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  #11  
Old 03-08-2006, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

There are actually quite a few swordmakers who still employ folding. You can even find a couple on Ebay, try:
http://stores.ebay.com/JW-INTERNATIONAL-USA
It also isn't too hard to get your hands on antique katana, you just have to do some research so you can have an eye for quality and know how much to pay.

Spain was known for its swords from as early as a couple thousand years ago. The technique ("Damascene," named for where it supposedly orginated from, Damascus) is not dissimilar from the Japanese style of steel folding. Many people consider Japanese katana made with Damascus steel to be the ultimate fusion of sword design.

In any case, there is some exageration to the number of times a blade was folded. E.g. There are stories of blades that were folded as many as 300 times, but many sword makers contend that the idea is ridiculous as far as quality goes, for after... I think, 50ish folds, there's no further change in the blade, so going to great lengths like 300 would just be superfluous.

Anycase, there ya go.
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2006, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

If you fold a something in half 10 times, there are 2^10, or 1024, "folds" in it. Doubtless, this is what is being refered to.
---
While the Japanese art of making swords is on par with the Damascene method in terms of bringing the capability of the weapon far beyond what would otherwise be possible, it is not at all reasonable to suggest that the swords themselves are of similar quality.

Japanese steel, thanks to low technology and poor availability of natural resources, was of abysmal quality; all that folding was needed to make the sword have the properties that a sword needs: doesn't fall apart when you whack somebody with it, and stays sharp from the beginning of the battle to the end. The swordsmiths made fine weapons, and performed magnificently given what they had to work with, but the quality of weapon is nothing compared to what can be accomplished with spanish steel.

What is typically passed off for Damascene steel has far more in common with the Japanese method than with actual Damascene steel--it is made of bands of varying qualities of steel that are layered and welded together, then beaten flat and then folded, creating a blade with many folds and varying qualities of steel intermixed--some hard, some soft--making the overall weapon a combination of strength and springyness.

The utility of Damascene steel comes from the fact that the high-carbon steel used, thanks to impurities in the steel and inequalities in the heating process, precipitates into bands of springy steel intersperced with thin ribbons of superhard carbonate; by making the sword so that the edge is on one of the hard bits, you end up with a sword that has an incredibly hard edge, but is still springy and malleable as a sword should be.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus_steel
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

I see, so thats what the Spanish/French Rapier was made of?

It seems to be a long going arguement of among fencers as to which blade and style is superior, Rapier VS Katana etc

I always pondered this myself

Not being a steel expert myself I dont think I could trust any auctions/stores of new blades if I was in the market for a authentic quality sword. How would I really know if it was real spanish steel or not, and how do you really know how many times it was folded. At least if you get a antique you can often track the sword smiths signature on the blade.

also heres a auction I found on my country's version of ebay
(notice price is in NZ Dollars)
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Antiques-co...n-49573416.htm
expensive but interesting none the less

Owner said he bought it from someone in Australia who some how aquired it after the end of WW2.
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Last edited by Kinjo; 03-09-2006 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

There was actually a huge exodus of weapons from Japan after WWII, due to the American occupation, so it's very plausible he got them out during that period. In any case, the best way to tell if you're not there to see them is look for papers of authenticity from Japanese weapon authorities. I certainly wouldn't pay $21,000 for a set of swords without papers unless I could have my own expert look at them.

To be honest, I wouldn't pay 21k if they /had/ papers without my expert either.
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Old 03-09-2006, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

its actually $13,573 US Dollars

But yeah I agree about the papers, although he might have some as he claims some experts have looked at it and confirmed it.

Doesn't matter to me its too rich for my blood
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Old 03-10-2006, 07:41 AM
Miyakami_Tatsuya Miyakami_Tatsuya is offline
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Default Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

Yeah, the spanish do produce some fine blades.
My friend owns a few spanish / japanese swords. They are made by a company called Toledo I think. *cnt be sure.*

Also, for Spikes info.... A short version of a katana is called a Wakizashi.
Did you buy a Daisho? (Katana and Wakizashi)

I had to sell all of my swords to pay off some large bills hehe. I only have my Chinese Tai Chi sword now.....

There is a growing number of 'Japanese Swords' on eBay. A lot of them have a grainy oil coloured pattern to the steel. Nearly all of the AUTHENTIC swords have this effect, but people are being duped into buying these FAKE swords on eBay. After doing a little research into the sellers of these blades, I noticed that a lot of them are being produced in China and being given the "time warp" treatment, meaning that they are being artificially aged to give that authentic old look.

So, if you see anything like that on an internet auction site, chances are that it is fake. Usually, the write up goes something like:

"This is part of a museum collection that I acquired many years ago and now I am moving so I must sell them."

If you ever want to buy a real antique sword,, find a reputable source,, not an online auction.

Shuya

Last edited by Miyakami_Tatsuya; 03-10-2006 at 07:50 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 03-10-2006, 08:33 AM
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Post Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

Yeh thanks for the reminder, I lost the tags that gave info on the 2 swords I have. And Yes I went to the ancient town of Toledo in Spain to see the craftsman work. They do all kinds of metal work but sword making is their most famous work. What was great is they gave me a discount on both swords for buying from their factory shop there. They aern't sharpened to what they could be because of display purposes, but they are already sharp enough to cut through....well a lot of things, I was planning on sharpening them but never got around to it. I just bought a black display sword holder.
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Old 03-10-2006, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

Yeah, I was surprised at the actual shaprness they had on them, Im sure European regulations are a little slack hehe. And, my friends swords cut through quite a lot of things, although, he doesnt do that much. We use rubbishy cheap ornamental ones to mess about with. hehe I broke my Naginata on the floor of my shop.... not good.

Shuya
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:45 AM
Arakawa Nobuaki Arakawa Nobuaki is offline
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Default Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

I've seen swords for USD 72,000 and above.

Swords from WW2, however, are usually of very low quality. Officers' swords were usually machine made. Surely, there were exceptions, but the regular officer didn't carry a handmade, extremely expensive sword. There was even an inspection once, by a renowned sword smith to the troops in China some time in the late 1930s and he's noted to have been appalled by the lack of proper treatment of the weapons by many officers.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Bit of Japanese sword making.

if u cant go to japan and see the real blades i suggest u check out the discovery channel they check out some of the people that embrace the old ways and do it traditionally and have apprentices to follow them and japan has sword making contests where the makers may enter their blades, interestingly afew of the old smiths are themselves national treasures of japan aswell as some old swords which are today still unmatched (masamune - god of sword making) their swords still are national treasure if not bought at upwards of i think 50-60 thousand US dollars but perhaps more today with the intro of the euro and rise of the british pounds cant remember the real name. sadly they are limited in the number of swords they can make and if the sword even half finished or before being sent to a polisher is discarded that counts as one of the swords so their kinda screwed, and the makers of today still dress in the same centuries old clothing and such and it is almost like your a priest when u do it theres so much reverence for the sword, the honor of making it etc etc and very strict guidelines etc. hope that made sence and sorry for lack of paragraphs bit pissed agin my bad, love yas.

p.s. masamune swords are priceless and while unmatched are also a mystery as his technique is still unknown which i assume means his apprentices were not even close to him.
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Last edited by water737; 02-20-2007 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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