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In respone to Dominic Obry's posting 2006/8/26 01:39
Dear Dominic Obry,

Many adults have forgotten that passions start in childhood and (if not supressed) will continue to grow into adult hood. Yes, i was 17 when i posted the question, but i assure u that i respected these swords and all martial arts as much as any full grown adult. True, our mothers did say NoT to run around with sharp objects (lol). but there has to be a first time for everything. and i think a child must be encouraged to pursue there passions and they should not be suppressed. i know a factory made cheap sword is almost a disgrace to a serious collector or a "passionate exponent "as you call ur self. but u must understand that one has to start somewhere. especially someone who cannot afford a real one. the younger one starts the sooner and easier it is to master an art.
by Black8787 rate this post as useful

Shepard - respect, brother. 2006/9/11 06:35
My dear brother Shepard-San,
I have just finished deleting what I was going to write - I don't feel it added to what you have already stated. Let me say that I am humbled by the message to are trying to pass on to the youth on this site who are interested and fascinated with the sword.
Instead, I would like to ask our young friends a few questions they can ask themselves... I hope they read this:
What is it about the sword they are to taken with? Is it the tremendous amount of work that went into it's creation? Is it the fact that it has the power to take life? Is it simply that they are beautiful to look at? Is it because it represents a way of life that is so different to the modern world?
If the last question is replied by the answer, "yes", then this should be a catalyst to better understand. I use the word 'understand' because this is what Bushido would encourage you to do. Knowing has it's merits, but to understand is better. Understand why you want one. Think about what you would do with it. Think about what this sword actually represents. Are you honouring the symbol, or is it simply a shiny show-piece? The way of the Samurai really had little to do with the use of the sword - think how often a police officer fires their gun. Most never do.
Would you hang a hand gun over your bed?
The Samurai valued life in a way most Westerners never will.
I don't want to discourage anyone from the pursuit of acquiring one of these pieces of history - whether an actual or replica. I do hope that the symbol of the Samurai is not simply looked at with the eyes.

by Brandon rate this post as useful

just a thought 2006/9/19 11:32
I've recently come in posession of a wakizashi.It is a replica,actually, and has suffered some damage(due to poor maintenance..).I wasn't impressed much at first but then i took it in my hand...
It felt sooo natural--left me amazed.It's balance is unparalleled to any other melee weapon i held.And it is just a replica(and not the expencive one).After that i began to realise the power of the "concept" transmitted trough these swords.I cought myself admiring to its elegance, its almost ascetic esthetics.I just love the way this sword whispers while slicing trough the air.And I know im not alone in that.
...greetings from Serbia!
by Ilija rate this post as useful

Important Question 2006/10/2 07:04
Im looking for a real samurai sword not a fake or part fake. I was looking online and happened to notice a online store (www.japaneseswords4samurai.com) that says they sell fake stainless steel blades and real battle ready swords. They also had 2 real battle ready swords that were not a replica of any kind. I was wondering if they are actually what they say that they are. Here is the site of the sword that I am considering: http://www.japaneseswords4samurai.com/ktn2.htm any help would be greatly appreciated.
by Ryan Hokenson rate this post as useful

Japanese Steel 2006/10/11 05:50
I am going to visit Japan next year. I would like to find a Katana that has been made and finished in the proper way without breaking the budget.

How much is a budget cost high quality sword going to cost?

Where can I find one?

Will I have trouble taking it through customs?
by Steve rate this post as useful

NEED SOME HELP 2006/10/12 17:04
For years i'm looking for a real Japanese katana.I practice jujitsu and I have a great interest in Japanese history and culture.Now I don't have the money for a weapon made in the 1500s,so I'm looking for a reproduction,but one made the same as in the Sengoku Jidai period,not some cheap junk.Does anyone knows a good adress to buy these weapons?BTW,I have much respect for guys like you all,understanding the bushido and not just cutting the first man who walks into your house.
by Sam Urai rate this post as useful

Reaction... 2006/12/13 06:16
When buying a katana of "good quality" you should ask yourself what do you plan to do with it? If you want something that is used for decoration you can buy them for like $30.00 US.If you want to actually cut materials with it they can range from $200 to thousands depending on what maker you purchase the sword from. Personally I prefer katanas that can cut but I'd keep it sheathed. With a katana one should be careful but not to the extreme that a person of the age 17 or higher should not own one. Everyone has their own opinion though.
by Nikorasu rate this post as useful

