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Shimada Sukemune - restore?


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#1 Surfson

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:10 AM

Hi All. Recently got this blade. Just under 28", ubu and very healthy, though it has been worked on with steel wool, so hada is not visible (although it appears to have a toran ba hamon befitting the professional grandson of Tsuda Sukehiro). Sorry for just posting the nakago, but the question is, based on the above, would you send this one to Japan for restoration? The mei is Shimada Kojuro Sukemune, with a kiku and ichi, and appears to be the nidai. It looks good to me, but it never hurts to get other opinions. These days, it's an expensive decision and I hoped that the knowledgeable members of the NMB might let me know what they would do. Cheers, Surf

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#2 cabowen

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:29 AM

It looks good to me.....I would strongly recommend a Japanese polish....Should be beautiful when done...

#3 Surfson

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:59 AM

Will polishers typically get an opinion on the mei from the NBTHK before polishing a blade? If not, does it make any sense to attempt to get NTHK papers before sending a blade to Japan? To me, the worst case scenario, short of a hagire or loss of the blade, would be to have it put in a shirasaya, with a new habaki and polish, and then have it fail to get papers. This question is to anybody, not just Chris, though I would value Chris' opinion as well.
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#4 Surfson

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 02:40 AM

Also, can anybody tell us about the nine petal kiku mon and the ichi? I had not seen this before I came across this sword.
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#5 cabowen

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 03:02 AM

Will polishers typically get an opinion on the mei from the NBTHK before polishing a blade? If not, does it make any sense to attempt to get NTHK papers before sending a blade to Japan? To me, the worst case scenario, short of a hagire or loss of the blade, would be to have it put in a shirasaya, with a new habaki and polish, and then have it fail to get papers. This question is to anybody, not just Chris, though I would value Chris' opinion as well.


No, it is not the usual path to get an opinion first, at least in Japan. I know people in the US that would send oshigata to Mr. Tanobe at the NBTHK for an opinion in the past. Not sure if that is still an option.

Your worst case scenario is why I have referred to polishing as a gamble. You could submit the sword, if enough is visible, to the NTHK in Tampa this Spring. But, nothing against them, if they say it is good, then you polish and submit to the NBTHK, no guarantee it will then pass there....one would think it should, but stranger things have happened....

For you, the lowest risk play may be to submit to the NTHK in Tampa. If it passes, send to Japan. Before polishing there, submit to the NBTHK (again, assuming it is in a state where shinsa is possible). If it passes, you are good to go without the big payout...

#6 cabowen

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 05:43 AM

regarding the use of mon, a variety appear on swords....Here are some examples...

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#7 Surfson

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 07:30 AM

Thanks for the information Chris. As to the mon, I have a couple of swords with a 16 petal royal chrysanthemum, with or without an ichi, and a friend has a Hisamichi with the chrysantemum on a branch. What seems unusual is a 9 petal chrysanthemum. Does anybody know the significance of this variation? Is it not bestowed by the emperor?
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#8 cabowen

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 04:20 PM

As shown in the graphic, smiths used their own variation, some 16, some 9, some more, some less. I do not know if each of them had it granted by the Emperor. I would tend to doubt that.....It would seem to be an homage to the custom started by the Gotoba kaji, as we see the Kiku used as a signture there, the so called "Kikugyosaku", also shown in the graphic.

#9 Surfson

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 05:24 PM

Thanks again Chris. I have always worked under the understanding that the official imperial kiku was exactly 16 petals and could not be used by others without the permission of the emperor. I'm sure there is some meaning to the 9 petal kiku, but will have to hit the books and see if I can dig anything up. Cheers, Bob
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#10 Surfson

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 01:50 PM

Wow, sorry to dredge up this old thread.  I was searching for Shimada Sukemune, who was the brother of a smith I am interested in (I think) and found this old thread I started but never posted any photos of the finished work.  Mishina San polished the blade, Honami San made a sayagaki, and Mishina San used it as an example of his own polishing work at a polishing contest that he judged, so it got into a glossy book from the event.  It's a beauty.  Cheers, Bob

 

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#11 Curran

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 03:10 PM

Thank you for reviving this thread.

It is total eyefood for me before starting out on a Sunday.

 

For practical reasons of mobility with work and 'home', I try to keep it to a transportable collection of fittings.

Should I find myself settled in and able to have more than a sword or two, a nice Shimada example will be high on my wish-list. I just enjoy this school.

The NTHK publications on this school are very good.

 

Also I appreciate Mr. Bowen's aid in this thread.


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#12 Stephen

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 03:12 PM

 

 

Also I appreciate Mr. Bowen's aid in this thread.

Yes it is missed.


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#13 seattle1

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 04:59 PM

Hello:

 Thanks for the update Bob and you are so fortunate to combine Mishina,  Hon'ami and a publication. I agree with Curran that the group is worthy, perhaps not so often seen, but with a very long and continuous tradition.

 Arnold F.


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#14 Surfson

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 05:42 PM

Somehow, I seem to have collected several from this school without realizing it Arnold.  In addition to this Kojuro Sukemune, another prize is a 3rd generation Yoshisuke, who worked in Oei.  I have also picked up a Sukemune yari with Kanzan sayagaki and an amazing Sukemune tanto, that, although cut down has what looks like all en suite Goto (?) mounts with snowflakes,  The funny thing is that my taste drove these purchases, as opposed to a real knowledge of the school and its esthetic.  It was only later that I started to realize that I like the school too.  I feel kind of dumb about it, since it is a bit haphazard.  The same thing happened with Osaka Shinto and Mishina.  Maybe of these days my collecting will drive my choices rather than my choices driving my collecting..... Cheers, Bob


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#15 Curran

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 05:50 PM

Stephen:   ditto.

 

Robert and Arnold:  yes, I think this school unfairly gets second or third seat. They often exhibit a nice mix of technical ability and artistic daring.

I too feel that way about Osaka shinto, so it seems we have similar tastes.

 

If you have any pictures, I should very much like to see the Sukemune tanto and koshirae.

Tanto can store and travel well, so I still permit myself one of those now and then.


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#16 Surfson

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 06:38 PM

Happy to do it Curran.  Just grabbed it and took these.  The light was not bad in my middle room, but my photography skills pale next to many others on the NMB.  Since you seemed interested in the mounts, most of the photos are of the mounts. Enjoy and let me know what school the fittings are.  I took a bunch of single photos of the snowflakes, which are all unique, but have left them out.  Cheers, Bob

 

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#17 Stephen

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 07:46 PM

First class Robert!!! well done mate!!


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#18 Brian

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 08:13 AM

Incredible nanako!


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#19 Curran

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 01:04 PM

Incredible nanako!

 

Yes. Very nice package all around.

When I see nanako that perfect with good gold and shakudo from late Edo but missing any signature- I tend to think Yoshioka work.

Late Edo Goto is also possible, but I think the Yoshioka workmanship had eclipsed them in certain ways. But then Ichijo did appreciate his snowflakes...


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