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It is a minefield if buying a Samurai sword on the web, here are some simple guideline from questions I have been asked.

{As you will by now be aware,ebay has taken the steps to stop "Samurai" swords being sold on their site.    As far as I know genuine swords,eg,Antique,Gendaito,Shin Saku To and swords for martial art purpose, are totally legal to own and sell.

Not quite as bad as it first seems as we now step back to the old days when dealers/collectors with web sites can still offer genuine items.  I am selling some of my collection,mail me.}

(1) If from China the likelihood of it being genuine is  at the least  rare.

(2) get good pictures,ask for close up's to be sent.

(3) the sword should have a rounded kissaki (point section) many fakes do not have this.

(4) the 'Hada', grain where the sword is folded many times in its construction, should be fine and not 'Outstanding', often the fakes have a grain that looks wonderful but is acid etched.

(5) The Tang (Nakago)  should have fine file marks and depending on age a patination. Many fakes are just a rusty brown.

(6) Inscriptions, many  have these, some not Japanese, mail them to me and will attempt to guide you on this.

(7) Length. Most Japanese swords will have a blade length of 10 to 70 cm, if you see one of 80 to 100cm be very careful. Occasionally these are genuine but it is very rare.

(8)  Buy from known sellers with a good feedback record, avoid those who have none,ask for payment by Western Union or Cash.

Recently a new scam came to light, the offer was a "Free collection of edged weapons" it alleged that "His new wife" wanted the swords out of the house. All the man wanted was postage of $200 and payment by WU to a Paris office, this while he purported to come from Romania!.

The old adage of " If it sounds to good to be true,it probably is" applies........

I do not profess to be an expert but have learned a good basic knowledge of things japanese except Ceramics, over forty years.

If I can help please mail me for an opinion.{Note, all the items currently shown to the right of this are Fake and miss described............}


****I should add to this after a number email. Buying a sword described as SAMURAI although not Japanese but in the style of, may be good for your purpose and save the anguish of true Nihinto collectors. If you want a sword for display,Iaido or even Tamegashiri, why not buy a repro sword. Make sure it is able to perform without breaKING AND INJURYING SOME POOR watcher. This way you can practise your art while not damaging an antique.*******

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