On-Line Photo Entry to 2012 Geisha’s Blade Slash A Pose Contest – Can you guess the total number of Japanese type swords present in the photo? (Answer/s & details at the end of this article)
A long, long time ago . . . , in a galaxy far, far away. That’s how George Lucas began in creating Star Wars. And I’ve been hooked ever since. Initially, it was just the movies. Then, followed by weekly, monthly, and yearly orders of comics, magazines, books, encyclopedias, etc. of the entire Star Wars Expanded Universe. It goes without saying that I also collected toys, game boards, video games, RPGs, trading cards, kitchen utensils . . . , I mean you name – I got it. This all culminated in going to London where I got custom-measured for the original Stormtrooper Armor which was later shipped to me after a few months. All the other costumes followed and they are now worn by mannequins displayed prominently in my home. I was a “pure, unadulterated” Star Wars fan only and I never collected anything outside of it. Until I discovered Geisha’s Blade. (http://www.geishasblade.com/)
It all started when George Lucas admitted in a book that he got most of his ideas for Star Wars in Japanese Lore. The Jedi Knights represented futuristic Samurai Warriors and their lightsabers were futuristic katanas. Even Darth Vader’s armor was based on a black yoroi (Samurai Armor) including its kabuto (helmet) & mengu (face mask). Little did I know that I was going to collect all of these as an extension of my Star Wars collection. (http://www.slideshare.net/DrArielSTorres/samurai-versus-jedi)
I surfed the net for Japanese swords and was surprised that one website keeps popping up during my searches. It was Geisha’s Blade. (http://www.facebook.com/geishasblade) And so I met the owner during my first (and definitely not my last) purchase. There was a lot I didn’t know about Japanese weapons, specifically the katana. He explained them to me diligently and authoritatively. I was really amazed during that short treatise by him regarding katanas. So I started buying books about the items he was selling. After realizing the differences between Japanese swords and what the myriad parts that differentiates each one, I decided I wanted variations for each one. Since then, I’ve been hooked to getting items from them. At present, they are giving away a Metal Gear: Raiden’s High Frequency Blade (coated version) as a prize for their Article Writing Contest. (http://www.geishasblade.com/shop/animevideo-game/metal-gear-raiden-high-frequency-blade-coated-version/)
Below are the items I’ve gotten from Geisha’s Blade (http://www.twitter.com/GeishasBlade) and the feedback I’ve written about them that can be reviewed right there in their website:
Japanese Armor (Yoroi)
Newly-arrived Yorois at Geisha’s Blade w/ wooden Naginata above & bokken to the right, including a multi-tiered Katana Kake. (Note missing horns of the red yoroi w/c had not yet arrived at that time.)
I’m the lucky guy who made this item “Out of Stock” because they only imported two yorois – one (red) for Geisha’s Blade proprietor and one (black) for selling to customers. I must say it is worth it’s value and if you actually buy it On-Line from Japan, the retail price there is more expensive (for the same exact item) plus Shipping Costs. And then you have to pay additional Customs/Taxes when it arrives here in the Philippines. You are not even sure if it was handled properly on the way here. When you buy from Geisha’s Blade here in the Philippines, it’s definitely cheaper and you can inspect the item when you pick it up or delivered to you if you are in Metro Manila. And for those Star Wars fans like me, it represents the Samurai Armor of Akechi Mitsuharu (all black) where George Lucas based his art concept of Darth Vader which he let Ralph McQuarrie design. So my advice to those who want to own one, save on money and pre-order one because it’s worth every peso you’ll be paying for it. And IF and WHEN we are many already, maybe we could establish an exclusive “Philippine Yoroi Club”. But let’s not be discriminate. We should also allow members who have a simple Home-Made Yoroi because I also made one prior to getting my authentic genuine Japanese one from Geisha’s Blade. (http://www.slideshare.net/DrArielSTorres/how-to-wear-samurai-armor-1-of-4)
Kuro Shirasaya Katana, Wakizashi, Tanto; Double Kodachi that looks like a Nodachi; 3-Tier Stand & Shogun Vertical Stand
I initially bought the Kuro Shirasaya (plain black) Katana. After a few weeks, it seemed lonely so I additionally bought the Kuro Shirasaya (plain black) Wakizashi to make it a Daisho (paired long & short sword). After a month, they seemed incomplete so I bought again the Aikuchi (black with kurikata) Tanto. Of course, I had to display them so I bought the 3-Tiered Katana Kake (all black Sword Rack). After several months, I realized I was still missing 2 other types/sizes (blade lengths) of katanas so I bought the Samurai X Aoshi Shinomori Katana Anime Series (all black Double Kodachi that looks like a Nodachi) including the Shogun Vertical Sword Stand (all black). After a year, they are now all displayed in front of my Yoroi (all black Japanese Armor) that I recently got. ALL OF THESE I bought from “the one & only” On-Line Philippine Samurai Sword store. Obviously, I’m a very happy customer of Geisha’s Blade because of their superior service and high quality products, not to mention excellent information sharing. Do I need to state that I will buy again in the future?!?!? (http://www.slideshare.net/DrArielSTorres/how-to-wear-samurai-armor-3-of-4)
One-Piece Roronoa Zoro (4), Bleach (2), Setsuhen (2), and Shirasaya (3)
I bought 11 swords in one Meet-Up Deal at the Dojo of Geisha’s Blade proprietor. That’s how much I trust this vendor. I got four katanas of Roronoa Zoro of One Piece (complete set), two Bleach Zanpakutos (Ichigo & Rukia), two Setsuhens (white Snowflake & black Snowflake), and three Shirasayas (Katana, Wakizashi, & Tanto) from sister company “Sword Like Objects” (https://www.facebook.com/swordlikeobjects). Then I made my very own katana kake (sword rack) to hold & display all 11 swords. The 3 on top are the plain wood-colored Machine-Made “sword-like objects”. Just directly below them are the 2 Hand-Forged white & black “real swords”. Because of the contrast above & below, you can compare their differences (heaviness of blade, presence/absence of mekugi, dull/sharp blade, full tang, etc.). Further below them are the Anime/Manga Swords (white & black of Bleach followed by white & black of One-Piece). It’s nice to see them all in one rack.
