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New Guy - New Swords - Introductions


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#1 ChrisM

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 01:21 AM

Hi All,

 

After many years, I've finally started my collection. I feel like a kid in a candy store! 

 

Katana

From Moses over at Nihonto Antiques, I picked up a beautiful, signed, Edo period blade ranked as Hozon Tōken. This has a beautiful Sayagaki by Tanobe-San. From reading other threads on this board, I've reached out to Markus Sesko for a translation, as none of the "standard" Japanese translators who have looked at it could read it.

 

Wakizashi

To pair this this, I picked up a Tokubetsu Hozon ranked Wakizashi off ebay. This hasn't been cleared for export yet, but seems like a beautiful match for the sword. This was (mostly) an unplanned impulse buy that I justified to myself by the rank of the sword. I hit the "Make An Offer" button and (to my surprise!) the offer was accepted.

 

How did I do? Does this match well (period wise / quality wise) with the Katana?

 

Is there anyone who could do a Sayagaki on it to match the Tanobe-San one on the Katana? Where would I find this person, and what would I expect to pay?

 

Other Questions

Some questions I've got, that I'm hoping folks can help with.

 

  1. I'm looking for an Edo period Katana Kake. There are some on eBay ranging from about $500 to about $3000, with a sweet spot seeming to be about $1k. Is there a better source for these?
  2. Next up is Nurisaya & Koshirai for both, so they match. Any suggestions for who does custom work? My plan is to ask Moses (from whom I purchased the sword) to do this, as his work looks (to my eye) to be very nice.

 

//Chris



#2 Surfson

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:15 PM

Hi Chris.  You appear to have made a great start at a collection.  Both blades look solid to me, in a good state of polish and enjoyable.  If you are patient, you will see katanakake come up, just wait for one you really like.  There are some great reproduction or modern ones that aren't too expensive that come up as well.  

 

As to sayagaki, I am not aware of anybody at the US that can do it for you.  It may be too late, but you might ask the seller if they can approach Tanobe sensei for one - maybe they know him.  I know that he is busy, but in the past was willing to do TH papered swords.  

 

You are not asking for advice, but I will say that trying to mount these two swords with custom mounts will be very expensive in most cases.  You could possibly find a daisho set of koshirae, but even that will require new saya and tsuka.  I think that it is always cheaper to buy fully mounted swords in the long run.  


Robert S.

#3 ChrisM

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 11:07 PM

Hi Robert,

 

Thanks for the response. It's clear to me that this is a very, very deep rabbit hole and there seems to be room for enjoyment all the way down...! Your suggesting of asking the seller to approach Tanobe-san is a great one. I've just done that (The blade is still in Japan awaiting an export license), and I'll report back if things go well. 

 

The mounting will be interesting - the price is... not inconsiderable and your point is well taken. In terms of mounts (including saya / tsuka), I have some specific colors in mind that are symbolic to me so had deliberately bought swords that were unmounted. Likewise, I'm looking for some dragon menuki of a quality (and era) to match the swords that'll be part of the mounting.My hope is that these swords will be with me for many, many years - and years from now I won't remember what I paid for a particular saya, but I'll know that I love what I have. :) 

 

//Chris



#4 Jussi Ekholm

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:28 AM

By looking at the sayagaki quickly I think it has Bunroku/Keicho as the approximate age.

You've chosen well with Markus as he can easily provide the full & correct translation to you :)

Jussi Ekholm


#5 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 01:08 AM

Welcome, Chris. Please note that the correct terms are "shirasaya" & "koshirae."

 

Looks like you've dived right into our rabbit hole!


Ken Goldstein

 

Anyone can be tough for a season,

but it takes a special kind of human to rise to life's challenges for a lifetime.


#6 ChrisM

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 01:20 AM

@Jussi - Thanks! I got the translation from him today. He does very quick work! 

 

相刕住綱廣
磨上而「廣」一次切 同工ノ一作域ヲ示ス者而
製作年代ハ文禄・慶⻑頃也
刃⻑貮尺二寸五分有之
平成壬午歳卯月上澣探山邉道識「花押」
 
Sōshū-jū Tsunahiro
Suriage shikashite ‘hiro’ ichiji kire. Dōkō no issaku’iki o shimesu mono shikamo
seisaku nendai wa Bunroku, Keichō goro nari.
Hachō ni-shaku ni-sun go-bu kore ari.
Heisei mizunoe-umadoshi uzuki jōkan Tanzan Hendō shirusu + kaō
 
Tsunahiro, resident of Sagami Province
The blade is shortened and the character for hiro was cut off. It shows one of the known workmanships of this smiths and dates to around Bunroku (1592-1596) and Keichō (1596-1615).
Blade length ~ 68.2 cm
Written by Tanzan Hendō [pen name of Tanobe Michihiro] in the first third of April In the year of the horse of the Heisei era (2002) + monogram.


#7 ChrisM

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 01:25 AM

Welcome, Chris. Please note that the correct terms are "shirasaya" & "koshirae."

 

I've been trying to get the words right, but it's clearly going to be a long pull as there is so much to learn. 

 

Honest question - I got the words Nurisaya and Koshirai from the Nihanto Antiques site on this topic. 

 

So that I can use the right words next time, in what cases would these be the right words vs shirasaya and koshirae? 



#8 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 03:03 AM

Yeah, I'll admit that there's a steep learning curve when you first get interested, Chris. Have you invested in a couple of books so you can get started?

 

"Koshirai" is just an incorrect spelling of "koshirae," & is probably phonetic. I've never heard of "nurisaya," but it could possibly be an alternate reading of the Kanji for "shirasaya." I'm sure that someone will chime in on that.

 

And it's "Nihonto Antiques." :laughing:


Ken Goldstein

 

Anyone can be tough for a season,

but it takes a special kind of human to rise to life's challenges for a lifetime.


#9 ChrisM

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 04:25 AM

And it's "Nihonto Antiques." :laughing:

 

Some days, the best laid plans of mice and men...

Now I'm wondering just how many times I've typed "nihanto" instead of "nihonto".



#10 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 06:58 AM

Chris, if that's the worst thing you do on NMB, you'll come off just fine! :thumbsup:


Ken Goldstein

 

Anyone can be tough for a season,

but it takes a special kind of human to rise to life's challenges for a lifetime.


#11 Surfson

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 06:48 PM

Chris, finding nice dragon menuki is not too hard, but finding a daisho, or matched set of two pair of menuki, is harder.  The same goes for the tsuba and the fuchi-kashira.  You could buy a daisho koshirae and have the saya and tsuka refitted to your blades and use all of the fittings.  if you take your time, you can find a daisho koshirae that suits your likes, I would think.


Robert S.

#12 Jussi Ekholm

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:20 PM

Nuri-saya in general means lacquered saya. Usually the type of lacquer used is applied before the term.


Jussi Ekholm





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