Blogs

black pearl earrings

Silver hoop earrings are one of the styles that are in rage with not only the teenagers but also with the the black pearl earrings the adults. Hoop earrings are similar to a ring and are in circular shape. The sizes of the hoops vary from looped hoops to gypsy

Don't Forget the Australian Sydney Token Kai!!!

Hi Stan and all,
sorry I have not been more active lately, but today, I have had to make sure that those of you that may be around Sydney, Australia during September 8th to 12th are aware and maybe can get along to the shinsa, ( you can find more information in the link below ), but I just have to say, the last one held was approx 2 years ago was a very well run show with many top experts in attendance and giving away there knowledge and advice freely to all that attended as well as the shinsa itself, great bargins in swords and fittings etc to be had, as well as the handout information,

My expensive wish list

Dear Santa-san,

It's a bit off-season for wishes, but just in case if you have any of these books in stock in the next 20 years, please remember me:

Iimura Yoshiaki, Yumei Koto Taikan
Iimura Yoshiaki, Shinto Taikan
Iimura Yoshiaki, Shinshinto Taikan
Honma Junji, Showa Dai-meito Zufu

Thank you.

AFU: Translation of Sword Books

Accidentally I found an old article by Harry Afu Watson where he describes his path of becoming a translator of sword literature. I've always had a great respect for Harry's work, and this article only makes my admiration stronger.

Japanese Castle Explorer

@jcexplorer tweeted yesterday about Japanese Castle Explorer's Interactive Map. I must say, very well done!

Swordsmith Index Update

After 8 months of sitting long evenings over books and typing Kanji, I have more than 6000 individual smith records manually verified and in good shape and more than 3100 new signatures in the database. Phew!

Each record in Swordsmith record has now Province and Era filled in. This is very important as smiths can be identified by a trio "art name-province-era" and if any part is missing, you can never be sure without going back to the books.

Next target is (see you in one year :-) ) verification of all remaining records (around 4700 of them).

Also you may already have noticed that record format had changed slightly.

  • Province and Era are now displayed in Kanji on the right hand side to the smith's name.
  • Generation is displayed in Kanji (if defined) under the smith's name
  • Sword period symbol is displayed in the top right corner of the name area, similar to Nihonto Meikan. Circle corresponds to Koto, triangle - Shinto, square - Shin-Shinto, star - Gendaito. This gives the reader simple idea what smith he/she is looing at.
  • The idea of start/end year is elaborated. Ambiguous 'started in' and 'retired in' references are now replaced by 'Active Period' field which shows the range of years the smith was known to be active on. If specific years weren't entered, it shows the year range based on era field. With the current use of this field being limited, it may become more important in the future, reflecting extant works of the smith with known production year or historical evidence.

P.S. Something good is coming in 2-3 weeks. Don't miss it!

Spammers

I would like to share an interesting observation (not Nihonto related). On an average day Nihonto Club gets around 30-40 spamming attempts. But October 6th had an absolute record: 611!

Thanks to our briliant anti-spam filters, no one was hurt.

New website: Nihonto Auction

If you are a regular visitor of sword sites, you may have already seen few references to a brand new Nihonto related wibsite http://www.nihontoauction.com which advertises itself as "new nihonto marketplace, buy and sell your swords and sword fittings and related items".

It has a familiar eBay-like interface, very easy to navigate, clear and simple. There haven't been any finished auctions yet and listings come only from one source (site owner, I presume), but it looks very promising. I'm jealous.

There were many attempts over years trying to create an attractive alternative to eBay, especially after recent sword unfriendly policies and general pollution with fakes. I wish Nihonto Auction every success as it seems to be done properly (from technical perspective) which in my opinion is a major driver to user acceptance.

minamoto moritsugu

hello.
i have katana signed MINAMOTO MORITSUGU :

http://www.areku.nazwa.pl/katalog/zbiory%2062.htm

please , tell me about this sword

areku

Tsukumogami

Yesterday I was looking for a Japanese scroll for my house on eBay. Half an hour and a few links later I ended up being submerged into the complicated world of Japanese demons. Tsukumogami, a type of yōkai 妖怪 (monsters and evil creatures), in particular.

Wikipedia wrote:

**Tsukumogami** (付喪神, "artifact spirit") are a type of Japanese spirit. According to the Tsukumogami-emaki, tsukumogami originate from items or artifacts that have reached their 100th birthday and thus become alive and aware. Any object of this age, from _swords_ to toys, can become a tsukumogami. Tsukumogami are considered spirits and supernatural beings, as opposed to enchanted items.

You may find much more about these demons in the links below, but the main idea is that according to Japanese beliefs some man-made objects (e.g. tools or items which are used continuously and able to create an emotional bond with their owners/users) "take on a life of its own through long life and personal attachment". Also, when having been thanklessly thrown away after their long period of service, they may take their vengeance upon human beings (see also Susuharai ceremony).

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