In 1976, I bought my first Japanese sword. My thinking was that every black belt should own a sword. Little did I know then, that my purchase of a signed WWII katana would lead me on a long enjoyable journey. My visit to the public library did not provide many books. I could get books on the interlibrary loan - that included books from Japan. Among the books read, I found a reference to the Japanese Sword Society of the United States (JSSUS). I joined and increased both my source of information and friends as well. My second sword was far more expensive, far older and a lot shorter as it was an aikuchi O tanto.
I met two avid collectors who became my mentors. They also introduced me to a group of collectors in Rochester New York. The group (Muto Kai) met after gun shows in Rochester. They are a wonderful group all of whom studied and shared their knowledge. I did my first presentation on swords there and shortly after that I submitted an article to the JSSUS Newsletter.
Jumping years ahead, I currently am a Director of the JSSUS, its Ombudsman and their website manager. I am the past president of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Token Kai (J.C.C.C. sword club).