Wajirou Ichisada's "collection"- found in a sewer near the pumping station....

Wajirou Ichisada

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Aug 15, 2018
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52
Right, ok. The rain stopped just long enough for me to take a few shots of my meager "collection". I'm a believer in "put up or shut up", and now it's my turn to "put up". Since this is a katana specific forum, my sword "collection" is even smaller than it looks in my head. But, as every movie geek knows, "there can be ONLY ONE!". Well, not really, but currently I have exactly one katana. And it isn't even a "proper" katana. Cheness Oniyuri (Tiger Lily) 9260 through hardened.

Over the years I've owned several katana sword like objects, mostly mall ninja junkers, but I did own a really nice WWII officer sword years ago, then sold it off for gun money- or for girls or something. But now I again have a "real" sword. And although it's a production blade: "this is my sword, there are many like it, but this one is mine".

If you are still awake by this time, then follow along with me for some really bad photos uploaded using my limited IT skills:

Nice box. I know it isn't much, but the sword came in a pretty nice decorative storage box. It's not sturdy enough to use as checked baggage on an airplane, but it does provide a handy place to put the sword when it's not sticking out of the skull of one of my enemies.
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Opening the box is a treat. Nice presentation, and comes with a cloth cover- a nice feature when taking the sword to a dojo or out in public.
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The sword itself is really nice. I know that balance and such are very important with any sword, and for me and my fighting style, the Oniyuri with it's short blade, three hand tsuka, but overall same length of a standard katana works really well.
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The best part of this sword to me is the 9260 spring steel through hardened blade. Nigh on indestructible. It has no fear of being used. And I'm not afraid to use it either.
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And.....here it is! My high-tech cutting stand. Cheap. Functional. Like me, but functional.... Many soda bottles died to bring you that information....
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Right then. One sword. The "one sword to rule them all". But don't think for a moment that I'm deficient in the sharps department....on second thought, yes, go ahead and think that I'm under armed....
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Ok, anybody that has come to know me through this forum or other sword related social media know that I'm a stickler for training. Training. More training. Without training you might as well be holding a stick. And I train- oddly enough, with a stick. Been training since 1991. I've spent countless hours with that red Japanese maple bokken in my hands. Thousands. Of. Hours. No use in having a weapon that you don't know how to use properly. Which makes my armor and training swords the single most valuable sword related items I own. Not for sale at any price.
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And that sums it up. I have plans for expanding my collection next year with a regular configuration katana with bo-hi and I'll begin searching for a nihonto. But until then, I'm continuing my training.

Now: I am prepared to receive my proper humiliation from people with real collections....and....GO!
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Treeslicer

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Aug 27, 2018
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I really like your writing style. It's fun, and I like the wider look at what you're doing.
 

Wajirou Ichisada

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Aug 15, 2018
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Thank you for your kind words! You know, it's odd that I've been training on the katana for 25 years, but never made it a priority to own a functional blade. My money was always being spent on training- either dojo fees or for equipment. I guess I've reached that point in my life where collecting live blades makes sense.

Ha! Who am I kidding? My money was spent on booze and women....like any normal young man. Now I'm too old and married to be spending money like that, so now it's all going to "responsible adult" things.
 

Ouroboros

Student of Tachikaze
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Aug 23, 2018
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Sir!
Your dedication is to be emulated and if a man need more than a branch to learn, patience and attention to detail to succeed (with proper guidance)...perhaps this practioner has missed the point?
The size or quality of a collection should never be cause for put down for it is in the true ability of the owner and the owners intent with their collection that the depth of their respect for this ancient warriors weapon and culture both lie.

Owning a katana, several katana and or other weapons comes with the responsibility to learn to use them properly and safely. I would add that no one should be without a stout bokken--it is the most used item in my collection.

Ouro
 

Wajirou Ichisada

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Aug 15, 2018
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52
As I grow older and less stupid (I don't dare say "wiser"), I discern patterns in life that make me believe there is some universal key to it all. For example, with a sword, a person practices with a stick- when the time comes and they need to use a real sword; they can. The sword doesn't make the person a swordsman, practicing as though the stick was real, however, does. It's about mastering the basics of the weapon, it's about learning a skill that is centered on the individual and not on the weapon.

In the Army I learned to practice shooting with a fake rifle. I learned sight alignment, breathing, trigger pull, etc. When I picked up a real rifle, it wasn't the rifle that made me a marksman, but the practice I had in the fundamentals that I learned on a trainer.

