Verity's Armoury

verity

Amateur Togishi
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Let's kick this collection area off right! Here is the Japanese-specific portion of my collection. Enjoy!


Antiques


Osafune Masamitsu Tachi. Signed "Bishu Osafune Masamitsu" and dated 1390 AD by the famous Bizen smith Osafune Masamitsu. Masamitsu was one of the greatest students of Osafune Kanemitsu who was one of Masamune's great 10 "Jutetsu" and the founder of the Soden Bizen style. This style seamlessly blended the Soshu elements of Masamune and the Bizen grand master Kagemitsu (who was Kanemitsu's father). Osafune Masamitsu had extant works spanning 40 years and has 48 pieces that are Juyo Token. This is an absolutely flawless Tachi representing his later career as he returned to the stylistic elements of the Kamakura period versus the massive blades typical of the Nanbokucho period. This blade is papered by both the NBTHK and NTHK. Suspended seashell in lacquer tachi mounts with signed tsuba and gold inlay/foil fittings.

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Jirozaemon (no) jo Katsumitsu O-Wakizashi. Bizen koku ju Osasufune Jirozaemon (no) jo Katsumitsu was one of the greatest smiths of the Oei-Bizen period. Son of the grand master Ukyo no suke Katsumitsu, Jirozaemon had an active period in the early 1500s. He was ranked Saijo-saku (grand master) and his blades were ranked Ryowazamono for their famed cutting ability. This Smith worked during the warring states period of Japanese history when many blades were mass produced and famed smiths’ had their works forged by others, yielding many gimei that claimed famous names. This blade has been verified shoshin by the NBTHK and represents the signature style of Jirozaemon’s early works according to the Keikan Mei. Dated to February in the first year of Eisho (1504 AD), it is unclear whether this blade is a clear wakizashi or was originally an uchigatana for a smaller stature samurai. Uchigatana were in vogue during this period of time, sporting shorter blades and nakago (tangs) which were mounted for use in a single hand. This blade sits at 23” in length and could have been either an uchigatana or a wakizashi, originally. We’ll never know! Nonetheless, the beauty of this blade is irrefutable. Accompanied by Edo period koshirae including intact kozuka and kogatana as well as coral suspended in lacquer saya.

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Mutsu Aizu Unju Kanetomo Katana. This blade dates to the Shinshinto era and is in its original koshirae also dating to late Edo period. Both blade and koshirae are papered by the NTHK (blade is rated kanteisho and koshirae is rated shinteisho). Forged in 1861 just prior to the Boshin war signifying the sunset of the samurai. Kanetomo was a smith working in Mino province and he was the last of the Kanetomo line. Blade has a very tiny kirikomi (battle nick) on the ura side. Has no structural impairment and in fact demonstrates this blade was used in battle. Blade is ubu (not cut down) and mumei (unsigned).

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Mutsu no Kami Tameyasu Wakizashi. This is presumed to be Ishido school (specifically Kii Ishido). Approximately 350 years old. I think the big debate is whether the sayagaki (stating "Bichu no Kami Yasuhiro") is correct and this is by Yasuhiro or whether the sayagaki is incorrect. My current thinking (and Aoi Japan’s) is this blade is actually Yasuhiro's older brother Mutsu no Kami Tameyasu. 2nd generation Tameyasu shared traits with his brother but had the Ichimonji style hamon and flamboyance from his father's work. The father was one of the founders of the Kii Ishido school based in Osaka. The two brothers became key and notable early smiths from this school and their work is oft indistinguishable aside from Tameyasu’s tendency to have more flamboyant Ichimonji like activity in his blades’ hamon.

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Unknown Wakizashi. No idea what this is yet though I suspect Shinto. Better pics and more info coming as I learn more.

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Kaga Ko-wakizashi. Length right on the border defining tanto/wakizashi. I believe given overall sugata this is a wakizashi (probably best called a ko-wakizashi). Approximately 300-400 years old. I am waiting to get this one polished (presuming it can be)at which point a shirasaya and habaki will be made for it. The blade has some significant pits on the ura side so it is unclear whether this blade can be brought back. The investment was small however and at worst it makes a good study piece and/or polishing project (which I would never do unless I can confirm a togi cannot resurrect it and it can never be papered).

