Geisha's Blade https://www.geishasblade.com Philippines Samurai Sword Shop Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:32:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Cash On Delivery option now available nationwide! https://www.geishasblade.com/news-announcements/cash-delivery-option-now-available-nationwide/ https://www.geishasblade.com/news-announcements/cash-delivery-option-now-available-nationwide/#respond Tue, 25 Sep 2018 15:10:47 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=13202 For customers who want to have peace of mind when ordering from us, we’re happy to announce that our Cash On Delivery (COD) option is now available nationwide!

When you place your order on our website, at the ‘View Cart’ or ‘Check Out’ page, simply choose ‘Cash on Delivery’ for the shipping option. Make sure you also choose ‘Cash On Delivery’ for the payment method at the check out page. Please note that the shipping charge will be more for COD compared to paying via bank deposit, online fund transfer, and/or other payment methods. There will be an additional PHP 150 on top of the shipping cost within Metro Manila, and additional PHP 300 for areas outside Metro Manila.

For example: You’re from Cebu and you order one sword. If you choose to pay via bank deposit, the shipping cost will only be PHP 300. If you opt for COD, the shipping cost will be PHP 600. If you order 2 swords by COD, you’ll have to pay the shipping cost for two swords plus the additional PHP 300. The additional charge is to cover the courier’s fee for this service. A small price to pay for your peace of mind. The shipping duration is the same when you choose COD (2-3 business days within Metro Manila, 3-5 business days outside Metro Manila).

There is currently a PHP 20,000 limit for the COD service. If your total is over this amount, the COD option cannot be used. Rest assured that we are negotiating with the courier to increase this limit.

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/news-announcements/cash-delivery-option-now-available-nationwide/feed/ 0
3rd Year at History Con 2018 https://www.geishasblade.com/news-announcements/3rd-year-history-con-2018/ https://www.geishasblade.com/news-announcements/3rd-year-history-con-2018/#respond Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:29:19 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=13093 It’s that time of year again where Geisha’s Blade will be very busy for 3 straight days. This would be our 3rd year to join History Con and it will be held from August 10-12, 2018 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

No need to go to Japan to wear full suit of Japanese armor, you can wear one of our armors at the event. So get your tickets now and see you there! http://www.historyasia.com/historycon/ticket-sales

 

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/news-announcements/3rd-year-history-con-2018/feed/ 0
Kakizome and Geisha’s Blade calligraphy scrolls https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/kakizome-geishasblade-calligraphy-scrolls/ https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/kakizome-geishasblade-calligraphy-scrolls/#respond Sat, 20 Jan 2018 07:45:29 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=12809 Kakizome translates to “first writing”, which is a Japanese term for the first calligraphy written at the beginning of the year.

Kakizome Scroll translation:

“Pearl and Jade, together creates elegance

And so too can Drawings and Books fill a space”

These scrolls were written by Oj Hofer, a calligrapher, martial artist, and also a fashion designer based in Cebu. He studied at the Nihon Shuji, a Japanese society in Cebu that teaches calligraphy. He happens to be the only certified Filipino teacher at Nihon Shuji.

The characters on the Kakizome scroll were written in Gyousho semi-cursive or running script. While the characters on the Geisha’s Blade scrolls were written in Kanji and Kana in Sousho cursive or grass style script.

The process of perfecting the balance of each character and the space around it is a time meditative process. Before doing the actual artwork on washi rice paper, one had to repetitively write each character to establish synergy in the rhythm of breath and the flow of the brush. Once synergy was attained, one write with sumie ink, several versions of the characters on washi paper. Oj Hofer only stamped his red seals and signed his signature on the two pieces that he sent to us. Both Oj and his Sensei picked those final two artworks.

About the artist:

Oj Hofer started learning Shoudo at the Nihon Shuji School of Japanese Calligraphy six years ago. This association founded by master calligrapher Kampo Harada teaches Japanese Kana, Kanji and Pen Calligraphy in schools all over the world. The only school in the Philippines is located in Cebu and is run by Sensei Takeko Nagai who has generously instructed him through these years.

Oj Hofer chanced upon Nagai Sensei during the Japanese Arts demonstration in Cebu. Being an officer of the Ikebana International Cebu Chapter 145, he was invited by the Japan Consular office in Cebu to demonstrate Jiyuka or Freestyle Ikebana. Nagai Sensei demonstrated Shoudo during this occasion and it was at the interactive session that followed where he received his first instructions on calligraphy from her. A week later, he went to his first formal lesson on Shoudo at her school on A.S. Fortuna, Mandaue City, Cebu.

He attended weekly lessons and submitted their monthly and biannual examinations until he completed the fifth level, which is the professional level. Upon completion, Nagai Sensei informed him that he is the only Filipino certified by Nihon Shuji to have attained this level.