There is a way 2007/1/16 23:35
Hey dude, i also had the same troubles as you trying to figure out which swords were good/ bad etc. Lemme tell you straight off the bat, NEVER EVER buy a stain less steele blade. they are crap and no worth the 20 bucks you spend on them. Now onto the good stuff. There is a company called cheness inc. Enter there name in google and their site will pop up. These swords are hand forged and made with excellent high carbon steele (9260, 1060, 1045) All of these swords are hand made and quite affordable. I was able to pick up a Kaze katana for 275 during christmas! they are great swords and i definatly recommend them!! one last thing, to prove that they are hand forged, and folded there are videos on the site you can watch that show you how they make their swords!!

they may not be AUTHENTIC katanas, but for the price you pay the are the best things u can get (there razor sharp and cut like lazers!!)

hope this helped

by Curtis rate this post as useful

id go 2007/1/17 11:12
id go Paul Chen way

try casiberia or paul chen

the swords katanas are made in traditional style clay etc the works in China(so its cheaper) and depending on what u get it can range from forged to powdered top of the line folded and forged steel

razor sharp and functional

by jm rate this post as useful

Some myths, some truths 2007/1/17 14:01
Dear sword enthusiasts,

I am by no means an expert, but I'd like to correct some myths.

Shepard wrote: "However the Government of Japan has banned the export of these weapons."

This is only true for swords considered as "juyo bunkazai" (important cultural object) or "kokuho" (national treasure). It is possible to export other swords if the correct procedure is followed.

In short: Japan has a rather strict law on edged weapons and swords are banned. Now, the antique swords and modern swords made by traditional methods by licensed sword smith are not considered edged weapons, but antique / art objects. BTW. The ban also applies to WWII machine made swords, "gunto". Importing such sword, or any other non-antique or traditionally made sword, would mean that the sword is confiscated at the air port, either destroyed or held until (I suspects the storage is not free) the return of the person to his or her country of origin.

All swords need to be registered. I think the evaluation and registeration can be done twice every month or so at some city office (if anyone needs details I can ask).

There are still some unregistered swords that came to the light after, for example, somebody's grandfather passes away and also swords that have been at point exported from Japan and are brought back. Imported swords are required to be registered within two weeks from bringing them to Japan (IIRC). At the evaluation process the sword is evaluated by a (team of?) sword connaisseur(s). In some rare cases the sword might be suspected to qualify for juyo bunkazai or maybe even hokuho (very, very, VERY unlikely :). In that case I think the case becomes more complex.. I don't know about the legislation considering juyo bunkazai and hokuho.

If a sword is to be exported, it is to be taken to the same office where the registeration is done. The sword is checked that it is not a bunkazai or kokuho (because exporting those is illegal) and the registeration is cancelled. The sword is provided with necessary papers for export (to be shown at the airport) and must be exported within two weeks after the registeration is cancelled, or be re-registered.

Japanese sword are remarkable art objects, beautiful to look at and interesting study subject (and by no means a trivial one!). The understanding of the variety of nomeclature and details deepens the experience, so I suggest that anyone considering buying one reads as much as possible about the subject and contacts other sword enthusiasts (most countries have some!) at one's local area.

Swords also need regular care, as they are made of steel and steel has the tendency to rust. So again I suggest that anybody considering to buy a Japanese sword contacts some person who has experience with handling them. Most countries seem to have iaido clubs and one could start by asking from there. There's usually someone, or who at least knows someone with interest for and knowledge about swords. Some countries also have organized groups for Japanese sword collector. Try asking around for "Japanese sword society" or something similar.

Collecting and observing swords is a very interesting hobby. Collecting can be very money consuming, but by contacting other sword enthusiasts one may have good chances to observe different swords and also get tutoring in the finer aspects of appreciating them without having to spend a lot of money. By all means, I recommend anyone interested in the subject to go ahead and find out all you can.

But before one actually buys a sword, I recommend to study the subject and consider the fact that these are objects with maybe 100, 200 or even 700 years of history and in that sense I would recommend to handle EVERY sword as it was an "important cultural object".

