kazarena's blog

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.


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).


I was looking at Nobunao NOB685 record in Hawley's and I noticed that he lists a signature:

mikawa (no) kami daimichi nobunao

大道 can also be read Daidō. To verify which romaji is more correct, I checked in Fujishiro [1] (p.215). Afu translates it as Nyūdō! But the kanji in the signature is 大, not 入. It must be a mistake.

I still wonder whether it's Daimichi or Daidō, as there are few other smiths with Daimichi mei: NAO6, NOB685, YAS446.


  1. Nihon Toko Jiten, Fujishiro, Matsuo , Volume Shinto, (1964)

Nihontō videos

Found a good collection of Nihontō related YouTube videos: http://www.movie3mai.net/dbYqyMkHo1iI.html

Back to normality

My new PC has arrived and I'm starting to recover data lost after burglary. Only now I'll be able to figure out what's left in my electronic Nihonto library and what was lost. So far it seems that miraculously all my email archive survived, as well as some of the most valuable documents which would be very hard to recover. Not everything though, my research on Kaga Aoe, and some reference charts too... ah well.

Good news

I got an email from Tokugawa Art few days ago saying that my copy of Nihonto Meikan is ready to be shipped. Can't wait to see it!

Google Ireland

I'm seeing visitors coming to NC from Google searches originated in Ireland (google.ie domain) almost every day. Yet it only happens once a year when I'm getting contacted by a local Nihonto connoisseur or enthusiast in person. It seems that Irish Nihonto collectors are a truly secretive breed :-)

Yes, I do understand all the security related concerns (I have them too), but it's always good to talk and see what we can do for each other. There's no need to disclose your addresses, sword catalogues (if any), etc. But quarterly or even monthly meetup might be an idea. Anyone?

Hizento time again

Finished reading the Kinuko Manuscript which was recently published by JSS/US.

The original was written by Hashimoto Kin'ichi (10th generation Tadayoshi) in 1884. Then it was presented to Roger Robertshaw by the Head Priest of Choanji in 2008. The manuscript outlines the family lineage and ancestry of Hizen Tadayoshi.


I'm not too happy with the way the Glossary is organised. It's somewhere in the middle between a glossary and a Japanese-English dictionary, which doesn't help it in either ways. It's not good for translations, and it's not very useful for looking up the term. I have to keep some interesting (at least for me) terms in Word document as some of them are genuine Nihonto terms and some are useful Japanese expressions. There must be some other way...

Confession to make

In case if you were wondering why it's been so quiet here for last 6 months, I may reassure you that there is still a great deal of work to do (and many new ideas also) in order to keep improving the resource, and it will be dealt with sooner or later. However, at some stage I realized that further development of Nihonto Club will be difficult, if not impossible, without some very important skill. Therefore I had to finally start formal learning of Japanese language last February. Which I'm enjoying to the very last bit and which takes all my free time (ex.

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