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Buying Kimono Over the Internet

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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 08.17.2007 1:44 pm

Tspoonami wrote:
One of my old karate teachers, who also practiced kendo, has a handmade master-crafted katana. Apparently, his uncle took it off a dead officer during WWII (technically a crime...) It's quite an amazing sword, really. I guess to get a genuine sword out of the country, you have to go back in time...


there were quite a few Katana that were "stolen" from dead officers during WWII. many were spirited away in tea chests and many more were smuggled away. needless to say, that was/is about the only way to get one. I have seen only 2 WWII with the marks of the masters on them and both were behind glass in air controlled environs.

No wait, I did see a third one, that was not cared for and was pitted with neglect and humidity. it's amazing how swords so potently crafted can succumb to nature so easily.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby Mike Cash » Fri 08.17.2007 8:16 pm

Most officer's swords were machine-made mass-produced items. The likelihood of the uncle having gotten a genuwine handmade master-crafted katana off of anyone, dead or alive, is small. Lacking appraisal by an expert at identifying these things, I'd be prone to chalk the "handmade master-crafted" part of the story up to the passage of time, inability to refute, wishful thinking, and hyperbole.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby tanuki » Fri 08.17.2007 8:24 pm

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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby spin13 » Sat 08.18.2007 11:23 am

two_heads_talking wrote:
even if you could get a hand made katana, you won't get it out of the country. a true katana can only be crafted by a master and those with a master's signature are considered relics.


While Japanese weapon laws are incredibly strict*, I am not sure where this notion that handmade Japanese swords (nihonto**) cannot be removed from the country came from. I know a number of folks personally -- and even more by proxy -- who have traveled to and from Japan with nihonto. There is a lot of red tape to work through, but it is quite doable.

There are very few living smiths who are ningen kokuho (Living National Treasures), but like most Japanese endeavors there are numerous ranks and levels between the top and the bottom. To say that any smith who falls below that level of prestige is incapable of forging a true nihonto would be nothing short of an insult to all of these people.

-Eric

*Random fact 1: you could end up seeing jail time for simply transporting a legal, registered sword were you to forget to keep the papers with it.
**Random fact 2: katana is just one style of Japanese sword and a rather recent (c.1600) one at that.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby Tspoonami » Sat 08.18.2007 6:18 pm

Mike Cash wrote:
Most officer's swords were machine-made mass-produced items... I'd be prone to chalk the "handmade master-crafted" part of the story up to the passage of time, inability to refute, wishful thinking, and hyperbole.

Don't shoot the messenger! (The only reason I'm posting this is because I've always wanted to use that phrase). Also, about the machined-sword part, I did know this when I wrote my post. I'm pretty sure the sword was hand-crafted, and hand-polished. I think my teacher got the handle wrappings and other stuff remade (at a very high price...). Or maybe his story was all fluff, but who cares. It was still a really cool sword.

The Japanese swords and stuff at the Victoria and Albert museum in London are really cool... Weren't those stolen by the British, though?
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby ghosthacker » Wed 08.22.2007 5:21 am

If you are in the market for a katana you need to ask your self what do you want it for.

If you want a "battle ready" katana, one that can be used in the dojo for cutting without breaking then there are many well made swords that can be had. If you want one to put on your wall there are many "fake" katana's which look good but would break if used to cut or fight with. This is really the only difference between a "real" katana and a fake one .....can it be used to fight with, how does it stand up to use in battle?

There are plenty of swords taken off dead officers that have a history and story all their own that makes owing these swords worth it despite how they where made or rather they are battle ready or not.

IF you want a museum sword one that speaks to the manner in which it was made or the era it came from then you would look to the master made swords.


There are many different levels of Quality in sword making, just as there is in any thing. A Saturday night special is still a gun even if it lacks the qualities that make an HK a better weapon.
Last edited by ghosthacker on Wed 08.22.2007 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby Mike Cash » Wed 08.22.2007 8:44 am

I hate to break this to anyone wanting a "battle ready" katana, but sword battles being largely a thing of the past, by and large swords have become somewhat obsolete as weapons.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 08.22.2007 10:32 am

I also hate to break it to you ghosthacker, but unlike european swords, the Katana was not made to directly impact another weapon, it's sweeping curve was meant to redirect another weapon and to slash the opponent. I won't get into swordplay here, but suffice to say, European swordplay and Japanese swordplay are at the core, night and day different.

and as Mike pointed out, swords have become a symbol of rank and used for "dog and pony" shows for flare and drama. They have become nothing more than another part of the uniform.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby AJBryant » Wed 08.22.2007 1:04 pm

I've always found that a myth. Heck, watch kendo. Swords are smacking all the time. Simple logic also disproves it. When you're fighting with a two handed sword, and the OTHER guy has a two-handed sword, the only thing you can defend with (and that means beating off the attack) is with YOUR two-handed sword.


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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby ghosthacker » Wed 08.22.2007 1:28 pm

Battle ready is simply one of the terms used to show a sword can be used to strike with and cut where as a cheaply made sword will most likely break during use. Even a cheap sword can be used to kill that is not what is meant when the term battle ready is used

Having served in two wars already I am very aware of how to kill in combat today, but thank you for letting me know that swords are a thing of past wars not present.


I am also very aware that Japanese sword play is different then that in the west.

Sometimes you guys bring a smile to my face :)
Last edited by ghosthacker on Wed 08.22.2007 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby Mike Cash » Wed 08.22.2007 3:10 pm

Well, I'll bring you a frown by asking you to go back, reread my post, and tell me how you arrived at the mistaken conclusion it was addressed to you.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby Dehitay » Wed 08.22.2007 4:50 pm

Mike Cash wrote:
Well, I'll bring you a frown by asking you to go back, reread my post, and tell me how you arrived at the mistaken conclusion it was addressed to you.


probly the same way you came to the mistaken conclusion that his post was addressed to you
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 08.22.2007 4:56 pm

ghosthacker wrote:

Having served in two wars already I am very aware of how to kill in combat today, but thank you for letting me know that swords are a thing of past wars not present.


Sometimes you guys bring a smile to my face :)


I'll bite. bayonet combat, and knife combat are very current types of combat. hell a butt stroke here and there will do as well. just to be a pissant I would say you know how to kill in the combat you were in. combat doctrine changes with each battle we enter. However, you being military (prior, retired or otherwise) you already know that.

And honestly, when was the last time you saw someone draw a sword and use it to fight with? I can say for me, it was the movies, a fencing match or a kendo excercise.

I am trying to remember the last time the Army or the marines trained their officers how to use their sabres, cultass, or other sword in combat.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 08.22.2007 4:58 pm

AJBryant wrote:
I've always found that a myth. Heck, watch kendo. Swords are smacking all the time. Simple logic also disproves it. When you're fighting with a two handed sword, and the OTHER guy has a two-handed sword, the only thing you can defend with (and that means beating off the attack) is with YOUR two-handed sword.


Tony


I would like to debate you that logic. let me get my research together. basic logic also tells you that a curved blade and the structure of said curved blade was to deflect/redirect energy rather than to stop it full stop. again, let me find my stuff and I will gladly frolic in the lands of sword play debate.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby AJBryant » Wed 08.22.2007 6:43 pm

The curved blade was developed for the same reason as the scimitar and cavalry sabres -- it's easier to draw a curved blade than a straight one when in the saddle.

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