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Kiyomitsu O-Wakizashi

wakizashi koshirae

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#1 Stephen C

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 06:35 AM

Hi, my name is Stephen. This is my first post. Attach are pictures of an O-wakizashi I just purchased. It is my first Nihonto. It is dated 1506AD, signed Bishu Osafune Kiyomitsu. Cutting edge is 59.4cm. The sword was registered in Japan in 1951 (I have read that this was a Diamyo registry year).
Being my first Nihonto, I am not very experienced and don't know if this is a good sword or not.
Thanks.
Stephen C.
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Stephen C

#2 16k

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 07:03 AM

Hi Stephen,

This is hard to say without seeing more of the blade (whole sugata, Hada and Hamon close ups) as the fittings can easily be changed over time.

General saying is Bishu instead of Bizen means the sword is lower quality, but since it is far from being a universal truth, I encourage you to post more pictures for more experienced people than me.
Jean-Pierre, but everybody calls me JP

#3 Stephen C

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 07:17 AM

These photos were taken by the seller. They are accurate to the blade.
Thanks
Stephen C.

Screenshot_20190612-151223_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20190612-151209_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20190612-151156_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20190612-151147_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20190612-151134_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20190612-151110_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20190612-151057_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20190612-151046_eBay.jpg
Stephen C

#4 Stephen C

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 07:24 AM

Just to add another photo of the whole blade.
Thanks.

Screenshot_20190607-071427_eBay.jpg
Stephen C

#5 nagamaki - Franco

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 08:55 AM

FYI, https://www.nihonto....-muromachi-era/


_________
Regards,

Franco

#6 Shugyosha

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 08:57 AM

Hi Stephen,

 

Welcome to NMB.

 

Looking at the blade by itself, I don't think that there's an awful lot to not like there. It looks like there may be a little loose grain but that could equally be the photographs which can make this look worse than it is but certainly is not out of keeping with its age. There looks like there might be some scuffing around the kissaki - the boshi doesn't show white in the photographs but that is a cosmetic issue and indicates that it is perhaps in older polish but see comments below.

 

Does it have authentication papers? Here's the entry from Marcus Sesko's Swordsmiths of Japan:

 

KIYOMITSU (清光), Eishō (永正, 1504-1521), Bizen – “Bishū Osafune Kiyomitsu” (備州長船清光), “Bizen no Kuni-jū Osafune Gorōzaemon no Jō Kiyomitsu” (備前国住長船五郎左衛門尉清光), “Bizen no Kuni-jū Osafune Nomura Gorōzaemon no Jō Kiyomitsu” (備前国住長船野村五郎左衛門尉清光), real name Nomura Gorōzaemon (野村五郎左衛門), son of Katsuhei Kiyomitsu, wazamono, jōjō-saku

 

The words "wazamono" and "jōjō-saku" are interesting: the ranking wazamono means that the smith is amongst those that were ranked as producing blades that cut well according to a famous test-cutter from the edo period. https://en.wikipedia...ist_of_Wazamono

 

The jōjō-saku bit indicates that according to Fujishiro's ranking system he is "highly surperior" https://yuhindo.com/ratings.html

 

So, if your sword is shoshin (the signature is genuine) you have picked up a decent sword.

 

That said, looking at the way he signed with the use of "Bizen" rather than "Bishu" in his longer signatures, the use of "Bishu" in your case probably backs up JP's comment that the smith perhaps thought that this wasn't his best work which would have received the longer signature.

 

It's designated a wakizashi based on how swords are categorized these days but given its time of manufacture and length may well have been intended for use as a primary weapon but one handed "katate uchi" as was the style of fighting around that time. The length of the tsuka is not consistent with this and so it's reasonable to suggest that the fittings aren't original to the blade (no biggie, muromachi period koshirae are few and far between and are very valuable). How do they fit? The scuffing near the kissaki might indicate that the scabbard is a little tight and may not have been made for this blade, also the quality looks below what you might expect to find on a higher quality blade, so the fittings may have been swapped out and sold separately, or simply replaced as worn out during the Edo period.

