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  • Info on buying a sword.

    Greetings all. I'm new to Iaido (started about 4-1/2 months ago). Sensei has indicated it's time to go from a bokken to Iaito. I've discussed with my sensei and fellow students. They've purchased mostly from Sword Store or Tozando. One has purchased from Yamato Budogu. I've been hearing some disagreeable comments such as Sword Store (post 2004 manufacture has degraded), Tozando (over priced) and Yamato Budogu (improper blade fit causing cracks). I've been checking comments on-line and have found most of them a few years old. Before I shell out a lot of money I'd like more recent information from other people practicing Iaido. Any feedback (likes, dislikes, more info, recommendations, etc.) would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • #2
    Hello
    One of our Iaidokas from our Dojo has two Iaitos from Sword Store. Both are very nice and well crafted. Good ballance, tight wrapping of the tsuka-maki etc. I've seen some Tozando Iaitos as well. They look great and are fine quality as well. I personally use steel and zinc alloy swords from Nine Circles. But since you live in the USA this might be not the number one choice for you because of shipping costs etc. But I can recommend these Iaitos.

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    • #3
      I agree with Kensen on all counts. While any supplier will occasionally deliver a bad one, these are the ones you hear about, rather than the many hundreds or thousands that people are happy with. As I live in the UK I would highly recommend Nine Circles, though having said that I know people in Russia who have ordered from Tozando in USA and are happy with what they received.

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      • #4
        My current sword is from Nine Circles, people in our club got theirs from NC or Tozando. We've all been happy with what we got, for how much we got it and when we got it.

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        • #5
          I'm not going to get political, but I would suggest Tozando or Nosyudo. I do have some very nice iaito for sale still as well if you're interested. See post http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/sho...u-region-Japan

          If you can look and swing some in your dojo that's always a good way to preview before you order as well.
          Brad

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          • #6
            The only bad thing that I've heard lately regarding Japanese made iaito is that there have been reports of Minosaka using wooden shims to tighten up the habaki in their entry level iaito. Using wood to shim a habaki is not a good thing, so I would advise avoiding the entry level iaito produced by the Minosaka company. That's the only bad thing I've heard, so anything else from any of the Japanese producers should be fine.

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            • #7
              go to Japan and buy one, that way you can choose the one you like... (Its as good an excuse as any to go isnt it??? What else do you tell the mrs???)

              I have swords from tozando, meirin, nosyudo and a few other makers. The blades seem similar on most, although I do like the Meirin ones for beginners as they are tip heavy and encourage a good 'cutting circle'.

              Nosyudo always seem a little on the heavy side for the ones I have played with so far, but extremely goood quality nonetheless. I would avoid these initially to allow focus on technique. Good for senior students though!

              Eurobogu do a nice range of inexpensive blades that originate in southern japan. the junior/ladies version is lovely, nice and light and I would recommend these for slighter build people, not just juniors. It really annoys me when I see someone trying to throw around a blade that is obviously much too heavy and is wrecking grip, posture etc...

              Minosaka are ok middle range and up. I think they may mix the 'wallhanger type' with low end training blades, so be careful.

              One thing. Do not order 'custom blades' and fittings, they add months or more to delivery times. Ask for what they have in stock at the right balance, length and weight to suit you. Your sensei will tell you what is suitable for your ryu.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nukitsuke View Post
                I'm not going to get political, but I would suggest Tozando or Nosyudo. I do have some very nice iaito for sale still as well if you're interested. See post http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/sho...u-region-Japan

                If you can look and swing some in your dojo that's always a good way to preview before you order as well.
                Brad
                RobBob55,

                Did you go to the AUSKF Nationals? If you didn't you probably missed a chance to look at iaitos from vendors. (I didn't go, but there usually are iaitos for sale at the nationals.)

                I bought my first iaito in 2005. It was a Tensho koshirae from Tozando, served me well but it was a too light. So I bought a heavier one from Swordstore at the 2008 AUSKF nationals. The swordstore iaito has good balance and weight at my stage of iai. Although I've never tried a Nosyudo iaito, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one from its reputation. So, check out Brad's collection if you have the cash. Of course, you should consult with your sensei and sempai's on whatever you are thinking of buying.

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                • #9
                  I've got an iaito from Tozando (about 1 year ago). And I reccommend it highly. Delivery was quick and I am really happy with the quality and feel of the iaito when I use it.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone.

                    Originally posted by RobBob55 View Post
                    Greetings all. I'm new to Iaido (started about 4-1/2 months ago). Sensei has indicated it's time to go from a bokken to Iaito. I've discussed with my sensei and fellow students. They've purchased mostly from Sword Store or Tozando. One has purchased from Yamato Budogu. I've been hearing some disagreeable comments such as Sword Store (post 2004 manufacture has degraded), Tozando (over priced) and Yamato Budogu (improper blade fit causing cracks). I've been checking comments on-line and have found most of them a few years old. Before I shell out a lot of money I'd like more recent information from other people practicing Iaido. Any feedback (likes, dislikes, more info, recommendations, etc.) would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
                    Thanks for the comments. You are all helping me - and maybe other people new to the sport. Please keep the comments coming. RobBob

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I get a small cringe when people refer to kendo as a sport and an even bigger one when this is done to iaido.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dillon View Post
                        I get a small cringe when people refer to kendo as a sport and an even bigger one when this is done to iaido.
                        You think Kendo isn't a 'physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively' ?

                        Iaido taikai is certainly a sport.

                        Anyway, that's another thread.....and something for the stick-bashers to debate.

                        Iaito....

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dillon View Post
                          I get a small cringe when people refer to kendo as a sport and an even bigger one when this is done to iaido.
                          [Insert thinly-disguised "hobby" flame-bait here]

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kokoro777 View Post
                            You think Kendo isn't a 'physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively' ?

                            Iaido taikai is certainly a sport.

                            Anyway, that's another thread.....and something for the stick-bashers to debate.

                            Iaito....

                            Might be an interesting one. One would have to define the term 'sport' as i suspect it might vary quite a bit on how people see things

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                            • #15
                              samurai solution

                              For you, my suggestion is please have a look on http://www.samuraisupply.com/ and see what the experts say.

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