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Thread: Peace Sword Nakago Photo

  1. #51
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Justice View Post
    Well, I meant in good enough shape to be completely serviceable, not an overly polished blade with almost no hamon left. Especially a blade put under the stress the OP originally intended for it.
    1.It has been estimated that at the end of WWII, there were approximately 1,000,000 Nihonto in the United states alone. Let us assume that 99% of them were Gunto, temple swords, or are damaged badly enough to be no longer functional. That leaves us with about 10,000 swords in the United States alone. Surely some of them were used, especially those made before Sekigahara. Swords from that time period were made to be used for the most part.
    2. It is not uncommon to see a perfectly good blade with cuts along the mune. These are generally considered a sign that the blade has been used, and if memory serves me correctly, can add to the value of the blade.
    3. There is a difference between a given sword's monetary/art value and it's usability. A blade can be tired and have a worn hamon and still be perfectly functional. There are different degrees of flaws. Fatal flaws mean the sword is no longer functional as a weapon. An overpolished blade does not fit in this category as long as the hamon does not run off the edge and there are no other flaws such as ha giri.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Schiller View Post
    Was that six years in the future?
    that's just rude. im 21 almost 22 now.
    Last edited by Oniryuu Shinigami; 07-22-2010 at 08:12 AM.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oniryuu Shinigami View Post
    that's just rude. im 21 almost 22 now.
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  5. #55
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    wow I just started to look at Bugei and this peace katana is a master piece of art. Looks too cool to be true. Do my eyes deceive me or is it real? Hai Hai Hai it is real. Amazing!!!

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Post View Post
    wow I just started to look at Bugei and this peace katana is a master piece of art. Looks too cool to be true. Do my eyes deceive me or is it real? Hai Hai Hai it is real. Amazing!!!
    It's a pretty cool production sword, but a master piece of art might be going a bit far. For what it is, I'm sure its a great piece. The Kokuten tachi at moderntosho might be more deserving of that particular title.

    However, the peace sword and its koshirae are pretty neat. I'd be curious about its handling capabilities. A while back there was a good write-up on the Bugei forums comparing their line-up. Something like an updated version of that would be very useful.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Frances View Post
    It's a pretty cool production sword, but a master piece of art might be going a bit far. For what it is, I'm sure its a great piece. The Kokuten tachi at moderntosho might be more deserving of that particular title.

    However, the peace sword and its koshirae are pretty neat. I'd be curious about its handling capabilities. A while back there was a good write-up on the Bugei forums comparing their line-up. Something like an updated version of that would be very useful.
    Do you mean this katana ?
    http://www.moderntosho.com/sale/kokuten3.htm
    I agree that it is pretty sweet with its double bo-hi (personally I think that's the coolest kind of bo-hi)

    If this is not the katana you meant you should post it all is did to find this one is google this Kokuten tachi at moderntosho and hit the first link.

    I think the coolest part of this katana is the saya and that it is based off a famous haiku. The skull meaning life or death was cool too.
    Last edited by AJ Post; 08-05-2010 at 07:02 PM.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Frances View Post
    However, the peace sword and its koshirae are pretty neat. I'd be curious about its handling capabilities. A while back there was a good write-up on the Bugei forums comparing their line-up. Something like an updated version of that would be very useful.
    That write-up was done by Dimytri a while ago and I don't think he's seen one of the new Peace swords.

    The blade is difficult to categorize IMO because it is a bit different from most of Bugei's offerings. It is a somewhat moderate sword in terms of size. However, I kept the niku light in the design and with the shallow futasuji-bi the blade is lighter than it appears. I will admit I designed the sword to be what *I* like in a sword in terms of size, shape and dynamics. Most production swords I find to be poorly balanced and often feel "heavy" in my hands so I tend to prefer lighter production pieces. However, this one feels more "correct" to me as it handles faster even thought it isn't as light as other swords I have. For instance I also have a Dragonfly with Bo-hi. That feels very light in my hands and I like it for that reason (good for iai training). The Peace sword feels a bit heavier as an absolute thing, but in the hand it handles like it is lighter than it really is. And with a stronger cross section I think it would probably do better with blown cuts.

