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Quality And Kanteisho


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#1 Jean

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 11:57 AM

Here is a top quality blade from Yamato.

https://www.aoijapan...tegai-kanetoshi

Read the comment. Hon'ami sayagaki to Hosho Sadamune, overturned to Tegai Kanetoshi by NBTHK. Tsuruta san thinks nevertheless it is a Hosho blade. Both are only opinion as the blade is unsigned. The attribution to Sadamune would be impossible nowadays as there are not enough data on this smith. The Sadamune attribution means only that it is a top blade in quality as its provenance attests it.

IF YOU CAN GRAB IT, DO IT

The price is ridiculously low.

Now compare this sword to mine

http://www.militaria...kiyo#entry95805

Two sayagaki to Hosho, overturned to Tegai Kanekiyo.

It seems that NBTHK is very reluctant/cautious when Hosho attribution comes into line.

You will read in the books that Yamato smiths were very conservative in their sugata. You will notice the difference of sugata between the two blades (sori, kissaki) even if NBTHK kanteis the two blades to Nambokucho and the sayagakis to Kamakura.

Morality: if kanteisho or sayagaki are only written opinion, quality is always what remains and believe me this one is top.
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#2 mywei

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 12:06 PM

:clap:

Wholeheartedly agree, caught my eye immediately.

Worth it for the quality and healthiness of that sublime masame hada alone imo.

 

Some one on NMB - grab it!!


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#3 raymondsinger

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 12:38 PM

What Jean said, x 2. Quality Yamato blade.

 


IF YOU CAN GRAB IT, DO IT 


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#4 seattle1

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 01:27 PM

Hello:

 Yes that was an instant attention getter. I believe that the sayagaki writer referred to, more or less dismissed as a "chauffeur," is the Kisanji mentioned by Markus Sesko on p. 89 of The Honami Family. If that is correct he was multi talented and a sword scholar in his own right. However I thought it unusual that the sayagaki was sans kakihan. Increasingly the Tsuruta write ups call into question various NBTHK designations and one wonders if that is a consequence of Tanobe sensei no longer being a regular overseeing employee at the Museum.

 Arnold F.


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#5 paulb

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 01:39 PM

I am not sure whether the rate of disagreement between Tsuruta san and the NBTHK has increased propotionately. You certainly see it more often than in the past (although it did occur at the very beginning of his website occasionally) However he is selling many more swords and the NBTHK are seeing many more submissions.

I agree that the NBTHK seem very reluctant to attribute blades to Hosho. I remember seeing Jean's which had every characteristic you would expect to see and was stunning. I was amazed when it was attributed to Tegai. But as he says it is opinion and they and we are human. Regardless of attribution it is a sword I would gladly include in a collection.

 

As often occurs blades such as this appear at really low prices when I have no funds!! Considering how rarely you see Hosho swords on the market It does look to be an excellent buy at the current price listed 


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#6 Brian

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:39 PM

It's an auction, so the entry bid price likely bears no resemblance the final price.


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#7 Jean

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 06:15 PM

Fair price would be around 1,2 M¥
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#8 Vermithrax16

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 12:18 AM

Beautiful!!!!!


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#9 Darcy

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 04:00 AM

Back when I started to collect gemstones (I was doing goldsmithing as a hobby) I was buying some pink sapphires.

 

Sapphire and Ruby are the same mineral, corundum, which is a fancy way of saying burnt aluminum, but the impurities lead to different colors.

 

Ruby is far more valuable than sapphire. 

 

So the question is, what do you do with a pink sapphire? Well if it is red enough it's a ruby but if it's not red enough it's a pink sapphire. 

 

The price is about 10x different. 

 

The joke in gem dealing circles then is that it's a ruby if I'm selling it and it's a pink sapphire if I'm buying it.

 

Comedy is also strongly related to tragedy, which are bad things that happen to good people because of foolish reasons.

 

If anyone thought this was a legit Kamakura Hosho blade they would fight for it. Tsuruta would buy it himself and resolve the papers. Attributions can be overturned. Not always, especially if the attribution is correct and just you're not happy with it. 

 

I don't know why people want to jump in the corner with the guy listing Inoue Shinkai with green papers and saying he thinks that one is legitimate as well but "no guarantee." These are all no returns, no guarantee types of opinions.