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Modern Swords

HSTS - Custom Katana. One of my favorite reproduction katana. Differentially hardened 1095 steel with a good spring to help prevent taking a set. Excellent edge geometries. Very tight alternating ito with hishigami. Great cutters that have held up flawlessly.

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HSTS - 1095 Budget Cutter Katana.

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HSTS - 1095 Budget Cutter Katana.

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Hanwei - Shinto Katana. Early 2000s model that was originally a shirasaya no-bohi version purchased by Sanmarc Forge. It then underwent a complete revamp by SlavEdge including a hamon re-etch and a longer custom tsuka. This blade cuts like a freaking LIGHTSABER. I LOVE this sword. Sanmarc loves Shintos so much he went out and bought a Manchurian steel prototype one.

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Huawei - T-10 Katana. Not their highest end model, but a decent middle of the road one with "geometric yakote" (don't get me started, as I own multiple nihonto and what most forges call geometric yakote are not exactly correct, yes technically they have a geometry change, but definitely NOT exactly historical in correctness). A fabulous blade with a gunome/midare hamon and hishigami itomaki. Razor sharp and is a wonderful cutter that has held up flawlessly.

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Kawashima - Ko-Katana. Unclear yet on manufacturer but clearly a higher end blade when compared to other reproductions. I'd say of equivalent quality to a high end Paul Chen or such. It's mono steel of some kind, from the luster I'd say probably 1095. The tsuka is well executed and ito is tight. The saya is well made and fits the blade perfectly and is accented with a nice rattan wrap that is lacquered. If anyone knows what this might be I'd love to hear opinions. I am currently thinking this is a Kawashima of some sort. Possibly a custom Kawashima.

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Daishos

St-Nihonto - Custom Daisho. I wanted a handachi daisho and thought I'd give St. Nihonto a try. I find the blades to be decent T10 steel, but man.. the tsuka are NOT good.. these will be rehilted at some point.. The saya are nice, with horn accents, but the tsuka circumference is WAY too small, and the tsuka construction is just NOT well done. The fittings are garbage and the ito is not great (but is alternating). I paid $600 for the daisho so $300 basically per sword (or $350/$250 breakdown however you want to divvy the cost between the two swords). I should have gotten bare blades and habaki and done the rest myself or had someone else do it... but.. very nice handling swords. I have no issue with the blades, habaki and saya. The tsuka and fittings though.... man...

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Ten Ryu - Daisho, Katana (model TR-004) and Wakizashi (TR-005). Personally my favorite sub $150 katana (these sell for about $125) and Wakizashi for under $100 ($85 current price). AISI 1045 differentially hardened steel so not the hardest, however, there are some details (most specifically the actual (magnetic) iron musashi style Tsuba which you NEVER find at this price point, a pretty decent hamon with lots of activity and while 1045 the heat treat seems solid. I've done lots of cutting with these and they are holding up VERY nicely.

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MrNinjato

"But did you die"...
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That is a collection worthy of drooling over. I am particularly fond of that Hanwei - Shinto Katana. You and I will be definitely be talking when it is time for me to start making a katana(s) order.
 

verity

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Sounds good! Yeah that Shinto is a dream. Lots of custom work on it though. So they don't come stock looking like that ;)
 

Ouroboros

Student of Tachikaze
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every single time you post your blades my production swords all start to pack their things.
I just found my hanwei silver anniversary shinto locking itself in the trunk of my SUV...

It's been a dream to amass such a collection of amazing specimens.

Very nice Sir!
Ouro
 

verity

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Thanks! Considering a purchase for the wife, though not Japanese that may be another crown jewel...
 

Wajirou Ichisada

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Thanks! Considering a purchase for the wife, though not Japanese that may be another crown jewel...

Yeah, purchasing for the wife. I've collected so much of my stuff, the wife wants her fair share in return. Only right I guess. But she's not into swords, just cars. Very expensive ones. Sigh... it's the price we men have to pay for our collections I suppose...but that's a topic for another thread....
 

verity

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Yeah, purchasing for the wife. I've collected so much of my stuff, the wife wants her fair share in return. Only right I guess. But she's not into swords, just cars. Very expensive ones. Sigh... it's the price we men have to pay for our collections I suppose...but that's a topic for another thread....
hah she likes cars and swords :) the considered purchase IS a sword, just not a Japanese one.
 

