Just got home. Was up in San Francisco last weekend for the San Francisco Token Kai.
Saw some amazing things. 800 year old "samurai" swords in perfect condition. Wonderful mounts. Wonderful fittings.
Janet Rosen dropped by with a friend. I didn't have much time to talk as by the end of the day Saturday I was pretty much toast and had promised some people to go out to dinner (for a pretty amazing sushi dinner I must admit).
There were a few tables with older Aikido books too.
I always find it a shame more people who train with sword like objects don't get more into the swords themselves. The real deal. The modern made replicas have their place, but to see things with history is just amazing to me. Wish more folk would come and get into these things.
I came home with a few really interesting things. One was an unfinished katana made by a Komiya school smith using nails scavenged from the old Noma Dojo
in Japan. That's going to be a special blade for someone.
I also managed to bring home something I never would have guessed existed. Ono Yoshimitsu is one of the most famous japanese swordsmiths alive today. Quick youtube video of him here...
. I've been lucky enough to have sold a few swords for Ono Yoshimitsu. His Yamatorige swords command some of the highest prices in the world for a modern sword. I.e., think over 50K USD. A Yamatorige by Ono Yoshimitsu was one of the highlights of a swordshow held at the Asian Pacific Museum in Pasadena a number of years ago. And that show was really devoted to the wonderful work of Yoshindo Yoshihara and his student. Anyway, I came home with something to put on our site on consignment for the owner -- a sword made by Ono Yoshimitsu for a friend to use for iai practice. It is in a simpler style but when you look closely into the sword itself you can see the incredible skill of the smith in both the forging and heat treatment. I was stunned to pop off the handle and see his signature -- Yoshimitsu saku. An incredible sword for martial arts practice in full polish and mounts. Not every day I get to handle something so nifty.
Anyway, I had a blast. And I encourage all you martial arts fiends who use things that are sword like to someday spend a little time feeling what the real deal is really about.
And now to unpack and start the laundry...