With some help from Ted Tenold, I’ve put together a nice modern sword care kit to replace the uchiko-based kits-o-death that are commonplace destroyers of swords everywhere.
I’m supplying these for free to first time buyers of high quality swords from my site. So if you were looking for a reason to drop $50,000 on a sword, it has arrived.
Continue reading A better way
Japanese books say to leave the nakago (the tang of the sword) to age, because the condition of the nakago indicates how old it is.
I think this is good advice for the mid-1600s. But we are past the Edo period now. Swords are historical treasures. If we continue to let nakago “age gracefully” then there is a future where they turn into dust.
Not now, not next century, but not so far past that.
The black oxidated state of nakago are fairly stable, but not perfectly stable. Otherwise, there would be no “graceful aging” at all. Logically, we cannot have it both ways, that the nakago is safe from eroding away and that different period nakago will show different aging conditions. If these nakago were not slowly rotting away on a centuries timescale, then they would hit a stable point and then never change.
Continue reading Oil your nakago
Uchiko is an abrasive compound that comes with a lot of sword care kits. This compound is needlessly, carelessly and incorrectly applied most times and causes damage to the polish, even when correctly applied.
It’s an abrasive, there is no getting around this fact and I won’t use it, and encourage other people to not use it.
Continue reading Uchiko considered harmful