In December last year, he exhibited his calligraphy of Tensho, Reisho, Gyousho and Sousho along with some Zen ink drawings, golden abstract brushwork black board, and sumie on canvas. Only a few pieces remain unsold from that show billed “Empty line, Full Heart.” The exhibit was inspired by the book of Venerable Mster Hsing Yun called Travel Like Water and Cloud. Through this first exhibit, he aimed to awaken the viewer to his perfection within.

Here’s a link to the story on the exhibit: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/247518/cebuano-fashion-designer-also-calligraphist/

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/kakizome-geishasblade-calligraphy-scrolls/feed/ 0
2016 Geisha’s Blade T-Shirt Design Contest https://www.geishasblade.com/events/2016-geishas-blade-t-shirt-design-contest/ https://www.geishasblade.com/events/2016-geishas-blade-t-shirt-design-contest/#respond Sun, 26 Jun 2016 16:00:09 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=11123 We want your design! Join our 2016 Geisha’s Blade T-Shirt Design Contest!

GUIDELINES
• The design must be your own original, unpublished work and must not include any third-party logos or copyrighted materials; by entering this contest you agree that your submission is your own work.
• Design should be one that appeals to the majority of the Geisha’s Blade Facebook followers and of course, to Geisha’s Blade themselves.
• Design should be Japanese related: samurai, geisha, Japanese swords/armors, ukiyo-e, deities, yokai, etc., but no references/influences to/with anime/manga illustrations. No texts or photos.
• Your design is for the front of the shirt and may encompass an area up to 8″ x 8″ (inches).
• Design may be black and white or CMYK colors.
• Approved entries will be watermarked by Geisha’s Blade before being uploaded on Geisha’s Blade Facebook page.

Chushingura Ukiyo-e

SUBMISSION AND DEADLINE OF ENTRIES
• Submission of entries start on July 1, 2016 and deadline ends at 11:59pm, July 30, 2016 August 31, 2016.
• Email your entries to geishasblade.contest@gmail.com with the subject title: 2016 Geisha’s Blade T-Shirt Design Contest. Don’t forget to include your name and location.
• Submitted entries should be resized to 1200 x 1200 pixels
• As soon as entries are received and validated, they will be uploaded to Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃 Facebook page to an album exclusively for this contest. Entries uploaded on the “Wall” or “Timeline” are not valid.
• You can submit as many entries as you want, and it must be your original art or illustrations.
• Content found on the internet rarely has the resolution needed for print, and it’s considered unlawful to use without permission. Respect copyright.
DO NOT submit copyrighted work and DO NOT  PLAGIARIZE.
• DO NOT use stock images or clip art in your submissions to Geisha’s Blade. This includes:
   – all images downloaded from sites like Getty Images, iStockphoto, Corbis Images, Shutterstock, etc.
   – free vector art
   – it doesn’t matter if you purchased a license for the image or if it does not require a license
• Submitting work to Geisha’s Blade containing stock images—even in a modified form—is grounds for immediate disqualification of your entry.
• Generally, Geisha’s Blade prefers original art and illustrations. If you cannot provide a layered file and prove your ownership of all design elements to the satisfaction of Geisha’s Blade within 48 hours of sending your entry (unless required), your submission will be disqualified.
• Submissions will be screened for merit and feasibility, and we reserve the right to make changes such as image size, color, add/remove parts of the design.

WHO CAN JOIN?
• Open to all 18 years old and above, whether you reside in the Philippines or another country.

CHOOSING THE WINNERS
• The winner is chosen by Geisha’s Blade and announced within 10 days after the contest deadline. In the unlikely event that a winner isn’t picked, Geisha’s Blade reserves the right to extend the contest period for new entries.
• “Votes” or “Likes” determine the Fan Favorite, but Geisha’s Blade reserves the right to final decision.
• The winning designer should be able to send a high resolution version (8 inches x 8 inches, minimum 300 dpi) for the winning design.
• Only the winner’s design will be printed.

PRIZES and HOW TO CLAIM
• There will only be ONE WINNER.
• If the winner is from the Philippines, he/she will have the option to choose whether he/she wants to receive the Mizuchi Katana Elite Series (kobuse laminated version) worth PHP 26,000 (this will be shipped to your address free of charge), or a cash prize of USD 300 (you need to have a PayPal account to claim this prize).
• If the winner is from another country, since we cannot ship swords internationally at the moment, he/she will receive USD 300. You need to have a PayPal account to claim your prize.

Mizuchi Katana Prize

RIGHTS OVER THE SUBMITTED PHOTOS
• Submitted entries will automatically be a property of Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃 and you grant permission for your design to be used in the website, Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and/or other promotional/marketing materials. You acknowledge and agree that the entry you submitted be made available by Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃 for viewing, rating, reviewing, and commenting by the public.