    Handling is a really complicated issue. One factor is the shape of the tsuka. The Peace swords are supposed to have tsuka that curve with the sword. That can make a dramatic difference in perceived weight and balance. Then add in that you're talking about a curving, complex shape that is being moved and turned through 3d space... Anyway, long story short I would say it is about in the middle of the pack in terms of weight but handles like a lighter sword due to the tapers, grooves, and shape. Or... Exactly what I was hoping to get with the design. A sword that would be relatively robust but still be a good training blade for the serious student of iaido.
    Keith Larman
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    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  9. #59
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    Thank you much for the detailed response.

    Yes, it was Dimytri's write up I was thinking of! Still a valuable reference. Through the dojo I've had a chance to handle a variety of Bugei katana, two samurai, two bamboo, a crane, a wave, and a dragonfly - I have to say he was very much on the mark. It would still be great to have the new offerings covered in as much of a comparative manner as it would be possible.

    That actually sounds really good. I know it is hard to pigeon-hole the swords. Even though the various models are probably very consistent in feel there are going to be subtle variations that change handling characteristics. Really the only way I know of being sure is to get it in hand. I'm planning a trip out West at some point towards the end of the year, I'll make a strong effort to stop by the shop and say hi to whoever might be in that day and hopefully get a closer look at some things.

    Always appreciate your posts.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Frances View Post
    Yes, it was Dimytri's write up I was thinking of! Still a valuable reference. Through the dojo I've had a chance to handle a variety of Bugei katana, two samurai, two bamboo, a crane, a wave, and a dragonfly - I have to say he was very much on the mark. It would still be great to have the new offerings covered in as much of a comparative manner as it would be possible.
    Yeah, I was kinda skeptical when he first put it out. But in reading it I realized he did a pretty good job. However, keep in mind that since these are all hand made things have varied over the years. I've seen some really robust bamboo models and some that were a lot lighter. I've heard people say the Crane is really light only to see some real bruisers. It is a tough issue and in many ways there is a very large subjective issue that complicates matters tremendously. I've met people who do arts that prefer bigger, heavier blades and those who like them light. So when someone says "moderate" are they speaking in relation to what they like or the overall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Frances View Post
    That actually sounds really good. I know it is hard to pigeon-hole the swords. Even though the various models are probably very consistent in feel there are going to be subtle variations that change handling characteristics. Really the only way I know of being sure is to get it in hand. I'm planning a trip out West at some point towards the end of the year, I'll make a strong effort to stop by the shop and say hi to whoever might be in that day and hopefully get a closer look at some things.
    I'd be really surprised if any Peace Swords will be on the shelf for anything longer than a few days. To the best of my knowledge they're about to put in yet another order at the factory since they keep getting orders faster than they get the swords. So perpetual back-order. For the rest of this year the only way one will be on the shelf is that if it comes in and I haven't gone down yet to do QC. They're basically all spoken for at least for the rest of the year unless the factory is able to start putting them out for Bugei faster. But we insist on high quality and as a result I guess we have to deal with slower production as a result. Lord knows they'd love to sell as many as possible right away, but... If the factory can't deliver...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Frances View Post
    Always appreciate your posts.
    Glad to help.
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Schiller View Post
    Was that six years in the future?
    ROFL

    Well....after a break from SFI im glad to see that the style and content hasnt changed much over here on the 'ol "katana sword" board.

    Mr. Schiller, Im surprised you bother reading through posts like Oniryuu No Kami Miyamoto Shinigami Musashi Kenshin X's - (the full name on his updated birth cirtificate) although praisworthy it is..!

    Keith, I find it slightly depressing that the only reason Bugei are still making those horribly inaccurate nakago (forgive me but yeah....they are horrible and inaccurate compared to what you guys and Chen Chao Po COULD be making for the same production costs) all these years on.

    And there I was thinking that consumers of production katana were now more educated and discerning than ever.... clearly not enough of either though <shakes head>

    My sincere wish is that bugei would start making decent copies of famous Juyo and national treasures (I know what youre going to say, but the KM was just a little too out there) - perhaps even throw in a Kiyomaru or Yoshihara instead of these bizarre hybrid swords. As you said, they are purely designed to fit with a marketing ploy to convince the ill educated / misinformed that they are worth buying. It is especially irksome to those of us in the know who realise that neither performance nor aesthetics are elevated whatsoever with these new "??safer??" designs.