I will never get tired of buying from “the one & only” On-Line Philippine Samurai Sword store – Geisha’s Blade. I have said it before and I will say it again – my reasons for being a happy customer are superior service and high quality products, not to mention excellent information sharing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED VENDOR!
Roronoa Zoro INDIVIDUAL Katanas
Very nice katana. But better if you buy it as a set (all 4) like what I did. When they are displayed in one Katana Kake, it’s really an awesome sight. It’s all worth it!
Akuma No Chi Katana
This is the 16th sword I’ve bought from Geisha’s Blade. But it’s “the one” I value most because of its blood-tinged blade and All-Red motif of tsuka ito (handle wrapping) and saya (sheath). It’s my only katana so far with a black samegawa (real Manta Ray skin panels) that configures to your grip every time your hands perspire while holding it tightly. And I love the tsuba with a DEMON holding the blood-tinged blade base. That’s why I don’t display it and instead keep it in a leather Sword Carrying Bag that is around the shoulder of my Kendo Bogu worn by a mannequin. BOTH OF THESE I GOT FROM Geisha’s Blade!!!
Even an angelic face can transform into a DEMON after being exposed to a hidden object in a bag!
Nagamushi (Snake) Katana T10 Pro
I pre-ordered this “custom-made” Japanese Sword because it takes several months of forging before it can be available. That’s why it’s so very, very, very expensive since it’s carbon content is almost 1% if not more than so. It’s also All-Red like the Akuma No Chi Katana. But all its fittings are snake (tsuba, fuchi, kashira) which is my animal sign. And I already bought an extra leather Sword Carrying Bag exclusively for it even before it arrived. This one I hanged around the shoulder of my Yoroi (Japanese Armor). As usual, I GOT THEM BOTH FROM Geisha’s Blade!!!
Snakes are known as red demons out for blood to exact justice & not REVENGE OF THE SITH!!!
Single-Tier Sword Stand, 3-Tier Sword Stand, Shogun Vertical Stand
I have bought more than 20 swords from Geisha’s Blade but didn’t have a plan before on how I would display them. So I bought individual Single-Tier Sword Stand for each sword. Right now, I placed them all together in one lengthy Katana Kake that holds 11 swords, aside from my two 3-Tiered Stand that holds my two separate sets of Katana, Wakizashi and Tanto (one set “fake” and one set “genuine”), and aside from my two Shogun Vertical Stands that holds separately my Naginatas (one Machine-Made and one Hand-Forged). The fact that I keep buying from Geisha’s Blade only means one thing – their high quality products make me happy and their superior service is very convenient. Did I mention that they share superb information about Katanas and similar subjects?!?
Sword Carrying Bag
Most people buy this item to obviously carry their swords in between travel from their home to their Dojo and vice-versa. But not me. I bought it to keep my most precious katanas. I have 11 katanas on display in one Katana Kake (assembled together 11 Single-Tiered Stands); and 6 katanas on 2 separate 3-Tiered Stands; and 2 Naginatas on separate Shogun Vertical Stands; and a Daisho (paired long & short sword) in an antler-type stand. Most of them I bought from Geisha’s Blade. But my most precious katanas aren’t displayed but are inside these bags. However, the bags are in display. I bought 2 of them: one is on my Kendo Bogu worn by a mannequin and the other one is on my Yoroi. People don’t realize the importance of the katanas inside them. I RECOMMEND ANYONE WHO HAS A KATANA TO HAVE THESE SWORD BAGS.