DISCLAIMER
This contest is not in any way associated, sponsored, endorsed by Facebook. Information are directly provided to Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃 and not to Facebook.

Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃 shall not be responsible for any and all forms of use, misuse, injury, disability, damage, any other serious risk, or loss incurred sustained by the participant or by any person in connection with the contest. All participants/winners assume all liability for any loss, injury, damage or claim that may arise from participating in the contest or use or redemption of any prize.

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/events/2016-geishas-blade-t-shirt-design-contest/feed/ 0
Hunt for the Higonokami in Kyoto https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/hunt-higonokami-kyoto/ https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/hunt-higonokami-kyoto/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 19:51:29 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=9837 Last May 2015, we went to Japan for the purpose of furthering my martial arts training, but because my sensei was still in a different country holding a seminar, we stayed in Kyoto first to wait until he returned to Tokyo in June.

Kyoto was the center of all arts and culture in Japan for centuries. A lot of artisans wanted to relocate to Kyoto to serve the Imperial Household. “Hamono” refers to all kinds of cutting tools such as chef knives, carpenter planes, saws and chisels, sculptor chisels and files, kimono fabric and paper cutting blades, ikebana and gardener clippers, and even modern scissors and fingernail clippers. Kyohamono (Kyoto knives and sharp-edged tools) developed and advanced over the centuries in step with the arts and crafts here.

Though I’m not really a “knife guy”, being in a city where a lot of good bladesmiths are was too good a chance to pass up. I wanted to buy a simple knife that’s made traditionally by hand. I’d been wanting to own a “higonokami” ever since I held one last 2009. This was the perfect opportunity and I grabbed it!

Higonokami 2

It was our first time to visit Kyoto so we didn’t know where to find a higonokami. We asked some of the staff in our hotel who said that we could buy them in a cutlery store. The thing is, there are a lot of cutlery stores in Kyoto, but only a few sell high quality, truly handmade knives. We then did some research and learned about a certain store called “Shigeharu”.

In this beautiful City of Ten Thousand Shrines, some traditional businesses are considered “senzen” or “before the war”. In most parts of Japan, this refers to World War II, but in Kyoto it may also refer to the Onin War (1467-1477), which set off the Warring States period. Shigeharu is the only Kyohamono company specializing in knives that can claim this title, as Shigeharu’s founding dates back to the Kamakura period (1185–1333).

After visiting Nijo Castle, we headed over to Shigeharu. Along the way, we happened to pass by a small sword shop. As Japanese sword enthusiasts, we had to stop and check out the swords. Here are some of the swords they had on display in their window:

Kyoto Sword Shop 01

Kyoto Sword Shop 02

Kyoto Sword Shop 03

The jitte/jutte on the top tier seems to be a modern reproduction.

Kyoto Sword Shop 04

Most of these only have a “tsunagi” or wooden blade to hold the “koshirae” (sword mounts). This means the price tag is only for the koshirae without a real blade.

They also have “tsuba” or hand guards available. Having studied about tsuba a bit, I saw that some are old and some are not. Some are fairly priced, while others are just too expensive. Below are some of the good quality antique tsuba:

Kyoto Sword Shop 05

Kyoto Sword Shop 06

And here are the “cheap ones” that are still priced very high considering they’re just casts. The shurikens are made of rubber.

Kyoto Sword Shop 07

Here are even much cheaper tsuba that are made of low quality cast iron. These do not have value to collectors, though they do make fine souvenirs.

Kyoto Sword Shop 08

I was excited to see that they also have “kogatana” (small knife) together with “kozuka” (handle of the kogatana)! I wanted to buy some but the prices were out of my budget. They also have “kogai” (spike or skewer for arranging the hair) available, but alas, my funds were limited.

Kyoto Sword Shop 09

Kyoto Sword Shop 10

I noticed that they also had low priced kogatana with kozuka, so I decided to go inside the store to check them out. Unfortunately, taking photos was not allowed, but I can tell you that there were a lot of old swords and mogito (imitation swords) for sale. I was very much interested in the kogatana with kozuka priced at ¥5,400 (approx PHP 2,000). However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that the blades were made of stainless steel, the kozuka were casts, and the designs were just painted gold and silver. I skipped buying one since they’re just modern reproduction pieces and not really of good quality. They would still make excellent souvenirs and gifts, though. I enjoyed my visit in this small shop as I was able to handle several nihonto.

Still on the way to Shigeharu, we stumbled upon this small thrift shop. They had an assortment of items inside, and they also had the same exact cheap kogatana-with-kozuka from the sword shop we passed by earlier, but selling at a higher price.

Kyoto Thrift Store 1

Kyoto Thrift Store 2

We finally arrived at Shigeharu. Outside the small shop, we could hear the sound of a power hammer pounding away. Here are some of the Kyohamono on display:

Shigeharu 01

Shigeharu 02

This is where sharpening and polishing of the blades are done.

