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Sagayaki Interpretation - Reading Between The Lines.


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#1 Valric

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:32 PM

Hi, 

 

I recently acquired my second nihonto on an AOI.art auction that was brought to my attention by Jean, which I think is truly wonderful :-) (the blade, and the board member!) 

 

An O-suriage shumei blade by Kanenaga. I had a Sagayaki made and it came out as so, according to AOI art translation. 

 

Bizen Koku Osafune Kanenaga,

Osuriage Mumei, The Shume is written by Hon A Koson,
The wavy Gunome Midare looks like mountains,
This well-made blade has the characteristics of Nagayoshi group.
The length is 68.5 cm.
This sayagaki is written by Tanobe Michihiro aka Tanzan Hendou

 

 
 
Am I right in assuming that, if we remove the cultural elements and read between the lines it says : 

Osuriage Mumei. The Shume is written by Hon A Koson 
Honami Koson is probably wrong or at least overreaching, that's why I won't say that I agree with the attribution
The wavy Gunome Midare looks like mountains.
The hamon is atypical for the nagayoshi group, but I like it personally. 
This well-made blade has the characteristics of Nagayoshi group.
It's nice and overall shows some characteristics of the Nagayoshi group but not enough to be sure, or nail down a specific smith. 

 

 
I don't have much experience reading Sagayakis. I think this one is fair for the blade given the price, when compared to other works attributed to this smith. Not a good, nor a bad surprise. But again, I don't have much experience and I'd like to hear what you guys think.
 
Cheers
 
Chris

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  • 17046sayagaki.jpg

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#2 mywei

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 03:07 PM

Seems like a nice Chogi blade, would like photos if possible

My feeling is that you may be reading too negatively about the sayagaki. He liked the blade i think, you see the comment 優品也 on sayagakis for many Juyo blades.

本阿弥光遜による同工極め朱名有之 i understand means due to honami koson decision of a shumei to the same smith
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#3 Valric

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 03:16 PM

Interesting, thank you Matt for the translation. 

 

The link to the images are gone and it's not on aoiart.net (yet?). I'll upload a few images when I get home, which I saved for reference. 


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#4 Darcy

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 04:25 AM

優品 is yuhin and is one of the several praisewords on higher level swords and means it is a superior item. They I think decided to translate this as "well-made" which doesn't have the same impact that it otherwise should.

 

"Nagayoshi" should not be used, you should instead say "Chogi."

 

You can call Kanenaga "Kencho" and it is probably better to do so. If the condition is superior you can think about submitting it to Juyo. Kencho is more than sufficient as an attribution to pass and any good Kencho you find you should be able to think about that. He has a Jo-saku rating but I have seen many Kencho that were better than Chogi attributed blades. Some are quite stunning. The reason for this is that Fujishiro seems to have judged him a bit lower than he is otherwise judged. 

 

In terms of how he is handled at Juyo and Tokuju he is more like Jo-jo saku. That allows for his best work to surpass the weakest work of Chogi which is fact by looking at the blades. 

 

The sayagaki is ambiguous, in the reference to the Chogi group and I don't think they translated the last part of it as there is a reference to "naka doku" (middle / this smith) coming after "Chogi group". I would pay Markus Sesko to properly translate it.

 

I think he is saying that the hamon is representative for this smith and the Chogi group. What that means is ambiguous as it could mean that he feels it is a work of Chogi or that it could be Yoshikage or Nagamori. So it may mean a bit up or a bit down from Kencho. The fact that it has Honami Koson shumei on it is not necessarily helpful. If Koson has expressed an opinion which is acceptable without major argument it will be accepted even if a judge has his own opinions.

 

This is OK since there is no known correct answer to the question "Who made this sword?" Acceptable answers may be any of the smiths that I just named. Any two experts could agree that there are pros and cons to each of the answers. When one is established then it can be accepted as the same arguments could be raised about any of the other answers.

 

The main criteria is quality, does the attribution match the quality of the blade. If Koson thought it was better he'd have said Chogi. If Tanobe sensei thought it was definitely Chogi he wouldn't have done the sayagaki, instead he'd have written back that the shumei should be removed and the blade submitted to Juyo and reassessed. 