I hope this helps,
A Finn in Japan
by A Finn rate this post as useful

No experts 2007/1/28 21:52
Firstly, before you consider anything posted here (including my message), know that the true masters of this art do not exist anymore. This applies to those who know a thing about katanas as well. If you want a 'real' sword, you are in for a treat. There are no more than three authentic forgers left in Japan, no more than three people who know them or their whereabouts and they do not like you. 'Liking' katanas, or practicing Iaido, won't even get you access to their ten-mile radius. Anyone else who offers 'real' katanas (especially those website-companies), are not what your description leads me to believe you are looking for. No-one simply takes the time for the folding-process alone anymore. A tough cookie, but this is basically it: buy either from a collector or a Japanese museum of national history. They will be more expensive than you can possibly imagine, but you will have a real katana. Getting it through customs, is an entirely different subject.
Also, please forget the 2000 USD-thing. If an authentic(ally) forged katana was anywhere near that cheap, anyone who thinks they are 'cool' would have accidentally chopped their leg off (while going The Last Samurai on their environment).
My advice, do what Samurai did, get a hardwood bokken (of no less than 200 USD). If you can successfully handle something like that, you are traditionally entitled to even picture a katana in your mind. Know that true samurai were those who defeated a sword by using a bokken. Back to basic. Good luck.
by Miso rate this post as useful

Nothing mystical 2007/1/29 17:34
"know that the true masters of this art do not exist anymore"

"There are no more than three authentic forgers left in Japan, no more than three people who know them or their whereabouts"

Depends naturally on the definition of a "true master" and "authentic", but there are indeed several people who still up hold the traditional methods of Japanese sword making.

For example the Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyoukai (The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Sword: http://www.touken.or.jp/) organizes competitions yearly for sword smiths and the list for the prizes awarded in year 2006 can be found here: http://www.touken.or.jp/english/sword_forging_competition_2006.html

The above list lists two smiths as living national treasures (ningen kokuhou) and 16 more as mukansa (distinguished sword smiths who have ranked high in the competition regularly).

I personally would consider these smiths as "authentic" as can be. And as can be seen, they are not kept in secrecy, but instead their work was put on display for everyone to enjoy in last December at the Sword Museum in Tokyo.

The two main organizations dedicated to the Japanese sword, the Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyoukai (http://www.touken.or.jp/) and Nihon Touken Hozon Kai (http://www.nthk.net/index_j.html)

The Nihon Touken Hozon Kyoukai even translate some of their material to English and have too branch offices (N. American and European) to meet the international interest in Japanese swords (http://www.touken.or.jp/english/english%20information.html).
by A Finn rate this post as useful

Found On a Japanese site 2007/5/11 07:20
Prices for antique shinken start at around US$4,500 (antique swords of 'standard' quality of are less expensive than 'new' swords - which are made by a handful of living craftsmen and are generally of very high quality). Recently made Japanese shinken generally cannot be purchased for less than around US$6,000 and most are considerably more expensive than this.

We do not offer shinken over the Internet because shinken buyers invariably want to inspect the blade and hold the sword to test its weight and balance before purchasing.

If you are interested in buying shinken we would be happy to show you our current stock at our showroom in Kyoto. (As our stock is constantly changing we do not publish a catalogue.)

The Japanese government classifies shinken as weapons. Once purchased from our showroom, shinken cannot be exported until export permission has been granted. This takes about one month for us to obtain and costs around US$100 per sword. Having purchased your sword, you can, however, return to your country while the export permit is being processed, and the sword can be sent to you when permission has been granted. Once exported, swords cannot be returned to Japan without following a complex import procedure.

Some countries do not allow the import of shinken. So those considering buying shinken are advised to check with their country's Customs authorities before attempting to import a real sword (U.S.A. Australia, Canada, and most European countries do allow import of shinken at time of writing).
by Jamesy rate this post as useful

Sorato-ryu Kenjutsu 2007/7/14 14:13
The real art of the samurai sword is taught in kenjutsu. In Kenjutsu you practice your hasuchi by doing tamashagiri and the katana has to be of good quility otherwise it would break or snap off and cause serious injury! Do you research well and rather save to buy the genuine sword!
by Jacques rate this post as useful

