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Any experts here on Japanese swords ?

M Ram

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I was watching a documentary AKA ( cartoon) about some type sword and the guy kinda threw an apple in the air and got the apple in 20 pieces in like 2 seconds !
Looks like he got a nice blade ,

Anyway,,
Kinda wanna get legit old days Japanese sword ..
any one knows what to look for beside signature and blade edge defects etc .. which ones are more valuable and desirable than others ? 15th, 16th century, WW2 swords? Any specific names to look for , (assuming I’m gonna be able to read it) ?
 

tac-40

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Most of the WWII blades were machine made and not hand made like the previous ones. Kind of like other collector military weapons, there are many fakes out there and you will need to do due dilligence to verify what you are looking at is the real deal.

Here is a sampling of what it out there and potential prices.

 

M Ram

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Most of the WWII blades were machine made and not hand made like the previous ones. Kind of like other collector military weapons, there are many fakes out there and you will need to do due dilligence to verify what you are looking at is the real deal.

Here is a sampling of what it out there and potential prices.

That is very useful site , thank you!!
 

Impala_Guy

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Get on this forum and ask for help before you buy any blade. Its run by the Kiwis but has collectors from all over the world. The NZ / Australian and some of the American members are especially knowledgeable.


Many ww2 Japanese swords have attractive, hand polished blades with real differentially heat treated convex edges and signed tangs but were machine blanked from bar stock. They are effective weapons and have a place in a collection but are not true art swords with folded, hand forged blades.

Expect to pay between $2500 and $5000 for a real Japanese katana made by hand from tamahagane steel....and thats going to be a "starter" sword....a Meiji / WW2 era blade or from a modern licensed swordsmith of moderate experience. Add 20-30% if it comes with or has been sent to Japan to get authentication papers. I prefer larger blades in the 29-32in range but those are far less common and cost more...the average Samurai and common Japanese foot soldier was probably 5'5" or so.

Japanese blades from classical eras like the Edo period usually start at $5k to $7k if they are in excellent or new polish and can obviously run into 10s of thousands of dollars.

Dont forget a real nihonto is an art object. While made with the best steel and construction techniques of the day, it cant cut through a rifle barrel like in the movies, and a modern spring steel reproduction sword has its place if you are into practicing such martial arts.
 
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M Ram

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Get on this forum and ask for help before you buy any blade. Its run by the Kiwis but has collectors from all over the world. The NZ / Australian and some of the American members are especially knowledgeable.


Many ww2 Japanese swords have attractive, hand polished blades with real differentially heat treated convex edges and signed tangs but were machine blanked from bar stock. They are effective weapons and have a place in a collection but are not true art swords with folded, hand forged blades.

Expect to pay between $2500 and $5000 for a real Japanese katana made by hand from tamahagane steel....and thats going to be a "starter" sword....a Meiji / WW2 era blade or from a modern licensed swordsmith of moderate experience. Add 20-30% if it comes with or has been sent to Japan to get authentication papers. I prefer larger blades in the 29-32in range but those are far less common and cost more...the average Samurai and common Japanese foot soldier was probably 5'5" or so.

Japanese blades from classical eras like the Edo period usually start at $5k to $7k if they are in excellent or new polish and can obviously run into 10s of thousands of dollars.

Dont forget a real nihonto is an art object. While made with the best steel and construction techniques of the day, it cant cut through a rifle barrel like in the movies, and a modern spring steel reproduction sword has its place if you are into practicing such martial arts.
Thanks a lot !
 

L Haney

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... if you are into practicing such martial arts.
If you do, I suggest initial instruction from a professional experienced in long blades. You get one of these moving at speed without knowing some important 'dont's', it's shockingly easy to lop off parts of you you'd rather keep.
 

Impala_Guy

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If you do, I suggest initial instruction from a professional experienced in long blades. You get one of these moving at speed without knowing some important 'dont's', it's shockingly easy to lop off parts of you you'd rather keep.
So what are you telling me?

1000002923.jpg
 

Nihonto Chicken

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As indicated above, the Nihonto Message Board as linked is the go-to site for Japanese swords (nihonto). Be aware that the prices of good nihonto make military arms collectibles look like kids' marble collections. There have been an estimated 30,000 Japanese swordsmiths hand making nihonto since its form jelled in about 1000AD by the western calendar, hence the wide variance in blade attributes. Price depends on quality, age, condition, and the swordsmith's name, kinda like baseball cards. It is nigh impossible to "dabble" in this craft without losing your ass. Trying to assess and purchase a decent sword on your own without much prior study is akin to attempting to buy a real Winchester 97 trench gun based on forum hearsay and gut feel, you're guaranteed to eff up. So here's what you likely don't want to see, but it's the gospel truth:

The first thousand dollars you spend on nihonto should be for books.

