References for the Seattle Art Sword Token Kai meeting

I have found these two sites to be excellent resources for research and interesting stuff about Nihonto:

I referred to them extensively while putting together my talk. I also used a number of books from my own reference library, but these two sites are out there and available. I highly recommend them.

A note on blade photography

I am constantly experimenting with better ways to photograph a highly reflective, compound curved, multi-angled, shiny surface to actually reveal some of the crytal structure that the human eye sees when examining a blade. Some blades are pretty simple. A wakizashi or tanto in a transparent sashikomi polish is fairly easy to photograph. You can either use a longer lens or bring the camera closer to the blade, and the curvature is such that a single light source generally does the trick.

Two new shinsakuto in the sword gallery

Two blades, both made in the fall of 2006, have been added to the sword gallery. There is a truely lovely blade in koshirae by the shinsakuto smith Higo Kikuchi ju Koretada. It is pushing ni shaku go but the shape and bohi give it a light and very balanced feel. The mounts are a combination of new saya and tsuka with an Edo period tsuba and menuki. A very nice piece of work.