About Nihonto Australia
To those of you who I haven’t yet had the pleasure to meet or discuss Japanese swords with my name is John Grasso. Here I thought that I would briefly introduce myself, Nihonto Australia and Samurai Gallery Australia.
My passion for Japanese Samurai swords, or Nihonto as they are referred to in their traditional language, began at a young age and spans back to the beginning of a martial arts career over 30 years ago. As a young martial artist practicing in the disciplines of Karate, Muay Thai and Kickboxing I couldn’t help but become fascinated in the Bushido Warrior Code, Japanese Samurai history and Japanese Samurai swords.
After studying and collecting Japanese swords for over 15 years I launched what would become the first version of Nihonto Australia. At the time Nihonto Australia was one of the first Australian websites totally dedicated to Japanese swords and their related artefacts.
Now after having collected Japanese swords for over 30 years I still find the subject fascinating and enjoy sharing my passion with other collectors and enthusiasts in Australia and across the globe. In 2014 I opened Samurai Gallery Australia to further continue sharing my passion for the subject. Samurai Gallery Australia is a gallery located in Cairns, dedicated to all aspects of historical Japanese works of art and particularly Samurai swords, armour and artefacts. Samurai Gallery Australia is open to the public by appointment and offers private bookings to educational institutions beginning from primary school all the way through to university, community organisations, martial arts schools and any other private group interested in learning more.
Meticulously hand crafted Japanese swords been treasured for over 1000 years, starting originally with the Samurai that wielded them in battle and followed by generations of family members that have continued to pass them down. In addition to family members treasuring these historical master pieces, there is growing market of collectors and enthusiasts who are also captivated by these swords. Japanese swords are in fact considered to be 1 of 3 great treasures of Japanese history and are included in the Imperial Family’s Regalia.
I travel to Japan frequently in order to further my study and knowledge in Japanese swords from my Sensei and number of mentors. This regular travel gives me the opportunity to acquire special pieces for my clients as well as my gallery in Cairns. Clients often tell me that I take the hard work out of collecting Japanese swords and make collecting them a lot easier by travelling thousands of kilometres to acquire rare and special pieces. Many of my clients have now built expansive, wonderful collections of specifically hand-picked swords and artefacts. If you are looking for a special piece for your collection, as a gift or to exhibit in a museum or art gallery I can assist you to make the right decision in acquiring the perfect work of art.
As a member of the NBTHK (Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai or Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords), the Great Britain Token Society, The Australian Society for the preservation of Japanese art swords and the Heritage and Arms Society I treat the preservation of Japanese swords as an upmost priority. Over the past 30 years I’ve had the sincere enjoyment of personally having a countless number of swords professionally restored in the traditional manner in Japan. Many of these include swords that were brought to Australia after WWII as trophies of war that had fallen into a state of disrepair. By having these pieces restored they have received another life and are now preserved for future generations to appreciate. If you or someone you know has a Japanese sword that was brought back from WWII or acquired in some other way feel free to contact me and we can discuss the best way to care for and preserve it.
Japanese swords were originally created as weapons for functional use in battle. Today however, we see them as important cultural assets and as timeless pieces of art. The skills that were utilised to create Japanese swords and the level of mastery that was reached is nothing short of amazing. These works of art have stood the test of time and it is now our duty to ensure that we continue to preserve them for future generations.
We hope you enjoy browsing our website and we try our best to keep it updated all of the time. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re interested in any of the items on the website, want to discuss the preservation of Japanese swords or would like an opinion on one. If you’re ever in Cairns, Far North Queensland don’t forget to stop by Samurai Gallery Australia to see our collection.
John & Kristie Grasso.