A martial arts expert offers invaluable tips for navigating the complex — and potentially very expensive — world of the Japanese sword collector.
When I moved from Japan to San Francisco in 1971, I brought along a few Japanese swords and bladed weapons. Back then, most Japanese swords in the United States could be purchased for $5 or $10. Sometimes an expensive item such as a daimyo-tachi (feudal warlord's long sword) would sell for $50. A complete set of yoroi (armor) would go for about $200.