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Katana source

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by ridnovir, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. SouthernComfort

    SouthernComfort Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    Yes, I stand corrected. I did confuse the terms as I am used to using the Shinsakuto term of real or newly made swords. I should have said the Iaito did not fall under the ministry of culture. You rarely see the term Shinken used in collecting circles, where Shinsakuto is used almost exclusively. Whereas in Martial Arts circles it seems just the opposite is true. ?? I was under the impression that Shinken while being real swords may be produced at different quality levels. Though, I confess this is totally outside my focus of study, and I am not at all sure about this. Perhaps you can elaborate. Thanks for clarifying that.
  2. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    A shinken is a real sword as opposed to a boken, a stick sword.

    The way you were using shinken before was, as you mentioned, incorrect. I am no expert but have usually seen shinken used as a term to contrast iaido. Basically shinken = sharp sword (real sword)
    Iaido = blunt for practice.
  3. SouthernComfort

    SouthernComfort Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    Yes, I am aware that Iaito is a blunt practice sword. The terms Shinken and Shinsakuto seem a bit blurred to me as to their exact differences if any. I will ask a friend who is much more knowledgeable than I to address this.
  4. Sergeua

    Sergeua Basic Member Basic Member

    May 1, 2016
    Is there any difficulty in getting a sword from a licensed smith getting shipped/exported out of Japan?
  5. watanabe


    Jan 11, 2009
    Shinken as mentioned simply means a "real sword" as opposed to a "practice sword", or mogito.

    Gendaito means "modern sword" as opposed to a koto or "old sword". A shinken can be modern (gendaito) or old (koto).

    A "shinsakuto" is a newly made sword. All shinsakuto are gendaito but not all gendaito are considered shinsakuto. Exactly when a sword ceases to be a shinsakuto and is only considered a gendaito is not clearly defined but perhaps once a period of time, maybe 20 years or so, has elapsed since the sword was made, it wouldn't be referred to as a shinsakuto any longer.
  6. SouthernComfort

    SouthernComfort Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    No, there is no problem exporting Japanese swords. There is a process which takes a couple of weeks. This is to de-license the sword in conformation with Japanese regulations. Japanese dealers, if shipping outside Japan will almost always comply with this rule. Sometimes tourists don't bother with this, which is why you see the license or Torokusho being sold with them or listed with them as papers, which they are not.
  7. Timo Nieminen

    Timo Nieminen

    Jan 12, 2016
    Yes, shinken is martial arts terminology. Given that all nihonto, whether old, gendaito or shinsakuto are shinken, it isn't useful for collectors. For martial artists in Japan, it's useful since it distinguishes sharp swords from iaito which, in Japan, are all mogito ("imitation swords") and therefore not real swords. (Not all mogito are iaito - some are decorative rather than training swords.)

    AIUI, in Japan, swords intended for martial arts use are often left with a more basic polish since that's cheaper and the swords will tend to get scuffed/scratched in use. So definitely a different level of quality in finish.

    Outside Japan, the terms don't mean the same thing, since shinken then includes all of the Chinese-made and other non-Japanese sharp katana, and non-traditionally made gunto. Also (blunt) steel iaito mean that iaito aren't exclusively mogito (in the Japanese usage of mogito). Steel iaito seem to live in some ill-defined space between mogito and shinken - not quite imitation and not quite real.

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