 

I still have some rubies left over if anyone needs anything.


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#10 Darcy

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 04:29 AM

 

As often occurs blades such as this appear at really low prices when I have no funds!! Considering how rarely you see Hosho swords on the market It does look to be an excellent buy at the current price listed 

 

 

OK.... stop for a moment and think about this.

 

Hosho Sadamune does not exist in practice. There are no NBTHK attributions to him. There is one Jubi but the Jubi have many issues in them. This is why Jubi no longer exists. 

 

Now, this blade has an old sayagaki to a mythical maker, and a guy who sells gimei blades who sticks his neck out to make big pronouncements only when he ends his opinion with "no returns, no guarantees" is going to be taken as the authority over an issued paper from a good authority with no financial horse in the race?

 

Just.... guys.... stop and look at the situation. Occam's razor tells you that this is exactly what the papers say it is.

 

When the NBTHK ventures out and puts a Muromachi smith's name on a mumei blade, they are doing the equivalent of smacking you in the face with a chicken Monty Python style. If they just said Tegai or Sue Tegai you might get some thoughts into your head about it being some kind of master smith or maybe it is really Nanbokucho and Juyo sufficient.

 

So they are winding the hell up and smacking you in the face with a Muromachi name that you can flip open a book and read about so that you will know this is a Muromachi blade in their opinion and you can look up on their website that it won't go Juyo and it is a suriage Muromachi sword and so the value is low. 

 

That's what they are doing.

 

Attribution is the first word for quality assessment. They are spelling this out in black and white. People need to take all of the information that they have and put together the big picture and to not try to hammer these square pegs into round holes. There are perfectly round holes that they already fit into.

 

Bear in mind as well...

 

Old Honami sometimes used stuff like with Aoe, they would make an attribution to Sadatsugu to tell you that the blade was basically Tokubetsu Juyo. They may in their life have never seen a signed Aoe Sadatsugu. There are a handful that exist now. But that guy still knows quality and his Tokuju paper was an attribution to Sadatsugu. 

 

This is a nice looking sword made by a skilled man and this Honami slapped a mythical name on it to send you a message, this was his personal stamp of approval. Why that was given, I can tell you another story, which is this.

 

A daimyo sends his sword to Honami and asks for polish and attribution.

 

My lord after much thought and consideration, this is a sword by the Naoe Shizu school and we have polished it, here is your bill. 

 

Daimyo sends the blade back, I am sorry Honami sama that you did not have enough time previously to extensively study my sword. I hope that your schedule is more open now and you can take some time to pass through your references handed to you by your masters and further research my sword and come to a correct attribution. 

 

Honami sends the sword back, thank you my lord, we have further researched your sword, after much discussion with my peers and my students we have looked at oshigata and compared it and decided that this is a sword by Shizu Kaneuji, here is your bill for our further work and appraisal services.

 

Daimyo sends the blade back, with a note, I am very pleased at your attribution and in your wisdom of making this judgment, this is a smith of fine skill and because the blade is so good and attributed to such a fine maker, I think it is worth further consideration and research. Please leave no stone unturned in your search and carefully consider your answers as if the blade is fine enough quality I will present it to the Shogun. I am instructing my servant to pay you your fee in advance. Please spare no efforts in researching my sword but be sure it is correctly attributed.

 

Honami sends the sword back, thank you my lord for your support and for giving us enough time to further study the blade. We are happy to tell you that the blade is a masterpiece by Soshu Masamune and is of the highest quality. We trust that the Shogun will enjoy your gift. 


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#11 NihontoCollector

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 05:21 AM

Both a reasonable and entertaining write up. Thank you.

 

PS: @ Darcy, so you think this is a actually Muromachi Tegai?


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#12 raymondsinger

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 07:38 AM

Shodai Tegai Kanetoshi 包俊 was a Nambokucho smith (though the Kanetoshi name [包利] was said to have been used even earlier within the Tegai school as another mei of the shodai Kanenaga c. late Kamakura). It is very uncommon, though not impossible, to find a mumei Muromachi blade which has received Tokubetsu Hozon.