Why all this fuss over a sword? 2007/9/1 11:48
It is interesting to note that people get so excited over a Katana and Kenjutsu. I have been studying the Bugei Juhappen for 19 years of which a sword is not the ultimate ideal that people expect of it. The Samurai culture existed for the better part of 2000 years in Japan. It is only the last 400 or so that the Samurai was regarded a swordsman. Before the arrival of the Portugese, the Samurai were actually highly regarded archers. The Katana (this may offend some people, it usually does) was usaully the 4th or 5th weapon drawn in battle, once the others had broken. With the arrival of westerner's in Japan, came guns which soon removed most of the need for archers. The Samurai, like the Chinese, believed a true test of a man's fighting ability and nobility lay in his skill with a bow and arrow. For anyone who studies the Japanese Sword, I ask you to try your skill against a well trained Japanese Pikeman with a Spear or Naginata. Because of the power of these weapons it is actually easier to defend them with a Wakazashi not Katana. Save the Katana for duelling and collecting heads. As for being to young to own one, By the age of 5 a Samurai boy would be expected to learnt Shuriken, By the age of 9, he would be expected to excute a prisoner, and by the age of 13 he would experience "Genbaku" a manhood ceremony. After which he could be enlisted for service and battle. There is no reason a 17 year old should not own a weapon provided they can look after it responsibly.
by Tonbo Buke rate this post as useful

australia 2007/9/10 13:04
In Australia, it is illegal to own any sword, as it is a prohibited weapon, even if its only for on a wall, i also really like the swords but can not own them.
by Aussie guy rate this post as useful

Katana 2009/1/17 12:04
I'm now finishing up 2 years in Japan (just outside Tokyo)and have practiced Kendo for 6 months in the US and 6 months at a Temple(jinja) in Japan(by no means an expert; haven't even practiced with kata yet). My sensei was a monk...and to be honest, they DO treat the sword with the greatest amount of respect. But then again, any martial arts require a great deal of discipline.

I MIGHT be able to get a real sword out of Japan when my household furniture leaves here, but I dont wish to test the waters.

Furthermore, owning a Japanese sword does indeed require registration(then again, so do bicycles). My only thing is that if you were to look at tourist trap places, there are signs all over the places stating that they are display swords only and some of them say foreigners cant buy real ones. So, good luck trying to acquire a real one.

The loophole I've been trying to ascertain is if real swords from Japan can be exported(in export only) for foreigners, since a foreigner cannot register for one.

On top of that, I have the $$ for a real one too...I just dont wish to ask my japanese friends to buy one/register for me and I give 'em money....because I could get them in trouble...especially if I try to have the sword leave Japan. They would have to answer as to why I have the sword that belongs to him.

But I am like many of you wishing to have one(and maintain). Though I may settle for a Piece of junk if I run out of time.

All-in-all, I own A LOT of japanese stuff now, including the house I live in(traditional style(I have both a an alcove where I'd place a scroll/flowers/katana as well as my house temple; 4 tatami rooms, all sliding doors), I have a temple(butsudan) inside my house with buddhist scrolls(normamly you'd put scrolls of family inside and pray to them from both Taiwan/Japan.) But I'd like to top it off with a real katana. So....I guess you could call me a collector of Japanese stuff, but the katana is a hard find.

Sorry I cant help much, but I too would like to get a real one out of this country.
by Matt (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/1/18 23:20
Wow, haven't visited this post for years.

Firstly, to Aussie Guy. Are you sure? Cause the last time I checked (which was probably 3 years ago), swords aren't prohibted. It's the ones which have the concealed dagger inside the hilt that was illegal. I even own a Paul Chen Practical Plus and had no problems with customs. They may have changed the laws though, will need to look into it again.

In regards to the issue with 17 year olds being too young to own a Katana, I really think that you're being too quick to judge. It's been 3 years from the first time I posted, and I still have my Practical Plus which I check on a regular basis and clean and oil every 3 months.
by Jen (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/1/19 09:26
On 1st July 2004 swords were elevated to the prohibited weapons list in Victoria (not sure about the rest of Australia) and you need to apply for a 3 year permit ($160.00) to keep one. As it is a state law I don't know about other states and perhaps if they aren't prohibited in other states you could still bring one in to Victoria if flying in to another state. You have to declare weapons on your customs form - including swords.
by AusEz rate this post as useful

Getting a katana 2009/7/29 08:25
First... I'd have to recommend that you do some serious studying on the use of a katana. Katana's are extremely sharp and even people that are experienced with katanas cut themselves frequently.

Second... If you're looking to buy a katana... do a lot of research. Their are a lot of fakes out there, but there are a lot of legitimate places to get katanas to. I could direct you, but another good place to get leads on authentic samurai weapons is in nihonto forums.
by Brian Todd (guest) rate this post as useful

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