I will give a longer report and more photos tomorrow. Just enjoy for the moment....
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Posted 19 March 2018 - 01:38 PM
I look forward to reading your report! Thanks a lot!
Posted 19 March 2018 - 02:46 PM
Posted 19 March 2018 - 06:53 PM
last Saturday the meeting of the NBTHK-EB was in Berlin at the Samurai Art Museum. Members from the Italin Branch, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Switzerland attended the meeting.
Guests from Russia were also there. Members of Token Society of Great Britain, members from the Katchu Society and some Germans. That was really a huge meeting.
Nearly sixty people.
First we had the chance to know each other. Then Prof. Kremers introduced Mr. Peter Janssen, the private owner of the Museum and Ms. Martyna Lesniewska M.A..
Ms Lesniewska studied Japanese and East Asian art history and is a scientific researcher at the museum.
After that the doors were opened and we all together had the chance to see the exhibition.
After a short lecture about handle and care by Mr. Paul Bowman and Uwe Heinz 4 blades were provided for an appraisal.
Rai Kunitoshi - Juyo token
Rai Kunitoshi - Juyo token with a sayagaki by Tanobe-san for Ryokai
Rai Kunimitsu - Tokubetso Juyo token and
Bizen Unji - Juyo token
All blades are unsigned. The Rai Kunimitsu bears a kinzogan mei.
A fifth blade you could study and give your opinion. It was a signed Nobukuni katana and the second Tokubetso Juyo token.
So, the blades together with the armor made this one of the highlights this year. At 6.00 pm we all went to a restaurant nearby. It was a long evening.
Once again I want to thank Mr. Peter Janssen and Ms. Martyna Lesniewska for this oportunity, the friendly welcome and for the organisation af this meeting.
Posted 20 March 2018 - 12:38 AM
We would like to thank Mr Peter Janssen for hosting and introducing us to his collection of treasures, Mr Eckhard Kremers for coordinating the day with great efficiency and courtesy, Mr Paul Bowman and Mr Uwe Heinz for leading an interesting kansho, Miss Martyna Lesniewska and all the participants for their kind hospitality.
Posted 20 March 2018 - 11:21 AM
Just returned from a delightful few days in Berlin. Even the temperatures of -5 to -7C failed to dampen the warmth and enthusiasm shown by all those who attended. It was an excellent event hosted with great modesty and friendliness by Mr. Janssen. One should also remember the great effort put in by Eckhard Kremers, the president of the NBTHK EU and his team for making the event happen and run so smoothly.
It was an excellent day not only was there an extensive display of armour (which I confess to know nothing about but thoroughly enjoyed studying) But the swords we were able to view were amongst the best examples of their type I have had the privilege to hold and study in hand
It was great to meet so many friends from throughout Europe and to make some new ones
Thanks to all for making it a memorable day.
Posted 20 March 2018 - 12:26 PM
A good point to make here is that the Samurai Art Museum is the personal collection of Peter Janssen. He is basically allowing access for all to enjoy.
He also is a great host, the Armour and Sword Societies have been able to make use of his venue to host events. It is without a doubt a special place.
Since last year I have been spending more time working with the Token Societies in GB. My aim is to bridge the gap between armour and sword collectors. What sparked this was the fact that I have a number of Sansai armours which were used by the Hosokawa clan, I have no knowledge of Higo fittings or what swords the Hosokawa used. In a way, this made me a one-dimensional collector paying focus to just armour.
The samurai valued their swords, then their armour. Yet as collectors, we are worlds apart.
The Samurai Arts Museum delivers the message that both swords and armour are complementary but integral to understanding the warrior culture.
The forthcoming Samurai Arts Expo also features arms and armour. I hope that this can become the way forward for every sword collector owning an armour and every armour collector owning a nihonto.
David Thatcher - Katchushi Koubou UK http://yoroi.uk
Professional Conservator and Restorer of Japanese Armour
Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:07 PM
Great thanks to Peter Janssen for hosting this wonderful event for us, and to all others involved in organizing this.
It was wonderful to meet old friends and new people, especially to get to meet some NMB members for the first time after knowing them by online for a long time.
The lineup of swords was simply stunning. Rai Kunimitsu and Nobukuni tachi were pretty much perfect swords. However I am not a total "art sword" guy as definately my heart chose a different sword. Brain kept telling me that one of the 3 Tokubetsu Jūyō swords (there was also the Kageyasu in display case) in amazing state of preservation should be the pick. For me it was the signed and dated (1338) tachi by Osafune Nagashige that won my heart in a close race with the Nobukuni.
Also there is an array of splendid armours all over the museum. Some of the armours were breathtaking and truely masterpieces. Even though I do not know anything about armours I can say they are top notch.
To be noted for lovers of sword fittings the museum houses extremely impressive tsuba collection as well as other fittings too. I believe the tsuba are arranged by school/tradition basis. Even though I am not a tsuba guy I still could identify some traditions and guess some others. The good part in having a meeting with a bunch like this is you can just ask and someone can most likely answer to your question. So for example if some tsuba was giving you a headache then tsuba dudes could help with it and Martyna Lesniewska also offered her help and explained about the items.
The funny thing is with so many items in display room I think I did not even notice nearly every item that was for display even though spending the day at looking at the items. There were so many items positioned in display cases, and now by looking at the few pictures I snapped on my phone I can see the many items I didn't notice.
Posted 20 March 2018 - 11:59 PM
Posted 21 March 2018 - 12:28 AM
This museum is a great oppotunity to learn. I have been pleased severals days before to select the blades which would be shown. I have never been before in the museum. I can only say great, mindblowing. I m listend to Mr Bowman carefully. He gave an great lecture. My heart was pounding while listing. Did I explain nonsens to Peter Janssen before hand ? ? For god I did not.
It was also also a great pleasure for me to see and to meet several people, some old friends, and some new friends so I do hope.
Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:27 AM
Posted 21 March 2018 - 10:28 AM
I am glad you enjoyed the discussion about the swords. I have to admit that excitement and a raised heart beat are not what I normally achieve when I am talking (More often I help people catch up on their sleep )
It is easy to be enthusiastic when the material you are talking about is of such high quality and I have not seen better Rai swords than the Kunimitsu. He remains my favourite Rai smith and all the examples I have seen have been of very high and consistent quality. This blade however was one step higher than the norm and I can understand how it achieved its Tokubetsu Juyo certification. It is worth the trip om its own.
Posted 25 March 2018 - 01:31 AM
Thanks for sharing this!
"Is there gonna be a fight Wyatt?"
"I think that there must be."
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