Shigeharu 03

I asked one of the staff if they have higonokami for sale, but sadly, they didn’t have it available at the time. They only had a few items inside and it was a bit dark so I wasn’t able to take a lot of photos.

Shigeharu 04

Shigeharu 05

Here’s what the inside of the store looks like when they have a lot of items available (with the owner): Photo courtesy of Tim Turner.

Shigeharu 06

It was a bit of a disappointment that they didn’t have a higonokami available. It was already getting late so we had to call it a day and headed back to our hotel. We researched some more and learned about “Aritsugu”, which is the most popular place for tourists to buy traditional Japanese knives. They are a trusted brand of professionals as well. We went there the very next day. When we arrived at Aritsugu, they had a lot of beautiful knives! Unfortunately, they, too, did not have higonokami available. We didn’t take photos anymore due to our frustration.

My hunt for the higonakami was proving to be a challenge. I decided that I would just look for one when we get to Tokyo since we didn’t have enough time to go around anymore and search for other cutlery shops.

On our last day in Kyoto, we went to Nishiki Market to buy some souvenirs. Jaimee was looking around inside a store so I had to watch over our daughter who’d been running around all day. As I chased after her, I saw a cutlery store. I had to ask Jaimee to watch over our daughter for a while so I can check out the stuff inside. And there, lo and behold, <cue the hallelujahs> I found a lot of higonokami! What a stroke of luck, thanks to my little angel! I was like a kid inside a toy store, beaming from ear to ear, eyes wide and bright! I may have even looked a bit cuckoo. I didn’t care. The store’s name is “Kikuichimonji”.

Kikuichimonji 01

Kikuichimonji is historic. In the year 1208, the Emperor Gotoba gave permission to his swordsmith Norimune to stamp the blade of each sword with the imperial Chrysanthemum-crest. Norimune then engraved the number 1 below the crest. Thus the name Kikuichimonji, Chrysanthemum One, was created.

In 1876, when samurai were banned from carrying swords, Kikuichimonji added a horse’s bit mouthpiece (kutuwa) logo above its name and started manufacturing cooking knives, carpentry tools, gardening knives, and other related products in Kyoto. Using the superb sword-making technique passed down through generations, Kikuichimonji pledges to produce high-quality cutlery.

Inside, they have a vast selection of knives and other handmade tools. Oooh, it’s just like heaven!

Kikuichimonji 02

Kikuichimonji 05

Kikuichimonji 06

Kikuichimonji 08

Just like the chef knives, their higonokami are available in different types of steel. Lower priced higonokami are made of non-laminated siro/shiro hagane (white steel), while more expensive higonakami are made of siro/shiro hagane, SW steel, Ao hagane (blue steel), etc. that are honsanmai-laminated with natural hamon.

Kikuichimonji 03

Kikuichimonji 04

There were so many tools I wanted to buy: wood planes, chisels, kiridashi, just to name a few, but my wallet was already paper thin after purchasing a lot of higonokami.

Kikuichimonji 09

Kikuichimonji 10

Kikuichimonji 11

 

Kikuichimonji 13

Kikuichimonji 14Kikuichimonji 15

Kikuichimonji 16

Kikuichimonji 17

Kikuichimonji 18

Kikuichimonji 19

Kikuichimonji 20

Kikuichimonji 21

Kikuichimonji has a website where you can order Kyohamono, but they don’t sell higonokami online. You can only buy them from the physical store. I think that this is also best as a lot of their stocks are not in perfect condition. I had to thoroughly inspect each higonokami and found many to have burrs and nicks on the edge and tip.

I don’t know much about chef knives to comment on the prices offered by Kikuichimonji, but based on my research, their knives are really of high quality and their prices are lower than Aritsugu. Their whetstones are quite expensive, though!

When we arrived in Tokyo, we visited several cutlery stores and even went to Tokyu Hands (a “one-stop shop” Japanese department store). While they did have a lot of higonokami, or rather, “higonaifu” available, the quality was a far cry from the ones we got in Kyoto. It was truly fortuitous to have found the store and purchase them there!

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/hunt-higonokami-kyoto/feed/ 3
New Geisha’s Blade Tanto https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/new-geishas-blade-tanto/ https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/new-geishas-blade-tanto/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:33:06 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=9590 Here’s something else to look forward to at Geisha’s Blade, restock of our tanto and a new model.

From top to bottom: Unokubi Zukuri Tanto, Momiji Tanto, Osoraku Zukuri Tanto

new tanto

new tanto 3

new tanto 4

new tanto 6

new tanto 5

The Unokubi Zukuri Tanto and Momiji Tanto are not new. We started selling them last 2010 but haven’t restocked them for quite a while. But because of popular demand, we decided to bring them back in again.

