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Purchasing a 'High Quality' Katana 2007/10/3 06:33
I have been interested in buying a katana for some time but did not have enough money until now, I would probably be willing to spend about 200 to 250 on a high-quality sword, although it will probably spend most of its life on one of my walls as I do not intend to use it for any cutting purposes.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me any good websites where I can purchase an authentic katana or one that has been well-made?

Now I have been to a few websites and from them I think these are probably the most reliable or authentic swords I could find:

Any advice would be much appreciated before I go spending all my hard-earned cash on some cheap replica :-)
by Johnny  

high quality 2007/10/3 12:37
I assume that you are going to spend $200 - $250 US Dollars??

You cannot get any sort of "High Quality" Katana for that much money.
You can get imitations or replicas for that....
by Sandy rate this post as useful

Japanese swords 2007/10/3 13:31
Sandy wrote:

I assume that you are going to spend $200 - $250 US Dollars??

British pounds, not dollars, which would be very roughly 40,000 to 50,000 yen.
I'm no sword expert, but I though real swords normally cost about 10 times that amount.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

Katanas 2007/10/3 19:15

I'm from the UK and collect Japanese swords. For 250 you will only get a replica or a fake from China. Whatever you do do not buy from ebay as they are ALL fake.

If you register with auction houses such as Sotherby's you will find auctions for such swords and also from reputable dealers.

A WWII Japanese sword will cost around 1000 and for a sword from the Samurai era you will look at at least 5000. The blades can cost hundreds of thousands and some by swordsmiths such as matsumunai are not allowed to be exported from Japan as they are considered national treasures.

Buy with caustion. You will want to see the sword to ensure the blade is in good condition and has been looked after. I would not hang one on my wall as It should really be kept in a controlled environment.
by Jackal rate this post as useful

sword 2007/10/4 05:24
so even if I spent a couple of thousand british pounds, which is about 300,000 yen.

I wont get a good one then, also how would I take it back to England with me.

As I wouldn't want to buy one and get told it has to stay in Japan
by Abhi rate this post as useful

sword 2007/10/4 05:31
also I have been looking at some swords on ebay and one was $6750 but the sword looked like crap.

Rusty and stuff, I would like a proper one from the Oda, Toyotomi or Tokugawa period
by Abhi rate this post as useful

Katana 2007/10/4 16:59
Definately avoid ebay. You may get something for 3000 in japan because of the good exchange rate at the moment with the yen. You must see the sword in person though to check for damage etc. I would not expect any rust on the blade, just maybe the odd scratch where its been used.

You have to check which swords cannot be taken from the country, but generally they are so expoensive (millions) that they would I suspect be outside of most people budgets.

Customs should be ok, just don't put it in your hand luggage!!! Best option though would be to send by secure delivery and insured due to its value. The dealer will know the best service. Also expect to pay customs duty at this end.
by Jackal rate this post as useful

Some basics 2007/10/4 17:50
Some basic information from the top of my head (= make sure to check details).

I was just recently offered a very cheap sword in the 200,000- 300,000 yen range. The blade was quite old (but not sure if it was "koto", a sword dating ca. 1590's or before), but and had some damage and the sword had a new, rather good "koshirae" (mount, that is.. hilt, handguard, etc).

So that's a cheap damaged blade with a relatively good (modern) koshirae. For a "high quality" katana you have to invest a LOT more. I'd say you'd get a decent one for around 500,000 y and up (probably without koshirae).

For exporting the blade from Japan...

First of all, Japan has rather strict laws against edged weapons. Therefore, all swords should be registered and the registeration has to be carried with the sword all the time. Only antique swords, or swords made by registered smiths in the modern times (post ca 1869) are viable for registeration. Note that even WWII machine-made swords are illegal.

Sometimes unregistered swords come up as someone passes away and the inheritors find an old sword, or a sword is brought back to Japan from a foreign country. These swords can be registered if official procedures are followed, but one has to have a good excuse why the sword has not been registered before (and I've heard that the police have become more strict on this one lately!).

When a sword is to be exported out from Japan, the registeration is cancelled and export papers written and the sword must be exported within 2 weeks (IIRC). At least some sword dealers can do the procedure for the customer. Sword can not be exported if it is considered (during the inspection which is part of the export process) an important cultural artifact or a national treasure (both rather unlikely).

So, there's some general guidelines for people planning to export a Japanese sword. Please, check the sword dealer for details. I'm not absolutely sure about everything being 100% correct in the text above.

However, I hope this helps!
by A Finn rate this post as useful

buying a shinsakuto 2008/6/26 15:33
I recently ordered a shinsakuto from a swordsmith to be presented at the NBTHK competition 2010. Can anybody tell me how I can export the sword after completion from Japan into Europe since I am not buying from a sword dealer but directly from a smith

Kind regards,
by marcel1966 rate this post as useful

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