MrNinjato

"But did you die"...
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I do not mean to sound rude here, so feel free to tell me to shut up if you do not desire to answer. Out of curiosity, how much does a Osafune Masamitsu Tachi, or a Jirozaemon (no) jo Katsumitsu O-Wakizashi go for? Seeing as how, if I am reading that right; the first is roughly 600 yrs old, and the other 500 yrs old.
 

verity

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I do not mean to sound rude here, so feel free to tell me to shut up if you do not desire to answer. Out of curiosity, how much does a Osafune Masamitsu Tachi, or a Jirozaemon (no) jo Katsumitsu O-Wakizashi go for? Seeing as how, if I am reading that right; the first is roughly 600 yrs old, and the other 500 yrs old.

nah. Not at all. The Masamitsu is 628 years old (made in 1390). And is a VERY strong Juyo candidate... I will likely be submitting for Juyo in the next year or so. A sword like this runs around $20-50k given the age, condition, and notable smith. I won't say what I paid for THIS blade as I got it for a steal given my connections and honestly the seller is very sad they sold it for what they did and not about three times more. I will say aside from this blade, the last three Masamitsu blades to sell in less good of a condition (and two were Juyo) were $22.5k, $59k and $66k

the Katsumitsu is 504 years old (made in 1504), and is a strong Tokubetsu Hozon contender but unlikely to make Juyo given the second bohi (it used to be a double) is all but gone. This blade in full mounts was about $10,000.
 
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MrNinjato

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nah. Not at all. The Masamitsu is 628 years old (made in 1390). And is a VERY strong Juyo candidate... I will likely be submitting for Juyo in the next year or so. A sword like this runs around $20-50k given the age, condition, and notable smith. I won't say what I paid for THIS blade as I got it for a steal given my connections and honestly the seller is very sad they sold it for what they did and not about three times more. I will say aside from this blade, the last three Masamitsu blades to sell in less good of a condition (and two were Juyo) were $22.5k, $59k and $66k

the Katsumitsu is 504 years old (made in 1504), and is a strong Tokubetsu Hozon contender but unlikely to make Juyo given the second bohi (it used to be a double) is all but gone. This blade in full mounts was about $10,000.


Jesus.


Those are some "fine as a rare Scotch" blades brother. Maybe. One. Day.
 

verity

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Jesus.


Those are some "fine as a rare Scotch" blades brother. Maybe. One. Day.

absolutely. Mind you it was not so long ago that I thought even a nihonto at all was well out of reach. But. Trade up over time and just work away at it.

is it better to have a room full of Hanweis or Bugeis, or a single Tokubetsu Hozon or higher level nihonto? Only you can answer that one. :)
 

Wajirou Ichisada

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Verity is quite right, it takes time, effort, willpower, and good trade-ups to get a nice collection. By and large, our collections grow as we do, and as our earnings. 10 years ago I was driving a 1985 Dodge Diplomat and a 1991 Chevy G10 van. Through making good career changes, and going back to school to finish my Masters, I bought my first Jaguar 4 years ago as a Valentines Day gift to the wife (certified used car, paid cash- amazing what deals they give you when you pay cash!). Last year I moved up to a global company as a manufacturing engineer/executive and got a very tidy increase in my salary. This year I'm buying the wife a brand new Jaguar F-type SVR- the brakes on which cost more than most complete cars. I started my sword collection with a cheap mall-ninja katana, next year I'm budgeting 6k for a real nihonto- both swords were/are the best I could afford at the time.

It's easy to look at somebody getting the high-end items and forget that most of them started humble. It wasn't long ago I was struggling, wishing I could afford nice stuff- hell, wishing I could afford to eat more than once a day. I haven't forgotten that, and I always treat everybody as my equal regardless of their income or position. Someday I might even end up working for them, who knows who they will be tomorrow? And yes, it's easy to throw barbs at somebody who just spent 20k on a sword or 140k on a car, but if they can afford it, then so what? In many ways, for the car at least, purchasing it keeps people at the factory working. And how do you know the person that sold the 20K sword didn't use the money for medical bills or paying off the mortgage, or did some other good with it?

