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Niji Kunitoshi

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#1 Kirst

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:41 AM

Hi I really need help!! Was doing some research on an old katana that my grandfather had accepted during the surrender from a Japanese general in paua.
Well OMG!! what we have is a niji kunitoshi 2 mai tatchi/katana not sure.
What makes it even more interesting is that it has alot of encryption down the blade which is unfortunately in bad shape so hard to read. How amazing!!!!
Mind blow aside......where do I go? What do I do? Appraisal, insurance, national treasure listing?? Really confused and not sure who to reach out to and feel I am not taken seriously.
Thanks in advance.

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#2 Greg F

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:54 AM

Gday Kirst and welcome. The first thing would probably be to take pics. Remove the Tsuka (handle) by removing the bamboo pin (mekugi) and take pic of the Nakago with signature. Take apic of full naked blade and of the Kissaki (tip) and any close ups of the blade. If you want any feedback on the Koshirae(fitings) you could post pics of that as well. All the best.

Greg
Ps. Great to see another Ausie on board.

#3 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:56 AM

Start by posting here. Then your next step would be shinsa and polish if folks think it has a chance to pass. Just because a blade is inscribed with a big name, doesn't mean that the signature is valid. I think there is a lot of steps before you start worrying about it being a national treasure.
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#4 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:57 AM

To add - since you're in Australia, there are a few collectors and dealers that could look at it as well.
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#5 raymondsinger

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:01 AM

Copying over my comments from the duplicate post.

Hi Krist,

First, please don't give to an amateur polisher for restoration. You have Andrew Ickeringill in Australia who may be able to connect you with an agent for the shinsa process to authenticate the sword and confirm whether or not you have an actual Niji Kunitoshi.

That said, can you provide us with more details and give background on why you believe it to be a Kunitoshi? Even if authentic, I would not encourage you to have the expectation that the sword will be designated a National Treasure. One of the most popular dealer's sites, aoijapan.com, had a signed (gakumei) Juyo Niji Kunitoshi wakizashi which they sold for around $25,000, based on the JPY / USD exchange at the time.

Look forward to seeing photos when you able to share them.

Kind regards,
Ray


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#6 Kirst

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:33 AM

Okay I did post pic on here just before every thing got wiped. And 2 people agreed ot was kunitoshi. I am not concerned if it is genuine or not as I know where it has been the last 60+ years. Just need info or contacts please. I added pic to original post. Sorry it took a bit when I upload here it makes me take the pic not upload from gallery. So it took awhile to get decent pics. Tried to capture markings on blade.

#7 Kirst

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:35 AM

Joe if you could pass on details that would be great.

#8 Kirst

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:39 AM

Ray I made contact with the embassy and they could only help us if we wanted to donate it back to the family. Where abouts is andrew lckeringill?

#9 Bazza

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:47 AM

Hello Kirst,

 

IMHO this is a WW2 arsenal sword.  The giveaway is the chippy style of writing.  If you live anywhere near Melbourne I can look at it for you.  However, Andrew Ickeringill is also in Melbourne and is here:

 

https://touken-togishi.com/

 

All your answers are there.  PM me if you have any questions.

 

Best regards,

Barry Thomas

aka BaZZa.


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#10 Kirst

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:52 AM

We are about 3 hour out of melbourne. So does andrew do appraisals? It has no arsenal stamps other then the cherry blossom under the mai.

#11 Katsujinken

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:53 AM

Here's a mumei blade that went Juyo to Niji Kunitoshi from Darcy's site: http://www.nihonto.c...ji-kunitoshi-2/

There is however an example oshigata there with a verified signature for comparison. To my eye it looks quite different, but this board is filled with other more knowledgeable folks who may weigh in.
Michael

#12 Bazza

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:57 AM

We are about 3 hour out of melbourne. So does andrew do appraisals? It has no arsenal stamps other then the cherry blossom under the mai.

The cherry blossom is also a dead giveaway of a WW2 arsenal (i.e., non-traditional) sword.  The O-sujikai yasurime is indicative of a Seki manufacture.  Andrew does appraisals, but you best contact him about that.



#13 Kirst

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:59 AM

I put the signature in the translation section yesterday asking for mai to be translated and two guys came back with kunitoshi.

#14 Kirst

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 04:00 AM

Yes i am aware of the cherry blossom but it is not where it should be and also not dated at all and all of the writing down the blade. I will wait till I can take it somewhere.

#15 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 04:35 AM

Yes - it says kunitoshi. But as stated, the cherry blossom is the "sho" stamp, indicating that it was non-traditionally made. Your smith is likely Mori Kunitoshi - a seki smith from WW2. The blade is signed "Nijimei" which means a two character signature. Perhaps that is where the confusion is coming from, since whether it is Mori or another smith that signed Kunitoshi, it is certainly a WW2 blade. Here is a useful site that - as a modern sword collector - I frequent regularly http://www.jp-sword....i/gendaito.html
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#16 Kirst

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 04:36 AM

Have made contact with andrew. Thanks heaps everyone.

#17 raymondsinger

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 05:50 AM

This is very clearly a Showato as others have said. A mass produced blade of 20th century manufacture. The same signatures are often used by a number of smiths from different schools and time periods. This sword has no relationship to the Kamakura period Rai smith.
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#18 Jamie

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:41 AM

I agree it's Showa to. Writing is chippy as others have also said.
Jamie

#19 Greg F

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:41 PM

Hi Kirst contacting Andrew was a good idea. If you have interest in learning more about Japanese swords taking up Bazza's offer is a wonderful opportunity. I live similar distance from Melb and spent the day with him a while back and it was an amazing experience with all his experience in the field and his generosity and now consider Bazza a good friend. It seems interest in Japanese swords is growing in Oz, atleast on Nmb. All the best.

