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Thread: Production blades with a "real yokote"? What is a yokote?

  1. #26
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    Going by the images on this site: http://www.samurai-sword-shop.com/pa...ami-katana.htm it appears to me that it has a geometric change.

  2. #27
    :Thanks, guys! Those pics at the previous link are probably the best I've seen of this sword. But, before I get too off topic (), a couple more for the list: both my last legend tsunami and DF daimyo have a cosmetic line. There is definately some geometric change there but its certainly not defined at the yokote.

  3. #28
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    Out of curiosity, does anybody have a ballpark guess of how much it might cost to make an actual yokote on a production sword? I would imagine a lot if most all the makers are using essentially cosmetic yokote. Additionally, why do makers skimp out on this department and other quirks in regards to blade geometry (Such as shobu-zukuri)?
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Jenq View Post
    Out of curiosity, does anybody have a ballpark guess of how much it might cost to make an actual yokote on a production sword? I would imagine a lot if most all the makers are using essentially cosmetic yokote. Additionally, why do makers skimp out on this department and other quirks in regards to blade geometry (Such as shobu-zukuri)?
    Unless the blade has significant amount of niku on it (and almost none of the production swords do) it is not even possible to make a geometric yokote.

    IMO makers "skimp out" on things for two reasons:
    1) cost
    2) lack of knowledge

    and in that order, too.
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  5. #30
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    I understand this issue can be viewed as one of semantics, but never the less this "real yokote" topic seems to crop up every few months or so on SFI and it's easy to see from browsing the replies in these threads that the language used is definitely causing confusion to people.

    Any blade that has a visual line, geometric or no, separating the ji from the kissaki, has a REAL YOKOTE.

    The common logic I'm seeing in these threads is that a geometric change at the yokote line equals a "real" yokote, therefore the insinuation here is that the absence of this geometric change equals what? Well, if by real we mean a geometric change, then everything else must have a fake yokote and therefore be inferior.

    This line of logic MIGHT ring true for the production swords you guys are discussing, but the problem comes in when people think the same logic will apply to all Japanese style blades including fine modern or antique Nihonto or customs. Well it doesn't.

    If all things were equal, it might be easier in some instances to not grind in a geometric change at the yokote, and no doubt cheaper production blades leave it out for this reason, it's just simply easier to deal with this area all the way through the process if there isn't a geometry change there. That said, this is not the case when dealing with fine blades. O-kissaki blades for instance typically don't have a geometric change at the yokote, and even if they do it's only very slight, it just isn't possible on some blades for varying reasons, none of which indicate an inferior blade. As I said in an earlier thread on this subject, about a year ago I had both an Enomoto Sadahito and and Enomoto Sadayoshi in my shop, both worth around $10,000, and neither had any geometric change whatsoever at the yokote. According to the consensus often seen here, neither had a "real" yokote.

    The bottom line here is that if this is something of import to people and is discussed, terms of either geometric or non-geometric would be better and far more accurate. I'm really not sure if "cosmetic" is even a relevant term in relation to the yokote to be honest, but the word "real" here is not only confusing but completely out of place and improper, as there is definitely no such thing as a yokote that is not real, it's either there or it isn't.
    Last edited by Chris Osborne; 06-17-2008 at 07:59 AM.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Osborne View Post
    I understand this issue can be viewed as one of semantics, but never the less this "real yokote" topic seems to crop up every few months or so on SFI and it's easy to see from browsing the replies in these threads that the language used is definitely causing confusion to people.

    Any blade that has a visual line, geometric or no, separating the ji from the kissaki, has a REAL YOKOTE.

    The common logic I'm seeing in these threads is that a geometric change at the yokote line equals a "real" yokote, therefore the insinuation here is that the absence of this geometric change equals what? Well, if by real we mean a geometric change, then everything else must have a fake yokote and therefore be inferior.

    This line of logic MIGHT ring true for the production swords you guys are discussing, but the problem comes in when people think the same logic will apply to all Japanese style blades including fine modern or antique Nihonto or customs. Well it doesn't.

