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#116388 - 04/20/05 12:14 AM Modern Katanas (Shinken)

I have been looking around the internet for a folded steel live blade samurai Katana. I wish to purchase one that will increase in value as time goes on, and something that will hold up enough to pass on to future generations. I have not been able to ascertain that much information about reputable swordsmiths in the United States and I was wondering if anyone here knew of a swordsmith that produces high quality folded steel katanas? I have read some things about people such as Paul Chen, but it seems like (according to the different posts that I have read) he makes only practical katanas. I'm looking at spending around $8,000 and under. Thanks for your help.

#116389 - 04/20/05 12:26 AM Re: Modern Katanas (Shinken)
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
Rather than go into a long explanation i'll link you to a long article. Basically shinken are not looked at as artistic swords but rather as practical weapons. This article explains a lot and will give you a lot of insight into what you are looking at.

[This message has been edited by laf7773 (edited 04-20-2005).]

#116390 - 04/20/05 09:22 AM Re: Modern Katanas (Shinken)
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I would disagree. Shinken are not typically art swords, but they are likely to increase in value over time and they are definitely heirloom quality weapons. The number of smiths is declining in Japan, and the number of Iaidoka demanding new swords is increasing. Over the long term this is going to increase the prices of shinken.

I know of one company that imports shinken from Japan.

#116391 - 04/24/05 09:13 PM Re: Modern Katanas (Shinken)

Shinken roughly translates to mean "real or true sword", and as such, any traditional made and gunto Japanese swords could be called shinken. It's also used, as was indicated in prior responses to refer to a more modern sword used for iai and more specifically cutting use.
At your stated budget of around $8,000 you could actually purchase an older (koto to shin-shinto) real Japanese sword of good quality that will appreciate in value.
I just returned from Japan where I bought a shin-shinto that I am keeping in Japan for use in iai and iai-giri (cutting) so that I do not have to borrow one of my sensei's swords for testing and cutting practice (it is a paperwork hassle to bring swords in and out of Japan, more so in). This is a very nice piece with mei, the length is just under 29", and was in the $5500 range.
One of our Tokyo dojo members collects, polishes, and sells swords, and I have purchased several, including the last one from him. If you are interested in obtaining a sword, I can send you additional information on what is available and can get digital pictures for you. Export papers can also be arranged. I'm not sure where you are located, but usually my friend visits the U.S. several times a year to attend some of the sword shows here and brings several pieces with him. Obviously, a purchase like this is something you need to spend serious time on. I am returning to Tokyo in June and would be glad to collect any information and forward it to you if you're interested.


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