ISSUE # 169, JUNE 2022
From The Desk of Paul Southren
A slightly different looking format for the digest this month - mostly as part of our constant quest to evolve the digest, but also because it was the easiest way to get rid of the strange #nospacingissue that I had in the previous months edition - not having to go back and insert the spaces between words after writing a sentence is quite a nice change from last month I can tell you! (Thanks to everyone who wrote in words of encouragement and/or suggestions on how to fix it!).
Sword Industry News
For the most part it has been 'more of the same' for the sword industry as it comes close to reaching the mid point of 2022. That is to say, rampant inflation, insane shipping costs, government interference and endless supply chain issues - so it really no surprise that there is little, if anything new actually hitting the shelves (after all, as it is so hard to actually get or keep anything on the shelves at all, trying to get prototypes or new designs slotted into production is next to impossible)..

That said, some sword sellers are continuing to evolve and push the envelope, with industry leader Kult of Athena now experimenting with 3D, rotatable images of their exclusive house brand Balaur Arms Swords. Along with the extensive stats provided for each listing and standard product photos, this new tool will allow a prospective buyer to turn and tilt the sword from almost any angle - seeing its dimensions, checking areas that are of interest but not shown well in the pictures and basically as close as you can currently get to 'dry handling' the sword without being in the same room..
Kult of Athena management have not yet decided how far they will be rolling out this technology because as to be expected it is very time intensive to create and they have a LOT if they decided to roll it out full scale. But I can definitely see how it can be useful in making a buying decision and its great to see KoA continuing to push the envelope even in these difficult and uncertain times.
Swords in the News
In Japan you can donate to a town to get a tax deduction, and often get a nominal physical token of appreciation from the town. But in this awesome article, a group of the next generation of Japanese swordsmiths who apprenticed under none other than the legendary Yoshindo Yoshihara offer custom Katana, Tachi and Tanto instead of the usual local crabcakes or green tea..! Such an awesome idea and great to see these young up and coming smiths!

From a sword purchased at auction in Australia for $4,000 that turned out to be a priceless national treasure to the $100 million dollar Tachi - money inc.com lists a bit of a random list of 'the 5 most expensive Samurai Swords in the World'. Not the most accurate article (and not very well researched), but is a good starting point to doing your own research.

You have almost certainly heard or used the expression - but do you know the full tale of the sword of Damocles and what it represents? This article by the Greekreporter.com will fill you in if not..

It's not news that Disneyland has been undergoing a LOT of changes in the last few years. But despite many changes over the years (and even someone of above average strength ripping it from its moorings) it is still possible to visit and try your luck to remove the sword from the stone and become King or Queen.. This article celebrates this Arthurian attraction over the years.

With over 1000 items from the personal collection of German entrepreneur and Samurai historical artifact collector Peter Janssen, this new museum just opened last month in Berlin. It's origin? The urban legend that actually happens - picking up a priceless antique at a flea market or garage sale!

While we might imagine the nobility endlessly feasting on tables piled high with roasted meats - the reality regardless of social status was that medieval Anglo Saxon diets were mostly plant based..

Fancy yourself to be on official performer or assistant at the Carloina RenFaire in October this year? They are now taking applications (click here for their official website to register your interest).

With so many Renaissance faires around the world now re-opening after being closed due to COVID Wisconsin's Chippewa Valley fair decided it was also the perfect time to make a return. Heartening to see and we are glad they did!

Shared originally on Instagram, this behind the scenes photo shows part of the huge arsenal of swords used to shoot season 3 of the popular Netflix series 'the Witcher' starring Henry Cavill.
Video of the Month
For the most part, its cost prohibitive to buy a nice shadowbox to display or highlight a sword in your collection. But if you have some DIY skills and a workshop, CKWoodworks has a video shows you step by step how to make your own!
As with most DIY projects, the first one is always the hardest..
Best Forum Posts
LK Chen are well known for their high quality replicas of traditional Chinese swords. So this new project branching out to make a medieval sword with advise and feedback from popular Youtuber Matt Easton looks like a project worth keeping an eye on.

An interesting thread discussing the ethical line in the sand when it comes to commissioning a custom sword order based on another makers sword.

From 80s Ninjato wallhangers to all manner of imitation SLO's - forumites discuss some of their worst purchases.

A loose or rattling Fuchi can be an annoyance on an otherwise good sword. Here is how to fix it if it happens.
Hope you enjoyed the June issue of the digest!

While the year might be a bit too 'grindy' overall, let's hope that some of the friction of the first half of the year starts to ease and our industry can take a little 'breather' after nearly 30 months of trouble and strife..

Until then, stay strong, stay safe and happy Swordening!

  • Paul
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Sword Buyers Guide Limited | Sword-Buyers-Guide.com