So you can probably draw a line through Chogi as an appropriate answer, but you could laugh to your friends and say maybeeeee Chogi. But also maybe Nagamori or someone else in the group. All of that making Kencho an acceptable answer. 

 

Note that once a shumei is on something they never put DEN on it but DEN can be an appropriate thing to add otherwise. Like if you wiped the shumei it might go Juyo as DEN Kencho but with the shumei it would pass Juyo as Kencho even if they think DEN. This is one of the peeves I have about how they use DEN. 

 

Having a look at the sayagaki he didn't do backflips on the blade but he has confirmed it is a very good sword and if I received this I would consider Juyo submission myself. But I don't know how the blade looks. Bizen remember gets a bonus point always so you really need to show it to someone locally who has Juyo examples and try to compare against other Juyo works.


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#5 mywei

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 05:08 AM

。。。長義一類中同工と鑒(鑑)するは妥当なる
Darcy I think that line translates to the tempering etc 'is of a pattern that is reasonable/valid to a smith within the Chogi group'

edit: I see what Darcy is getting at in the post below. On second thought it could translated as 'the pattern is reasonable for this smith (who is) within the Chogi group'
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#6 Darcy

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 06:59 AM

。。。長義一類中同工と鑒(鑑)するは妥当なる
Darcy I think that line translates to the tempering etc 'is of a pattern that is reasonable/valid to a smith within the Chogi group'

 

 

Yeah it is what I figured, I thought maybe he was referring back to the aforementioned smith rather than the aforementioned group. The subtlety of the translation though is important is what I was getting at. In English when they write that it has the characteristics of the group it sounds more dismissive of being attributable to a specific smith than saying it is reasonable for a smith within this group which sounds more like accepting the call with some reservation. 

 

I think where I was getting to is about the same, that he's accepted Kencho but he may have had someone else on his mind for his own call. 

 

It would be nice to see the blade or their oshigata as it might help illustrate where he was going with this sayagaki.


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#7 Darcy

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:17 AM

OK, I found it:

 

https://www.aoijapan...017/17046-3.jpg

 

I think he's probably just allowing for Nagamori and the others. Kencho slam dunk they want to be a bit more imposing like Chogi and it is not as active as most of the blades attributed to Kencho. I would have thought Omiya for my first answer. There are no solid grounds to say not-Kencho though. There are some that look like this and also some Nagamori and it would be a challenge to try to sort them out from oshigata. Nice sword. Worth a shot at Juyo. Never assume that the previous guy tried because he may have assumed that the previous guy tried too.


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#8 mywei

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:25 AM

attractive blade. definitely worth a shot at Juyo imho !
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#9 Valric

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:41 PM

What can I say, thank you so much for sharing your earnest and enlightening opinions.  

 

I won't be submitting it to Juyo, it's for appreciation and learning. Maybe, when the time comes for us to part... but that's a long way in the future. I will however get Mr. Sesko to translate the Sagayaki professionally. 


Chris H. 


#10 Jean

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:38 PM

Chris,

Congratulation for purchasing this wonderful blade. Very good quality.
Jean L.
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#11 Valric

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:42 PM

It's all because of you, Jean. I wouldn't have made this purchase online if it wasn't for the vouching of the members of this board. So, thank you for drawing attention to it in the first place - it's a great opportunity for new collectors to be able to benefit from the judgement of more experienced collectors when it comes to appraising blades available on the market. It can be a tortuous path, and scanning for new offerings requires a trained eye and time commitment, and I'm short on both. 

 

Very happy how this came out, and I can't wait to pull out the books and study the blade. 


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#12 Valric

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 11:06 AM

And here is Markus Sesko's translation :-) Absolutely worth it to get a professional translate it. 

 

 

 

Ô-suriage mumei shikaru ni Hon’ami Kôson ni yoru dôkô kiwame no shusho kore ari kifuku ni tomu
 
yamagata no gunome-midare o yaki Chôgi ichirui-chû dôkô to kangami-suru wa datô naru yûhin nari.
 
Hachô 2 shaku 2 sun 5 bu yo kore ari
 
Jizai hinoto-tori matsukazetsuki
 
Tanzan Hendô shirusu + kaô
 
 

 

Bizen no Kuni Osafune Kanenaga
 
[The blade is] ô-suriage mumei but bears a red-lacquer attribution by Hon’ami Kôson to this smith. This
 
masterwork is hardened in a very undulating yamagata-style gunome-midare which suggests that the most
 
appropriate attribution amongst the Chôgi group is to Kanenaga.
 