    Did bugei consider the totally untapped sword market for those nihonto owners/lovers that are looking for a sub $2000 copy of a famous nihonto complete with a realistic nakago (a fairly important part of any good sword)?

    Lead by example and dispell the myth of skinny 12 inch nakago being a necessity!! Please!!!

    If they were supposed to be like this the greats would have been making them such. N'est pas?!
    The Mind Truely Is The Sharpest Blade And The Deadliest Weapon.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kakashi View Post

    Did bugei consider the totally untapped sword market for those nihonto owners/lovers that are looking for a sub $2000 copy of a famous nihonto complete with a realistic nakago (a fairly important part of any good sword)?

    Lead by example and dispell the myth of skinny 12 inch nakago being a necessity!! Please!!!
    Before Keith jumps in, Alex, may I ask if you've ever had to deal one on one with customers and their demands? I put in a story abut myself and the client who wanted me to perform suriage on a katana to make the nakago longer and therefore "safer". By insisting that's not the way it needs to be done, I lost a sale.

    I sincerely doubt that realistic copies of famous nihonto would be even 1/3rd as much of a seller as the swords Bugei currently produces. I honestly thought what Bugei was doing with the Lion Dog katana, and currently with these katana are a bit risky given the shaky economy right now. After all, if the price goes too high, some low cost nihonto could be purchased around the price of a really high end production blade.

    There is a point to be made about expecting only so much from a production outlet, even one given every single detail imaginable to work from. After all, they could end up making a decent copy of my nihonto that I currently own, but the blade they could make could come back too heavy, off balance, or perhaps light enough but just "dead" in the hands.

    Instead, Bugei makes blades to how they can manage, and how the current customers want them. Production swords shouldn't really be about education. They're about providing alternatives to practitioners of every level so they don't have to use a nihonto, or have to commission a 9 thousand dollar shinsakuto.
    Every time I put on a suit for a wedding or other event, I feel like I'm wearing optimal clothing for an epic fight scene...

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  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kakashi View Post
    ROFL

    Well....after a break from SFI im glad to see that the style and content hasnt changed much over here on the 'ol "katana sword" board.

    Mr. Schiller, Im surprised you bother reading through posts like Oniryuu No Kami Miyamoto Shinigami Musashi Kenshin X's - (the full name on his updated birth cirtificate) although praisworthy it is..!

    Keith, I find it slightly depressing that the only reason Bugei are still making those horribly inaccurate nakago (forgive me but yeah....they are horrible and inaccurate compared to what you guys and Chen Chao Po COULD be making for the same production costs) all these years on.

    And there I was thinking that consumers of production katana were now more educated and discerning than ever.... clearly not enough of either though <shakes head>

    My sincere wish is that bugei would start making decent copies of famous Juyo and national treasures (I know what youre going to say, but the KM was just a little too out there) - perhaps even throw in a Kiyomaru or Yoshihara instead of these bizarre hybrid swords. As you said, they are purely designed to fit with a marketing ploy to convince the ill educated / misinformed that they are worth buying. It is especially irksome to those of us in the know who realise that neither performance nor aesthetics are elevated whatsoever with these new "??safer??" designs.

    Did bugei consider the totally untapped sword market for those nihonto owners/lovers that are looking for a sub $2000 copy of a famous nihonto complete with a realistic nakago (a fairly important part of any good sword)?

    Lead by example and dispell the myth of skinny 12 inch nakago being a necessity!! Please!!!

