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Thread: Good Japanese sword dealer in Tokyo

  1. #1

    Good Japanese sword dealer in Tokyo

    Greetings to all Japanese sword enthusiasts!

    I will be traveling to Japan next month and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good dealer in Tokyo for Iaido swords. I am looking for a non-cutting sword to be used for drawing practice. I don't speak Japanese but could hire a translator for the day. My Sensei knew of a good dealer back when he lived in Japan twenty years ago but the name and location has since escaped him.

    I will also be traveling in Kyoto, so if anyone knows of a good dealer there I'd love to get that info as well.

    Thanks in advance,
    Michael

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    285
    Sorry, I can't think of any particularly good Iaito dealers in Tokyo, but I would say that Tokyo is your best bet. Kyoto can be a bit touristy.

    And you can probably get away with just speaking English.

    Will you be training while you're there? If that is the case, your best bet is to just tell someone you want to buy a sword and someone will probably bend over backwards to help you find one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    81
    http://www.japansword.co.jp/ <- they have a English information button on the upper right.

    Bought a set from them in 1988. Cost more to ship home.

    Try this link - http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Palace/1135/sights.html

  4. #4
    Sakuraya, next to Yasukuni Shrine and the Budokan, is among my favorite places to visit for this sort of thing. If you're looking on a map, it's near the Kudanshita station.

    BTW, what you're looking for are called 'iaito' (or 'mogito') - non-sharpened alloy blades. You will be able to either pick one of nearly a hundred available there, or specify your precise fittings and have it made to order and shipped directly to you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3,180
    tons of sword shops and kendo shops in Kyoto, too. Tozando and Nishijin are both down there. They have English speakers on their websites, so you can ask directions, make an appointment.

    Dave
    Dave Drawdy
    "the artist formerly known as Sergeant Major"

  6. #6

    Belated thanks

    Sorry for this belated response. Thanks to everyone who replied to this thread. I decided to visit the Tozando Shogoin store in Kyoto and was very pleased with their store and the friendly, English-speaking staff that helped me. Kei Ohia put up with me for about two hours as I swung about a dozen different iaito in their outdoor practice area before finding the one that had the balance and aesthetic quality I was looking for. I bought it and a sword bag.

    They shipped the iaito back to the States for me and it was waiting for us when we got back. Unfortunately, UPS was not very kind to the box and sure enough, when i opened it I discovered a nick in the saya. Being sort of anal about these things, I contacted Tozando and told them what happened. They asked me to email a couple photos of the damaged saya to them, which I did. A couple days later they gave me their UPS number and asked me to ship the iaito back to them so they could custom fit a new saya, which I did. Within about a week, I had my iaito back in my hands with a brand new saya. I dealt with Taniguchi Hisashi and Haruko Tsuchiya and they were both total pros throughout the replacement process.

    All in all, I would highly recommend Tozando's Shogoin store to anyone lucky enough to find themselves shopping for an iaito in Kyoto.

    Cheers,
    Michael

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