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Nakamura Naoya Oshigata Notebook (Old Edo) Translations


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#1 Randy McCall

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 08:21 PM

I've much appreciated the assistance of NMB members Wym Vanspeybrouck, Jussi Ekholm, David McDonald, Darcy Brockbank, K. Morita and  Maurice_LMB in identifiying / translating the mei found in the Edo period oshigata notebook I've posted online at:  http://hidensho.com/ 

With their help, the first 29 pages of the manuscript have been almost completely identified.  Understandably though, this is a major undertaking for only a few people, and time can be hard to find.

To this point, I'll be taking another tack in seeking help.  In this post I'll be uploading eight or so images from these first 29 pages of oshigata which have yet to be identified / translated.  I invite any interested members to take a stab at identifying the smith / translating any available text (which may be difficult for some items, as the oshigata actually run under the binding area of the book... another confirmation this was an old scroll converted into book format).

After this  -- about once a week or so -- I'll post one full-size page of the manuscript and invite group participation in identifying / translating the sword, smiths and text.  Any information provided will be added to the project at hidensho.com and credited to the translator under their NMB username (unless privacy is requested)

At the suggestion of a specialist in antique documents, I'll be referring to this volume from now on as the "Nakamura Naoya Oshigata Notebook", as Nakamura Naoya is the earliest owner name listed on the cover page.

FYI, I'm also working on an article on this text / project for the JSSUS Newsletter. 

As always, all help appreciated.

Oshigata #35 (Image and text run under binding), page 11, direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-11/ 
35.jpg

 

Oshigata #38, page 11, direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-11/

38.jpg

 

Text between oshigata #62 and #63, page 18, direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-18/

62-63.jpg

 

Oshigata #67 (Image and text run under binding), page 19, direct link: http://hidensho.com/page-19/ )

67.jpg

Oshigata #82 and #83, page 22, direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-22/
82-83.jpg

 

Oshigata #87 (Image and text run under binding), page 23, direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-23/ 
87.jpg

Oshigata #102 and #103, page 26, direct link: http://hidensho.com/page-26/
102-103.jpg

Oshigata #106, page 27, direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-27
106.jpg /
 


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#2 Randy McCall

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:26 PM

I'd like to thank NMB member Robert Mormile, who very quickly responded with the translations and additional notes for all the above, posting them directly to the comments area for each item on the http://hidensho.comweb site.  These new notes have been added to the main item descriptions found under each page photograph.  Each entry links to side comments boxes, where registered members can discuss translation, add notes, etc.   NMB members wishing to register and participate can do so by using the following sign-up form:  http://hidensho.com/...r-registration/

I did miss two oshigata, which will complete the translations or notes on first 28 pages, added below:

Oshigata #99 and #100, page 26, direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-26/

99-100.jpg


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#3 Randy McCall

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 04:45 PM

And thanks again to Robert for quickly identifying the smith and text of the mei for #99 and #100!  Wonderful work! 

I'll compose a blog post on the Hidensho site and get that out this afternoon for those on our mailing list.  Later this week I'll  begin posting a page at a time from the manuscript for people to look at / kantei.  As I said before, this will be done once or week or so (or when all of a page is done), so as to not overwhelm people.





 


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#4 Brian

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 07:21 PM

Nice one Robert! :clap:

 

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#5 Randy McCall

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 05:36 PM

Robert is continuing to work quietly away in the background (for which I am very grateful).  It will take me some time to process his information as it comes in, add it to the main pages, update page images where needed to indicate omote / ura pairings, update the smiths listing etc., so I thought I'd post the next page in series for the membership to consider:  see below.

On an extra note, I've now set the web site's search engine to include searches of comments by author's name. By doing this you will be able to quickly pull up all entries made by Robert and the other NMB members I've listed in the posts above. 

Page 29, Oshigata #108 - 113.  Direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-29/
 

IMG_0625_29.jpg


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#6 Randy McCall

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 03:50 PM

Thanks to Robert's continuing work, I've been able to update the following pages / oshigata.   Asterisks indicate where omote / ura pairings have been identified.

