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Thread: Think l m gonna buy a katana or naginata :)

  1. #1
    Member Member theforce's Avatar
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    Well do they sell these thigs like antiques?
    I would like to have one in my room.

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    Southpaw Samurai Member Ii Naomasa's Avatar
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    Katana and naginata are readily available via mail order places. An extreme word of caution: research before you buy. I'm unfortunately at work right now and can't spend the time babbling away about why, but it's very easy to get ripped off, intentionally or not.

    The very first thing you should ask yourself is whether or not you just want it for show, for authenticity, for use, or some combination. That will greatly affect which path you take. For example, there's old antique blades available for some money that you never want to even practice swing because they're no longer functional (with loose fittings and such). There are very pretty decorative show pieces which don't have accurate balance.

    For most of us, antique blades from the Tokugawa period or older from well known artisans are out of our price range...and most defintitely watch out for those peddling imitations, forgeries, or pretending that the swordsmith was more famous for his skills than he was.

    If you do a search on the web for sellers of swords, you'll find plenty of sources, including some more reliable sources of new blades, like www.bugei.com . A good source to do some research and get opinions from both the knowledgable (and unfortunately, sometimes just the opinionated) is at http://swordforum.com/forum/ . There are guys there who are to swords what Erado-san is to Shogun tech support or Seal-san is to Samurai History.

    [This message has been edited by Ii Naomasa (edited 01-03-2001).]
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    Senior Member Senior Member Kurando's Avatar
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    You could also try e-mailing Katwomanz as she is somewhat of an expert on the subject.

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  4. #4
    Member Member theforce's Avatar
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    Thanks Kurado and Naomasa. I was thinking how to kill my teachers . I need something that cuts the head with one swing


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member Dark Phoenix's Avatar
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    What about a chainsaw?

    (Just a joke do not take seriously)

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  6. #6
    karoshi Senior Member solypsist's Avatar
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    I prefer to spend my money on expensive sake and even more expensive massages and ....hmm..better not go there.
    But the Katanas are the better motorcycle, since Naginatas and Ninjas (as well as the FZRs and other Japanese bikes) tend to not have the "jump" the Katana
    has -definitely not an antique.


    *And yes, I know what the original message was really all about.



    [This message has been edited by solypsist (edited 01-05-2001).]

  7. #7
    Member Member theforce's Avatar
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    Well l dont want to scare em and make em flee they must be killed silently

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Senior Member Obake's Avatar
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    Force,

    Naomasa-san talked a bit about how expensive a Katana can be. I'd like to give you some real-world examples so that you will have a clearer idea.

    Let's go from cheapest, to most expensive. First we have the replica blades. Most of these are not forged, but punched from a template. They will not hold an edge that is even close to a true forge-folded katana. Pricing on these replicas vary widely depending on the quality of the fittings and will range from $40 to $400 US.

    Next up the ladder are the "modern blades". These blades also vary widely in price depending on manufacturer. There are several very reputable companines out there and Naomasa-san mentions my favorite: Bugei Trading Company. All Bugei katana are forge-folded and will hold a very sharp edge. Their swords are excellent for Tamishigiri and other types of cutting. They produce stock pattern swords that range in price from $1500-$3000 US as well as doing custom work starting in the $3000 US range and running up over $10,000 US. To obtain a custom katana through Bugei will take approximately 18 months as they use traditional methods.

    Lastly we come to the historical blades. As has been the case up to now, prices will vary widely based on several factors (condition of the blade, condition of the fittings, who the smith was, whether there are papers on the blade, etc). I have seen historic Katana in poor condition at auction for as little as $1500 US and I have seen high end blades by noted smiths bringing in as much as $100,000 US. There are also blades (Such as Takeda Shingen's) that have been designated as National Treasure's by the Japanese Government and these are priceless. When buying historic blades though, I would remind you of Naomasa-san's caution, there are a lot of dealers out there who will try to cheat you. Even if you do your research, you will in all likelihood end up getting taken on occasion, so be VERY careful.

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    [This message has been edited by Obake (edited 01-05-2001).]
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  9. #9
    karoshi Senior Member solypsist's Avatar
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    I just signed up to take a class called Kensho or something like that. Basically we all learn to work with wooden Japanese swords. It sounds fun, but a bit of a downer since I really wanted to re-up for Tae Kwon Do but it was already full...


  10. #10
    Member Member theforce's Avatar
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    Well l am only 16 guys so money isn't something that is always in my pocket
    With $100.000 l can learn how to make katana's myself lol.

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  11. #11
    Naughty Little Hippy Senior Member Tachikaze's Avatar
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    Well, Obake said pretty much what I wanted to say (and did a better job). I would add that you may run into katanas from World War Two, as well. I don't know if these swords fit any of Obake's categories. But most of the non-replica swords I've seen were brought back from the Pacific by US soldiers.


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  12. #12
    Member Member Anssi Hakkinen's Avatar
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    The WW2 era tachis aren't really samurai swords, no matter what the advertisers say. They're mostly mass-produced stuff, and not really the equal of even Sengoku-era "bundle blades". Many Japanese officers with samurai ancestry, however, eschewed (sp?) the government-issued swords and used their ancestors' blades instead...

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    Senior Member Senior Member Shiro's Avatar
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    So did you get anything, theforce?

    [This message has been edited by Shiro (edited 01-24-2001).]
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    Member Member BakaGaijin's Avatar
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    There's lots of info out there about getting katana. But what about Naginata? Does anyone even make those anymore? The Naginata seems to be a very fine and versatile weapon. Definitely something I'd like to own if I ever found myself with an excess of cash (hah! yeah, right!).
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    Member Member Vile's Avatar
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    Buying an antique Japanese blade (with katana, or - god forbid ;) - tachi mounting) can be very challenching and very, very expensive. And I suggest that you don't buy one for display or for test cutting, because it is really a valuable peace of living history. And if you get one on your hands, never ever try to sharpen or polish it yourself, and don't touch the blade with your bare hands (sweat from hands can be really bad for the blade). The blade can be ruined by corrosion or improper sharpening/polishing very easily.

    There has been enough talk about the modern blades on this forum (and this thread) so I won't go there.

    I think that you can find naginata blades (and perhaps mounted naginata blades too) from the same companies, that make the modern Japanese style blades. But again, they usually aren't too cheap...

    And like Mr. Hakkinen wrote, there are quite a few WWII blades around, but they are usually machine made (from railwaty iron) and can't be by no means compared to the traditionally made ones. Some of these are indeed traditional blades mounted for the gunto (Japanese military blades after the Meiji restoration) mountings, but this is rather rare. Propably the best chance of finding a "real" blade is from a kyu-gunto (navy officers) mounting.

    A very good book for beginners, about Japanese blades is John M. Yumoto's The Samurai Sword - A Handbook (ISBN 0-8048-0509-1), which seems pretty much to be aimed to the USA public to recognize the might-be-valuable blades that were brought from Japan to USA after the WWII.

  16. #16
    Member Member Anssi Hakkinen's Avatar
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    Here's a replica naginata - maybe not "the equal of the originals", like the advertisement claims, but it doesn't seem to be a Taiwanese stainless steel showpiece either. It's not even horrendously expensive...

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  17. #17

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    Kris Cutlery sells solid quality katanas and naginatas at very good prices. If you ask the sword collectors, they'll tell you that you can't beat Kris Cutlery for quality/cost value.

    The Kris Cutlery weapons are somewhat the no frills type, but they perform. All their blades are differentially treated carbon steel, unlike the cheapo stainless steel "naginatas" and "katanas" that you may find on ebay or something. Balance on these things are pretty good as well.

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