    If they were supposed to be like this the greats would have been making them such. N'est pas?!
    You can't be serious. Have you ever seen a Kiyomaro in person? Do you know what you're looking at? Have you seen *any* production sword that even remotely looks like a Kiyomaro? Or a "Yoshihara" (I assume you mean Yoshindo, but there are other Yoshihara smiths)? Or a Juyo in person for that matter? There is *no* mistaking the differences. I used a Juyo Tadayoshi school blade as a "template" of sorts to try to keep the "look" relatively consistent. There is *NO FREAKING WAY* they could be confused with the real deal unless you are totally uneducated. As a matter of fact I've argued with folk saying we *shouldn't* release blades saying they're mean to be just like so and so. I try very hard to make a distinction that a blade might be inspired by a famous smith's work or dimensions of a famous sword, but that's where it ends. Because there is *no* comparison. And quite frankly selling something that kinda looks like a "Yoshihara" (whatever that may be) is itself somewhat dishonest and taking advantage of those who want to buy what they're telling themselves is less expensive version of the real thing. Now that is just insulting to the smith's work, the craft overall, and to the intelligence of the customer.

    On a second issue... Have you ever carved and subsequently applied samekawa and wrapped a tsuka for a conventionally shaped antique katana? How much do you know about the issues involved. Do you realize that one of the most difficult parts of getting a clean, proper fit is matching up to the curves and flow of a traditional nakago. Of course done correctly it is a great thing. Also consider the issue of wood. Do you think they're importing honoki from Japan? Or using something even remotely as good? Heck, the last honoki blank I bought for a katana from Japan cost me more than some people here spend on an entire sword. Have you considered that by using a thinner but longer nakago they can not only have an easier time carving a proper fit *but* they also leave the wood thicker which makes for a stronger overall tsuka given the lower level of skill?

    They're production swords. They're tools for swordsmen training in the JSA's. I freaking well charge more to polish a katana than the entire peace sword costs, in the box, delivered to your door. And if you've been paying attention for that decade or more you'd notice the incredible jump in quality that has occurred. Mostly because a few people have worked *very hard* to educate the general public all while working very hard to improve the quality of what companies like Bugei puts out. All for basically nothing.


    Yeah, I should step up and do something. Obviously I've not done enough. Pfft.
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  14. #64
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    Moderator's Note

    Hi Keith,

    Please disregard as needed the potential for our very occasional visitors that find little of worth to either offer or read. Adrian once noted on an aside that there is no rule for some posting what amounts to idiocy. If inflammatory, these should be as easily ignored unless verbal personal assaults start to occur.

    As always, your thoughts and information are always well regarded here and I do understand how some commentary of others is useless white noise in the grand scheme of things.

    Most cordially

    Glen


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kakashi View Post
    ROFL

    Well....after a break from SFI im glad to see that the style and content hasnt changed much over here on the 'ol "katana sword" board.

    Mr. Schiller, Im surprised you bother reading through posts like Oniryuu No Kami Miyamoto Shinigami Musashi Kenshin X's - (the full name on his updated birth cirtificate) although praisworthy it is..!

    Keith, I find it slightly depressing that the only reason Bugei are still making those horribly inaccurate nakago (forgive me but yeah....they are horrible and inaccurate compared to what you guys and Chen Chao Po COULD be making for the same production costs) all these years on.

    And there I was thinking that consumers of production katana were now more educated and discerning than ever.... clearly not enough of either though <shakes head>

    My sincere wish is that bugei would start making decent copies of famous Juyo and national treasures (I know what youre going to say, but the KM was just a little too out there) - perhaps even throw in a Kiyomaru or Yoshihara instead of these bizarre hybrid swords. As you said, they are purely designed to fit with a marketing ploy to convince the ill educated / misinformed that they are worth buying. It is especially irksome to those of us in the know who realise that neither performance nor aesthetics are elevated whatsoever with these new "??safer??" designs.

    Did bugei consider the totally untapped sword market for those nihonto owners/lovers that are looking for a sub $2000 copy of a famous nihonto complete with a realistic nakago (a fairly important part of any good sword)?

    Lead by example and dispell the myth of skinny 12 inch nakago being a necessity!! Please!!!

    If they were supposed to be like this the greats would have been making them such. N'est pas?!