The Unokubi Zukuri Tanto, as the name implies, has an unokubi zukuri blade shape. The term unokubi translates to “cormorant’s neck”. It refers to the tapering of a portion of the back of the blade giving it a false edge, while retaining the shape of the kissaki. The blade has a small groove called “soe-hi” that runs along the shinogi or ridge line of the blade. It also has a “koshi-hi” which is a short groove with a rounded top. The koshi-hi usually suggests the sword of Fudo Myoo. It’s meaning is the same as the “Ken” horimono (engraving) which is the symbol of power of Buddha (or any Buddha). It’s the most simple symbol of prayers. A koshi-hi with a longer soe-hi suggests a Buddha with his polearm.

Our old version of the Unokubi Zukuri Tanto had a blade length of 9.5 inches and tsuka length of 5.5 inches. With our new stocks, the length of the tsuka is still the same, but the length of the blade is now 11 inches. We decided to make the blade longer so it will be more proportion to the length of the tsuka. We also changed the menuki design from a namazu (catfish) to the more symbolic dragon menuki. The fuchi-kashira depicts a “Shishi” or Lion Dog and bamboo leaves. The price of the Unokubi Zukuri Tanto is still the same as our previous stocks which is PHP 4,500.

new tanto 7

“Momiji” means maple leaf in Japanese which is the design of the saya of our Momiji Tanto. The red tsukaito compliments the maple leaves which turns red during Autumn. Our Momiji Tanto has a shinogi zukuri blade shape (common blade shape of Japanese swords) with no sori (curvature). Just like our Unokubi Zukuri Tanto, we also made the blade longer to 11 inches and retaining the same tsuka length of 5.5 inches. We also changed the menuki design from a namazu (catfish) to the more symbolic dragon menuki. The fuchi-kashira depicts sakura or cherry blossoms. The design of the saya features maple leaves and a gourd which is made to look like “maki-e”. The price of the Momiji Tanto is still the same as our previous stocks which is PHP 4,500.

new tanto 8

Previous stocks of our Unokubi Zukuri and Momiji tanto used to have a wire brushed hamon. With our new stocks, we decided not to have the wire brushed hamon as we’re planning to acid etch a hamon. It’s still fake a hamon, but looks better than wire brushed. We’ll be posting photos when we’re done.

The newest addition to our tanto line is the Osoraku Zukuri Tanto. Like our Unokubi Zukuri Tanto, the name also refers to the shape of the blade. The kissaki (tip) is bigger than half of the blade’s length, which is considered an O-kissaki (large kissaki). This is a rare blade shape was developed by Shimada Sukemune of the Shimada school of swordsmithing during the late Muromachi period of Japan. The tsuka of our Osoraku Zukuri Tanto has a full wrap real samegawa (ray skin). This technique is called “maru-kise” (round wrapped). The fuchi-kashira is made of real buffalo horn. The menuki, made of brass, features Bushi wearing yoroi engaged in hand to hand combat. This tanto is considered an “aikuchi” since it doesn’t have a tsuba. Aikuchi is a type of tanto koshirae where the fuchi is flushed with the koiguchi (mouth of the saya). The nagasa (blade length) of the Osoraku Zukuri Tanto is 11 inches while the tsuka length is 5 inches. The habaki features a “neko-gaki” or cat scratch pattern (also called “falling rain”) which is usually seen on nihonto with high quality koshirae (sword fittings). The price of the Osoraku Zukuri Tanto is PHP 12,000.

new tanto 0

Our original design for this tanto was for it to have a through-hardened (TH) 1050 carbon steel blade only like our Unokubi Zukuri and Momiji Tanto. But the overall design of this tanto is so beautiful, a TH 1050 carbon steel blade won’t give the design justice. So we decided to make it with a differentially-hardened (DH) 1050 carbon steel with a natural hamon instead, in which we had dificulties taking photos of it, but can be easily seen in person. It was also photographed in poor lighting that’s why the hamon was not visible in some of the photos. We decided not to make the blade with 1060, 1095, or T10 as we believe a DH 1050 carbon steel would be enough for a tanto.

We are currently working on our inventory, inspecting each swords, and taking new photos to be used as stocks photos. So it may take us a while to update the stocks on our website. Hopefully these will be available for purchase by next week. Just keep checking our Facebook page for updates!

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/new-geishas-blade-tanto/feed/ 3
New Geisha’s Blade Wakizashi https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/new-geishas-blade-wakizashi/ https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/new-geishas-blade-wakizashi/#respond Tue, 28 Jul 2015 05:31:53 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=9566 It’s been a very long time since we stocked up on some of our wakizashi, but because of popular demand, we decided to bring them back in.

