Mike Yamasaki is the series’ “Japanese sword expert,” and he has plenty of experience to back up that title. According to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop Website, Yamasaki grew up in Los Angeles and began researching Japanese swords at an early age, first learning about them through his grandfather. He later studied at the Japanese Sword Museum (NBTHK), and in 2001, he became the only non-Japanese “All Japan Appraisal Champion” for his talents in appraising swords. He frequently gives lectures at the American branch of the NBTHK and is also a founding member of said branch (via Tetsugendo).
When he’s not being called up by members of the “Pawn Stars” cast, Mike sells and collects swords through Tetsugendo.com, and curates Japanese sword exhibitions for different museums across the U.S. As far as the experts go on “Pawn Stars,” not many can say they have won a national appraisal award for their talents, and Yamasaki’s long history of studying and collecting Japanese swords make him one of the most impressive experts the series has to offer.