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Old 30th August 2020, 08:22 AM   #1
Battara
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Default Nihonto Question on Re-Tempering

Greetings folks,

I know that this is not my usual area of expertise nor comment, but I do have a question concerning nihonto:

Is it typical for a Japanese katana or wakasashi blade to be re-tempered?

If so, why?

Would it lower the value if it were re-tempered?
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Old 30th August 2020, 12:23 PM   #2
Rich
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It is not typical, but not uncommon for a katana or wakizashi to be re-tempered if it was burned in a fire or had the kissaki broken
It needs to be done by an expert. Please don't try it yourself. It drastically changes the curvature and also will have a different hamon from what the original swordmaker did. Yes, Re-tempering makes the blade far less valuable in the Nihonto market. Any serious collector can spot a re-tempered (saiha) blade quite easily.

Rich
http://www.japaneseswordindex.com/nihonto.htm

Last edited by Rich : 30th August 2020 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 30th August 2020, 07:48 PM   #3
Battara
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I was hoping you would chime in Rich. Thank you. And no I wouldn't dare do such a thing since I am not a swordsmith.
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Old 30th August 2020, 09:24 PM   #4
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In nihonto the tempering defines the blade and it is an essential part of it.

I would say that Rick put it quite mildly, but from the point of view of a nihonto collector, a re-tempered blade is worthless.
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Old 30th August 2020, 11:35 PM   #5
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Domo arigato to you both.

This is what I figured but was not sure. That is why I am so very careful and know what I want and don't want to throw away my money on re-tempers, blades with kizus, blades that need massive amounts of polish, etc.
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Old 31st August 2020, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Domo arigato to you both.

This is what I figured but was not sure. That is why I am so very careful and know what I want and don't want to throw away my money on re-tempers, blades with kizus, blades that need massive amounts of polish, etc.


Nihonto collecting is unforgiving to the extreme with even minor defects rendering an otherwise healthy blade worthless.

However, this doesn't mean the blade has no value from historical or ethnographic point of view.

Now, it is our choice how much weight do we place on nihonto criteria/standards and how much on ethnographic criteria/standards.

However, if one wants to be on the safe side, one would only aquire NTBHK papered blades from reputed nihonto dealers... preferably directly from Japan.
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Old 1st September 2020, 02:40 AM   #7
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I thought true traditional nihonto was forbidden to leave Japan.
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Old 1st September 2020, 04:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I thought true traditional nihonto was forbidden to leave Japan.


Only in the case of blades (and other categories of art) deemed important enough by the Ministry of Culture to be National Treasures, and in such case must remain in-country.

Otherwise, swords are free to come and go, though ownership in Japan is subject to registration requirements, and export requires permit and paperwork . I was informed by a sword dealer and polisher that this tight regulation of weapons goes all the way back to rules laid down during the postwar US occupation.
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Old 2nd September 2020, 11:29 AM   #9
David R
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You might find this interesting.... http://www.nihontocraft.com/Yakinaoshi.html
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