References & Referrals

I remember the first time that I met Paul Martin, through the introduction of mukansa Japanese sword polisher Kazunori Abe, when he came to the Ginza Choshuya sword store. That was already over 10 years ago. His reticence and correct use of Japanese etiquette made an impression on me. However, occasionally, he would use some high school students’ type Japanese slang that would bring a wry smile to my face. I am happy to say that since that time he has refined his Japanese.

We asked him to provide us with some translations of sword explanantions. Paul is very knowledgeable about Japanese swords, so his explanations for our overseas customers were very popular. Ginza Choshuya are most grateful for his efforts. Currently, Paul has made his base in Japan, dedicating himself to writing publications on swords. We wish him the very best for the future.

Tomoriki Imazu
Sales Dept, Ginza Choshuya

I stumbled across Paul Martin’s website ( ) and his webpage offering to act as an agent for anyone wanting to purchase items from several different japanese nihonto website. I had been eyeing a piece at one of the stores listed, Tsuruginomiya. It wasn’t an extraordinarily expensive or rare piece; it was one of the relatively affordable items, so I wasn’t sure if it would be worth his time (he doesn’t charge any commissions) as I wanted to negotiate the price. Still, I sent him a PM.

Paul emailed me back quickly for the details and my offer and also handled my request very quickly Then he put me into direct contact with the seller to workout payment. Long story short, the deal went off without a hitch and I’m the happy owner of another lovely tsuba! Ultimately he was able to work out what amounts to about a 5% discount from the price, which was great.

I will definitely be using him again when the occasion arises and I hope this endorsement empowers others who may have longed for pieces on japanese dealer sites but didn’t know where to turn too, to pursue those items through Paul.



Several years ago I came across Mr. Paul Martin’s information and Japanese sword services by way of a simple internet search. In a very short time Paul provided me an outstanding array of information and quality services all at the expense of his own personal time and commitment to the craft of the Japanese sword and culture.

Through him I have acquired a unique shinsakuto, received top quality restoration services on a rare WWII katana, and most recently was able to acquire an exceptionally nice and well priced Akasaka tsuba via his negotiation skills and contacts within Japan.

Mr. Martin is a rare individual amongst people today. He embodies a deep knowledge of the Japanese sword and its culture and exemplifies this via his selfless donation of his own personal time and energy. He elegantly succeeds in his ongoing quest to promote both the rich history of the Japanese sword and the continuity of the modern sword craft.

I look forward to working with Paul for many years to come as I continue my quest for knowledge and for the acquisition of Japanese artifacts for my self study.

With highest regards and respect,
Eric J. Santucci
15 May 2013


For a western collector it is not so easy to buy a Nihonto in Japan. Besides the language barrier there is the remarkable difference in culture and one also has to fulfill all sorts of often very complicated administrative formalities. Luckily I got the valuable tip from an experienced collector to contact Paul Martin. Paul, who is very knowledgeable about Nihonto, helped me with his expert advice, his good contacts in the world of Japanese sword connoisseurs and his experience with the required paperwork.

As a result, the whole operation which, at first, seemed difficult and troublesome, went very easy and comfortable. I have come to know Paul as a friendly person, a true connoisseur of Japanese swords and a real gentleman. Without his valuable help, I would probably never have been the proud owner of the sword of my dreams that I am today. If I would consider ever again to buy another Nihonto in Japan, I shall surely ask for Paul’s highly appreciated help once more.

Paul Vos
June 2013