Excellent advice for those of us going to camp in a couple of weeks for grading.
My Christmas present finally arrived! On January 26, 2011, I became the proud owner of a Ajiro Koshiare Iaito. The Iaito was exactly how it was described on the Tozondoshop.com website. I chose this Iaito because it has a bamboo theme. My Sensei’s family crest is three bamboo leaves so I thought that was neat. Interestingly enough, the Menuki is the same design as is on his Katana. The Tsuka is wrapped in black cotton with a bamboo theme on the Fuchi. The Tsuba has a nice bamboo theme also. The blade itself has a straight Hamon which I think gives it a simple but classy appearance. A rich, black high gloss on the Saya gives it a real sharp-looking finish. In addition, the Iaito came with a nice purple bag.
Overall, I am very satisfied with my purchase. It is lighter than the one I was previously using however seems pretty well balanced and it fits nicely into the Saya, not too tight or too loose. I would say the only negative is the length of time it took to ship the Iaito to me and the fact that it didn’t come with any oils. I presume that with the holiday special at Tozondo, production got backed up. Perfectly understandable however communication as to why it took nearly 6 wks from order to delivery would have been nice.