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haroldianwatson

Katana For Auction - Fuyuhiro Saku W/ Shaomi Tsuba

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I'm debating whether to submit to shinsa this coming april in Chicago, though I think it is almost certainly an ato mei or gimei.   Most likely the signature comes off and it gets polished if very healthy.  It was pointed out that it has lost a lot of meat, but it seems like it's pretty stout.  I'm hoping it doesn't have shingane showing everywhere.....

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It was added later James ..it may have to be removed, or it may be a homage to a smith or a lord requested it be signed by,,,,or or or. 

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I agree with Stephen. I've not seen mei written inside of bohi either - would love to hear from others who have.  If you look at the bohi in the polished area, it is much, much thinner than in the tang, reflecting many polishes since it was cut down.  Also, the position of the transition from the bohi to the unokubi shinogi ji shape (not sure what you call that transition), is very close to the habaki and it is typically closer to the center of the blade.  Finally, as mentioned, the bohi takes a sharp turn as it gets into the nakago, indicating the beginning of what was once a deep koshi zori, at least to me.  

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Nice buy Rob!   She's going to be a beauty queen when you clean her up.     Any story from the auctioneer about how the sword wound up North of the Boarder?

 

Best regards,

   Bob

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What was the buyers premium? Half that should be donated here..we did more work than they did :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

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An example of a Mondo (no) Sho Masakiyo in which the mon and part of the mei extend into the bo-hi. I believe I have seen this before on a Satsuma Motohira as well, but would need to go back and check my references...

 

http://www.sho-shin.com/masakiyo5a.jpg

 

I agree with Stephen. I've not seen mei written inside of bohi either - would love to hear from others who have.

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That's cool Ray - you have an impressive cerebral database!!  

Bob, I will ask him next time we swap emails.

Brian, you can ask him and see.   :)  I think he drove the price up a lot when he posted the blade photos.  Until then, I didn't think it was Nanbokucho.  

Sorry Josh.  I had to pay nearly twice that when all was said and done.  If it's healthy, I'm fine with that.  Time to sell more swords!

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James, I didn't pay much attention to the mei, as you can see by my comments above.  If it is ubu, which I sincerely doubt, I thought it might be sukehiro rather than fuyuhiro, but don't have any examples of the guys that signed with that suke.  I am gambling that it is osuriage and was probably over 33" long when ubu.  If it is osuriage, I think that the length it would have had to be makes a shinshinto kantei less likely.  The clear evidence of extensive polishing also makes shinshinto less likely to my way of thinking.  In other words, I think that the okissaki reflects its former life as a very long Nanbokucho tachi.  Buy hey, I've been way off in the past, and just try to learn from each experience.  My big question is whether to have the mei removed before shinsa or submit, get bounced, and then take off the mei.   Any thoughts?  Cheers, Bob

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I would make the call when you have the blade in hand, but honestly, I think the mei isn't good! Just doesn't flow.. Just to be safe though.. Get a couple solid opinions and then take er off. I wouldn't submit to Shinsa with Mei unless some authoritive figure has a lot of confidence in this one.

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This is the Satsuma blade I was thinking of. It is a Masayuki.

 

FWIW, I am leaning towards this being a Keicho or shinshinto piece (hope I am wrong and it is Nambokucho). I am feeling that it is ubu, or nearly so with perhaps the nakago-mune slightly reduced. The nakago feels right to me as a later sword intended to be a naginatanaoshi utushimono. I also have the impression that the hamon terminates at the ha-machi. Please confirm once received.

 

Also sharing an ubu Naotane.

