Copyright Robert Cole 2014 - No copying or distributing 

Internet readers: The Sho-shin School sections are raw manuscript excerpts from the Sho-shin Appraisal & Price book. They appear without the many graphics, OSHIGATA, Japanese KANJI characters, Japanese signatures, maps of towns, roads and rivers, and styles-schematics that populate the printed page. Other excerpts have been arranged for the Sho-shin Newsletter and appear as pdf files in the Appraisal Series

Joyous trickery enticed AMATERASU. The toys became their gift.

This weapon's play in history is as important as history itself. For the Japanese, it is deeper than history. 

It created history. And the Fates. And the fates of those who came before. And yet, it came before even they.

...It came from Heaven


Originally, my intention was for the experienced collector or professional appraiser. I then included a prefatory section on the appraiser's art to benefit those individuals with less experience. However, as material grew, it became clear that more volumes were necessary.

There are five references making up the current set. Material is separated into an examination of swords and sword history by sword-making schools, the only proper method of learning and understanding. Included are sections on swords and appraisal, Schools and an alphabetical listing of Smiths with their individual appraisal information, signatures and value.

The Smiths - A full alphabetic cross-index of all smiths of note, generation, time-period & date, province, value-levels, lineage & school and all commonly used reference listings, together with all signatures in KANJI and English and any pertinent appraisal notes.

DON'T BE FRIGHTENED by the Japanese terms, they are few and actually quick - trust me!

Readers will find a nomenclature of common terms and an explanation of Japanese quality and appraisal systems that are familiar to anyone who abides an interest in Japanese swords.

Standard steps of appraisal are explained and included is a complete listing of all sword making Schools, the genealogic relationship of their smiths and the appraisal-points that mark their distinction. Accurate technical portraits of all most likely encountered smiths are added, from great to small. Actual treasure swords of masters are described.

Prices listed are WHOLESALE. This means they reflect the expected trading price of long swords in good condition and original state. See "Preparatory Notes"

Entries and information have been labeled such that readers can pursue specific interests with ease. For those with new interest, this book will unveil the otherwise mysterious world of sword connoisseurship and expose the factors that level price.

Please take note: there are specific works described and they are done so, poetically as the work deserves. The poetic writing style, devoted to these specific art-pieces, differs from the technical and appraisal descriptions. One writing style is technical - for the techincals, - and one for the poetry of a master's work.

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