The only semi-viable alternative is to put your faith in an acknowledged and reputable nihonto expert to sell you a sword or select one for you (see forum linked above), and then pay full pop for the item. It would be quite helpful to attend a Japanese sword show, but unfortunately there are no such events in Texas of which I'm aware. Searching the NMB should identify the closest one, hopefuly within reasonable range. Good fortune!

P.S. - The NMB is actually run by a guy in South Africa, not New Zealand. Go figure.
 
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Impala_Guy

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As indicated above, the Nihonto Message Board as linked is the go-to site for Japanese swords (nihonto). Be aware that the prices of good nihonto make military arms collectibles look like kids' marble collections. There have been an estimate 30,000 Japanese swordsmiths hand making nihonto since its form jelled in about 1000AD by the western calendar, hence the wide variance in blade attributes. Price depends on quality, age, condition, and the swordsmith's name, kinda like baseball cards. It is nigh impossible to "dabble" in this craft without losing your ass. Trying to assess and purchase a decent sword on your own without much prior study is akin to attempting to buy a real Winchester 97 trench gun based on forum hearsay and gut feel, you're guaranteed to eff up. So here's what you likely don't want to see, but it's the gospel truth:

The first thousand dollars you spend on nihonto should be for books.

The only semi-viable alternative is to put your faith in an acknowledged and reputable nihonto expert to sell you a sword or select one for you (see forum linked above), and then pay full pop for the item. It would be quite helpful to attend a Japanese sword show, but unfortunately there are no such events in Texas of which I'm aware. Searching the NMB should identify the closest one, hopefuly within reasonable range. Good fortune!

P.S. - The NMB is actually run by a guy in South Africa, not New Zealand. Go figure.
You're right...za = suid afrika.

A good way for a beginer to get a real nihonto that they want for personal appeal and interest rather than a short term investment is to get one that already has NBTHK papers. I assume that they will confirm the papers if you contact them.

https://www.touken.or.jp/english/aboutus.html

Hanging out on the NHMB will be invaluable, even as an amateur I can still spot all the casual fakes and most of the real but machine made Meiji era blades pretty quickly from the time I've spent there.

What NC said above about judging each blade on its own artistic merits and swordsmith pedigree is VERY true. There are 20th century made blades that are worth well into 5 figures including some made during ww2.
 
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M Ram

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That’s pretty much what I think gonna happen , unless yes spend money on learning and time then (try) to make a good pick ,
Thanks for the real stuff and facts ..
 

EinheitElf

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I have bought like 5 antique wakizashis from this seller on ebay, he is a great seller, will state what blades are signed by who, unsigned, have partial signatures,condition.. has all grades,tantos,wakis,katanas.. anywhere from 1300s to ww2... no idea where he is getting his stuff but is legit. follow his listings and you can get a feel, also he told me to pick what i like because if you try to say gather a range of stuff from different makers ,different styles,....you willl go down a VERY deep rabbit hole... told me there were at a time like 13k different named swordsmiths in japan...

komonjo | eBay Stores


PS, if you have netflix and want to see a VERY WELL DONE animated samurai miniseries based on revenge with no weird demon crazy shit, check out
Blue Eye Samurai.....EXCELLENT IN MY BOOK.

 

JC2458

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I was watching a documentary AKA ( cartoon) about some type sword and the guy kinda threw an apple in the air and got the apple in 20 pieces in like 2 seconds !
Looks like he got a nice blade ,

Anyway,,
Kinda wanna get legit old days Japanese sword ..
any one knows what to look for beside signature and blade edge defects etc .. which ones are more valuable and desirable than others ? 15th, 16th century, WW2 swords? Any specific names to look for , (assuming I’m gonna be able to read it) ?
I am no means an expert but… I got into these swords awhile back- sold my collection to stay in firearms…. But a lot to unpack here-

WWII swords can certainly be collectible- but if they are type 95 NCO swords (manufactured)- they fetch around $750- Type 98 gunto’s made in the 20th century war time period will fetch closer to $1-$2k with the fittings. Some made by famous or notable smiths worth much more.