Note these are the main page listings only.  Photographic labeling and database updates will be done later.  Due to the number of updates, I'm not able to provide direct links. 

You can access these pages via: http://hidensho.com/

Work is ongoing.

 

page   oshigata #

109    422, 423, 424
108    415, 417, 419
106    405, 406
97      379
94      367, 368
92      363, 364 *
90      356
89      354, 355 * *
88      349, 351
83      330, 333
79      320
77      312, 313
69      280, 282, 283
68      276
67      268, 269, 272
65      263
64      256, 258
60      235, 238
59      230, 231
58      226, 227, 229 *
57      222,223 *
55      214, 215, 216, 217, 218 *
54      212
50      195
47      184, 185, 186, 187 *


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#7 Randy McCall

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 03:54 PM

The latest oshigata translations and notes by Robert Mormile which I've had a chance to post to the appropriate pages .  A particular note of interest is that Robert may have found a 友成 Tomonari (I'll post images at the end of this message).  Of course, you can view these updated pages at:  http://hidensho.com/

Page  Oshigata #  (asterisks denote defined omote / ura oshigata pairs)
 

Page   Oshigata #

100    388
99      385
75      306 *
73      301, 302 *
72      294, 295 *
71      292, 293 *
67      270, 271
66      264
64      255
63      247, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254 *
62      244, 245 *
61      239, 231
52      200, 201, 202
49      192
48      189
46      177, 178, 179, 182 *
45      171, 172, 173, 174 **
44      168, 169, 170 **
43      163, 165 *
42      160
41      155, 156, 157, 158, 159 *
39      147, 148, 149, 150, 151
37      137, 138, 139, 140, 141 *
36      135, 136
35      129, 130, 131, 132, 133 *
32      122, 123, 124
31      118, 119, 212 *
30      114, 115, 116, 117 *
29      113


Possible Tomonari blade:  Page 46, #177  Direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-46/

 

I'm including both the image from the web site photographs, and a closeup I took this morning showing text partly or entirely hidden under the binding area.  This is all that can be exposed without damaging the binding.

Image one - from hidensho.com website

 

tomonari 1.jpg

 

Image two:  enlarged close up photograph including text under the binding area.

 

tomonari 2.jpg


 


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#8 Randy McCall

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 07:15 PM

I've finished posting Robert Mormile's translation and notes, and I've updated the previous post so it now reflects all the latest oshigata he's worked on.  Between what I've posted today -- and in posts earlier this week -- you'll see that  Robert has translated over 120 oshigata, and is continuing to work on identifying more (once I've had a chance to get higher quality closeup pictures, that is).

Thanks to Robert and K. Morita, we have a better idea of the actual age of the document.  K. Morita identified #260 (page 65) as being the oshigata of a blade classed as an Important Cultural Property;  this oshigata shows the nakaga ubu, but it is known that was shortened around 1868, so we're certain the rubbing was made prior to 1867.

One of the oshigata Robert has just translated has a date inscribed on if of " 文政三年仲秋  Bun Sei San Nen Naka Aki:  “In the middle of Autumn in the third year of the Bunsei era (1821)”.  (Page 31, Oshigata #118, 119)

This allows us to bracket the age of the manuscript, which may have been used to record oshigata over an extended period of time (certainly there are changes in handwriting)
The earliest possible date would be from circa 1821 (give or take a decade), but no later 1867. 


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#9 Randy McCall

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 04:28 PM

Robert Mormile continues his excellent work, with his latest additions being:

Page  Oshigata #

61      240
47      183
46      181
38      142, 143, 144, 145, 146
29      109,110, 112
 

 

I'd also like to welcome new Hidensho site contributor Steven Miller, who came to us via NMB.  Steven has focused on some of the more illegible mei or obscure author notes written in the Notebook, offering refinements to existing translations, the rendering of difficult passages, and of course, translation of mei as well.
 