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#13 mywei

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 07:54 AM

Yep according to Markus' resources 1st gen Tegai Kanetoshi (包俊)was active Eitoku- Oei 1381-1428, so late Nanbokucho to early Muromachi

 

Shodai Tegai Kanetoshi was a Nambokucho smith (though the Kanetoshi name was said to have been used even earlier within the Tegai school as another mei of the shodai Kanenaga c. late Kamakura). It is very uncommon, though not impossible, to find a mumei Muromachi blade which has received Tokubetsu Hozon.


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#14 NihontoCollector

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 08:38 AM

It is very uncommon, though not impossible, to find a mumei Muromachi blade which has received Tokubetsu Hozon.

 

This is also my understanding. However I find it often difficult to point my finger to a certain smith with NBTK origami only stating a name and not a periode / time.

 

I would have leaned towards the Shodai Kanetoshi. However Darcys comment that it is Muromachi made me think.


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#15 raymondsinger

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 08:41 AM

To clarify my comments above, it seems the NBTHK will pass a mumei sword as Tokubetsu Hozon to a smith whose working period ranges from Nambokucho into Muromachi, but it's less common for a smith whose working period begins in Muromachi.

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#16 raymondsinger

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 08:42 AM

I would think that the NBTHK would have indicated so if they felt the sword was a later generation from Sue-Tegai.

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#17 paulb

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 09:16 AM

Thank you Darcy not onl;y for the insightful write up but also for the wake-up call! 

I looked at the sword concerned was reminded of Jean's experience with his blade and drew parallels which with a little more study I maybe wouldnt have.

while accepting your arguments regading attriution and what the attributors are trying to convey I come back to the initial point of "Is it a good sword?" Based on the images and regardless of who made it and when it looks to me to have  merit. 

I will try and exercise a little more self discipline and look for longer and more closely before passing comment!



#18 Darcy

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 10:05 AM

Shodai Tegai Kanetoshi 包俊 was a Nambokucho smith (though the Kanetoshi name [包利] was said to have been used even earlier within the Tegai school as another mei of the shodai Kanenaga c. late Kamakura). It is very uncommon, though not impossible, to find a mumei Muromachi blade which has received Tokubetsu Hozon.

 

 

"1st gen Tegai Kanetoshi (包俊)was active Eitoku- Oei 1381-1428" via Markus

 

We get into "What does it mean to be a Nanbokucho smith" and it means to me that you are not working in Oei. 

 

Having one toe in the swimming pool does not mean you are swimming.

 

None of the Nanbokucho great smiths cross into Oei. Furthermore, according to Fujishiro, Oei is not in the conversation. Fujishiro says this man is 1452 and then on this entry goes on to say all Yamato dates are exaggerated.

 

Elsewhere he said that a lot of second generations were invented for this same reason, to move shodai back in time.

 

This smith will be considered to be Muromachi now. Same way as old books disagree with modern considerations on Ayanokoji Sadatoshi and other big name smiths, starting to move them around based on work styles so that the evidence dictates what the time periods should be, rather than trying to get the evidence to match what sensei said.

 

Old books that form the basis of some of these period estimates have to be taken with a grain of salt. 

 

A member of the Tegai Ha, said to be of the Kaneyuki Mon. He made only

tantô and made a lot of them. Hamon is suguba nado. (Wazamono)
Signature: KANETOSHI
Plate I: KANETOSHI
Because few of the Yamato kaji entered nengo in the same manner as the
Minô kaji, the estimated eras are approximate, and have become older. I
think that this is probably because, from time immemorial, the conviction
that "The older something is, the more it is esteemed" has been largely in
control.
 
The note that he made only tanto is because Fujishiro is reporting that he has only seen signed tanto from this maker. No signed tachi or katana. 
 
Anyway, his words, not mine.
 
The NBTHK is saying that this is this guy's work here and it is Muromachi period. We can allow +/- 10 years though as in my post on that big Muromachi piece as we will never know.
 
But Fujishiro didn't buy it for what that's worth.
 
There are no blades by Kanetoshi that are Juyo and mumei other than the signed tanto of which there are three.
 
If someone wants to challenge that they are welcome to an opinion. I am going based on what I see from the NBTHK when they add these notes. In this situation if this was mine I would take it to Tanobe sensei and ask him to tell me what he thinks and then I would ask for sayagaki and it would explain it explicitly and nobody would be confused. 
 