    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Larman View Post
    You can't be serious. Have you ever seen a Kiyomaro in person? Do you know what you're looking at? Have you seen *any* production sword that even remotely looks like a Kiyomaro? Or a "Yoshihara" (I assume you mean Yoshindo, but there are other Yoshihara smiths)? Or a Juyo in person for that matter? There is *no* mistaking the differences. I used a Juyo Tadayoshi school blade as a "template" of sorts to try to keep the "look" relatively consistent. There is *NO FREAKING WAY* they could be confused with the real deal unless you are totally uneducated. As a matter of fact I've argued with folk saying we *shouldn't* release blades saying they're mean to be just like so and so. I try very hard to make a distinction that a blade might be inspired by a famous smith's work or dimensions of a famous sword, but that's where it ends. Because there is *no* comparison. And quite frankly selling something that kinda looks like a "Yoshihara" (whatever that may be) is itself somewhat dishonest and taking advantage of those who want to buy what they're telling themselves is less expensive version of the real thing. Now that is just insulting to the smith's work, the craft overall, and to the intelligence of the customer.

    On a second issue... Have you ever carved and subsequently applied samekawa and wrapped a tsuka for a conventionally shaped antique katana? How much do you know about the issues involved. Do you realize that one of the most difficult parts of getting a clean, proper fit is matching up to the curves and flow of a traditional nakago. Of course done correctly it is a great thing. Also consider the issue of wood. Do you think they're importing honoki from Japan? Or using something even remotely as good? Heck, the last honoki blank I bought for a katana from Japan cost me more than some people here spend on an entire sword. Have you considered that by using a thinner but longer nakago they can not only have an easier time carving a proper fit *but* they also leave the wood thicker which makes for a stronger overall tsuka given the lower level of skill?

    They're production swords. They're tools for swordsmen training in the JSA's. I freaking well charge more to polish a katana than the entire peace sword costs, in the box, delivered to your door. And if you've been paying attention for that decade or more you'd notice the incredible jump in quality that has occurred. Mostly because a few people have worked *very hard* to educate the general public all while working very hard to improve the quality of what companies like Bugei puts out. All for basically nothing.


    Yeah, I should step up and do something. Obviously I've not done enough. Pfft.
    Last edited by Glen C.; 08-10-2010 at 10:33 AM. Reason: typlos, syntax

  15. #65
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    Yeah, I should step up and do something. Obviously I've not done enough.
    I totally agree Keith. You should step up and do something ... like maybe make a Margarita or have a glass of wine.
    If you're going to be at the West Coast Tai Kai I'll buy you a couple, and personally deliver a collective "thanks" from all of us in the JSA world that have benefited from all of the hard work that you've put in over the years.

    Cheers!
    Paul Smith
    "Keep the sharp side and the
    pointy end between you and
    your opponent"

  16. #66
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    Someone here will be changing name again anytime soon
    Keith, your contributions to the forum are priceless.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubem Bastos View Post
    Someone here will be changing name again anytime soon
    Keith, your contributions to the forum are priceless.
    Attitude is one thing any can change at any time

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Larman View Post
    You can't be serious. Have you ever seen a Kiyomaro in person? Do you know what you're looking at? Have you seen *any* production sword that even remotely looks like a Kiyomaro? Or a "Yoshihara" (I assume you mean Yoshindo, but there are other Yoshihara smiths)? Or a Juyo in person for that matter? There is *no* mistaking the differences. I used a Juyo Tadayoshi school blade as a "template" of sorts to try to keep the "look" relatively consistent. There is *NO FREAKING WAY* they could be confused with the real deal unless you are totally uneducated.

    On a second issue... Have you ever carved and subsequently applied samekawa and wrapped a tsuka for a conventionally shaped antique katana?

    Do you think they're importing honoki from Japan? Or using something even remotely as good?

    And if you've been paying attention for that decade or more you'd notice the
    incredible jump in quality that has occurred. Mostly because a few people have worked *very hard* to educate the general public all while working very hard to improve the quality of what companies like Bugei puts out. All for basically nothing.

    Yeah, I should step up and do something. Obviously I've not done enough. Pfft.
    Keith!! First a sip on that Margarita -

    I did not mean to be quite as facetious as my post came off.

    To answer your questions yes I have seen Juyo blades in person, yes I have seen a Kiyomaru in person, yes I knew what I was looking at when I saw that Kiyomaru, no I have never seen a production sword that looked anything like one, but then again I have never seen a production sword I mistook for a nihonto.

