NBTHK Kantei Kai 2001

Here are the swords that were used by the NBTHK convention in Kobe this year. All of the blades were of very excellent condition as well as quality examples of each smiths work. The object of a “Kantei Kai” is to be able to reach the answer of who made the sword through various degrees of deduction. The tang of each sword is covered, giving one only the upper portion of the sword to view. By analyzing the characteristics of the blade, one must judge correctly the time period, school, and hopefully eventually the name of the smith that made this sword. Looking and noticing key points in conjunction with the basics, it is possible to achieve the correct answer. Characteristics that are important usually include type of hada, hamon type, boshi, shape as well as type of hataraki (kinsuji, utsuri, etc…) The following with special permission is an excellent translation from the European branch of the NBTHK of the article from the NBTHK monthly magazine “Token Bijustu”. Also included is the article from the magazine itself.

No.1 Tachi - “RAI KUNITSUGU”
No.2 Katana - “ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - NAOKATSU”
No.3 Tachi - “NAGAMITSU”
No.4 Katana - “HANKEI”

In a “Kantei Kai”, usually 5 swords are used, maximum 20 points each for a maximum score of 100. Exact correct answers are given 20 points (Atari), very close 15 points (Atari-dozen), close 10 points (Jun dozen) and very basic hit 5 points (Dozen). Total miss is 0 points (I-ya). Sometimes the scoring varies in different groups, but the NBTHK National convention is the largest one held in the world. At the National convention, it is also one of the hardest as it is a “Ippon Nyusatsu Kantei Kai” meaning that you only get one guess for your answer. During the monthly Kantei sessions held at the NBTHK each month, they have what is known as a “Sanbon Nyustatsu Kantei Kai”, which allows each person 3 guesses for their answer. These are very very informative, as they go over each sword in detail after the challenge is finished. To help one understand swords, the practice of “Kantei” is a very important tool in the education of Japanese swords. 




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