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.

Some new blades and fittings

I recently posted a nice ko Nara school fuchi/kashira set, a Shoami daisho tsuba set, and a nice nanako shakudo tsuba in the fittings gallery. Tonight I posted a very nice Showa jidai gendaito by the 27th generation Mino Kanemoto in the sword gallery. I will have a very nice shinshinto katana in koshirae by Tegare Yama Kai (no) Kami Masashige (NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papers) up shortly.


Two new blades in the gallery

I rencently added two blades to the web gallery.

We have a lovely shinsakuto katana done in the style of Chogi (Bizen Nagayoshi),by the mukansa smith, Kunimasa. It is made in the majesticc style of a Nambokucho tachi, and is really a lovely piece. it is in shirasaya with a nicely made contemporary koshirae with a dragon theme. The hamon reminds me of a snow-capped mountain range.

New Hizen wakizashi in good mounts

We just added a new nidai Hizen no Koku Minamoto Masatsugu (later Munetsugu) to the gallery. The blade is in polish and shirasaya with very nice koshirae and NBTHK Hozon paper. The hamon is full of activity and the blade is an all around knockout made by a jo saku smith in the early part of the 1600s, probably around the Kanei period.

Markus Sesko

I would like to introduce Markus Sesko to all those interested in Japanese swords who might not have run across his wonderful blog on Nihonto yet. You need to check it out: .  His translations of current and historical references, including the NBTHK Juyo publications, with continuing updates on kantei, and his histories of the Koto, Shinto, and Shinshinto smiths are invaluable.

Two new blades in the gallery today

I posted two new blades in the gallery today: a tachi in shirasay with sayagaki by the mukansa smith, Yoshindo Yoshikazu, and a shinshinto katana by Sanjo Kokaji Munetsugu. The tachi is a magnificent work by Yoshikazu in the Ichimonji tradition with a fine ko itame kitae with profuse ji nie and the choji hamon flowing into the boshi. The Munetsugu katana is also well forged with a tight ko itame forged in the Mino tradition with a farily regular gunome hamon with the peaks trending toward the hamachi on one side and toward the kissaki in the other side.