    Yes, I am aware that Paul Chen with the smiths, steels, techniques and factory workers he uses have no hope in hell of creating the same activities either in hamon or ji steel as any even semi famous moderately skilled Japanese smith.

    In addition Paul Chen has no hope in hell of creating the same finish on his production swords that someone like Mishima, a midranking japanese polisher or your good self could put on an art sword.

    However, what he could do is make a fair approximation. Superficially it might not look close to the real thing to trained eyes, but theres no reason why it shouldnt feel exactly like the real thing, and look at least somewhat similar being as that it would have identical dimentions at every point along the blade.

    I know Chen doesnt use Honoki, but he could use poplar instead.

    I was not suggesting Bugei try to recreate art swords...ie make new true art. I was suggesting Bugei attempt to recreate THE DIMENSIONS and feel of good old swords, my main point being NAKAGO INCLUDED - the peace sword as far as the sugata goes is by far the closest Bugei have gotten - I just would have loved to have seen a decent nakago on it! (incidentally, the photo you posted was very beautiful, but the nakago in the middle wasnt)

    Try to look past my name dropping, they were simply supposed to be examples, I applaud your choosing the best of the Hizen smiths as the inspiration for the peace sword. We all know everyone loves a Hizen smiths. My comments really arnt THAT outrageous however. I wasnt necessarily referring to Yoshindo. His father also made great swords.
    I am not familiar with every Juyo blade and havnt done the research so am not sure which generation Tadayoshi the peace sword was modelled after but there was more than one good Tadayoshi.

    Lastly, chillax Keith, we all know full well youve done more and worked harder than anyone else to educate the public and influence production sword design, always for the better; but this is exactly why I directed my post at you. Youre the only one with any hope of pushing things through. Im sorry if I tweaked your ire. I will make it up to you with a comission and a beer if you would accept sometime in the future, promise. You wont know its me though haha...
    The Mind Truely Is The Sharpest Blade And The Deadliest Weapon.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kakashi View Post
    Mr. Schiller, I’m surprised you bother reading through posts like Oniryuu …
    I don’t read much on SFI anymore, and reply even less, but when I’m online I make sure to read all of Keith’s posts/threads. Because we go way back, and because he’s one of the very few on SFI who has something to say of real substance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Kakashi View Post
    … someone like Mishima, a midranking japanese polisher …
    I admire your high standards. Calling a Mukansa (I assume you mean Kenji Mishina) “mid-ranking” testifies to your discerning eye when it comes to polishes. Since we’re friends I’ll make sure to mention that to him next time we meet, I’m sure he’ll be proud that you somewhat approve of his work.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Schiller View Post
    I don’t read much on SFI anymore, and reply even less, but when I’m online I make sure to read all of Keith’s posts/threads. Because we go way back, and because he’s one of the very few on SFI who has something to say of real substance.
    Which is exactly why I commented on the fact that you had bothered to comment. I agree with what you said and I also read all of Keith's posts.
    I was being serious and was grateful for the fact that you made me LOL and my comment was not in any way meant as derogatory towards you.
    I read all of your posts also.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Schiller View Post
    I admire your high standards. Calling a Mukansa (I assume you mean Kenji Mishina) “mid-ranking” testifies to your discerning eye when it comes to polishes.
    Come come now. yes Kenji, and yes, an irrelavent typo - it has been long established that there is little discernable difference between m and n in romanised japanese and the two are used interchangably...anyhow the typo was not spotted on a cursory proof read as I was in a bit of a rush. Kenji Mishina is probably the most famous polisher in the world, certainly outside of Japan. Give me a break. I obviously was not insinuating that Kenji Mishina was a mid-ranking polisher! I meant that the factory swords had no hope of being polished in the way a mukansa togi would polish a Juyo, the way a mid-ranking polisher would polish a nihonto or even the way an american togi who specialised in non traditional steels would polish a 1086 / L6 blade. What with the wealth of literature on the man and several highly regarded books written/translated by him.......well whatever. I am at this moment staring at the spine of one of his works on the shelf across from my desk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Schiller View Post
    Since we’re friends I’ll make sure to mention that to him next time we meet, I’m sure he’ll be proud that you somewhat approve of his work.
    Im sure you wont. Please go back to NMB and stop wasting time on me.
    Last edited by Alex Kakashi; 08-11-2010 at 08:11 AM. Reason: yet more typos
    The Mind Truely Is The Sharpest Blade And The Deadliest Weapon.