Blade length ~ 68.2 cm
 
Written by Tanzan Hendô [Tanobe Michihiro] in the sixth month of the year of the cock of this era (2017) + kaô 
 
 
Which is enlightening. He agrees that within the Chogi group, Kanenaga is the best guess. But he doesn't necessarily agree with the Chogi group. Omiya at the back of his mind? Who knows! 

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#13 mywei

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:16 AM

For those interested,

 

Another great looking TH Kanenaga tha may be a Juyo candidate (priced accordingly as well though)

 

http://www.taiseido....cn22/pg588.html


Matt

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#14 Valric

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 03:12 PM

Thanks for pointing this out Matt, Its good reference material. Interesting how the smith who performed the suriage kept a piece of the old horimono, making it extremely clear that the Bohi was added after the suriage (as is often the case, I read). I never saw something like it. 


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#15 Pete Klein

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 04:45 PM

Sagayaki???


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#16 Jean

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:35 PM

Dyslexia, Pete :)
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#17 Pete Klein

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 06:30 PM

Oh -- OK -- I thought it might have been about Arita overglaze pottery...

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#18 Jean

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 06:52 PM

Chris,

The right word is SAYAGAKI and not SAGAYAKI :)
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#19 Pete Klein

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:02 PM

Actually -- it's SAGANAKI!  Where do you think all that choji oil comes from???

 

0001 c.jpg

 

 


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#20 Valric

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:50 PM

Point taken  :laughing:


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#21 Darcy

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 04:41 AM

For those interested,

 

Another great looking TH Kanenaga tha may be a Juyo candidate (priced accordingly as well though)

 

http://www.taiseido....cn22/pg588.html

 

 

Ha, I've been eyeballing that one for a couple of months thinking the same thing.


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#22 Darcy

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 04:51 AM

Thanks for pointing this out Matt, Its good reference material. Interesting how the smith who performed the suriage kept a piece of the old horimono, making it extremely clear that the Bohi was added after the suriage (as is often the case, I read). I never saw something like it. 

 

If that is referring to the other Kanenaga, that horimono was not added after shortening. That would have been above the original machi and the original mekugiana has since been lost. This is a normal thing to do and Chogi and his school often end up with bits and pieces of interesting horimono in the newly finished nakago. I'm a bit uncertain about the quality of what is shown though.  But the placement is ok for it being original.

 

The nakago in that case has been filed extensively on one side,  and not so much on the other with the tsume. But it has been filed a bit on the side with the tsume, and more in the shinogi area, as well the mune has been extensively filed to straighten some of the curvature. Overall the new dimensions of the nakago cause the horimono in the new nakago to look like it is floating a bit oddly in terms of its relationships to the borders, but that is just because the borders have moved by the creation of the new nakago. I think anyway. I could be wrong.

 

I think it is also a nice sword though.

 

See example Kencho.

 

110140200.jpg

 

 

And here is Markus Sesko's translation :-) Absolutely worth it to get a professional translate it. 

 

 
Which is enlightening. He agrees that within the Chogi group, Kanenaga is the best guess. But he doesn't necessarily agree with the Chogi group. Omiya at the back of his mind? Who knows! 

 

 

Markus' translation is a lot better and better explains what the part is of the sayagaki we were trying to tease out above. 

 

With this language Tanobe sensei is allowing for some wiggle room within the Chogi group but has no better proposal than Kencho is what this means. So Kencho it is. We have to be satisfied with the best answer available sometimes and this is an example of how DEN would be used in the current days, to establish some of that wiggle room.

 

Omiya was what I brought up as my reaction to it. I of course completely defer I'm just saying if I picked it up that's what my kantei answer would have been. And then sensei would tell me: no. 

 

Both of these linked here are fine examples of the smith and you are better off with either of these than the lowest category Juyo Chogi in my opinion. I don't think there is that much breathing room as the authors have written in the past between these smiths based on what work is out there. About 10% of his Juyo work passed Tokuju and he has Jubi work. He is a fine smith and these are good works.


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