Here’s a sneak peek of our wakizashi (from top to bottom):

Shirasaya Wakizashi 1050 Series
Kuro Suzaku Wakizashi 1050 Folded Series
Kuro Setsuhen Wakizashi 1050 Series
Kumokiri Wakizashi 1060 Series

wak1

Our previous version of the Shirasaya Wakizashi had a glossy lacquered finish, which made it a bit slippery to hold on to especially if you have sweaty palms. This time around, we chose not to clear coat it anymore and went with the natural bare wood finish. The price of the Shirasaya Wakizashi is still the same, which is PHP 6,500.

For our new stocks of the Kuro Suzaku Wakizashi, we changed the blade to a black folded blade (like its katana counterpart). The first generation only had a non-coated mono-steel blade. Now, this wakizashi would be a perfect match to the Kuro Suzaku Katana! The new price of the Kuro Suzaku Wakizashi is PHP 10,500.

The Kuro Setsuhen Wakizashi is a new addition to our wakizashi line. Just like the katana version, it shares the same color combination and fittings. Nothing more to say about this wakizashi except that it will also be a perfect match to the Kuro Setsuhen Katana making them a daisho (big/small pair). The price of the Kuro Setsuhen Wakizashi is PHP 7,500.

Another new addition to our wakizashi line is the Kumokiri Wakizashi. Like the rest of our wakizashi, this also has a katana version. For now, we won’t be saying much about this wakizashi as it’s better to present the story of this wakizashi together with the katana. After all, they’re a paired set. The price of the Kumokiri Wakizashi is PHP 12,500.

wak3

wak4

wak5

The length of the blade remains the same as our previous wakizashi which is 19 inches, but we shortened the tsuka from 8.5 inches to 6.75 inches. This makes it better for wielding with one hand. You may have also noticed and might be asking why the kojiri (end of saya) of our new wakizashi in full mounts are rounded, and not flat like the saya of our katana? To answer that question, we’ll be quoting some excerpts from the article of C. U. Guido Schiller, Koshirae: Nihon Token Gaiso – The Mountings of Japanese Swords.

“In Higo province the tosogushi were encouraged by the Hosokawa Daimyo, and worked in iron, copper, brass and cloisonne. The characteristics of Higo koshirae are the rounded kashira and kojiri; the same’ is often black, and the saya in samenuri – the “valleys” in the same’ filled with lacquer, and the “mountains” polished flush. Tsuka had often a leather wrapping. This kind of koshirae was later copied as “Edo-Higo-Koshirae”, but mostly with simpler saya and natural colored same’.”

Quoting another excerpt from the same article by C. U. Guido Schiller:

“Samurai at the castle in Edo wore the Banzashi daisho, “duty attire”. Same’ had to be white, the saya black lacquered and with horn fittings. The kojiri of the katana was flat, and that of the wakizashi rounded. The kashira had to be horn, with the black tsukamaki crossed over it (kakemaki). The fuchi and midokoromono (“things of the three places”: menuki, kogai and kozuka) had to be shakudo-nanako (fish-roe pattern) with the only decoration being the family mon (crest). The tsuba was polished shakudo without any decoration. However, this was not always strictly enforced, and kanagu with shishi (lion dogs), dragons or floral motifs were tolerated.”

The mountings of our wakizashi may not be a complete Higo Koshirae or Edo-Higo-Koshirae, or a shoto of the banzashi daisho, but it’s based on these information that we decided to make the kojiri rounded.

That’s it for now. We hope that you like the changes we did for our wakizashi as well as the new swords we added. We hope to add more wakizashi designs in the future!

We’ll be posting more photos of the Kumokiri Wakizashi together with the Kumokiri Katana soon.

These wakizashi will be available for purchase on our website by next week as we still have to finish taking photos.

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/new-geishas-blade-wakizashi/feed/ 0
Authentic Reproduction Samurai Armors https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/authentic-reproduction-samurai-armors/ https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/authentic-reproduction-samurai-armors/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2015 09:10:50 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=9358 Now that we already have new samurai armors in stock (we’re just finishing taking photos and upload them on our website), we’d like to announce to you that Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃 is now the authorized dealer of authentic reproduction Japanese armors by Iron Mountain Armory (Fenglinhanjia) in the Philippines.

http://www.samurai-armor.com/dealers.html

Iron Mountain Armory has been reproducing samurai armors since 2005. While our armors are hand crafted in China and strictly made by hand in the traditional Japanese manner by highly skilled craftsmen, the armory itself is Japanese owned and managed. China offers a more economical labor force and product availability than Japan. The workers at the Iron Mountain Armory work under the guidance of skilled craftsmen and artisans who have over 100 years of combined experience in armor crafting. Until recently they where only making armor for the Japanese market.

We will be including more samurai armors in our inventory. In the meantime, you can check the website of one of Iron Mountain Armory’s dealers to see the other models available which can be pre-ordered through Geisha’s Blade.

