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Old 20th March 2013, 11:55 PM   #1
pbleed
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Default "Fake" japanese swords

Friends,
A couple of weeks back, I got my knuckles rapped for being short in my assessment of a blade that seemed to have a "Japanese" inscription. It was so obviously NOT authentic that I thought irony would not be wasted. My mistake. Sorry.
But the larger point is that recognizing recent Chinese blades masquerading as Japanese sword should be easy to anyone interested in antique swords. They really are different. If you want to be able to tell the difference between real and - well - "fake" Japanese swords, this website will be worth your time.
http://jssus.org/nkp/fake_japanese_swords.html
All the best.
Peter Bleed
JSSUS Chair 1980-1983
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Old 21st March 2013, 04:54 AM   #2
M ELEY
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Thank you for posting this, Peter. I don't think the intention of the 'knuckle rap' was meant to disuade the posting, but to keep things on coarse. I think you have a valid point with this new thread, as we have all been tricked once in a while by the fakes. Don't stop posting, as we have all been 'rapped' a time or two, believe me!
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Old 22nd March 2013, 04:21 AM   #3
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Very informative link. Just to add... Some of the machine made military style fakes, are getting pretty good. Most of these, are of the NCO variety. And some, could fool even veteran collectors, in the wee hours of a gun/knife show, or estate sale. Do your homework. My tagline on another forum:

Before starting any serious collection, spend your first thousand dollars on reference material. It's money in the bank!
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Old 22nd March 2013, 05:03 AM   #4
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Great tagline.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 04:33 PM   #5
David R
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Books are a great resource, without any doubt or dispute, but there is no substitute for looking at and getting your hands on the real thing. When young I spent hours looking at the pieces in my local antique shops, and now I go to the antique fairs and do the same. I was lucky, I got interested in arms and armour before the subject got so popular and full of fakes.
But you know, the real fun is in getting hold of the things, books only take you so far. To my mind the trick is to not make expensive mistakes. And there are real Nihonto out there at reasonable prices....shabby, damaged and missing koshirae ok, but good starters with possibly a gem hidden amongst them.
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Old 24th March 2013, 09:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenchwarfare
Very informative link. Just to add... Some of the machine made military style fakes, are getting pretty good. Most of these, are of the NCO variety. And some, could fool even veteran collectors, in the wee hours of a gun/knife show, or estate sale. Do your homework. My tagline on another forum:

Before starting any serious collection, spend your first thousand dollars on reference material. It's money in the bank!


Yes, the NCO fakes are really scary for the unexperienced collector.
Give it 10 years and they will have spread in the world. provenance will be unclear, parts will be interchanged and you can hardly be sure anymore of NCO swords...

Btw, Thnks Peter for the link
Avoiding any sarcasm I would like to state that I dislike chinese fakes (a lot)

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 25th March 2013, 01:50 PM   #7
David R
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You get a similar problem with European Medieval stuff. Very well made 19thC fakes, and the modern made for reenactment reproductions...not deliberately made to deceive, but after a little wear and tear all but indistinguishable from the originals.
Similar problem at present with Indian made copies of the 1897 Brit. Inf. sword. The giveaway with them is the grip covering and the poorly shaped blade. I regularly see them turning up at Arms Fairs masquerading as originals.
Re the interchange of parts, where do you draw the line between fake and restoration?
In the end, all you can do is get to know the subject better than the fakers do! The real trouble with Gunto is that being machine made in the first place they are easier to fake with modern industrial methods.
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Old 25th March 2013, 05:56 PM   #8
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Great resource, Peter, and thank you for posting it... it provides a good primer for differentiating between the major styling cues of real versus fake nihonto and koshirae, with enough detail to keep (most) novice collectors aout of trouble. IMO an overwhelming number of knock-offs (90+%) can be identified using this guide.

Regarding the Type 95 NCO swords, there is still, IMO, an unmistakable difference between the fakes/repros and the originals the fakers have yet to bridge. This might sound odd, but I find the originals tend to have a smell about them lacking in the fakes.

I am, however, in David's camp that hands-on experience is of equal (and of considerable complimentary) value to reference volumes... gunto aside, there are plenty of affordable nihonto out there that give the aspiring collector a reference point by which they can study features of legitimate examples (e.g., hada, hamon, yasurime, etc.) in the hand.
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