 

Best regards,

Ray

post-457-0-98980500-1507983201_thumb.jpg

post-457-0-18330000-1507984129_thumb.jpg

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Wow Ray, two more great examples.  Do you own either?  I hope you are wrong about it being shinshinto.  My thinking was that the thinning of the bohi at the machi was indicative of numerous polishes, probably more than a shinshinto blade would have had.  I may or may not have the smarts to figure it out when the sword is in hand but will show it to you at the Minneapolis or Chicago show to get your thoughts.  Here is the machi showing the narrowing of the bohi.  Cheers, Bob

post-620-0-01917700-1507985294_thumb.png

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Hi Bob,

 

Neither of the examples are mine. I did see that feature in the Fuyuhiro, but felt it was made that way. Note the somewhat crude execution of the horimono (naginata-hi, soe-hi), which I cannot recall seeing on an earlier (Nambokucho or prior) sword. Sorry, don't mean to be a downer and hope I am wrong here...

 

Best regards,

Ray

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On the other hand, the part that worries me that you may be right is the finishing of the nakago jiri.  It seems that most of the time when a blade is shortened, the jiri is not finished but is rather kirijiri.   Have you seen many examples of shortened blades where the jiri is finished rather than just cut straight off?  

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Thanks Ray.  I admit to having stared at the end of the bohi a long time.  Ultimately, I decided that it was perfectly identical on both sides of the blade and was done with intent.  It also has a curvature different from the curvature of the sweep in the shinogi ji and that was identical on both sides.  After staring at it a long while, I decided that it wasn't so crudely done as I initially thought.  Again, we shall see when it is in hand!  If it turns out to be an utsushimono, I probably won't have it restored unless the hamon and hada really beg for it.  Cheers, Bob

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It is very common to see nakago of o-suriage swords with a variety of nakago-jiri, not just kiri. Less common to see an o-suriage nakago look so perfectly ubu. Where and how the hamon terminates will be the first clue.

 

Attached is an o-suriage Masamune. Nakahara seems to argue that these types of swords really are ubu, and not what they purport to be.

post-457-0-35126500-1507986296_thumb.jpg

post-457-0-41249000-1507986698_thumb.jpg

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I have had a couple of osuriage blades over the years that weren't kirijiri, but have to admit that it is rare.  Whether this one turns out to be Nanbokucho or shinshinto, it is a good lesson and worth the trying so far.  

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As to the ending of the hamon, if I am not mistaken, Nakahara also states that sometimes the hamon is heated to make reshaping of the tang easier.  During that process the hamon is lost near the machi.  

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Yes, in terms of checking to see if the sword is ubu you would evaluate whether the hamon seems to end in a natural way at or near the ha-machi.

 

As to the ending of the hamon, if I am not mistaken, Nakahara also states that sometimes the hamon is heated to make reshaping of the tang easier. During that process the hamon is lost near the machi.

 

This was the feature which caught my attention, where an active, wide hamon seems to descend right to the ha-hachi. Very difficult to evaluate from photos though and I hope I can see this one in person at an upcoming show.

post-457-0-44985600-1507991274_thumb.jpg

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Are you coming to Minneapolis or Chicago?  I will bring it for you and anybody else to see.  Thanks for sharing your wisdom on it.  Would you have the mei removed before shinsa or run it through once?   I am leaning toward running it through as is, just in case it is a suke and not a fuyu or just in case it isn't gimei.  If you and some others of your level of expertise were sure it is gimei, I would send it out to have the signature removed before Chicago.  

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I would put through shinsa at least once before considering removing the mei (I personally feel 2-3 failed attempts is better before mei removal). To my eyes it does look like Fuyuhiro. Look forward to meeting up in Minneapolis...

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Somebody  asked about the history of the sword, since they are unusual to find in Canada.   This is what the auctioneer told me by email.   Cheers, Bob

 

I don’t know the origins of the sword unfortunately, the owner said he purchased a cottage and it was just sitting in a room full of Antiques. My best guess would be that it was picked up by a Canadian Soldier in WWII. The consignor also had a FS Commando Knife which was a standard issue for the Canadian Army and I’ve researched that there are instances of Canadian troops fighting hand to hand with Japanese troops during WWII. Perhaps it was picked up from a Japanese soldier who was carrying a family blade?

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