Is this Katana legit?

Discussion in 'Sword Arts Talk' started by Kaan, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Kaan

    Kaan White Belt

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    Hey guys currently doing research on katana and want to start a collection of decent blades.

    Just wanting some opinions on this piece HERE!

    Worth picking up?
     
  2. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Oh, dear gods no…

    But, before we get too far into things… what are you looking for a katana, or a collection of them, for?
     
  3. Sojobo

    Sojobo Green Belt

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    Really!? A sword purchased from Amazon!
     
  4. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    Reviews of Ryumon blades are a mixed bag, but most of them do agree that they're at least functional as cutters.

    They are not worth the 600 dollars spent, though. You can get better katanas for that amount.
     
  5. Kaan

    Kaan White Belt

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    Hahahaha.

    Yeah it caught my eye, I thought I would get some opinions on it.

    Ahh I guess a Katana might come in handy around the house in some instances.

    Also as a means of storing and retaining wealth or as a means to hedge against in flat ion.

    Plus they're cool!
     
  6. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Okay.

    No. Not really a realistic reason at all.

    I don't know what you mean by "a means to hedge against in a flat ion"… but if you're saying you are after a sword (or a collection) as a financial investment, then you need to be looking at things starting at around $3-5000 to begin with… and they are nothing like that item.

    Okay...

    Right, let's see if we can clear things up.

    Do you train in a sword art? If so, what system, and how long have you been training?

    If you don't, are you wanting a sword (or collection) due to an appreciation of the items, and therefore are after collection-worthy items, but not something you'd be using?

    If you are using it/them, what are you intending to use them for? Not just "training", what kind? Iai? Tameshigiri?

    Different answers would take you towards different things… so the more information you can give, the better.
     
  7. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    If it would help, a mate of mine has a good eye for Knives and Swords. I could ask him as long as you are not planning on chopping someone up!
     
  8. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm… I'd caution waiting until we hear why Kaan is after a sword, or swords, before any offers are made… additionally, I'd ask exactly what "a good eye for knives and swords" is in this regard… if we're talking Japanese swords, it's quite removed from knives in terms of what to look for, what constitutes a good or bad one, and more. Honestly, with no disrespect to your friend, I'd be very reticent to go on the advice of someone who "has a good eye for knives and swords"…
     
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  9. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Yeah concur. It would be a bad idea since the OP has not elaborated on the intended use. In terms of "having a good eye" My friend is just a keen collector and has Fencing in his background, still though, good point.
     
  10. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

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    But, it's "organic in the hand"... It must mean it's good....!! No?
     
  11. donnaTKD

    donnaTKD Master Black Belt

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    tbh i wouldn't be buying a blade of any desprition from amazon or any other online retailer -- i'd definitely want to hold it, see it, feel what it's like before i parted with my money.

    jmo :)
     
  12. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Chris is right in that you are not even getting into a quality shinken from Japan until you start looking in the $3,000 and up range. There are a few blade makers outside of Japan that produce good blades but they are not a Japanese made blade and will simply not have the same value long term as one made in Japan. This does not mean you cannot buy some thing not made in Japan that is cheaper and possibly functional and work your way up. Many a serious Japanese martial practitioner has done just this. Just understand that their is a big difference in quality as you go up. My recommendation is to talk with your instructor and see what they recommend for you. If you do not have an instructor in a Japanese martial system and just want a wall hanger (ie. a piece of crap) to hang on the wall for conversation then there are plenty out there. Just understand what you are getting. I would not buy one now and they are not the real thing. Still everyone has a different perspective on what they want!
     
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  13. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Cool… but yeah, I wouldn't take any advice on Japanese blades from him as the fencing means precisely nothing in this regard. I have some competence with appraising Japanese swords and similar, and wouldn't trust myself to say anything authoritative about non-Japanese blades, other than "ooh, pretty"… which is worth exactly nothing without a hell of a lot behind the "pretty"…

    Yep. This is a big part of why I'm asking Kaan to clarify… I get the sense that he doesn't actually have an instructor… and is more an "interested outsider" than anything else… but am waiting for clarification.

    I mean, my shinken was about $650/700, and was thoroughly customised to my specs… but it's hardly a collectors piece, or really an authentic Nihonto… it's realistically a fairly inexpensive, but reliable, cutter… chu-kissaki, blade-heavy, wide, slightly deep sori… good for my guys who don't have much experience. If it was for Iai, for instance, it's useless (no bo-hi, poorly weighted for that, a few other considerations), but I could get an Iai shinken for not much different if I wanted… still not in any way what would be in a "collection"… but good for what it's intended.
     
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  14. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    Buying any weapon will present you with similar decisions.

    Much like with gun purchases, the primary issue will always be "what do you want it for" and "how much are you willing/able to spend"? There is a spectrum of "complete junk" to "so expensive you wont want to use it collectors item" out there. I'm a "balance of functionality at the best quality I can afford" type of guy. A "weapon as investment" that I white-glove out of a safe to admire and return is not my thing.

    However, many people are looking for a "great" gun/sword/etc at a bargain basement price...you usually are not going to find that online or in a store. A person to person sale when you know what you are looking at? Different story. You do "get what you pay for" more often than not. The trick is to be an informed purchaser. Determine what exactly you want, research...take your time and shop around.
     
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  15. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Some of the real differences between an authentic blade from Japan and a knock off are: Quality of the craftsmanship of the blade in regards to your individual measurements. (when ordering) Typically when holding a non-Japanese made katana the balance is off from where it should be. This is significant to training, cutting, etc. However, beyond everything else the biggest difference is the quality of the fittings. This is the wrappings, handle, etc. Believe it or not the quality of these fittings and particularly the wrapping make a huge difference with your practice. The balance point and fittings are really important. For instance my iaito (practice non-sharpened sword) from Japan has fittings on it that are worth roughly close to a $1000 alone. This iaito was custom made for me and is balanced correctly and so smooth when practicing iaido. I simply cannot get the same feel or result in this smoothness category with a cheap $150 iaito. They feel clunky and the balance points are so off from where they should be. If I were to compare my shinken (live sword from Japan) that I had made to the same specifications of my iaito to a non-Japnese made sword in the $500 to $2,000 range it would be like driving a pinto car in comparison to the latest and greatest Ferrari. In other words there is no comparison!

    Now a beginning iaito from Japan can range probably in the $800 range and up.

    A Shinken from Japan can start in that $3,000 range for bare bones basic (better than anything non-Japanese) but really to get a middle range one you are
    looking at paying quite a bit more. (like a lot more) More into that $10,000 and up range. It would also help to travel to Japan and actually hold what you are buying or some thing similar that you are shown. So you understand what you are getting!

    I would never advise someone to invest that much money without having trained, received instruction and building their way up to it. Take your time, get what your instructor recommends to you and slowly build your way up to the genuine article. I trained for a long time with some beaters until I made the leap to the best level out there. As I mentioned above Kaan if you are just interested in a wall hanger for conversation there is plenty of ones out there you just have to understand they are not the genuine article!
     

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