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katana polishing saya

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#1 Sansei

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 05:37 PM

My Nisei dad and mom received this gift from her father when they were married in Japan after WW2. My grandfather was sensei and had his own kendo dojo. We lived in Japan for 2 years in the early 1960’s when my dad was stationed in Korea with the 25th infantry division. I was in junior high school at that time. We visited my grandfather during the summers and he came to visit us in Tokyo several times.

 

The katana was kept at my uncle’s home in Hawaii down in their garage. What you see in the pictures is it’s condition after my dad retrieved it in the 1980’s. Termites destroyed the wood Saya and the Tsuka is what’s left. My mom is now 92 and we are thinking about what to do with the katana. I think we would like to try and bring it back to the condition it was; when it was gifted. We would like to find out how to do this and what it would cost.

 

I believe we will keep the legacy in the family.

 

Comments and any other thoughts would be appreciated. I am not well informed on these matters.

 

We have two other katana. One that my dad won in a kendo tournament in Hawaii when he was in high school. Another that my dad brought back from the Philippines. He was stationed there in MIS under General MacArthur during WW2. These are still in excellent condition as they were always kept here.

 

Thanks.

 

- RayM

 

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#2 Stephen

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 06:08 PM

Wrong
Answer
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#3 raymondsinger

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 06:15 PM

Kiyondo (藤原清人作 - Fujiwara Kiyondo saku)

 

1865 (元治二年二月吉日 - A lucky day in the 2nd month of Genji 2)

 

https://www.nihonto.com/kiyondo/


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#4 Grey Doffin

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 07:11 PM

Hi RayM,

Bob Benson in Honolulu is a properly trained polisher; he can advise and take care of restoration for you.  He will be at the show in San Francisco this weekend or you'll find him linked at the top of this page (look for Bushido).

Grey


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#5 BIG

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 07:20 PM

Hi RayM, Kiyondo's ranking..

https://nihontoclub....&school_nid=All

Best
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#6 Sansei

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 08:43 PM

Hi RayM,

Bob Benson in Honolulu is a properly trained polisher; he can advise and take care of restoration for you.  He will be at the show in San Francisco this weekend or you'll find him linked at the top of this page (look for Bushido).

Grey

 

 

Grey,

 

Thanks, I saw the announcement of this show Aug2-Aug4 in Burlingame on someone's Facebook page? SF Marriott Waterfront. If Bob Benson is available, I can go up there and show the katana to him and get his advice. Will try to reach out to him today.

 

Ray


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#7 Tom Darling

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 12:17 AM

I would like to see pic of the other two blades.  Also, what is the blade length of the Kiyondo, as the cost of the polish goes by the length.   Good luck.

 

 

 

Tom D.



#8 Jacques D.

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 09:20 AM

This sword has all chances to be shoshin, before all it needs to be seen by a real expert.


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#9 Sansei

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 04:46 PM

Jacques,

 

What is "shoshin"?

 

 

Tom D.,

 

I will post some pics of the Philippines blade in the near future. We are having the house fumigated and roof done next month so pretty busy now.



#10 Stephen

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 05:40 PM

Basically good signature as opposed to gimei or false signature.
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#11 Brian

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 07:00 PM

Signatures have been faked for centuries. There are more fake signatures on swords than real ones likely.
So if it has a good chance at being shoshin, it means there are no immediate faults or signs of it being fake, and it has a chance of being really by him. Since he is a big name, which comes with big value, you need to take this slowly and carefully and have it checked out. Bob Benson would be a very good start. Once you have a better idea from an in-hand inspection, you can decide where to go from there. Good luck, it would be a great find if real. Even if not, it still looks like a good sword and there are plenty of very good swords with fake signatures.


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#12 Sansei

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 07:15 PM

All,

 

Okay. Got it. Thanks.

 

Contacted Robert and will see him this weekend.

 

RayM



#13 Surfson

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 04:21 AM

This is a famous maker Ray, and we are pulling for you.  


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#14 Shugyosha

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 11:34 AM

Hi Ray,

 

If that were mine, I'd be wrapping it in an oil-soaked cloth in the short term to try to prevent that rust from getting any worse. 


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Best regards, John 

Please excuse my spelling mistakes, brevity and ignorance.


#15 Sansei

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 04:42 PM

Blade 2: This is the katana that my dad purchased in the Philippines. My mom says that he got it from the Filipino who killed this Japanese officer. She says that only the officers had katana; given to them by their families. Usually the best katana owned by the families were gifted to them and, as we know, they were expected to die; or return only in victory…Bushido.

 

The katana seems to be in “good” original condition. There are blemishes and what look like stains (could be blood) and the Ha has some small nicks. Unlike the other katana, this one was oiled occasionally and kept indoors:

 

- RayM

 

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#16 Stephen

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 05:14 PM

Wow cant wait for translation of this one.
Working samurais sword. Great fun.
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#17 vajo

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 05:49 PM

Hu  :Drool:



#18 Tom Darling

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 09:04 PM

Hi Ray,

 

So far you've got two winners, why not make it three. Cheers.

 

Tom D.



