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  • difference between swords

    This has probably been asked before but I cant find the thread so...
    I'm just wondering, what is the difference between a shinken, iaito and kendo kata katana?

    also I found a realy old set of katana (dont know which one it is) from my dad's closet, its all mouldy, slightly rusted and smells bad (he doesnt kno how to take care of it), he said he got it more than 20 years ago. Is there a way in which I can clean/restore it?

  • #2
    There are not only differents between the types you have listed, but also differences within them. Lots and lots of them. Seriously.
    I don't have enough time to go into explaining them, but no doubt someone here will.
    As for care of your dad's blade, talk to someone who does iai or kenjutsu about proper sword care.
    You'll want to have someone take the thing apart to see if it's actually worth restoring for starters. If it's one of those crappy cold-pressed WW2 jobbies, you may as well not bother. They're worthless.
    If not, there are cleaning kits that you can buy (or borrow), as well as numerous shops that sell fittings (in Japan).
    Having a blade professionally polished can be prohibitively expensive, so it really depends on what the blade is and whether it's worth keeping.
    General knowledge and maintenance wise - some of the folks at the kenshikan can help you out, or if you're dropping by Fudoshin and can bring it with you, you can show Brett, Richard or me. I'd be interested to see what exactly it is.
    Not sure if anyone at Melb Uni does iai at the moment, but no doubt Ben or Yakov can point you at someone who knows if they themselves do not.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: difference between swords

      [B]This has probably been asked before but I cant find the thread so...
      I'm just wondering, what is the difference between a shinken, iaito and kendo kata katana?

      Shinken: steel, sharp, built for iai/batto
      iaito: zink/alloy, blunt or semisharp, built for iaido
      kendo kata yo(not katana) more solid built iaito for kendokata

      also in the family:
      shinsakuto: antique shinken, more fancy fittings than shinken?

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      • #4
        Re: Re: difference between swords

        Originally posted by roar
        Shinken: steel, sharp, built for iai/batto

        Not necessarily built for iai. Shinken means "real sword", any sharp steel Japanese sword. Some people refine the definition to mean a Japanese sword built in Japan by Japanese smiths using traditional methods. So Swordstores sharp steel blades manufactured in China and fitted with Japanese fittings are called "steel iaito" as Rick doesn't want any confusion with traditional swords.

        iaito: zink/alloy, blunt or semisharp, built for iaido

        Also called mogito.

        kendo kata yo(not katana) more solid built iaito for kendokata

        The "yo" part just means "used for" or something like that. "iai-yo" means intended for use in iaido, "tameshigiri-yo" means intended for use in practice cutting.

        Kendo kata yo is usually a iaito without the hi (grooves) meant to take the light contact of kendo kata.

        As pointed out previously, there are tons of variations within these categories, more so within shinken as they may have been constructed at any time in the past 1200 years or so. Iaito vary in length, balance and a little bit in shape but are fairly generic compared to shinken.

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