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Thread: Iaito - alloy practice swords postwar invention?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iai-nut View Post
    Just out of curiosity, how many orders do you actually get for swords made by master Kawahira...? I'd think a lot of people get scared by the price tag (I know I am pretty intimidated). If you'd rather not discuss that publicly, I can PM you....
    We only get one or two orders a year. We'd love to be able to keep him busy and then start supporting other smiths, but we haven't figured out a marketing plan that will do this. We are working on a way to do payment plans though.
    Peter Boylan
    Mugendo Budogu LLC
    Fine Budo Books, Videos, Clothes and Equipment Direct from Japan
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    Find my Budo Blog at http://budobum.blogspot.com/

  2. #17
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    It's an awful law. And you PERFECTLY hit the nail on the head about how the current system disadvantages new shinsakuto in the marketplace against antiques that cost much less.
    Actually, speaking from a lot of experience, the problem is really the modern smiths, rather than the system. I travel to Japan frequently, & meet with modern tosho (smiths) to try & convince them to market & sell their shinsakuto in the U.S., with almost no success. On my last trip to Okayama, I met with two smiths, one of whom is the son of a Mukansa smith, & personally invited them both to attend and bring blades to sell at our annual sword show here in Hawaii. Neither was interested. With over 1000 attendees, there are many people who are interested in buying blades, but the only ways that they can buy Nihonto is via an agent or eBay. And there are very few shinsakuto available from either source.

    And the current limit on shinsakuto manufacturing is three blades per month; it went up from two about a decade ago, as I recall. Feel free to browse around the Nihonto Message Board (http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/index.php) for lots more information.

    Ken
    Ken Goldstein
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    Judo Kodansha/MJER Iaido Kodansha/Jodo Oku-iri
    Fencing Master/NRA Instructor

    "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it'll annoy enough people to be worth the effort."

  3. #18
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    Ken, are they allowed to produce more blades for export?
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  4. #19
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    Neil, the rules I've read don't really address what they DO with the blades, just how many they're allowed to manufacture. But it's a good question, so let me do a bit of research, & I'll post what I find out.

    Ken

  5. #20
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    The less manufactured the more appreciated, and more value they get.

  6. #21
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    Okay, it turns out that I was only partially correct. Each smith is allowed to make two katana each month, or three wakizashi &/or tanto each month. I'm now trying to find out if there's a central database kept somewhere that keeps track of each shinsakuto as it's made.

    Ken

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken-Hawaii View Post
    Okay, it turns out that I was only partially correct. Each smith is allowed to make two katana each month, or three wakizashi &/or tanto each month. I'm now trying to find out if there's a central database kept somewhere that keeps track of each shinsakuto as it's made.

    Ken
    The swords themselves are all licensed (by the Cultural Affairs Agency? of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)) so there's certainly a central registry.

    Knowing Japan, even in 2014, I'd be surprised if there's a 'database' in the modern sense.

    Lance Gatling

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  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LGatling View Post
    The swords themselves are all licensed (by the Cultural Affairs Agency? of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)) so there's certainly a central registry.

    Knowing Japan, even in 2014, I'd be surprised if there's a 'database' in the modern sense.

    Lance Gatling
    Sword registration is carried out at the prefectural level and changes in ownership are registered by basically sending a postcard to the ministry of education office in the prefecture the sword was made or first registered. Really it is not too dissimilar to how family registration works. For the most part there is very little checking into the information and the card is just filed away. I have never heard of any massive central registry from and of my token friends.

    One other point, it is my understanding (although this dates from over ten years ago) that the swords don't have to be registered until they get the first rough polishing job. Before that they are considered unfinished and thus don't need to be registered.
    Rennis Buchner

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  11. #24
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    I believe there is no limit to the number they can make, it's the number they can register/sell.
    Mat Rous

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