Swords, rifles, any weapon. It isn't the expense of the sword or gun, but the skill of the user that makes it a formidable weapon. That is why I have a disdain for all the "tacti-cool" gimmicks on firearms: none of them make the person a better shooter. In fact, if a person fails to learn the basics of the weapon they are using and instead relies on the gimmicks to pull them through, then that could have very serious concequences since more often than not the gimmick will fail. And I look at a sword the same way. What purpose does it serve to expend resources in time and money to buy a very nice sword, but then not have the skill set to use it properly for what it is? It's like buying a Ferrari 458, but never bothering to learn how to drive it or a Gibson Custom Les Paul guitar just so you can look at it instead of using it to create beautiful music.


I appreciate excellent swords. I most certainly want one for myself! But I have first spent my energies learning how one works as a sharpened chunk of steel. Now, at this stage of my life, I can self-justify collecting more decorative or historically important blades without feeling they are nothing more to me than a gimmick. Until recently I felt that I couldn't justify kidnapping a blade only to have it hang on the wall instead of "becoming" what it was meant to be.

I'm looking forward to building my collection. Won't it be fun to do the research, select the blade, agonize over whether or not to purchase "that one", making the selection and then finally holding the blade in my hand? Wash, rinse, repeat!
 

Wajirou Ichisada

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Aug 15, 2018
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52
Thanks, verity. I think it will be a good lot of fun for all of us to grow my collection along with this forum. I can't wait to look back on this intial posting two or three years from now and see how things have changed!

As I reflect on my "collection" and the last few decades, I've come to realize that I've had swords come and go, I've had cars and guns come and go, and I've even had wives come and go, but always, always, always, my armor and bokken followed me wherever I went. I think that at the root of it all I realized what was the most important to hold onto- sharps come and go, but the training stays forever.
 

Ouroboros

Student of Tachikaze
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Aug 23, 2018
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59
.

...it wasn't the rifle that made me a marksman, but the practice I had in the fundamentals that I learned on a trainer.

What purpose does it serve to expend resources in time and money to buy a very nice sword, but then not have the skill set to use it properly for what it is? It's like buying a Ferrari 458, but never bothering to learn how to drive it or a Gibson Custom Les Paul guitar just so you can look at it instead of using it to create beautiful music.

So true.
I've always had a bokken, even when I did not practice.

So you enjoy the hunt for a good sword too eh? The anticipation, the reading, the reviews, the questions and the trial and error of 'which one is best for me' is fun...as much as fun as when I enjoy sitting back with the accoustic and playing a blues riff while the family is outa town the the whisky is warm and understanding.

No one learns to play with a guitar that just sits in the corner weeping to be held...excuse me, there's a Kat wanting to go outside...:D

I'm looking forward to seeing your collection grow, even contributing a little here and there ;) I hear custom silver parts are all the rage...

Ouro
 
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Wajirou Ichisada

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Aug 15, 2018
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52
Oh, trust me, I have a "wanna" list a mile long! But first I plan on starting reasonably small on my next purchase. I want my next kat to be differentially hardened with bo-hi. I won't be looking for top drawer, probably $300 range since I will be more concerned with the blade than the fittings- I plan on making it a build project. So even a bare blade would work out well for a DIY project. I think that would be a lot of fun and a great way to learn some lessons that can't be taught by reading things on the internet.
 

Treeslicer

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Aug 27, 2018
Messages
46
Oh, trust me, I have a "wanna" list a mile long! But first I plan on starting reasonably small on my next purchase. I want my next kat to be differentially hardened with bo-hi. I won't be looking for top drawer, probably $300 range since I will be more concerned with the blade than the fittings- I plan on making it a build project. So even a bare blade would work out well for a DIY project. I think that would be a lot of fun and a great way to learn some lessons that can't be taught by reading things on the internet.

If you take a look at my stuff, none of my Chinese katana blades cost me more than $170 US (not that you can tell it by looking at them), or less than $127. I have a strong suspicion that most of the Chinese blades available, of a given sugata, hamon, and jigane are made using standardized materials and processes, which in turn suggests that the pricing structure we see from vendors is random, based entirely on markup, and simply spending more is no guarantee of greater blade quality. That most of the swords are sold sight unseen through a third-party drop-ship arrangement, and have little relation to stock photos used in advertisements, adds the delightful uncertainties of playing a game of chance to the whole affair.
 

Wajirou Ichisada

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Aug 15, 2018
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I suspect that by and large, what you say is exactly true. For a modern production blade, I would think that manufacturing is done by a relatively small group of forges, using much the same materials and methods. So the retail pricing is based on finish options and third party mark-ups. I am in the manufacturing business myself, so I know full well that the things we use everyday are usually made by one or two companies, and the rest is merely putting somebody's brand on the packaging.

I think I should do rather well with a $300 budget. Blade + fittings +raw materials should add up to about that amount, roughly. The rest of the cost will be in my time doing the project.
 
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