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Indulge Me With This Kantei


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#1 Darcy

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 10:22 AM

Single photo kantei, can't see the whole sword. Completely unfair. 

 

Who made this?

 

(High res = http://nihonto.ca/052.jpg)

 

052-s.jpg


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#2 Brian

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 11:15 AM

Norishige?


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#3 Bazza

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 11:21 AM

Norishige is matsukawa hada.  I think this is someone else and I'm still thinking, thinking, ...

 

BaZZa.



#4 Guido Schiller

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 11:40 AM

Quite hadatatsu. I have a feeling this one is gendai ...



#5 AndyMcK

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 11:48 AM

Hmm... I have a similar looking hada in one mumei gendai tanto and one project blade. Would go with gendai but smith...

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#6 Darcy

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 11:54 AM

It has Meiji period Honami papers (rules out gendai without getting into it). 


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#7 Gakusee

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 12:03 PM

I vote Norishige too.
guys - let us be real here - please show me a gendai smith picture or two with that level. Gendai seems a bit more contrived at least to me.
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#8 Jean

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 12:08 PM

Ditto, Norishige
Jean L.
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#9 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 12:34 PM

Probably very wrong, but I'll guess Nakayama Ikkansai Yoshihiro. I've seen a few swords with similar hada to this.

Edit: The swords was a TH listed on Danny's site, but it seems to be gone.

#10 Stefan

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 01:20 PM

I agrree with Sword Guy Joe. Ikkansai Yoshihiro



#11 Jim P

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 01:24 PM

Hi Darcy, My first thought was Norishige then looking at the posts thought maybe it not that easy so maybe one of the Hasebe ? or as an long shot Nobukuni :-? as I get the feeling that it will not be shinto or later :)


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#12 Brian

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 02:05 PM

Looking at prior examples of your Norishige photos Darcy, this is what led me to this call. Not hard to see similarities..

 

075.jpg


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#13 Jim P

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 02:29 PM

Brian,Its hard not to go to Norishige. It has that Norishige look :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • norishige1.jpg

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#14 Robert Mormile

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 03:26 PM

Taikei Naotane.



#15 Geraint

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 03:36 PM

Possibly Hankei?


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#16 CSM101

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 04:22 PM

Norishige

 

 

 

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#17 Alex A

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 06:22 PM

Naoe Shizu school


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#18 Jean

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 07:03 PM

Very, very difficult, could be equally Kamakura:

http://www.nihonto.us/KO%20SENJUEN.htm
http://katananokura....P/1411-T01.html

I have seen Jitsua with same hada
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#19 BIG

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 07:54 PM

Norishige-utsushi

http://www.nihonto.c...nshi-masatsugu/

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#20 Kronos

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 08:12 PM

Norishige utsushi but not sure by whom. Maybe Hankei but seems more shinshinto.


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#21 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 03:36 AM

I agree (obviously with my choice) of shinshinto. My call was made based as much on the appearance of the steel as it was on the hada. The steel seems too "new" or "fresh" for much earlier than late Shinto. Maybe it is just a VERY well preserved koto piece without many polishes under its belt.

#22 Darcy

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 05:14 AM

This blade is shortened and unsigned, but shows the characteristic nie-laden hamon and jihada of Norishige. The chikei, kinsuji, and yubashiri activities [of the hamon and ji] are woven together, which is so typical of this smith. In this the hand of the smith [Norishige] is clear, so I agree with this attribution.

 

Written by Tanzan Hendô in January of the year of the monkey of this era (2016) + kaô

 

...

 

Tokubetsu Hozon and also papers from Honami Chikayoshi in Meiji 26 attributing to Norishige and saying it has a value of 300 gold coins.

 

...

 

Comments... with one photo it's not very fair to do to anyone, I was curious how many people could put it straight to Norishige with one photo, which was something I needed to answer for myself, and a lot of people did. So thank you for offering answers.

 

I just want to re-emphasize that it is a completely unfair test and so not getting it nailed is 100% forgiveable, just that Norishige blades offer an opportunity unlike others to be revealed rather instantly in my opinion and I wanted to put that theory to the test. Why I asked that you indulge me with this as I wanted to know how realistic that theory was. With one photo there are too many ways to go for imagining the rest of it, as can be seen the condition was extrapolated in some cases and without a full background of photos let some come to the conclusion that it had to be quite new. It's fair enough because you're looking at 5% of the sword with your imagination filling in the rest. 

 

...

 

The area in question is absolutely large patterned Matsukawa hada though the entire blade is not formed of matsukawa hada, and the Hamon blending together with the activities in the ji is one of the major features of Norishige. Smiths like Nobukuni would make fine pattern kitae like Sadamune or Yamashiro blades (in general), Hasebe would feature hitatsura (in general) and choji. 

 

Norishige Matsukawa hada is a moving target, the earliest works show it in tighter patterns without the glowing yubashiri following in parallel with chikei. Later works show some scattered yubashiri in the ji which trace out the matsukawa hada. A few I have seen including a recent Tokuju and a Juyo I sold before are quite complete as is this one.

 

Example of a different blade that is about 50% in joining up the yubashiri outlining matsukawa hada, but not completely joined up:

 

norishige.jpg

 

Chikei are formed when ji nie merge so you get a snakelike curl of material that looks black. It looks black because it's hard and reflects light away without scattering. Yubashiri are nie and nioi in a cloud without a clearly defined border. Yubashiri that have a clearly defined border become elements of hitatsura. In this type of sword, Norishige is making extensive use of yubashiri in the ji. Sometimes they are incomplete like with the tanto Brian linked and when they cross into the Hamon it becomes difficult to say whether they are Hamon elements or ji elements. 