Page  Oshigata #
40      152
34      128
33      126
25        96
24        95
18        63
14        50
11        35
10        34
9          29
5          14
4          13
1           2 

Of particular interest to NMB members, he's found the following:

  • Page 1, #2 (direct link: http://hidensho.com/page-1/) text to the right of the oshigata translates as:  Nobunaga-kō yori gohairyō tachi:  “Tachi received from Lord Nobunaga”
     
  • Page 34, #128 (direct link http://hidensho.com/page-34/)  text to the left of the rubbing:  裏名 二胴武州住前嶋番右衛門截断之   Ura-mei Futatsu-dō Bushū-jū Maejima Banemon saidan kore: “Two-body cut performed by Maejima Banemon of Bushū”


 


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#10 Brian

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 06:57 PM

:clap: :clap: :clap:


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#11 Randy McCall

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 03:08 PM

Steve Miller latest oshigata translations, some including discussion on some fine points of translation / language use. 

Page  Oshigata #

63      248
61      241
60      237, 238
56      219, 220
55      215
54      212, 213
53      207
52     199, 203
48     191
45     174, 175
42     162

 

He has found something very special.   Page 45, #174 and #175 (omote / ura).  Direct link:  http://hidensho.com/page-45/

#174 (omote): 山城国西原住人埋忠明壽  Yamashiro (no) Kuni Nishihara Jyu Nin Umetada Myojyu. 
This sword is noted in the entry for Umetada in the Meitō index. This entry notes the sword was in the possession of Mitsuya Chikao when it was designated an Important Art Work on 25th of July, 1933. It was designated an Important Cultural Property on 29th of March, 1952. It is now in the hands of a private collector.
http://meitou.info/i.../index.php/埋忠明寿

#175 (ura):  所持埋忠彦八郎重代   Shoji Umetada Hikohachirō Shigeshiro: “Held by Umetada Hikohachirō Shigeshiro”.   The notes above the oshigata read:  同彫物裏表龍   Dō horimono ura-omote ryū:  “Dragon carving on the front and back of the same blade.”   玉追上リ下リ龍   Tamaoi nobori kudari ryū:  “Rising and falling dragon with jewels”

He notes that it seem likely Mitsuya Chikao was related to Mitsuya Miyamatsu, whose family library inkan we find on the cover page of this notebook. 
 


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#12 Randy McCall

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 03:41 PM

I've just added Steven Miller's latest work, and -- thanks to all our selfless members -- at this point we have 313 out of 424 oshigata identified (along with margin notes and some technical discussion among translators), leaving 111 left.   Many of the remaining are faint, blurred or indistinct, or run partly under the binding area of the manuscript, making translation difficult.

I'm in the process of reshooting close to 100 oshigata at the request of our translators (with thanks to Robert Mormile for his extensive list), mostly as closeups or focusing on specific indistinct areas of  mei, using a HD camera.  This type of camera produces massively large image files, but will allow our translators to zoom in to extreme close range.  I'll also be using different camera angles and lighting to reshoot many oshigata running along (or under) the binding edge, hoping to expose either more of the oshigata or hidden margin notes.

Finally, for a few of the very faint oshigata (  for example:  http://hidensho.com/page-99/) closeups will be shot and these images run through contrast and colour filters in Photoshop, in an attempt to make the mei more legible.  

 

More news as events warrant. 






 


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Hidensho.com Antique Manuscripts Translation Project: http://hidensho.com/


#13 Randy McCall

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 03:51 PM

Steven Miller has deciphered the oshigata on page 70 of the Nakamura notebook.  Direct link: http://hidensho.com/page-70/

Interestingly, one omote / ura paired set of rubbings (#286, #287) bears the signature of three smiths: 

  •  Harima-no-kami ? Takamichi (presumably the unreadable kanji is 源 – Minamoto)
  •  Awa-no-kami Taira Takamichi
  •  Yamato(No)Kami Minamoto Yasumichi

A written note to the side of the rubbings definitely states this blade is the work of three smiths - 三作貮尺弐寸九分細直刃    San-saku, ni-shaku, ni-sun, kyū-bun, hoso-suguba:  “Three smiths’ work. 2-shaku, 2-sun, 9-bun. Hoso-suguba”

