Saturday, December 04, 2004

Japan Sword

I was on a quest for some Uchiko powder (for cleaning my sword), some oil, and some wiping papers, and so on the internet I found out about Japan Sword, probably of the oldest and biggest sword retailer in Tokyo. I found out their address, and off I went. I was cutting the time pretty short, but I managed to locate the store at about 4:50 (they close at 5:00pm). When I went in, I was astounded! This place is almost as amazing as the National Sword Museum - and in some ways, it's better! For example, the sword museum has mostly blades with no fittings, whereas the sword store has numerous beautiful sets of fittings, tsubas and so on. The museum has mostly long swords, while the store has blades of all shapes and sizes, and to cap it all off, the sword store has quite a few sets of armour, helmets, face masks ... all kinds of great stuff! I was like a kid in a candy shop ... a very, very expensive candy shop. So all I could do was drool, actually, but it was still really interesting.

The real killer was that I had about 5 minutes to take it all in before they kicked me out at closing time. I bought my materials, chatted with the sales staff a bit, and then pressed my face up against the glass until it was time to go. As I was leaving, I asked them how much it generally costs to have a saya made. They said depending on the length and the materials, usually about $2000... After administering the Heimlich maneuver on myself a few times, I said my thank-yous and wandered out of the store. Wow. Good thing I didn't ask how much a polish would run me.

After leaving the store, I loitered around a bit, kind of pathetically looking back into the store for a while as they shut all the lights off. For a moment, I had a daydream-fantasy kind of thing: I would work there on the weekends for free, helping any English-speaking customers find what they were looking for, and in return, the wizened old owner would gradually teach me everything he knows about swords. That seems like a reasonable trade, doesn't it? And I'd get to examine all kinds of ridiculously valuable swords up close, first hand. Hmmm...

Anyway, it seems that I am going to have to re-think the whole idea of having my sword polished and fitted with a new saya. Neither of those things are really necessary, fortunately, but they would be nice at some point. Of course, maybe I should find a job first, eh? :)


Anonymous Tactical Fixed Blade Knives said...

Hello Dude...

The Japanese sword is world famous for being superior in sharpness and beauty. It has even become a collector's item to have one hanging inside one's home. Thanks for everything.

7:38 PM  

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