 

This is referred to in the sayagaki where Tanobe sensei says the various hataraki are intertwined, naming yubashiri (ji), chikei (ji) and kinsuji (hamon) explicitly. 

 

Preservation is very hard to judge off of one photo so wasn't fair, there are some rough patches not in this photo so it's just impossible to judge that by extrapolating... but anyway a blade looking in good condition shouldn't rule out older periods.

 

If you have to look at this, the shinto and shinshinto archetypes don't have this much activity in the jihada and tend to have tight nioiguchi, even when copying older smiths, unless it's an exceptional case like Osaka Shinto, which is also something that would give itself up in one photo anyway. The blade being covered in nie from ha to shinogi should be a dead giveaway to Soshu or Yamashiro. 

 

Kenji Mishina told me while looking at blades at the sword museum that you can distinguish Soshu from Shinto copies by the fact that the Soshu blade will have nie all the way to the ha and the Shinto smiths were not really capable of this. He said this in context to me telling him about the "Soshu Daisho" I bought at Christies and has been discussed here, where the katana was a Shinto blade that had the mei removed and an attribution to Masamune added. The blade is beautiful with a lot of activity even in the jihada but there is that empty space between the yakiba and the ha that gives it away. 

 

Naoe Shizu is in the ballpark but Naoe Shizu are rarely vibrant enough to compare to Shizu let alone Norishige and won't have this degree of hataraki in the ji. This is part of the reason that they get attributed to Naoe Shizu because if they were better with more activity then with everything else there is a strong argument to classify as Shizu.

 

The copy of Norishige linked above my Masatsugu shows a good effort at getting the yubashiri going in the ji and Hankei makes a lot of very good attempts. Without seeing the whole blade it could be hard to distinguish from Norishige or a "really good copy" of Norishige. There was no way for you to tell the blade is O-suriage and so get firmly away from the Shinto and Shinshinto copies. But if Hankei made a really standout Norishige copy that kind of thing tends to be Tokubetsu Juyo, really good copies of Norishige are few and far between so it's probably better to say Norishige.

 

I have to adjust exposure better on this sugata photo, in the middle of changing laptops and I'm all confused at the moment with photos.

 

sugata-2x.jpg


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#23 Gabriel L

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 05:20 AM

I was in the middle of typing "I would love to see Darcy post photos of a piece by Hankei" when the notification came in that you had just posted the above. Quite possibly the only time in my life I will be "disappointed" by Norishige?  :laughing: Really though, fantastic stuff as usual. Cheers, —G



#24 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 05:34 AM

Excellent detail! Thanks Darcy. Even though I was radically wrong, but it was fun!

#25 Guido Schiller

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 05:38 AM

That was a great exercise, in more than one way. My first impression was Norishige (yeah, I know how that sounds now), but the way you presented it made me immediately second-guessing myself, assuming you were doing something sneaky. The extremely strong hada then let me to gendai (or late shinshintō), because that's where I mostly saw this type. Lesson learned :)


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#26 Robert Mormile

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 06:04 AM

Yeah, same here Guido.  I assumed that it was a trick question so chose what I thought was the furthest thing from Norishige that could still look like this by a reasonably well known smith... 



#27 Darcy

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:29 AM

That was a great exercise, in more than one way. My first impression was Norishige (yeah, I know how that sounds now), but the way you presented it made me immediately second-guessing myself, assuming you were doing something sneaky. The extremely strong hada then let me to gendai (or late shinshintō), because that's where I mostly saw this type. Lesson learned :)

 

 

I usually dig myself a hole when I over think ... it sucks because you have the right answer in your head, over-think it, change your answer, find out later you were on the right track in the first place.

 

At least I don't owe any booze this time.


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#28 Alex A

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:41 AM

 

 

Naoe Shizu is in the ballpark but Naoe Shizu are rarely vibrant enough to compare to Shizu let alone Norishige and won't have this degree of hataraki in the ji. This is part of the reason that they get attributed to Naoe Shizu because if they were better with more activity then with everything else there is a strong argument to classify as Shizu.

 

 

I too thought there may be a twist to this exercise, thought that maybe some Naoe Shizu (or preferably Shizu as i should have put) smith had a great day on the ranch one day :laughing:

 

Still, happy to be in the ball park, great exercise, we should do more of this kind of thing.

 

Thanks Darcy.


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#29 Bazza

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:45 AM

BOOZE - why didn't I think of that!!!

 

Well, I saw matsukawa hada once long ago on an osuriage mumei wakizashi.  It looked a little more regular than Darcy's photo, which is why I hesitated.  But then, I thought it was probably a trick question anyway and the blade was likely to be anything up to a Shinshinto utsushi!!  I absolutely enjoyed this even though I had that emasculated feeling rambling in my mind over centuries of sword history.  Thank you Darcy for a challenge that got the juices going.  Thank you for taking the time to put this tasty morsel before us.  The explanation was your silver platter and that was a very useful read for those who have never seen such a sword in hand.

 

Bestests,

BaZZa.


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#30 Brian

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 09:34 AM

I did the same, going straight to the obvious...then wondering if there must be a catch or something I was missing. But in the end, decided that I had to put what I saw, and not what I suspected I wasn't seeing :)
We all do it...as Darcy said....it's one of the pitfalls to avoid.
But one thing that I always enjoy is when people tell us that you can never do kantei from pics, or online kantei is a waste of time...and then 80% of the people get it from a single pic.
So yes...it can be difficult, and without such great pics and standing out features..maybe impossible at times. But other times....it is completely feasible.
Thanks Darcy...as always the answer and explanation are far more educational than the exercise itself. :thumbsup:


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