Articles

2020-07-06

The collectors in the West are taught to use clove oil when maintaining the blade of the sword. When the oil is used on the blade which is kept in the Saya it can cause great damage to the decorative scabbard by licking in to the wood and destroying the original lacquer (making bubbles). The old oil stays on the inside of the Saya, causing damage and corrosion of the blade as well.
The oil can only be used on polished blades, kept in Shira-saya, which can be opened again and cleaned.
This information seams to be ignored in the Western sword study groups.

A.M

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2020-07-05

Noboru Toyama is considered to be the best researcher of the work of Kurihara Nobuhide, and the leading collector of Izumi no Kami Kanesada in Japan. He is the author of “Kurihara Nobuhide- The Last Master Sword Smith; Trace of the legacy and his work ”, and “Aizu 11th generation Izumi no Kami Kanesada (part 1)” .
We  participated in translation and publishing of the English versions of the catalogues.

Both publication are available on the lulu.com – print on demand platform.

* “Kurihara Nobuhide- The Last Master Sword Smith; Trace of the legacy and his work ”, published in 2013, contains biography, photos and descriptions  of Nobuhide’s 40 masterpieces works, several Holly Mirrors from his local shrines and selection of Kiyomaro School’s works. Kurihara Nobuhide, (the student of legendary Yamauro Kiyomaro), was one of the greatest sword smith’s of the end of the Samurai period, whose fame was sometimes overshadowed by his teacher.

The Ebook version is available at:
https://www.lulu.com/…/kurihara…/ebook/product-1qngm8pv.html

The printed version of Nobuhide’s catalogue is not availble.

* “Aizu 11th generation Izumi no Kami Kanesada (part 1)”, published in 2015,
presents the biography and overview of the works of Kanesada from the earliest to his very last period, giving the reader the possibility to analyse the changes of the signature and workmanship.

The printed paperback version is available at:
https://www.lulu.com/…/aizu…/paperback/product-1794k92g.html

and the Ebook version at:
https://www.lulu.com/…/aizu-11t…/ebook/product-1ynmvnwg.html

A.M

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2020-06-09

In his articles, Nakahara sensei writes that any subjective opinion, certification paper or Sayagaki will be verified by scientific means sooner or later. He is supporting the scientific research and reconsiders the traditional examination fowling modern technology discoveries.

This approach is very well understood by the museum conservators. They put great importance to the scientific research, getting more information about the manufacturing methods and material used to create the artefact. This is progressing knowledge about the conservation, documenting the process for the future generations. 

Nakahara sensei advices the collectors to reconsider the opinions of the established authorities and to be opened to new theories. Supporting scientific research and combining it with traditional knowledge will lead to progressing the study of the sword.

A.M

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2020-06-07

When the collectors ask questions on JP sword forums in the West about the sword’s attribution, the people who are thought to be authorities (and the dealers) advise to them to send the sword to Shinsa for getting the answer and certification.

The comments, are mostly copy and pasted info about school, swords smith etc, generations. Full of terminology without explanation and hard to understand. They are not able to discuss the quality of the sword an possible forgery, promoting themselves, the certification system rather then giving real knowledge.

It is very important for the collectors to learn about the possible manipulations and the quality of the sword rather then repeat doubtful information of  self claimed specialists, without real understanding.

A.M

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2020-06-06

Most of the JP sword related books published in the West, are based upon information copied, translated and edited from original JP texts or from other Western publications, internet etc.  (in many cases without references and copyrights, or editors inserting their own subjective comments).

These publications teach the very basics of JP sword, repeating common stereotypes and mistakes. The content is compiled decided by common interest in the commercial market, promoting swords smiths, schools that became popular and which are easier to get the certifications.
This type of information is creating false common knowledge and the collectors learn the stereotypes which are used by the fake makers and dealers targeting Western market.

At the Seminar Nakahara sensei talked about many examples of promoting and manipulating information depending on the current interest of the Kanteika .
Nakahara sensei told the participants that it is very important to question gathered information, observe it and think by oneself without blindly believing the established authorities.