Bottom line is to keep the dream alive. Keep working towards the goal. Only when you give up do you lose. Use those that have nice things as a source of inspiration, not a source of anger or jealousy- one way will lead you to success, the other... well, best not to talk about where the other path leads because we ain't goin' there, right?
 

verity

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Verity is quite right, it takes time, effort, willpower, and good trade-ups to get a nice collection. By and large, our collections grow as we do, and as our earnings. 10 years ago I was driving a 1985 Dodge Diplomat and a 1991 Chevy G10 van. Through making good career changes, and going back to school to finish my Masters, I bought my first Jaguar 4 years ago as a Valentines Day gift to the wife (certified used car, paid cash- amazing what deals they give you when you pay cash!). Last year I moved up to a global company as a manufacturing engineer/executive and got a very tidy increase in my salary. This year I'm buying the wife a brand new Jaguar F-type SVR- the brakes on which cost more than most complete cars. I started my sword collection with a cheap mall-ninja katana, next year I'm budgeting 6k for a real nihonto- both swords were/are the best I could afford at the time.

It's easy to look at somebody getting the high-end items and forget that most of them started humble. It wasn't long ago I was struggling, wishing I could afford nice stuff- hell, wishing I could afford to eat more than once a day. I haven't forgotten that, and I always treat everybody as my equal regardless of their income or position. Someday I might even end up working for them, who knows who they will be tomorrow? And yes, it's easy to throw barbs at somebody who just spent 20k on a sword or 140k on a car, but if they can afford it, then so what? In many ways, for the car at least, purchasing it keeps people at the factory working. And how do you know the person that sold the 20K sword didn't use the money for medical bills or paying off the mortgage, or did some other good with it?

Bottom line is to keep the dream alive. Keep working towards the goal. Only when you give up do you lose. Use those that have nice things as a source of inspiration, not a source of anger or jealousy- one way will lead you to success, the other... well, best not to talk about where the other path leads because we ain't goin' there, right?


SO true. Over the years I've traded up in swords, had career changes, and know I live in a fairly affluent income level due to my choice in careers.

but. Nice blades are not beyond reach if you prioritize and are smart.

It IS also about priorities. I prioritize swords, cosplay, metal and leather working tools and amenities for our home. I drive a cheap Prius but DID spoil the wife last year with her dream car (fully loaded Chevy Tahoe). But we spend a LOT of our disposable income on fine blades and tools for my workshop.

That is is just where we care to spend funds. Hell the Jirozaeomon (no) jo Katsumitsu was the wife's idea not mine haha.
 

Wajirou Ichisada

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Yes, about the cost of swords. That question has already been answered. In Hojo Soun's 21 Articles, he states in Article 6: "Do not compete with others in the quality of your clothes and weapons. As long as they look reasonable, you'll be fine. If you go into debt to buy expensive things, people will deride you".

And according to the Daimyo House Codes of Toshikage Jushichikajo he states "Do not excessively covet swords and daggers made by famous masters. Even if you own a sword or dagger worth 10,000 pieces, it can be overcome by 100 spears each worth 100 pieces. Therefore, use the 10,000 pieces to procure 100 spears, and arm 100 men with them. You can in this manner defend yourself in time of war"

That is NOT to say don't buy expensive swords, but rather to buy a sword you can afford and keep it in good condition. When the time comes, a cheap sword that is well maintained will be just as good as an expensive one as far as it's ability to defend you. What it does say, is not to buy an expensive sword just to keep up with the Jone's and leave yourself vulnerable or in debt because of it.
 

verity

Amateur Togishi
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Messages
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Yes, about the cost of swords. That question has already been answered. In Hojo Soun's 21 Articles, he states in Article 6: "Do not compete with others in the quality of your clothes and weapons. As long as they look reasonable, you'll be fine. If you go into debt to buy expensive things, people will deride you".

And according to the Daimyo House Codes of Toshikage Jushichikajo he states "Do not excessively covet swords and daggers made by famous masters. Even if you own a sword or dagger worth 10,000 pieces, it can be overcome by 100 spears each worth 100 pieces. Therefore, use the 10,000 pieces to procure 100 spears, and arm 100 men with them. You can in this manner defend yourself in time of war"

That is NOT to say don't buy expensive swords, but rather to buy a sword you can afford and keep it in good condition. When the time comes, a cheap sword that is well maintained will be just as good as an expensive one as far as it's ability to defend you. What it does say, is not to buy an expensive sword just to keep up with the Jone's and leave yourself vulnerable or in debt because of it.


