This site is dedicated to the Art of Nihontō (Japanese Sword)

NihontoClub.Com finds a new home

Dear Members and Guests,

I'm delighted to inform you that NihontoClub.Com has moved to a new server which offers greater stability and performance (for just a little greater price). It's been tough few weeks for me as our former hosting company ( was blocking the site without warning, claiming it was causing performance issues on the server. Due to their rude and inconsiderate approach I decided not to contest this claim but move all the sites to a different hosting provider.

And I can tell you, it's been great so far. It's a VPS (virtual private server), not shared hosting. The site shows much faster response, there is no lag at peak times. Also, using an opportunity to spend some time with the test site I've made quite a few changes which were planned long time ago, but kept being delayed as I would have had to bring the live site down for a while to apply them.

After running the site for almost 2 years by now I have a pretty good idea which resources are popular and which aren't. Some areas like Glossary and Weblink Directory remained too heavy and clunky to use, with few redundant or unnecessary features. This also affected the overall site performance.

Christmas Kanji marathon - FINISHED

I was updating many smith records recently and got fed up with the amount of time needed to locate a record for a particular smith (by name, era, province, school etc). When trying to find one smith I always end up with filling out missing Kanji, signatures and whatever else is missing for few other smiths with the same name.

It is very distracting, so I've decided to solve this problem (at least to some extent) by stopping for the moment and filling all the missing Kanji in formal smith names. It's not a small job: 2156 smiths (out of 12258 record in total) don't have Kanji representation of their name in Swordsmith Index at the moment. It's clear from the past experience that doing 100 record per day is already a very challenging task. So I've decided I'll do my best to finish this work by Christmas.

How to search the site more efficiently

Nihonto Club resources can be searched in a number of ways depending on the nature of information requested. Choosing the right search mechanism is crucial in order to get the most relevant and best presented information. A list of search scenarios with tool recommendations is shown below.

Site-wide search

If unsure about the information needed, the site-wide search should be used (available at the top of every page). It uses site's built-in search engine with pages indexed daily. Advanced Search option is available in order to express the search criteria more precisely. Being a good generic tool for searching, site search isn't as powerful as Google search. If you can't find something which is meant to be on the site, you may as well use Google Custom Search which is embedded into the site. It sometimes fetches better results. Or you may use Google directly as Nihonto Club is well covered by most of Nihonto related search queries.

Samurai-Sword Maker's Reactor Monopoly May Cool Nuclear Revival

BLOOMBERG: Japan Steel Works Ltd produces components for nuclear reactors from 600-ton ingots.

The Arms and Armour of Japan: Public Seminar in Leeds

Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds (UK) is running series of public seminars in March-May 2008 with 'The Arms and Armour of Japan' being one of them.

Information from the Royal Armouries website: 

The Arms and Armour of Japan

Japanese arms and armour has functional, decorative and ritual qualities that have fascinated observers since the first Europeans visited Japan in the mid-16th century.

This seminar will use surviving examples to give a fascinating insight into the traditions and techniques of Japanese armourers and swordsmiths.

Ian Bottomley, the recently retired Curator of Oriental Arms & Armour, is expected to be one of the guest speakers.

Saturday 12 April 2008

Opening times:
10.30am - 4.00pm 

Copyright licensing

Appreciation of fine art of Nihonto is based on an immense amount of knowledge in the subject of swordmaking, Japanese history, smiths, schools and styles. Being very specialized Japanese disciplines, history and appreciation of Nihonto lie in the domain of the enthusiasts and individual researchers, who are (for the reasons of their own) truly in love with the subject. There are hundreds of books and publications available, but many of them are out of print and/or exist only in Japanese. This makes lives of Nihonto researchers and collectors outside Japan difficult, yet exciting.

One of the primary goals of this site is to provide and share information about Nihonto freely and in a centralized fashion, with the ability to publish personalized content being the one of the key features.

Site-wide copyright license

Trying to contribute to the realm of Nihonto related resources in a way which encourages creativity and sharing, has chosen Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Nihonto Club wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We hope that the coming year will be full of good moments and surprising discoveries for you on the long way of Nihonto study.

Spam prevention

Due to increasing number of user registrations from automated spam scripts, additional checks & trials have been added to critical areas of the site in order to distinguish valid users from spam bots.

If you experience any issues with these verification procedures, please contact Nihonto Club administration using this form.

Kind Regards, Administrator

Visualisation of Keizu: smith genealogy and school lineage

I would like to share some news with you. It’s about something which was promised long time ago: a solution for drawing smith & school lineages. Every time I attempt writing comments on a particular school or smith, I keep coming back to the same issue (on top of incompetence, of course :-) ) of being unable to show relationships between numerous smiths of the same school or lineage in a clear way. Moreover, currently smith records hold all the information needed to do it, but it’s just a matter of choosing a right solution and putting it on the site.

Almost every serious Nihonto website has an article or two which contain smith lineages, most likely in a form of custom-made images. It’s a good old-fashioned way which works, but prohibits any cooperation, hard to change and also sometimes a subject to copyright. There are also two major Nihonto sites which offer genealogical trees on a wider scale: Sho-Shin and JSSUS’s NKB.

Publishing your personal collection

Please note that this feature is only available for registered users. Go to Create new account page to become a member of allows sharing members' personal collections with the community. This feature enables knowledge exchange, helps to initiate discussions of different Nihonto related items, to seek expert opinion and even advertise items for sale.

Each member can create an unlimited number of collections. Every collection consists of records of different types (e.g. swords, tsuba, etc. See below.) Every record can belong to only one collection (chosen on the collection item record edit page).

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