Frankly the work in polishing Japanese style swords has helped me also realize the fact that *nothing* is perfect. Nothing. Well, almost nothing -- I saw a modern piece by Ono Yoshimitsu and spent an hour by myself with good lighting and my jeweler's magnifiers and I couldn't find a freaking mistake anywhere in the blade, not by the smith and not by the polisher (Fujishiro would be my guess on the polisher). Damn. That bugged me.
Off topic perhaps, but I was fortunate enough to be introduced by Inaba Minoru sensei in March to Miyairi Norihiro, Nagano prefecture Living Treasure and (like Ono Yoshimitsu) Mukansa (above competition) swordsmith. Our group was shown by him both how to appreciate swords and he also demonstrated to us a couple of "folds" in his forge. Absolutely fascinating.