Whether or not it becomes an argument about a smith who never dated his work being plus or minus 10 years in front of or behind the Oei period is not what this is about and is going about it backwards.
 
Feel free to say it looks like Hosho to yourself and go compare against the good Hosho you have owned and viewed and if you can buy this and compare it, go for it. But this isn't Hosho just because there is a bit of Masame in it. 
 
There are two poles one of which (usually the owner) wants to have his blade papered as Hosho because it has some masame in it, then there are the people who are issuing papers saying just because your blade has some masame in it doesn't mean it's Hosho. 
 
There is tension in the middle but this is not one of those cases.
 
If that had Honami Kochu papers saying Hosho then it would be Hosho now. But it doesn't. There is no tension other than the guy who wants to sell it and there is NO EXPERT JUDGE lined up to agree with him. Find that judge, get a Honami sayagaki now and see. But nobody in their right mind would right Hosho Sadamune on this blade, they would be laughed at. Hosho Sadamune as a sayagaki should be laughed at -or- understood that he was just saying nice quality but even so, that was then and this is now. 
 
A lot of people in Japan would just wipe that sayagaki. But it's there to try to do exactly what it is doing.
 
A papered Sue Tegai and people running around saying buy buy buy this Hosho. That is not good advice.
 
You like it, the price is right, buy it as Sue Tegai, but it's suriage muromachi and that means something too. But if you are OK with that do that. 
 
What I am reacting to is the decision that this is Hosho and now we are throwing out the NBTHK (I am getting this via email as well) or sayagaki when they are in disagreement with Mr. Tsuruta. That, I think is all misguided.
 
And that the frequency of disagreements going up means the NBTHK is getting worse.
 
It's just marketing and a decision he's making to market his stuff. If you buy stuff that is ambiguous you can play off the ambiguity. I had a way of doing this to the tune of $100k on one of my swords and I did not and I had real grounds for it, not these imaginary grounds to try to get people to buy things that they are not buying.
 
The paper and attribution means something it's why we get them. We want to rely on them but we don't get to toss them out just because we want something better on our swords than what they have said. 
 
I mean man, I'm going to start calling every Shizu a Masamune I encounter, and say surely they are wrong. Will everyone give me the same credit and start saying that all these Shizu are Masamune and everyone should buy my Shizu now because they're really Masamune? 
 
First I wouldn't do that.
 
And if I did do that you all would make fun of me until the end of time. 
 
And that is exactly what you should do, if I ever do do that.
 
So please, keep your skeptic hat on a bit. If there was no background painting going on every single day about the gimei and other things going up on that site, there would not be any grounds to say guys.... stop.... think about it a bit, for the love of god stop the rush to the cheerleading. 
 
It's fine to like a blade but not fine to throw the NBTHK under the bus just because Tsuruta wants to sell a sword higher than he can get with the paper they gave him.

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#19 Darcy

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 10:30 AM

Also it's a nice sword. I will put that separately. 

 

Just tune out all of the noise channel, accept the papers, look at the worst case scenario of what all this means. If you are OK with all that and this is the one you want, buy it. 

 

Hosho is hard to come by and I think Jean's case had a patron that was reliable to give his opinion on that. The guy selling you the blade is not the reliable patron.

 

Honestly I had a blade on my hands that Tanobe sensei said was 50% going to pass as Soshu Sadamune and 100% pass as Juyo if I would just put it in. I sold that blade and I didn't say a word to anyone about that. I sold it as Nanbokucho Soshu because he said it would be Nobukuni if not Sadamune. 

 

I could blast that from the top of my roof and market the crap out of it but I didn't because I didn't want someone to rush in and buy it because they would be buying something for nothing and that is not right. I described the base line and no more and someone bought it.

 

And when I did this I had a real expert and a real opinion in writing. No fairy tales. And I didn't use it. 

 

After I sent him the letter and told him congratulations. 

 

Because the flip side is this, if you buy it as a Hosho based on blah blah,  when it comes time for YOU to sell your "Hosho" then everyone is going to laugh at you and tell you it's Tegai. That's the point of the sapphire and ruby story.

 

You can damn well bet that Tsuruta set this price based on sapphire, now he's trying to tell you it's ruby and see if he can get people to scramble and pay ruby price at auction. So you run out there and think this is my chance to buy ruby and pay for sapphire!