  21. #71
    Consider that in this day and age there are modern steels with well defined metallurgy that can be heat treated with relative ease with a wide range of error and still produce exceptional tools. And yet people will focus on getting a "tamahagane" blade but from a factory. A notoriously difficult material to work with. If my smith is going to be making a blade of tamahagane it had better have some top notch heat treat. And if they had that kind of work in them we'd see a heck of a lot more in these things than what we're seeing -- those activities and "workings" are signposts of a nailed heat treat. But that's not what we see in the Chinese made pieces. Yet people want to focus on what "looks like" a traditional sword, but for cheap. Okay, that's fine. But that has never been the focus of Bugei's swords -- their focus is function and safety first and foremost. Bugei has tried to keep their stuff focused on the experienced martial arts market. In part that is due to both myself and other craftsmen who have worked with them trying to emphasize that these are *not* art swords. We both have the deepest respect for the traditional craft and see these more as a means of providing swords that people can train with to help preserve the blades of old. WRT to things "out of sight" I want to be functional and safe. These nakago are that and it addresses a variety of issues present in the market.

    Yes, we try to make things look as authentic as we can within reason. But they are *not* traditionally polished -- that's really an insult to real polishers. These are *not* nihonto, that's an insult to the licensed swordsmiths and I worry that any comparison will be taken wrong. It is *really* a concern I have as I work across fields. I have the deepest respect for the traditional craft and the last thing I want to do is give any impression that there is any comparison. There is a reason good quality blades in proper polish cost a hell of a lot more. And these are not swords to be removed from their mounts and proudly displayed like a nihonto -- they are swords to be used. Experienced Martial Artist training tools. I was asked to help reintroduce an old design that was more ornate such that the entire sword in koshirae could be used for display but also still be used. The Lion Dog Daisho was the result of that. Some customers like flashy fittings. Okay, done. It is still a production sword and my first priority was safety for use.

    The next project was to create a sword that was more like a blade you might find in the obi of a samurai of a period long gone that had a consistent look and feel. It is not strictly accurate but I did try to address functional aspects such as the shaping of the saya, the shaping of the tsuka, the placement of the kurigata, etc. And I think I did make a lot of progress there. And you're worried about the nakago? I wanted something that looked decent but still followed traditional look and feel. The Peace Sword was a result of that. I did *not* try to make a Hizen School piece -- I used the blade dimensions of a shape I liked to try to enforce a more traditional look to ensure it would handle more like it should. Again, function for the martial artist.

    I discussed the nakago simply to point out that like all aspects of these things, they are *not* nihonto. But I did want to talk about each solution that allows a fully polished, mounted sword that handles like the real thing that follows many of the parameters and style of the real thing could be made for a very low price ($1600 in this case). The point here is that part of the reason for the low price is in the solution they came up with to deal with a variety of competing requirements. Some imposed by the market. Some imposed by production methods. Some imposed by ensuring safety in the final product while still allowed them to make them in a cost effective way.

    Over the years I've been there I've never, ever seen a nakago on one of these bent. I've also made new tsuka for more than I can remember and they work just fine. Frankly they give a lot of "wiggle room" for shaping you don't always get on more traditional nakago shapes. I'm not saying it is better, just a different solution. Especially considering that Bugei's blades come with options for both long and short nakago. In other words... They work fine.

    Also consider the logistics of carving nakago. A less curving nakago with less "belly" is vastly easier to carve. Consider needing to make 50 tsuka for a variety of swords. If you keep the nakago fairly consistent regardless of eventual tsuka length you can adjust each blade fairly easily and you can start the inletting of the tsuka cores with a consistent "hogging out" of material. Me, I start with a hand tools and an exacto knife. It takes a long time for me to do it but I'm not working in a production environment. Production sword, remember? Safety and function first, then the balancing of cost and accuracy.