Onna Bugeisha Naginata
You really have to research those who used Naginatas in the past before you would really appreciate this weapon. Lady Samurais (Bugeisha) and Warrior Monks (Sohei) are normally no match to Male Bushidos if they both use katanas. These give Bugeishas an equalizer or even a slight advantage. They are also cheaper than nihontos for poor Soheis that are not mounted on expensive horses unlike Samurai Warriors. I have a cheaper machine-made Naginata but I still bought this genuine hand-forged Naginata so that not only me but other people who visit my home would know the difference between the two. And I put them on separate Shogun Vertical Sword stands also from Geisha’s Blade. The first thing you would readily notice is the difference in weight. The genuine Naginata, especially if 1095 or 1060 series, are very good in cutting without being damaged. I dare not use my fake Naginata which I’m sure will sustain edge breakages if I use it for cutting. (http://www.slideshare.net/DrArielSTorres/how-to-wear-samurai-armor-3-of-4)
There are few things in this world where before you get it, there is a prerequisite. If you want to play golf, you need to learn Golf Etiquette first even before your first practice swing in the Driving Range. Similarly, before you buy a Katana, you should first learn how to clean & maintain it. So I bought a Sword Cleaning Kit to make my genuine Katanas last longer. Remember that in battle – as long as you take care of your equipment, your equipment will take care of you. My advice to future Katana owners and those who already are – BUY A SWORD CLEANING KIT AND USE IT REGULARLY. It’s also a nice display & statement that you do take care of your Katanas (even if you actually DO NOT). (http://www.slideshare.net/DrArielSTorres/how-to-wear-samurai-armor-4-of-4)
SPECIAL NOTE: You could always visit their dojo and maybe even apply to be a member. Don’t forget to wear the proper attire. If you still don’t have one . . . , well you could also get one right there and then from Geisha’s Blade. And don’t forget to give “rei” towards the “kamiza” upon entering. (http://www.slideshare.net/DrArielSTorres/how-to-wear-kendo-armor-2-of-4-12523342)
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ANSWER TO PHOTO QUESTION – There are a total of 55 Japanese type swords (including sword umbrellas, naginatas, bokkens, shinais) broken down & listed below:
11- Tiered Katana Kake = 12 katanas (since one of them is a Double Kodachi)
3-Tiered Kuro (black) Shirasaya = 3 katanas
3-Tiered plain (yellow wood) Shirasaya = 3 katanas
3-Tiered Philippine Mahogany (Kamagong) = 3 bokkens
2-Tiered Antler Style Daisho (brown) = 2 katanas
2-Tiered Mini Shinais = 2 shinais
Kendoka ceramic figure with Shinai = 1 shinai
2 Shogun Vertical Stands = 2 naginatas
Bleach Anime (Ichigo, Rukia, Toshiro, Aizen, Byakuya, Ichimaru) = 6 Sword Umbrellas
One Piece Anime (Roronoa Zoro) = 4 Sword Umbrellas
Geisha’s Blade Ken no Kasa = 1 Sword Umbrella
Darth Vader’s Akuma no Chi (red scabbard with red blade & red handle) = 1 katana
Jedi Master’s Bokken from Geisha’s Blade = 1 bokken
Kendogi with Bogu & Shinai = 1 shinai
Sode no Shirayuki (held by dying white Stormtrooper) = 1 katana
Cold Steel (Propylene) O’Bokken of O’Yoroi (partly hidden) = 1 bokken
Akechi Mitsuharu’s katana (all black yoroi) = 1 katana
1 Letter Opener katana on small vertical stand = 1 katana
2 Samurai Dolls (glass framed & hard plastic) with katanas = 2 katanas
CanoDo Samurai Warrior toy figure (Yoshitsune Minamoto) = 1 katana
CanoDo Samurai Warrior toy figure (Toshie Maeda) = 1 naginata, 2 katanas (Daisho)
CanoDo Samurai Warrior toy figure (Date Masamune) = 2 katanas (Daisho)
CanoDo Samurai Warrior toy figure (Mitsuharu Akechi) = 1 katana
To know more about the contents of this Geisha’s Blade Slash-A-Pose Photo Entry, check out the more than 70 FB comments attributed to it. (http://www.slideshare.net/DrArielSTorres/my-experience-in-an-online-cosplay-contest)
And let’s not forget my wife’s comment when Geisha’s Blade asked who she thought should win the contest. As well as her dramatic realization when she wrote to thank my friends & relatives who according to her own words, “opened my eyes on the wonders and stories about Samurai Lore” (and its relation to Star Wars) after reading their myriad FB chats & discussions.
And congratulations again to the lucky winners in the previous Geisha’s Blade “Slash-A-Pose” Photo Contest as well as to future winners in the next coming years. KUDOS to you all!!!
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P.S. To view comments and/or to post a comment, click “Notes” at the start of the article (it is located at the left side of your screen, underneath the date of publication and author’s pen name).