    If all things were equal, it might be easier in some instances to not grind in a geometric change at the yakote, and no doubt cheaper production blades leave it out for this reason, it's just simply easier to deal with this area all the way through the process if there isn't a geometry change there. That said, this is not the case when dealing with fine blades. O-kissaki blades for instance typically don't have a geometric change at the yokote, and even if they do it's only very slight, it just isn't possible on some blades for varying reasons, none of which indicate an inferior blade. As I said in an earlier thread on this subject, about a year ago I had both an Enomoto Sadahito and and Enomoto Sadayoshi in my shop, both worth around $10,000, and neither had any geometric change whatsoever at the yokote. According to the consensus often seen here, neither had a "real" yokote.

    The bottom line here is that if this is something of import to people and is discussed, terms of either geometric or non-geometric would be better and far more accurate. I'm really not sure if "cosmetic" is even a relevant term in relation to the yokote to be honest, but the word "real" here is not only confusing but completely out of place and improper, as there is definitely no such thing as a yokote that is not real, it's either there or it isn't.
    THANK YOU...I never saw what the big deal was... As I stated earlier, my Emura (which, now that you mention it, has an o-kissaki)...has no change at all, except a polish difference.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Osborne View Post
    I understand this issue can be viewed as one of semantics, but never the less this "real yokote" topic seems to crop up every few months or so on SFI and it's easy to see from browsing the replies in these threads that the language used is definitely causing confusion to people.

    Any blade that has a visual line, geometric or no, separating the ji from the kissaki, has a REAL YOKOTE.

    The common logic I'm seeing in these threads is that a geometric change at the yokote line equals a "real" yokote, therefore the insinuation here is that the absence of this geometric change equals what? Well, if by real we mean a geometric change, then everything else must have a fake yokote and therefore be inferior.

    This line of logic MIGHT ring true for the production swords you guys are discussing, but the problem comes in when people think the same logic will apply to all Japanese style blades including fine modern or antique Nihonto or customs. Well it doesn't.

    If all things were equal, it might be easier in some instances to not grind in a geometric change at the yakote, and no doubt cheaper production blades leave it out for this reason, it's just simply easier to deal with this area all the way through the process if there isn't a geometry change there. That said, this is not the case when dealing with fine blades. O-kissaki blades for instance typically don't have a geometric change at the yokote, and even if they do it's only very slight, it just isn't possible on some blades for varying reasons, none of which indicate an inferior blade. As I said in an earlier thread on this subject, about a year ago I had both an Enomoto Sadahito and and Enomoto Sadayoshi in my shop, both worth around $10,000, and neither had any geometric change whatsoever at the yokote. According to the consensus often seen here, neither had a "real" yokote.

    The bottom line here is that if this is something of import to people and is discussed, terms of either geometric or non-geometric would be better and far more accurate. I'm really not sure if "cosmetic" is even a relevant term in relation to the yokote to be honest, but the word "real" here is not only confusing but completely out of place and improper, as there is definitely no such thing as a yokote that is not real, it's either there or it isn't.
    I thank you too Chris, I have been nagging about this for years.

  8. #33
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    Thanks for clearing this up, Chris! I just tend to use the word "real" instead of "geometric" because "real" is faster to write..
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  9. #34
    We should come up with a term that us forumites can use to describe this feature...how 'bout "gc@y"

  10. #35
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    hmmm, i originally had the idea of geo change cause it seeme dthats what most people thought, DAMN YOU other people!

    Teaching me the wrong stuff lol

  11. #36
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    Well the latest round of yokote woes has led me to do some more research on the matter. When this topic came up a while back I was somewhat unsure, so I asked a mentor of mine who is a traditionally trained polisher. His answer was that whether physical or cosmetic, the line itself is still the yokote.