    Or there was the Chinese "tamahagane" blade I saw that the customer wanted tuned up. The nakago "looked" more traditional -- I'm sure you would have liked it. However, subtle aspects of the taper were wrong which affected the habaki fit. It couldn't be correctly fit without modification to the nakago. Sure, looks better -- most would say "wow, nice". But the subtle details were still wrong. And frankly from a "functional" and "safety" POV I would have rather seen a Hanwei style nakago. At least that I can work without having to get out files and rebuild everything, habaki included.

    To be blunt there are many other things I'd have them address well before I'd worry about whether the nakago is shaped more like a traditional nakago. The nakago is a hidden aspect of the sword in a user tool. The solution is safe, solves some problems, keeps the price down, and allows us to offer multiple tsuka lengths for the varied requirements of a diverse customer base. Again, these aren't art swords, they're intended to martial arts training tools that approximate the look and feel of the real deal. The *first* priority is safety. And unlike so many production swords that come with cracked and poorly fit tsuka, I have worked very hard to ensure they get this right with Bugei's swords. And I'm not going to start changing the look of the nakago to address what the sword looks like outside the mounts when there are other things I'd rather see addressed first and considering the fact they were never designed to be dismounted for display -- these are training tools. They're weapons. They're not art pieces. I do try to make them look as nice as I can, but really, function first.

    They are what they are -- top notch training tools. The nakago length also addresses the fact that overwhelmingly customers want a second mekugi in their sword as far back as possible. Heck, it is a *requirement* for some schools, especially for production swords. So if we want to be able to provide training tools for those groups we must deal with that reality as well. There are also schools who train with and utilize longer tsuka. Yes, they are in the minority, but... They are out there and most of them also want a second mekugi as far back as possible. That ain't gonna happen with a shorter nakago. I can make a safe, long tsuka for a shorter nakago piece. Done it many times. But if I make a tsuka for one of these you can be damned sure it will cost a heck of a lot more than many of the people here would be willing to pay. Because, again, this is a 1600 sword.

    Honestly the whole thing is ridiculous to me. People pontificate about what's good, better or worse about things but I get to do the QC, see what comes back, and see what damage people do to swords. And quite frankly 95% of the things people here worry about are trivial compared to the 5% they don't even think about that makes vastly more difference.


    And if you really want something to dislike, I just submitted a series of suggested hamon for the first of Bugei's "existing" designs in terms of making them available in the newer high alloy steel. Yeah, that one with no hada. No folds. So no folds *and* a non traditional nakago! And a modern heat treat. But I picked a few hamon styles to match the koshirae or the overall blade shape/feel. We'll see if they can do what we ask and we might be offering a few if they can pull it off and we're satisfied with things. And yes, those nakago that you would find virtually impossible to damage will likely be shaped exactly the same... Because it works just fine as a functional compromise. Because these aren't art swords. They're not nihonto. And the functional nakago are hidden away inside the mounts doing their job just fine.


    And as an aside, Yoshindo's father (Masazane) was a swordsmith only briefly and there are few of his blades around. WWII interrupted his work as a young man and from what I understand he went back to making edged tools (which was the family business). If I remember correctly the owned a carpentry tool shop or something like that and never made swords again once the war broke out and then sword making was temporarily banned.

    I think you're thinking of Kuniee, Yoshindo's Grandfather. He taught Yoshindo and his brother Shoji (Kuniie). Yoshindo trained his son, Yoshikazu, himself a Mukansa smith. Yoshindo also trained Ono Yoshimitsu as well as a number of others. And while the "Yoshihara tradition" has a certain Bizen tradition, their work is varied and quite individualistic among each of them.
    Keith Larman
    Summerchild Polishing and Modertosho Modern Japanese Swords
    "They say I have ADD, but ... Hey, look, a chicken!"

  22. #72
    Keith, it's been a while since this thread was originally posted, but as a big fan of your Peace sword motif and blade design, is there anything you can say regarding an update to your comments here? To give you some context for my curiosity, I am a battodo/iaido student looking for a live blade I can use for both repetitive kata AND intensive tameshigiri. I can really get behind your reasoning with the design of the Peace sword, and the thought of this design with an improved heat treat in the Bugei price range would have me shoving money at my computer screen.

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