Once again i beg the help of the Board with a question.
I recently noted a Japanese blade that has appeared on eBay, As an on-going auction i will do no more than to use it as a example. We will not discuss its quality or value, altho I will say that it certainly nice.
I have seen these koshirae before and several time have had them pointed out to me as potential "AINU" blades. They are not uncommon and they seem to forrn a distinct type - plain wood saya/tsuka. antler fittings, and often tightly wound "rattan" wrap in the tsuka and/or the saya. They also rarely have what we might think of as "collectible" blades.
As a collector of Ainu stuff, I am SURE (100%) that these are NOT Ainu gear. They have NEVER been shown in any books or catalogs on Ainu Material Culture and I have never seen them in Japanese exhibits of Ainu materials. The rattan wrap doesn't show up on any other Ainu stuff and they do NOT have any of the other classic features of Ainu art - 'bracket' design, 'fish-scale cross hatch' etc..
So what are these? They may be Matagi gear of some kind.- made for an by forest workers. And i suppose they could be gardeners' tools, altho they look way to rustic/crude to be polite bonsai tools. These things do NOT look like samurai weapons.
If anyone has insights, I would love to hear them.