Greg

#20 raaay

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:27 PM



this is a Showa sword IMHO , as previously said in other replies .

sorry

Ray :)


#21 Kirst

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 01:14 AM

Thanks heaps for all the help. Just thought pop back and let you know how I went. Andrew got back to me and agreed with you all that it is signed kunitoshi but not the kunitoshi.
Andrew couldn't see any arsenal marks ao said there is a chance that it could be genuine but would need to have it in hand or possibly polish a window.
I had also contacted a markus sesko who got back to me with this.

However, it is not Rai Kunitoshi in his earlyer Nijimei phase but a WWII smith with that name, most likely the work of the Kunitoshi whose real name was Mori Kunimatsu. He was from Gifu and was born in 1914. There were three more smiths active at that time who signed with Kunitoshi - Nigara Hiroshi, Fujimura Matsutaro, and Enju Kunitoshi - but their signature style differs from your blade and therefore I think it we are facing a work of Mori Kunimatsu alias Kunitoshi.


Best regards,

Markus

I have a new found love of Japanese swords now, I had no idea the complexity behind them. I take my hat off to all who study this acient art and now complete understand how addictive it can get.
I have 2 other Japanese swords I might look into now, much newer ones.

Also like to say thanks to bazza for the info and amazing offer.
Kirsty
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#22 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 01:44 AM

.. most likely the work of the Kunitoshi whose real name was Mori Kunimatsu....


Sounds familiar ;-)
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#23 Kirst

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:54 AM

That was my thought. ....bang on swordguyjoe :)

#24 Bazza

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 11:57 AM

...
I have a new found love of Japanese swords now, I had no idea the complexity behind them. I take my hat off to all who study this acient art and now complete understand how addictive it can get.
I have 2 other Japanese swords I might look into now, much newer ones.

Also like to say thanks to bazza for the info and amazing offer.
Kirsty

Hi Kirsty,

 

Thanks for your warm acknowledgement.  Let me share a little tale with you.  In my first year "with swords" 50+ years ago a neighbour gave me a battered wakizashi for fixing his car radio.  It had a signature!!  On one side it read SASSHU JU and on the other YASUNORI.  Opening my trusty Yumoto beginner's book I turned to the back and found a Yasunori working ca 13th/14th century.  I was somewhat overjoyed, but it was some time before I found this was a Shinshinto smith!!  Even as keen as I was I knew no one else - NO ONE - who shared this niche interest.  They would come later, of course, but in the meantime it took me 10 years to truly understand what a Nihonto was, and another 5 years on top of that before I found my first upper tier Shinto katana by a good Hizen smith.  In the 35+ years since it has all been downhill (but still uphill in a sense!!), with of course the usual frustrations of being a collector with a beer income and champagne tastes, something many on this Board of ours also struggle with.  But as I've said before, the friends I've made along the way are priceless.

 

Bestests,

BaZZa.


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#25 Ron STL

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:32 PM

Hello Kirsty,

 

Some interesting bits of advice here regarding your sword. Good to see  you take some effort to confirm what your sword is all about. It is an amazing trip, learning what you can about Japanese swords! We all have our stories, good and bad. I met  (via the mails, no internet back then) Bazza in those early years. We were both prolific letter writers, his mostly hand written, mine by manual typewriter. A very early purchase by me was an early 1600 wakizashi, Osaka area, signed Rai Kunimitsu. I was excited, but soon realized while quite old, it was not the signature of the famous Rai smith of 300 years earlier. Bazza and I learned a lot together although we never managed a visit, myself in St. Louis, Missouri and he in Melbourne. New friends were met and learning continued and continues today. I recall the final sword show in Birmingham, Alabama when some guy walked in with his newly purchased "garage sale" sword. I was the first to see it and was shocked to realize it was an ubu (unaltered), long signature Kamakura tachi! I alerted him to the importance of the sword, etc., etc. and in the end, he left with his wonderful tachi. Years later, early 2000's, he tapped me on the shoulder during a San Francisco show and informed me he took the advice and became a collector. His cheap garage sale find ended up achieving Juyo Token status, as it should had. I do wish I could remember the smith! Sorry if I've told this story before on NMB, but it's a good one with a good ending! Hope your new found interest sticks with you and you too can begin a wonderful adventure of your own.

Ron STL


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#26 Jean

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:45 PM

Bazza,

My main advantage on you is as I am unemployed and disliking Champagne, I have a beer income and beer tastes. LoL
Jean L.
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#27 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:08 PM

I think our definitions of "Beer" are different Jean... How many of your Gokaden collection are Juyo or TH?  If those swords are beer, I think we need a different definition for Beer vs. Champagne. ;-)



#28 Katsujinken

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:21 PM

Speaking of champagne, here's a Tokuju Niji Kunitoshi we can all get behind: http://www.nihonto.c... kunitoshi.html

The best champagne is always "price on request" after all.
Michael

#29 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:26 PM

Wooooooooow!

#30 Jean

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:29 PM

Joe,

Beer now, before when I was working it was at best vintage Armagnac from time to time, I really prefer red and white wines, rather Burgundy and Sauternes. My income has decreased by 43% since I am unemployed.

FWIW, I have only two Juyo, two TH and two hozon which at least are TH level (Naoe Shizu and Hosho/Tegai). Taking into account the price of Shinsa I cannot send all my swords to shinsa for upgrading, I only sent one of my TH to Juyo shinsa. Have to wait for November.

I dig Peperoni beer, have a pinte whenever I can.
Jean L.
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