Hello, my name is Georgi. I am a 27 year old, married with a beautiful 1-year-old. I live in Bulgaria, which is a small country on one side of the Black sea.
First I would like to say that this crowdfunding is a personal one and I do not want to be taking away from donations for the more meaningful campaigns. This is my dream, it is not a necessity. That being said, I will really appreciate it if you decide to help me realize my dream
My dream is to visit Japan and own a modern shinken (real) katana sword.
How it started.
Since 2007 I have been really fascinated with Japan. I was brought up to Japans culture since I was 13 and started showing interest in their language and culture. It all started with anime, manga and the samurai. Later this fascination grew the more I was experiencing their culture. I started dreaming of visiting Japan and buying a real japanese sword no matter how much it would cost. Not a replica or a training iaido sword - the real tamahagane forged blade.
I got myself a wooden boken sword and started practicing. I even bought my little brother another sword so we could spar. Myself and a friend in high school practiced drawing swords.
When I was 16 I finished 2 courses on Japanese language (levels A1 and A2). I could not understand why Japanese was one of the harder languages to learn. Maybe because I had such a big interest in it that things went easier for me (excluding Kanji). After the courses I packed all of the grammar into 2 files, 1 for each course, and made them in English. I cannot remember how many hours I have spent on that but it was really self-fulfilling.
As the years went by my priorities took over. University, job, family, and the dream to visit Japan has slowly been moved aside because of other difficulties with studying, work, having a baby. I never stopped being interested and watching anime and reading manga, which has kept some of my knowledge of the Japanese language and I have not forgotten everything. I could even say I am able to understand a small amount of sentences just to be able to find discrepancies from translated subtitles. Really good without any practice of the language for years.
How it sparked again?
Recently I stumbled upon a channel in youtube that a japanese person shows the beauty of Kyoto and explains general things about traveling to Japan - "the friendly japanese friend from Kyoto". He shows some amazing martial art stores, restaurants, dojos, studios where you can try traditional japanese yoroi (armor). He managed to instantly bring back all the dreams and desires to visit again Japan and experience all of this. And especially he lit my dream of owning a real forged katana.
Since then I have watched numerous videos on the extraction of tamahagane with tatara furnace, the technology of the metals, composition, forging the blade, why they fold the steel, why they add a different core to the sword etc.
Why am I doing a crowdfunding?
Since some years now I have been living with my fiance and now wife. We have had financial difficulties and we have never been able to save money. We had a lot of difficulties getting her pregnant and this took every little penny we had. Fortunately we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. We are getting slowly on our feet and hopefully we will soon reach the point where our monthly income is enough to get us to next salary without big sacrifices and difficulties.This, unfortunately, means we cannot even now save absolutely anything. A big % of the income goes into bank credits.
I live in a small country with a cheap currency. Salaries here are not as big as those in western European countries and given that the currency difference is about 2 times cheaper than the EUR, we would need years upon years to afford such a trip, let alone afford a sword and experience more of the japanese culture in museums, dojos and streets
To give a perspective I would at most be able to, if things are really good (which never happens), save up to 100 BGN a month or 50 EUR. This would require at least 20 years of saving if no emergencies arise during this period. And this is highly unlikely. All this is with today's prices. In 10 or 15 years who knows how things will change.
What I need and what I will spend it on?
Every penny from this crowdfunding will go towards the following expenses in the order that I specify below. Any expenses that go above the crowdfunded amount I will save up and accomplish on my own.
- Shinken katana - real forged sword from tamahagane steel with certificate. Costs range start from 800 000 YEN (6000 EUR) at the bottom to 1 500 000 YEN (12 500 EUR). Most good and beautiful swords are around 1 300 000 YEN or 10 000 EUR;
- Airplane tickets - 1600 EUR for 2 (me and my wife) are the cheapest available as of today (12.11.2021);
- Trying japanese modern armor (yoroi) with photos;
- Visiting a dojo and cutting tatami mats;
- Visiting museums in Kyoto/Osaka;
- Shinkansen fare.
The amount of crowdfunding I have specified here will be used for buying a sword. After that for plane tickets and anything else if funds are available. If not all will be done with whatever money I am able to afford to save up for this trip.
What I will do after the trip?
If I am lucky enough to be able to visit Japan and buy a real sword with your help what I can do for you is dedicate a blog page in my website advIOconsult.com and detail everything about the trip.
By everything I mean I will post details of how every penny from this crowdfunding is spent, starting from the transfer to my bank account, going through the purchase of tickets, the trip to Japan, the trip within Japan, the visit of stores, museums, restaurants with details, pictures and receipts. Everything will be published along with the history of the sword I buy, certificate, creators and where it will be placed in my home.
I hope this will sound like an interesting enough give-back for you, because there is nothing else I can think of as a return for your generosity. Thank you!