 

Get into the bidding, once in, committed.

 

Get that greed impulse out of your head and you may never buy the sword because the most attractive part here is getting something for nothing and you can damn well be sure he knows that too. 

 

But when you have it and firmly believe it is a ruby, if you go to someone else to sell it, nobody will touch it. He won't sell it again for you. I would say well it's Sue Tegai so it goes on my site as such. And by the way erase that laughable sayagaki to Santa Claus. And so would a lot of people. 

 

You will be unhappy and angry at me then that I won't sell it as a Hosho. 

 

You can buy it and sell it as Sue Tegai but you can also believe in your heart it is Kamakura period Hosho. Nobody will ever stop you from doing it. 

 

But the last guy I visited who did that, all kinds of dealers sold him junk, like signed Sanjo Munechika and got him to sell his mumei finds to them and they took those and brought them to Japan and got Juyo Rai Kunimitsu and so on for them. So this guy sat on a massive pile of fake crap. He told me they were all papered too and I drove 15 hours to visit this guy once he established they were papered koto blades. 

 

I got there all right and he met me in a kimono and he showed me the blades and as I wept over them and their fake signatures, I said, where are the papers (for this mess)?

 

He said right here and handed me all the papers.

 

That he wrote.

 

Because he knows better than the NBTHK. He stamped them and everything. 

 

I know so many collectors who have the handful of treasure blades, which are actually gimei or not what they think, but they want hard to believe in those swords. I won't tell them to their face sorry no, it's no good. I just nod and smile. I leave sad.


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#20 Darcy

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 11:04 AM

Here is the rule about Tokubetsu Hozon from Danny's site

 

d. Muromachi and Edo period mumei blades may not receive a Tokubetsu Hozon paper, as a rule. However, if a blade shows good workmanship, attributable to a famous smith, having ubu-nakago, and in good preservation, it may receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper.

 
Ubu it's not. What this guy's period is, we debate. Good preservation it is. NBTHK indicates it's open to exceptions. Is he famous? What is famous? Are these ands or if you check off a few of them does it get you an exception? How strict are they about Oei?
 
I looked up the Juyo tanto for this guy and they all indicate a start in Nanbokucho end and work into Muromachi. 
 
There are no mumei blades Juyo for him and no katana at all. So I think that confirms my thrust that they are saying this is not going to pass and this name on that blade is telling you this story. Or maybe you will be the lucky one to break the last 62 years of precedents and get one through. 
 
Given that, we are all talking about the same guy and I side with Fujishiro on his dating in this case for this smith. 
 
Anyway I think I am at Aoi overload. 5am again. 
 
If someone bravely buys this, send it to Juyo.

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#21 raymondsinger

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 11:18 AM

To be clear, at no point did I suggest this sword is a Juyo candidate. Nor did I suggest this is a Hosho. My comment was that it appeared to be a quality Yamato blade, an opinion I stand behind.

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#22 Jean

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 01:47 PM

That is what was my conclusion:

"Morality: if kanteisho or sayagaki are only written opinion, quality is always what remains and believe me this one is top."

A TH kanteisho to an O suriage Muromachi Yamato blade indicates top quality.

NBTHK is willing to make exception to its rules but upto what point. (This one is not mumei but Osuriage).

BTW Darcy, how many sue Tegai blade are juyo?
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#23 Surfson

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 03:12 PM

Wow Darcy, I have enjoyed reading this thread.  Thanks for sharing this high level view.  I just react to this blade as a beautiful blade with some gorgeous masame hada and really appreciate all the back story on purchase decision making. Up until now, I have focused on signed, ubu shinto, for which there is considerably more transparency!  


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#24 Darcy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:27 AM

To be clear, at no point did I suggest this sword is a Juyo candidate. Nor did I suggest this is a Hosho. My comment was that it appeared to be a quality Yamato blade, an opinion I stand behind.

 

 

I don't think I am accusing anyone of promoting this as a Juyo candidate, other than that this is going to be the thoughts in a lot of people's heads (it always is) whenever they have a chance to think these thoughts (which is on any nice looking mumei suriage koto blade). This is not the core thought I am trying to advance either, Juyo candidacy or not, it is peripheral to what I am trying to get through. 