There are many fakes and frauds on the internet claiming to distribute Iron Mountain Armory’s armor at a cheaper price because they are the factory or sell direct. This simply isn’t true, nor is it possible to produce a reasonable quality suit of armor for under $1,000 USD.

If you see armors similar to ours being offered by a company in China or Hong Kong, they are knock offs. There are companies and sellers like “lastarmor”, “zbinstore9″, “liren88f”, ” eye88eye” and others who are using Iron Mountain Armory’s photographs. Don’t be fooled, these are imitation suits. These sellers also do not include the armor box, stand or inner materials / lining. Iron Mountain Armory and Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃 have NO relationship with any Chinese seller and we are not responsible for any claims, loss, damage and whatever happens by their unauthorized copies. Iron Mountain Armory does NOT sell (retail or wholesale) to anyone except through their authorized dealers.

Please note that our advertised price already includes the shipping cost from the armory, as well as customs tax and import duties. So you don’t have to worry about additional charges when the armor arrives to your doorstep.

http://www.geishasblade.com/shop/category/japanese-armor/

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/authentic-reproduction-samurai-armors/feed/ 0
What is a daisho? https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/what-is-a-daisho/ https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/what-is-a-daisho/#respond Wed, 17 Jun 2015 10:00:00 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=9229 Photo credit: Los Angeles County Museum of Art

There are many different opinions on what is and is not a true daisho as worn by the samurai of feudal Japan. Wearing two swords of different lengths was a sign for anyone to see that the owner of the two swords was in fact a samurai, as only samurai were allowed to wear a daisho.

The term “daisho” comes from daitō, meaning long sword, and shōtō, meaning short sword. In feudal Japan a daisho was simply any two swords worn at the same time, one longer than the other, neither the koshirae (sword furniture) or the blades needed to be matching, the wearing of two swords at the same time signified the status of the wearer.

Samurai who could afford the extra expense had matching fittings and koshirae created for their two swords, and when you hear the term “daisho” today this is the most common meaning.

Very well off samurai could go one step further and have a daisho made with matching fittings, koshirae and blades by the same sword smith.

The ultimate daisho would have been matching fittings, koshirae, and blades made at the same time, by the same sword smith. Specifically for the matching koshirae, this is very rare and highly sought after and also extremely expensive.

In modern times, people do buy antique matching fittings and create a daisho using these fittings on two different sword blades that were never actually worn by a samurai as a daisho, these modern creations are not true daisho.

Here is a quote from well known collector, Darcy Brockbank, life member of the Nippon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (NBTHK) that sums up the true meaning of “daisho”

 

“There is some discussion that goes on about what exactly makes a daisho. There are several definitions.

To begin the discussion, most times samurai did not get their swords as a pair, unless they were well off and could order a matched pair from a swordsmith. Often times, their lord would present them one sword and they would be expected to get another on their own… if they were lucky they would be provided the long katana and their purchase would be a wakizashi.

Sometimes they would just forego the paired swords if another could not be had, and other times a tsunagi would take the place of one of the two blades.

In general then, a daisho is considered by the koshirae as the swords may be naturally from different makers. Provided that the koshirae are antique and made for the two swords, that the swords belong to the koshirae is the important thing.

In some rare cases, swords can be found that were made to exist together by the same hand. In this case, if they are clearly intended as a pair, they may be considered daisho token. This is quite rare and unusual to find. Most times when you look at a “daisho” offered for sale, you will find two separate papers. This often means that the vendor found two swords by the same smith, one a wakizashi and one a katana, and united them and are now selling them as a pair.

This is simply two swords. Even if koshirae are made for them now, they are not a daisho because no samurai wore these swords as a pair, and they have nothing to do with each other outside of the fact that they are made by the same smith. They do enhance each other’s value somewhat, but they lack the rarity and collectability that a true daisho has. It is usually considered that a “true” daisho will increase the value of the pair 100% over their value as individual swords.”

 

Here are two examples of true daisho, one has blades by different sword smiths but they were paired up into daisho koshirae during the Edo period; the other is a very rare true “daisho token”, two blades made to be a daisho by the same smith and mounted in daisho koshirae. You can see that both blades are judged on the same paper by the NBTHK, this only happens when the sword judges in Japan are certain that the blades were made as one to be used as a daisho.

A daisho koshirae, or two blades mounted in matching fittings.

Shinto Era Daisho 1Shinto Era Daisho

 

A very rare example of daisho blades and daisho koshirae, there is one judgement paper for both blades, this indicates that the blades were made as a daisho and not just two blades that were paired up and mounted in matching fittings.

