As a consultant for, Mike Yamasaki has been involved in the study of Japanese swords for over 27 years. First learning about the sword through the Japanese martial arts, he has since then become devoted to the study of the Japanese sword itself.

Studying both in the United States and in Japan, he has had the opportunity to attend several "Kantei Kai" or what is known as a  sword identification challenge held usually every month at the NBTHK. In 1998, he attended the NBTHK 40th anniversary national sword convention and received an award for placing 5th out of  200+ participants in the sword identification challenge held at the convention. Then again in Sept  2001, he became the first ever non-Japanese citizen to ever win this competition. Again there were over 200 entrants, many of which were long time collectors and enthusiast residing in Japan. Also, at the most recent NBTHK national convention (Nov 2008), he entered the challenge once again and landed 2nd place.
He currently lectures at the Los Angeles West Coast Shibu of the NTHK and holds a traditional Japanese style Kantei Kai for the members about 3-4 times a year. On occasion he also holds lectures for the Nanka Token Kai and the American branch of the NBTHK as well. He has also made appearances on and done consulting for the History Channel, and the PBS show “Collectors Café”
Member: NBTHK, NTHK, NTK , NCJSC and West Coast NTHK Shibu.


  John Kurata has had an interest in Japanese swords for quite some time. He is well versed in the technology field as well and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is and expert in the area of infrared sensors and works as a consultant for several major aerospace firms. A true student of the sword, John regularly attends the meetings of both the NTHK West Coast Shibu, as well as the Nanka Token Kai every month. A martial arts background in Judo when he was younger gave him an interest in Japanese swords as well as Japanese history. He is probably best known recently as a provider of quality Japanese swords and sword related items on the Ebay circuit. He also provides a consignment service on Ebay for those that do not wish to deal with the trouble of the auction game. He is proficient in the Japanese language as well, and is now studying about Japanese swords in more detail. 




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