A.M

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2020-06-02

Nakahara sensei pointed out that the NTBHK was founded only 70 years ago and he asked the participants of the Seminar, to imagine and think about what is more skilful and what is the real tradition of Kanteika.

At the same time, he said that the traditional Kanteika’s had also developed many tricks throughout their long history. There are many archives of Hon’ami family, but the most crucial parts are still hidden. Nakahara sensei himself is in the direct line of Hon’ami line Kanteikas as his master was Murakami Kosuke, who was the student of Hon’ami Koson (famous establisher of the “Gokaden theory”).

Nakahara sensei wants to openly speak and explain about those fragile parts. He thinks keeping it as a secret is bad for the JP sword societies and in modern times this information should be open

A.M

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2020-06-01

At the Seminar Nakahara sensei explained to the participants that any method of certifications should be questioned, not only the papers but also the Sayagaki, which is a subjective opinion of Kanteika and it is not a guarantee of authenticity.

The dealers and leaders of JP sword societies in the West, keep telling to the collectors that Sayagaki is good for their education. In fact it is the opposite, it is preventing the collector from education, as the collector trusts the authority of Kanteika and repeats the attribution without questioning it. The Sayagaki doesn’t explain the points how to recognise the attribution or how to check the fake..

The collectors do not have a direct contact with the Kanteika issuing Sayagaki, and they cannot ask questions.
Some of the dealers and leaders of the JP sword societies in the West (most of them can’t even read Japanese),  become “a contact person” with “a contact person with a Kanteika”.
They create a false authority of the Sayagaki maker, advising the collectors to order the Sayagaki to raise market value.
They never talk about multiple corruption stories or fake swords, fake attributions.

We heard about the case in the past where the collector, received a Sayagaki which didn’t agree with the certification paper. When he decided to sell the sword, he took away the Sayagaki and sold it only the certification paper.

Nakahara sensei warned about the false authorities of Sayagaki makers, possible fake Sayagaki, explaining how to examine the quality of the ink used by Kanteika.
Nakahara sensei is telling to the collectors to think by them selves in order not to get cheated.

A.M.

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2020-05-28

There is a common misunderstanding in the West about the certification becoming a guarantee of authenticity. This information is shared by many members and leaders of Japanese sword societies, the collectors and the dealers .

The organisation does not take responsibility for the authenticity at the same time warning about multiple fake swords with high certification circulation on the market (and other Shinsa issues)

In his articles Nakahara sensei warns the collectors about blind confidence in false authorities and he advises the collectors to learn how to distinguish the masterpiece from the fake. Nakahara sensei teaches to the collectors how to study logic, proper knowledge and he supports new theories resulted from the meeting of modern science with traditional examination.

A.M.

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2020-05-26

When we had announced on FB, that Nakahara sensei would perform Kantei without issuing certification paper, we received many negative comments about it. This shows how big the dependence on the certification system in the West is.

Nakahara Sensei does Kantei only for educational purpose, for collectors to learn and understand own sword.
He doesn’t issue certification, so it cannot be used as a guarantee of the investment in the commercial circuit. Nakahara sensei teaches collectors how to study the sword properly and how to recognise a fake (with certifications).

There are no teachers in the West passing this kind of knowledge. Instead, they advise to “believe” the certifications.

Nakahara sensei doesn’t want people to believe in his Kantei. He says Kantei is only a subjective opinion, which can be verified only by scientific tests.
This is also the reason why our Institute started the scientific research.

A.M.

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2020-05-15

At the Seminar of Nakahara and Nakano sensei held in Amsterdam, the fake sword with high certification was presented as an example for the participants to learn about recognising forgery. When we published information about this fake sword bought at the fair in Utrecht, we received negative comments and accusations coming from UK, towards Nakahara sensei and our director.

A member of British Token Society wrote fake rumour about Nakahara sensei or our director being on trial. The chairman of the society clicked “like” to this comment. We confirmed the information about the trial was a lie. Since that time, we have kept asking for the source of the gossip but neither the member nor the chairman did answer.

It is the responsibility of the chairman to verify and stop the spread of misinformation in his society. Supporting the circulation of fake stories is dangerous for the collectors.

We are still waiting for an answer to our inquiry.

A.M.