Anything older tends to be much more (and sky really is the limit). In my experience, the best swords (From an artistic quality perspective) come from the Edo (shinto) period (Roughly mid 17th century and on)- you can find a really nice signed blade for $2-$3K. Various makers, schools, and well known smiths all drive price up or down. Also condition of blade (flaws, scratches, chips). Also be on the lookout for examples with papers (NBTHK or NTHK)- these swords will have been verified by experts in Japan to have been made by the stated or signed smith and in the time period stated- it is a very expensive and rigorous process for a sword to obtain these papers. Some swords will be signed on the tang by the maker, others will be “mumei” - no mei noted on tang- but true experts can identify which smith made the blade/where they were from etc. My favorite swords were from 1300- late 1500’s- Muromachi period…

Now onto dealers…I recommend joining the Nihonto message board- tons of private sales going on there in the classifieds and lots of helpful information as well. There are also several dealers located in the US that are on that forum- best place to find swords for a fair price. eBay has some good stuff but can be lower end stuff- definitely a great place to find starter swords. If you have half a brain and do your homework, fakes are very easy to spot.
 
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EinheitElf

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If anyone wants to look, go to the link I posted earlier, seller komonjo on ebay has various papered, signed,mumei(unsigned) wakis,tachis,katanas...you can get an idea of real world pricing,can even search past completed items to do a bit of price comparisons.

Also,here are pics of the 1st Wakizashi I bought from this seller. It is signed,from the mid 1600's. I would have to get to pc to get the info and post. Don't have on my cell.
The blade has had 3 different handles attached to it over the centuries,hence the 3 mekugi holes.
 

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RON K.

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This is a good guy to use. Pablo Kuntz.He has some of the worlds best.
Building-Your-Own-Custom-Koshirae-Where-modern-life-meets-tradition-logo1.jpg
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DID THE SWORD THING FOR YEARS. ONLY have a restored ww2 left,I veered off to Latama Italian switchblades.
 

Impala_Guy

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If anyone wants to look, go to the link I posted earlier, seller komonjo on ebay has various papered, signed,mumei(unsigned) wakis,tachis,katanas...you can get an idea of real world pricing,can even search past completed items to do a bit of price comparisons.

Also,here are pics of the 1st Wakizashi I bought from this seller. It is signed,from the mid 1600's. I would have to get to pc to get the info and post. Don't have on my cell.
The blade has had 3 different handles attached to it over the centuries,hence the 3 mekugi holes.
A word of advice on komonjo for first time buyers. Although hes a reputable seller make sure to ask for clear photos in indirect sunlight before you buy anything. Otherwise you may be disappointed in the polish and condition of the blade. You cant bring out the hamon (temper line) and hada (fine texture of the hundreds of layers of steel) of a blade with 3M sanding film and NOR SHOULD YOU TRY. To have any real hand forged Japanese sword polished on waterstones by someone who knows what they are doing will be 1-2 years wait and at least $1500 to $2000.
 
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EinheitElf

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That is true. I have not been disappointed yet with the discription and photos of any of the blades, if he states 'decent polish' it generally is,if he says 'out of polish' it is... also, blades with really crazy harmony and hada can go for real crazy amounts. Hell I am just trying to get a couple or few project type blades and even if out of polish and rusty,if they appear to have nice hamon they can get into the few hundreds...specially if signed.
 

LYCAN

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I have several Authentic Japanese Katanas, the guy who sold them to me & the County Flea Market guaranteed thier Authenticity.

Although - I wasn't aware Feudal Japan outsourced to Pakistan.

Thankfully the seller corrected my ignorance. 👍👈
 

mutter

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I'm not even a novice. But, I got a WWII NCO sword in a trade with my brother for some fire arms he wanted. It has 2 bone nicks in the blade, blood rust, and is still razor sharp. The Mum is intact, the colors are correct, and the handle is correct

I got it for $400 trade a couple of decades ago. It's a razor and it is serialized. There are are a lot of fakes out there o be careful.
 

RON K.

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Unless you have decades, under your belt, traveling, studying,reading,and handling these superb real blades. and talked with Japanese masters on that subject.i started it around 1980 for myself after 45 years. i know little, and ended up with a nice wakizashi, and Katana from 1600 century, which i ended up selling, and it going back to the family in Japan. AFTER THAT ended up with a few ww2 blades.and dealing with Pablo for another purchase.> if you have the funds call him.{+44 7954 102 277 UK TIME}HE IS THEE BEST.I kept the one blade. and like i said into the auto blades from Italy which i pictured.so unless you are prepared to delve into it whole Hog. and spend 10's of thousands. move on to reality.There is no quick fix. and no magic website to get cheap, or real deals in superb cond.for a $1,000 bucks.from 1945 to 1955 was the time to grab them up.not 2024. {YOU CAN BUY SOMETHING LIKE THIS FOR BELOW $400 BUCKS}And play Shogun...
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