#19 Sansei

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 12:02 AM

Tom D.,

 

My appreciation grows the more I learn about the Art of the Sword:

 

 

I will post part three of this Katana Trilogy soon.

 

RayM



#20 Stephen

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 12:09 AM

Please place nakago in translation section.
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#21 Surfson

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 05:31 PM

After a quick peek, it looks like Kagemori to me.  There was a Takeda smith in late muramachi.  Interesting tang for sure.  


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#22 Brian

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 06:30 PM

Ray,
Please do post those tang pics in the translation section, I think we would all love to know what it says.


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#23 Jussi Ekholm

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 08:08 PM

I believe the signature of the second sword is following.

 

Omote: 源元興於東武芝金杉営精鍛焉 / 安政五戊午年二月日

Ura: 太々土壇場同年三月十三日於千住 / 山田吉利門八後藤利影試之

 

Smith is Minamoto Motooki and sword is made in 1858. I struggled a bit with the cutting test and when I had it almost correct I found really similar cutting test on another Motooki sword that is NBTHK Hozon: http://www.sword-auc...ki-cutting-test

 

Unfortunately I am not well versed in cutting tests. I am getting some help from Aoi's English literation of the cutting test on their site. It seems that on the sword posted in here Yamada Yoshitoshi & Goto ??? as the test cutters. Taitai is a cut through torso at shoulders in Yamada terminology. And I think the cut was on earth mound dotan.


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Jussi Ekholm


#24 Sansei

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 01:13 AM

Ray,
Please do post those tang pics in the translation section, I think we would all love to know what it says.

 

Brian,

 

Will do. I did not know there was a special section for that purpose.

 

RayM



#25 Sansei

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 01:24 AM

Grey,

 

Thanks, I saw the announcement of this show Aug2-Aug4 in Burlingame on someone's Facebook page? SF Marriott Waterfront. If Bob Benson is available, I can go up there and show the katana to him and get his advice. Will try to reach out to him today.

 

Ray

 

Saw Robert at the show today. He looked at the Kiyondo and said it was a very good katana, even as is with the rust. He said the rust was probably caused by fingers on the blade without cleaning. I spoke to him for about an hour and he told me about his experiences in Japan as a polisher. I was very impressed. We agreed that he would take the Kiyondo back to Hawaii with him and do the restoration work. It will take about a year; with all of his other work ongoing. His son is now working with him as his former apprentice of 25 years left for Las Vegas:

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#26 Stephen

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 01:32 AM

Your going to be very happy. It will be Christmas in July.
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#27 Vermithrax16

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 05:14 AM

I believe the signature of the second sword is following.

 

Omote: 源元興於東武芝金杉営精鍛焉 / 安政五戊午年二月日

Ura: 太々土壇場同年三月十三日於千住 / 山田吉利門八後藤利影試之

 

Smith is Minamoto Motooki and sword is made in 1858. I struggled a bit with the cutting test and when I had it almost correct I found really similar cutting test on another Motooki sword that is NBTHK Hozon: http://www.sword-auc...ki-cutting-test

 

Unfortunately I am not well versed in cutting tests. I am getting some help from Aoi's English literation of the cutting test on their site. It seems that on the sword posted in here Yamada Yoshitoshi & Goto ??? as the test cutters. Taitai is a cut through torso at shoulders in Yamada terminology. And I think the cut was on earth mound dotan.

Motooki is a wildly under rated smith, had many excellent works. Would love to follow this story along as it goes.


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#28 Brian

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 12:05 PM

Great work Jussi!
And like Stephen said, brilliant result! The end result is going to be amazing. I think you have a very special sword.
Well done on taking the advise, and doing what is best. Can't wait to see the result, but at some point I'm guessing it will paper too.
Did you get to show him the other sword?


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#29 Sansei

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 06:53 PM

All,

 

Re the second katana: Up to this point I have assumed that the officer had been killed in battle by the Filipinos. However, the physical evidence on the katana itself may point to a different scenario. That is, at his request with his own katana, the Japanese officer may have been executed by the Filipino after capture and trial. 

 

If you are a bit squeamish DO NOT READ FURTHER.

 

One could imagine a scene where the Japanese officer is kneeling, blind folded, head bent over. The Filipino is standing just behind and on the officer’s left side; the Filipino being right-handed. The katana is swung down and slicing right to left, top to bottom, through the neck muscles just above the heavy spinal bone and through….BANZAI. 

 

This would have been consistent with the desire for a ritual death; in keeping with the samurai tradition. Afterwards, the Filipino had no desire to keep the sword; which is why my dad was able to buy it…cheap.

 

If you look at the photos below, the visible blemishes have symmetry and correspond basically to the outer width of my own neck (4.5 inches wide) which would make that officer just about my height and weight. The two symmetric blemishes are only on one side of the katana; the bottom side, if the sword was swung by a right-handed person. 

 

That being said, I am not a forensic expert and people can have their own theories. My dad never documented this katana and is no longer here to confirm or deny….

 

RayM

 

 

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#30 Stephen

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 07:39 PM

I think you went and got romantic on us.
Romancing the sword is a common theme with newbies.
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