Oshigata #288, #289, #300 are all of one sword.  #288 and #300 are of the omote / ura views.  #289 is a rubbing of the mune of the nakgago, which -- unusually -- bears the date of forging.  The way the date is written is very non-standard, making it difficult to be sure of the exact date.    "天正拾ニニ年八月吉日  Tenshō 12 2 August Auspicious Day.  Date literally translates as “Tenshō 10 2 2“, which may mean 10+2+2, or 22 or some other combination"


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Hidensho.com Antique Manuscripts Translation Project: http://hidensho.com/


#14 DirkO

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 04:17 PM

.    "天正拾ニニ年八月吉日  Tenshō 12 2 August Auspicious Day.  Date literally translates as “Tenshō 10 2 2“, which may mean 10+2+2, or 22 or some other combination"

 

The Japanese sometimes write 4 as 2-2 because 4 has a bad connotation to it (something with it sounding the same as the Japanese for death) - it's not that uncommon in date signatures.


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#15 Toryu

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 08:14 PM

Agreed Tensho 14...
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#16 Robert Mormile

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 09:30 PM

Randy,

 

Just an FYI.  I went through many volumes specializing in Koto swords and wasn’t able to locate that Tomonari signature anywhere.  It seems to be an example that was not widely known/published.  The books I went through are as follows:

Imamura Oshigata

Yumei Koto Taikan

Nihonto Juyo Bijutsuhin Zenshu

Bizen Den Taikan

Meibutsu Token

Koto Meisaku Shu

*and others…

 

Also, after consulting the Juyo Token To Bunrui Mokuroku (my copy issue date 1999) there were no Tomonari blades that passed Juyo with this specified length. 

 

Based on the oshigata, the signature is worthy of further study.  Wonder where the sword is today…

 

Robert


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#17 Randy McCall

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 10:57 PM

Fascinating Robert, thanks!  Suggestions from NMB members on how to proceed in investigating this would be appreciated.

 

 

...Also, after consulting the Juyo Token To Bunrui Mokuroku (my copy issue date 1999) there were no Tomonari blades that passed Juyo with this specified length. 

 

Based on the oshigata, the signature is worthy of further study.  Wonder where the sword is today…

 

Robert

 


"Research - it's what I do"

Randy McCall
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Hidensho.com Antique Manuscripts Translation Project: http://hidensho.com/


#18 Randy McCall

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 11:28 PM

On a separate note, I've acquired a set of oshigata scrolls dated 1620 (Genna 6).  They'll have an initial inspection by knowledgeable persons late this month;  more news if/when it is warranted. 


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#19 Randy McCall

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 02:52 PM

Robert Mormile has added several new translations, as well as contributing to discussion on possible translations of a barely decipherable oshigata. 
 

Page     Oshigata #

 

p 11        35 (final agreement on translation)
p 34      127
p 36      134
p 46      177  Tomonari oshigata (thanks for all the effort on this one, Robert!)
p 99      386


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#20 Randy McCall

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 02:16 PM

Robert Mormile is continuing to work on translating some of the fainter, smudged, damaged and hidden (by the binding) oshigata.

Page  Oshigata
44      66, 167
45      176
48      188
52      199 confirmation
54      209
57      221, 224
59      232, 233
68      273*, 274 peer review requested
69      281* peer review requested

Note that for oshigata #273 and 281, he is requesting peer review of his work, as they are extreme faint rubbings and/or the mei appears damaged.

 


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#21 Randy McCall

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 03:24 PM

Robert is wrapping up the oshigata he is able to identify, with the following: 

 

Page  Oshigata #

72      296, 297
73      298
75      305
76      307, 308, 309, 310, 311
77      314, 315, 316
78      318, 319
80      321**, 322, 323  (** This oshigata's notes include details of a two-body test cut)

 

It's interesting to note that almost all oshigata from pages 1 - 80 have been identified.  It's only after this page that the rubbings start being too faint or too poorly executed to be easily identifiable;  there is a noticeable change in handwriting and rubbing style around this point in the manuscript, suggesting the notebook had been passed on or inherited. 

Only 71 oshigata remain unidentified out of 424 individual rubbings.


"Research - it's what I do"

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Hidensho.com Antique Manuscripts Translation Project: http://hidensho.com/





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