all the fittings matched in such a way as to ensure a proper flow and function. Everything needs to be of good quality to make it a good sword. Any one part not being of good quality and the entire sword suffers.
The overall success you have with your training will be a direct reflection of the mounting of the sword and the materials used.
by Shepard rate this post as useful

Major Concern 2006/8/25 06:49
Dear all,
I have no answer but wish simply to make a statement. I have read all the posts here and have a concern that children as young as 17 are able to purchase swords of this type. A real hand forged or folded katana fron Japan or even some of the good forges in China are desined for Tameshigiri or practical cutting. These are not models or toys or something you can show to your friends to be cool, these are crafted weapons which should be treated with the respect they deserve. In my opinion stricter controls should be put in place to stop anyone from being able to buy these swords. As a matter of fact Japan will only release a number of swords per year to leave Japan. Maybe we should look at licencing people who wish to buy these weapons, and similar checks made by local law enforcement as they do for firearms. As a passionate exponent of the sword, i see many youngsters who wish to but these items for what they call recreation maybe 4 hours a day in a dojo practicing kata until your arms feel like lead will change there minds as to the skill it really takes to wield one of these swords.
by Dominic Obry rate this post as useful

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