 

I'm sure you'll get more and better comments but it looks to me like you've done pretty well with your first buy.


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Best regards, John 

Please excuse my spelling mistakes, brevity and ignorance.


#7 Stephen C

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for you comprehensive reply John. I only have a copy of the Japanese sword registration paper, dated 1951. The blade actually looks much nicer in person. It has nice polish. The photos accentuate all the textures on the blade.
Stephen C

#8 Stephen C

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 09:55 AM

Also, everything seems to fit like it should, no looseness or rattles. The fittings have been done well I think.
Stephen C

#9 16k

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 06:46 PM

John posted most (more?)of what I was going to write, so no need to add more. I too do believe it was a katate uchi rather than an o Wakizashi.

The sugata is consistent with the time period so I tend to believe it is shoshin. If you were to fake a kiyomitsu, my gut feeling is you’d write Bizen instead of Boshu as it is more prestigious. Agree also on the tsuka not being original. Much too long for a katate uchi. Then again, I don’t believe many koshirae from the time has survived, so your mountings are probably late Edo period (19th century probably).

Worst case scenario, it was remounted by the seller or a previous one. No big deal anyway as it looks nice and the blade is the part that matters most.
Jean-Pierre, but everybody calls me JP

#10 vajo

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 09:56 PM

I like the blade and the fittings, but i didn't like that long tsuka on the sword. 



#11 Stephen C

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:16 PM

Thanks for all the comments.
The Tsuka fits very well, no extra washers and no extra mekugi-ana. So I would like to think it was properly fitted.
The idea that it is a katake uchi is interesting. I thought it may have been a short katana as the length wasn't set in stone at that time.
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Stephen C

#12 Stephen

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:42 PM

I keep seeing your name i go what when did i start that???

 

StephenC  lol


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                         Stephen C. USMC DEC 63 APR 73

                                   Don't Tread on Me!


#13 Stephen C

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:59 PM

Also, can anyone make anything of the signature on the Fuchi collar?

Thank you all for you valuable information.
Stephen C

#14 Stephen

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 12:07 AM

oh ok i got you no sense of humor guy


                         Stephen C. USMC DEC 63 APR 73

                                   Don't Tread on Me!


#15 Stephen C

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 12:16 AM

Sorry Stephen, I didn't see you first post until now, then I thought, when did I post that 😊
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Stephen C

#16 SteveM

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 12:21 AM

Signature on fuchi:   柳川 Yanagawa


Steve M

#17 Stephen

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 12:32 AM

:rotfl:  :thumbsup:  :beer:  :beer:

 

Cheers


                         Stephen C. USMC DEC 63 APR 73

                                   Don't Tread on Me!


#18 TETSUGENDO

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:15 AM

Workmanship on F/K looks quite off the level of even mediocre Yanagawa school quality, most likely gimei.

 

-S-


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StevenK


#19 Stephen C

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 02:51 AM

Thanks everyone for your replies.
I think my $1500USD did well. I'm in Australia and Nihonto is either rubbish, expensive or both. I bought this sword from a dealer in Japan, it would have cost me 2 to 3 times the price in Australia. Now to save for my next Nihonto.
Thanks again.
Stephen C

#20 Surfson

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:28 AM

I wonder whether the date of the torokusho registration, at 1951, is meaningful.  The early registrations were often daimyo swords of greater importance.  

 

Looks like a decent sword to me, other than the condition of the tang and the loose grain that was mentioned.  $1500 Aus is quite a reasonable price.  

 

Enjoy it and let it be the catalyst to learn about Japanese swords.  My advice is to go out and buy some books to help with your appreciation.  


Robert S.

#21 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 12:05 PM

This seller has used "Daimyo registration" many times in their listings and many of them are certainly not fit for a Daimyo.


John


#22 Surfson

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:53 PM

I agree John, but whoever owned it got close to the head of the line for registration it seems.


Robert S.





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