View Full Version : Hello Sensei!

23rd August 2000, 05:29
Obata Sensei,

You mentioned in an earlier post the differences between training in batto and performing tameshigiri as a sword tester. Would you please elaborate.

Also, as a tester, have you found any differences between Japanese swordsmiths, and Americans who are forging in the traditional manner? Are there American smiths producing high quality weapons to your mind? Thank you in advance. Domo Arigato Gozaimashita.

Be well,

[Nathan-san, was the ken that Obata sensei split that steel Kabuto with made by an American smith, or is that faulty memory?]

23rd August 2000, 05:41
I'm not Nathan, but I do know that it was Paul Champagne that made the blade for Obata sensei's record setting kabutowari.

Nathan Scott
23rd August 2000, 17:39

The katana used in the Kabutowari test was made by Paul Champagne of the Twilight Forge in NY.

For more information on this test, please go to our main web page and click on the Kabutowari link:



Obata T
25th August 2000, 16:56
In my next Shinkendo book, there will be a lot of explanations on Shito [sword testing] and Shizan [tameshigiri - target cutting].

There is no other sword book that explains Shito and Shizan to date, however, I believe it is a very important subject to discuss. A Shito [Shito-ka] is a sword tester who tests the [functionality of] swords. Shizan is an alternate reading for Tameshigiri, and is for the purpose of testing your ability.

I know this is very general, but it is a long explanation. I have alot of experience in both, and I hope you will read our second book on Tameshigiri if you are curious about such things! It is easier to clearly explain these types of things in books - especially in a different language.

There are several people in America with a Japanese swordsmith license. But, I have never been asked to test their swords so I cannot comment on them. If you only look at a sword, then you can only judge its beauty and workmanship. But if a Shitoka uses test it in Tameshigiri, you can also check how well the sword actually performs.

However, I cannot recommend someone with no instruction or knowledge of testing swords to suddenly try to learn this profession "the hard way". They would only be testing themselves, not the potential of the sword.

International Shinkendo Federation,

[Edited by Obata T on 08-25-2000 at 12:02 PM]