Sage words for sure. And my own collection sort of reflects this. I collect antique or high end "art swords" that rarely or never get used. And for using, I tend to favor the low to mid-range blades.

my Hanwei Shinto, costing about $500 (customizations aside) has seen more tatami fall before it than any other blade I own. My Masamitsu and Katsumitsu are beautiful antiques and sit in a case and are cared for and appreciated, but at this point in their lifetime I would trust my life to neither.
 

Treeslicer

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Aug 27, 2018
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Thanks! Considering a purchase for the wife, though not Japanese that may be another crown jewel...

First, your collection is great, but you already know that. Second, your line above reminds me of a commonly-known joke around here. Two bubbas are talking, one says, "I got a shotgun for my wife.", and the other responds, "Nice trade!". :D
 
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verity

Amateur Togishi
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First, your collection is great, but you already know that. Second, your line above reminds me of a commonly-known joke around here. Two bubbas are talking, one says, "I got a shotgun for my wife.", and the other responds, "Nice trade!". :D
Haha! Awesome. Buuuut. I would not trade her for the world. She's gorgeous, loves swords, and is a surgeon with a rifle. So... she's a keeper. Hehe
 

Treeslicer

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Aug 27, 2018
Messages
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nah. Not at all. The Masamitsu is 628 years old (made in 1390). And is a VERY strong Juyo candidate... I will likely be submitting for Juyo in the next year or so. A sword like this runs around $20-50k given the age, condition, and notable smith. I won't say what I paid for THIS blade as I got it for a steal given my connections and honestly the seller is very sad they sold it for what they did and not about three times more. I will say aside from this blade, the last three Masamitsu blades to sell in less good of a condition (and two were Juyo) were $22.5k, $59k and $66k

the Katsumitsu is 504 years old (made in 1504), and is a strong Tokubetsu Hozon contender but unlikely to make Juyo given the second bohi (it used to be a double) is all but gone. This blade in full mounts was about $10,000.

Thanks much for posting this. Novices often have a hard time getting realistic pricing data on nihonto (as well as for several other varieties of edged collectibles). I sincerely hope that we will continue to speak freely about money issues on this forum, and make it a tradition. That will help to dispel some of the fog surrounding appraisals, BTW, when we get to talking kantei.
 

verity

Amateur Togishi
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Thanks much for posting this. Novices often have a hard time getting realistic pricing data on nihonto (as well as for several other varieties of edged collectibles). I sincerely hope that we will continue to speak freely about money issues on this forum, and make it a tradition. That will help to dispel some of the fog surrounding appraisals, BTW, when we get to talking kantei.
I completely agree. Many folks don't want to share pricing due to documented prices which could affect further sales of said blades. (E.g.: why would I pay X when you clearly paid Y when YOU bought it). I think though that many buyers will understand market fluctuates and are just wanting to make sure some ridiculous inflation that is unfair does not happen.

I don't want to share purchase prices of my masamitsu because it had mitigating circumstances and honestly THAT sword SHOULD have cost at least $40k. But I didn't PAY $40k because I managed to win the lottery on luck and honestly got some advantage on the seller needing to rapidly move the blade due to finances AND that there was a sore misjudgment about the value of the blade because it is not a TYPICALLY sought after type of blade of that time period (Nanbokucho blades are usually massive big meaty swords and this one is a delicate blade that represents the movement back down to smaller more delicate swords signifying the move to uchigatana). Because of this the seller sort of misjudged what they should have asked.

Now... my Kanetomo is also in pristine condition in mounts and papered for both blade and koshirae. That package was much more affordable at around $7k.

shinto or shinshinto pieces can be had reasonably affordably, whereas a mint condition nanbokucho or kamakura piece is going to command a VERY high premium.

But yes, I appreciate a more candid discussion vs jealously being secretive about prices. AS LONG as ill-will about affluence or income level does not come into it. That may introduce some friction.
 
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