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#25 Darcy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 06:14 AM

BTW Darcy, how many sue Tegai blade are juyo?

 

This is a hard question to answer without going through and reading a whole lot of Japanese. 

 

Off the top there are by my count 153 Tegai Juyo Token (not addressing Yamato Shizu Kaneuji and his followers in Yamato). 40% of these are Tegai Kanenaga alone. Another 109 Yamato Shizu group (sometimes Shodai, mostly not). 

 

The difficulty from here is in figuring out dates for the rest as this isn't something that the NBTHK will often stick their neck out on unless it's very clear. There are seven dated Tegai Juyo, dates are 1308, 1317, 1333, 1370, 1388, 1465, 1529. Mostly these are tanto. There is a 1379 Jubi (Kaneyoshi) tachi. 

 

Some of it is confusing like a tachi with a katanamei of Kanemune saying it is beginning of Muromachi. 

 

The smiths in this with signed work that look Muromachi are Kanehisa, Kanekiyo, Kanekuni, Kanemune and about 10 others which spread over about 30 pieces. Some of those names get handed down through time and some of those might be overlapping with Kaneuji's group. 

 

There are 62 mumei blades attributed to Tegai. My feeling is the majority of these are Nanbokucho and if the NBTHK thinks they are earlier they will tend to get Kanenaga (not always). The hamon on this blade above fits well within the examples of Tegai excluding the earliest works. Kanetoshi's hamon are all suguba with small activities.

 

The question deserves a couple of days of reading all of these to try to sort it out, but the primary problem is always going to be conservative workmanship and repeated names of smiths through lineages making it hard to nail down time periods exactly. I could run through all the mumei pieces and try to see if any extend past Nanbokucho.

 

There is some vagueness because the NBTHK may not mention any date on some blade, on another will say it's from end of Kamakura to Nanbokucho, on another say mid Kamakura to Nanbokucho, another flat out Nanbokucho. Date is not a "required field" in their reports and it is often expressed as a fairly wide range that can be over a century. That, is fair.

 

But exactly Zero flat out say "Sue-Tegai" and none (looked through them since writing the above) indicate any date later than Nanbokucho for mumei work. Several point out time spans between middle Kamakura and end of Nanbokucho but these are indicating the footprint of the school. Those usually conclude with the useful statement "Tegai school made this sword."

 

Only 5 Tegai mumei passed Juyo in the last 12 years (one of Kamakura, Nanbokucho, no time stated clearly). I don't think it's from a shortage. If a Tegai blade is a masterpiece I think it is going to get Kanenaga, this is what the Juyo look like. Failing Kanenaga it will get Yamato Shizu if it is exciting work and that will make it more likely to pass than generic style. For instance there is no flat out Tegai accepted at Juyo even until session 12. It's all Kanenaga. After 12 you start seeing Yamato Shizu and Tegai attributions appearing. Also after Juyo 10 is the beginning of standards falling and this peaks at Juyo 24 I think which is the weakest session.

 

Yamato in general spikes as a percentage between Juyo 22 and 27. These also are the weakest Juyo sessions for quality over all the sessions. Just saying. 

 

The signed blades by the other smiths can make it through if they are old because they are indeed rare and valuable. Over the last 30 years only two clearly Muromachi signed Tegai blades have passed Juyo. 

 

That's about as good as I can go without spending a few days reading and making notes. 


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#26 Darcy

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 06:17 AM

Wow Darcy, I have enjoyed reading this thread.  Thanks for sharing this high level view.  I just react to this blade as a beautiful blade with some gorgeous masame hada and really appreciate all the back story on purchase decision making. Up until now, I have focused on signed, ubu shinto, for which there is considerably more transparency!  

 

A lot of Japanese collectors choose Shinto for the same reason. 

 

The old timers though say it's a path you have to go through to get to koto. 


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#27 Surfson

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 02:20 PM

It's funny, but I am only now making that transition.  Looking at a koto blade, most of the older ones of which have had the signature removed, requires that one has achieved a level of kantei to distinguish and identify key features that are informative about school, province, maker and era.   That is really hard!  Sadly, I am already an old timer, so I think that I am late to this evolutionary step in the life of a collector.....


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