High End Swords and Bugei's Focus on Quality
Customers often contact us asking high end custom swords. Bugei used to offer them, however, the wait times and difficulties in getting them done made it a difficult situation for Bugei. However, the people who used to do our custom swords for us frequently have pieces for sale. And we here at Bugei want our customers to be informed and educated. There is a tremendous range of quality out there and some of the highest end swords are absolutely beautiful as well as functional.
Here are a couple swords on the market right now that you should probably see.
Keith Larman of Summerchild Polishing is well known in the Japanese Style sword world. Swords he has polished have appeared in museum exhibitions and are collected by martial artists and collectors alike. Keith also designs new high end swords exclusively for Bugei Trading company and also performs our quality control on our exclusive sword lines.
Ted Tenold was the long time polisher and quality control for Bugei Trading Company. Ted is the one who convinced Keith Larman to come down Bugei to work on swords with him. Ted started back when Bugei first started offering custom swords to customers and has become one of the pre-eminent sword craftsmen in the US. Ted now lives in Montana and focuses most of his time on antique swords, but he often will have bare blades as well as polished and mounted blades by top Japanese Style smiths. Check his site at Legacy Arts Swords. Currently he has 3 unpolished Howard Clark pieces available for immediate purchase.
Keith Larman and Ted Tenold happen to be very good friends. They decided to spend their "free time" trying to educate the public on the quality of work coming from some of the top smiths in Japan. They created a site together called "moderntosho.com" and they frequently have swords ranging from entry level martial arts swords (just traditionally made in Japan by licensed smiths) up to high end "art swords" from top ranked smiths like Ono Yoshimitsu.For those of you looking for an authentic katana, Keith and Ted have a wonderful sword fully mounted by a smith named Masashiro. Bizen-no-Kuni-Masashiro is a young smith working in Japan today. This sword was made in the fully traditional fashion from tamahagane, forged and clay treated, and traditionally polished and mounted in Japan. The sword was made for a martial arts practitioner and has a stunning choji (clove bud) hamon over a very find wood grain pattern in the steel. It has been extensively used in cutting practice and has proven itself over and over again at competitions. It is available on the moderntosho.com site at a very low price given that it is a true nihonto and ready to use. Having been used it shows all the signs of cutting traditional mats with scuffing along the blade. They are selling it "as-is" at a very low price since it has been used. However, it would make a wonderful starting sword for a new collector or a fantastic training blade for the experienced martial artist who wants an truly authentic Japanese sword.
Another truly interesting blade is available at moderntosho at an unheard of price with an interesting bit of history. The blade was made from nails scavenged from the very famous Noma Dojo in Japan. These nails were gathered and forged into tamahagane by the renounced smith Yasumitsu of the Komiya family. The sword is unpolished and in a shirasaya. It is the perfect "entry level" true nihonto for the martial artist. It can be purchased now and then polished and mounted at a later date. Being unpolished and unmounted it is available at a dramatically lower price than you'd expect for work of a smith of Yasumitsu's caliber. And it is also a unique blade with history forged directly into the steel. Click here to see this amazing sword.
Check back often as we'll update this page whenever we find things we think our customers might want to see.