    It would seem as though the yokote can be a bit paradoxical. At least one scholar has defined it as a "ridge", but this can be somewhat misleading taken out of context. It indeed can be and usually is a ridge, but is also more than just a ridge. It can be said that a healthy, well forged, shinogi-zukuri blade with a kissaki within moderate length should posses a physical geometry change at the yokote. Now, here's the issue; what do you call the line between the kissaki and ji on a blade that doesn't have a physical change? As far as I know there's only one descriptive Japanese word for this feature, whether geometric or cosmetic, and that is the yokote.

    So after examining the arguments of those who say the yokote is a geometric change and those who say it's cosmetic, I'm forced to say it appears to be both. The yokote seems as though it can be accurately defined as either the bevel ground in by the smith or polisher, the cosmetic line placed by the polisher as the visual boundary between kissaki and ji, or both. I hope that rambling makes some sense.

  12. #37
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    spot on Chris

    Yokote -

    for me its the demarkation line between the main body of the blade and the kissaki , even without a geometric change the yokote line needs to be correctly placed in relation to the transition of the shinogi into ko-shinogi , slap dash placement will make the kissaki area appear unbalanced and ill formed .

    I wouldnt set too much store by production blades with a faceted
    yokote - Ive seen zhi swords in the $500 + range with a geometric
    yokote but it had many open kizu in the layers of the folding along with pitting all over the mune .

    it doesnt always mean its a better sword
    " Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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  13. #38
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    Interestingly enough, my $200 Zhi sword has a geometric change, while my $500 Hanwei does not...

  14. #39
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    chris or someone else knowledgeable, could you please explain which kind or style of shinogi-zukuri sugata blades should feature a geometric change at the yokote?
    REAL Star Wars fans HATE Star Wars (and Lucas)... but LOVE the idea.

  15. #40
    You are asking the wrong questions.

    The bigger question is *why* a physical yokote is present or absent on any particular production blade. With most production blades the location, presence, style and/or lack of a physical yokote simply reflects the lack of knowledge in the subtle details of shaping a Japanese sword. The yokote is one small aspect of a very complex overall shape. And with everything else done somewhat coarsely the discussion of placement, style and/or location of the yokote is pretty much silly given the bigger picture. The geometry on most production swords is usually more or less a caricature of traditional shaping hence whether the yokote was done as a physical line or a cosmetic application is really irrelevant. It's like arguing about some tiny detail of Speed Racer's Mach V car... It ain't real so you just can't have an intelligent discussion about cars in general if that's your point of reference.

    You won't learn much of anything about such a subtle detail of Japanese swords by looking at a reproduction.

    And I'd hesitate a bit to draw many conclusions from WWII era swords either. I *like* the WWII guys like Emura, Nagamitsu, etc. as entry level pieces and I think they are worthy of more respect than they generally get, but the polishes put on many of those blades of that era were done by less than well trained togishi often working assembly line.

    But... All that said... Some do, some don't. And understanding why is a really big area that involves a lot of factors. I'm not writing it out again since I seem to remember a long discussion on yokote fairly recently here where I typed out a ton of information. And since I'm both getting tired of retyping things and tired of some of the silly things I see I'd suggest using the search feature... Guido Schiller posted in the same thread I'm thinking of as well. Use the Search...
    Last edited by Keith Larman; 06-18-2008 at 07:01 AM.
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  16. #41
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    Both of my shinogi zukuri nihontos have a subtle geometry change at the yokote, not abrupt, subtle.

    As M Larman said, my production swords are a mascarade of the real deal.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Larman View Post


    And I'd hesitate a bit to draw many conclusions from WWII era swords either. I *like* the WWII guys like Emura, Nagamitsu, etc. as entry level pieces and I think they are worthy of more respect than they generally get, but the polishes put on many of those blades of that era were done by less than well trained togishi often working assembly line.
    I kind of wondered about that myself, although the polish on mine is better than most WWII polishes I've seen, it even has a burnished shinogi. One of these days, I'll cough up the money and have it repolished.