“This pair of swords today is a daisho by any definition. They reside in their original antique koshirae, made for this pair of swords, and they were made by the same hand, intended as a pair for a samurai almost two hundred years ago. The NBTHK has certified this by issuing Daisho Token papers when I submitted them to Hozon shinsa in 2003. Both swords are thus recorded on a single paper. It is a very important distinction, because it is one of authenticity and originality. Daisho are rare and wonderful items to have, especially when the swords are by the same maker and the koshirae are present.

The katana is unsigned, as is the wakizashi. This is something that one encounters every now and then in the Shinshinto period. It is theorized that with growing unrest towards the end of the Edo period that some smiths did not sign their work if it was going to the “other side” from where they stood. That is, should the owner be captured or killed, the work could not easily be traced back to them and so by not signing they could avoid potential punishment.

I do not know how much weight this theory holds, I do know that mumei Shinshinto pieces are not uncommon and so there must be some reason behind it.”

Ozaki Takashige
Designation: NBTHK Hozon Daisho Token
Period: Shinshinto
Nakago: Ubu mumei, 1 mekugiana (on each)
Dai nagasa: 70.29cm
Sho nagasa: 55.5cm
Daisho TokenDaisho Token Paper

 

Sources: World AntiquesNihonto.ca

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/blog/what-is-a-daisho/feed/ 0
Kabuki Face Challenge https://www.geishasblade.com/events/kabuki-face-challenge/ https://www.geishasblade.com/events/kabuki-face-challenge/#respond Sat, 09 May 2015 16:28:22 +0000 http://www.geishasblade.com/?p=9158 Photo credit: seejapan.co.uk

Geisha’s Blade has always been in love with Japanese tradition, culture, and arts. Included in their list is kabuki, as a lot of popular stories about samurai and historical events in Japan have been played in its theaters. Kabuki is not only known for the stylization of its drama, but also for the elaborate makeup worn by some of its performers.

At Geisha’s Blade, we’ll give you a chance to become a Kabuki performer and get an opportunity to win a free sword with our “Kabuki Face Challenge!”

Check out the entries here.

HOW TO JOIN & WIN

• Simply paint your face like a kabuki performer with makeup or whatever you have available. Just make sure you don’t use something toxic that would put your health at risk. Then take a photo of your kabuki face and email it to us.

• No sword is required to join this contest, but you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the Philippines to join. Wearing a wig is a plus and other props you can use (e.g. horns, contact lenses, etc). No need to wear a costume as you’ll only be taking a photo of your kabuki face.

• Once your photo entry has been approved and uploaded on our Facebook page, you need to share it publicly on your timeline with the caption:​​

Geisha’s Blade: Kabuki Face Challenge

Visit www.geishasblade.com for high quality Japanese style swords in the Philippines!

• There’s no restriction in the design, pattern, or color of your makeup.  Overall, it should be considered a “kabuki” and not a “face painting”. Be very creative, your face is your canvas!

japanese_kumadori_kabuki_ichimurauzaemon_agostinoarts-1024x473Photo credit: thestorybehindthefaces.com

• There will be 2 winners.

• We’ll be appointing a number to each entry where one winner will be randomly drawn (via random.org) and will receive a Raijin Katana. The other winner will be of our choice and will receive a Raiden’s High Frequency Blade (black coated version).

Raijin Katana 07

Metal Gear: Raiden's High Frequency Blade (Coated Version)

 

SUBMISSION AND DEADLINE OF ENTRIES

Email your entry at geishasblade.contest(at)gmail.com with the subject: Kabuki Face Challenge. Be sure to include your name, location, and age (your age will not be published). Photo resolution must be 800×600 (landscape) or 600×800 (portrait) only and file size must not exceed 2mb. You can submit only 1 photo entry and should be your original work. When you email your entry, include some “work in progress” photos as well, so we can be sure that is really you and the photo isn’t grabbed from the internet. Once your photo has been approved, we will upload it in an album on our Facebook page. Contest starts on May 15, 2015. Deadline of submission of entries is until 11:59pm of June 5, 2015.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS

The winners will be announced on the official Facebook page of Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃  on June 10, 2015 and will be notified through private message via Facebook or personal email.

CLAIMING OF PRIZE

Winner residing in Metro Manila can claim their prize at our dojo at Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong during Saturdays from 6pm – 7pm only. If the winner resides outside Metro Manila, we will ship your prize to your mailing address free of charge.

DISCLAIMER

This contest is not in any way associated, sponsored, endorsed by Facebook. Information are directly provided to Geisha’s Blade  and not to Facebook.

Geisha’s Blade 芸者の刃 shall not be responsible for any and all forms of use, misuse, injury, disability, damage, any other serious risk, or loss incurred sustained by the participant or by any person in connection with the contest. All participants/winners assume all liability for any loss, injury, damage or claim that may arise from participating in the contest or use or redemption of any prize.

 

]]>
https://www.geishasblade.com/events/kabuki-face-challenge/feed/ 0