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Old 07-06-2007, 12:01 PM   #14
dragonteeth
Dojo: Elkton Ki-Aikido
Location: Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 108
United_States
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Re: Need some advice to order a katana

A friend of mine and I both have non-Bugei Paul Chen swords. He has the Golden Oriole, and I have the Wind and Thunder. While they would be still considered practice fodder by serious collectors, they do look and handle pretty nicely. My friend's Oriole has a lovely balance and draws smoothly. My Wind and Thunder has a very front-heavy balance because it was designed for tamashigiri practice. It's almost a full pound heavier than the Oriole as well, which is slightly awkward for me as a female. Both are *very* sharp, and I wouldn't recommend them for iaido until you have a certain amount of skill.

My advice would be to either travel to where you can see and feel the sword in person, or else make sure your source has an excellent return policy. eBay would not be my first choice for sure.

Another site to consider than the ones mentioned would be Nosyuiaido's, which is www.swordstore.com. They have everything from pre-made shinken and iaito to fully custom versions of both that can cost over $2k US. There is a blade length calculator, and for their custom work they also will match the diameter of the tsuka to a tracing of your hand. They also sell sword furniture (tsuba, menuki, etc.), replacement sageo, uniforms, wooden weapons, kamidana, and so forth, as well as offering blade restoration services. One day when I'm old and rich (ha!), I've promised myself to splurge and get one of the custom shinken.

Best of luck in your search!
Lori
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