    My main beef with this thread and a lot of the threads here in general are exactly what you suggested: you can't draw conclusions about Japanese swords from production swords, nor should you expect the same things.
    When I first started collecting Nihonto in the early eighties, you could go to any gun or militaria show and handle between 30 to maybe a few hundred different swords. So while my own collection is quite modest, I've handled quite a few swords in my time. However, I've just started to venture into the production arena. A good share of the beefs I've heard from people about production swords also apply to a lot of Nihonto. I won't go into detail here since I just finished ranting in another thread.
    I think Keith is correct in stating that most errors in production swords are due to ignorance on the part of the manufacturer on the fine details. However, let's face it...manufacturers produce what people buy. Some of the problem here is that alot of the consumers buying the swords are also guilty of the same offense...
    Last edited by Gary S; 06-18-2008 at 08:11 AM. Reason: Many, many spelling errors...

  18. #43
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    Found the thread and read it, some great points made there. My biggest concern with the issue is that I can see perceptions being made about Japanese swords based on observations of production blades. I see the word "real" used in describing the yokote even in books, and I understand why it's used, but at the same time the people using it understand what they're talking about and aren't confused or making inaccurate assumptions. However, I could easily see someone after several of these discussions being at a show and looking at nicely made blade with maybe a very large o-kissaki and wondering why if it's supposed to be so nice that it doesn't even have a real yokote.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Osborne View Post
    Found the thread and read it, some great points made there. My biggest concern with the issue is that I can see perceptions being made about Japanese swords based on observations of production blades. I see the word "real" used in describing the yokote even in books, and I understand why it's used, but at the same time the people using it understand what they're talking about and aren't confused or making inaccurate assumptions. However, I could easily see someone after several of these discussions being at a show and looking at nicely made blade with maybe a very large o-kissaki and wondering why if it's supposed to be so nice that it doesn't even have a real yokote.
    I'm not sure if one of them is THE thread referred to, but I found two concerning the yokote that Keith posted in that were very informative...and I have a bunch more yet to read...

  20. #45
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    PC ninja = real

    PC shinto = cosmetic

    PC shinto shirasaya = cosmetic

    PC tsunami (as far as my memory serves, parted with it some time ago) = cosmetic

    PC bushido (see above) = cosmetic

  21. #46
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    Guys, please post a link to the other thread(s) for future cross-reference.
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  22. #47
    Guys, just got in a pc tsunami kat from Kult of Athena (cheapest around, good transaction by the way) and WE HAVE GC@Y!!! I really like the sword, too...thought the fittings would look cheesy, but I'm surprised at how nice it looks. Nice and stout and not to long (28")

    Oh, Alex...my pc bushido DOES have a defined change as well. I really been lovin' these last hanweis I've picked up. Cheapest prices I could find and still excellent quallity imho.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    Guys, please post a link to the other thread(s) for future cross-reference.
    Not to sound like an old fuddy duddy (even if I am) but if you go to the advanced search and use yokote as a search term, then add a user name. Say, maybe, what do you think? Kieth Larman might be a good one to link with yokote. Yes, there is a page of threads that come up. Or maybe Guido Schiller.

    Run the search as all forums, entire posts and display threads only.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; or, just read the last 500 Keith Larman posts
    Last edited by Glen C.; 06-20-2008 at 10:34 PM.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Hotspur; or, just read the last 500 Keith Larman posts
    I have, on more than one occasion. Everyone interested in Japanese-style swords should, too. But providing a straight link still beats the crap out of having to search for a thread, no matter how obvious it may be.
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  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Qvintus View Post
    I have, on more than one occasion. Everyone interested in Japanese-style swords should, too. But providing a straight link still beats the crap out of having to search for a thread, no matter how obvious it may be.

    Heehee but then the guy suggesting the read has to search for the link.

    My take is opposite of Chris- who is saying all are real ( I think) because there is a line.

    I would say, none are "real" because they do not have the expert hand defining all surfaces to their _if you will allow_ their proper placement.

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