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  1. 22 points
    I'm sure all of you know and have interacted with Ray Singer and Swords of Japan before. He appears to be a respected voice on these boards and I am sure others as well. I became acquainted with Ray as of some direct information I picked up here with the suggestion to purchase an initial sword from someone on this site. Based on that information, I went to the Swords of Japan website and found a beautiful Takada Muneyuki Katana in a very reasonable range. After some initial discussions with Ray, including some wonderful background on the sword and the smith I decided to purchase the sword. That's where it all went downhill, for the sword. The transaction was professional and quick with the sword shipped to my house quickly thereafter. Sometime after it was dropped off at USPS, the sword fell out of the system. No scans were made, the delivery date came and went. This went on for a little over 5 weeks on a shipment that should have taken 4 days. During this whole time, Ray was working the system trying to find information for me to keep me up to date with the results. All told, he said he spent 50 hours on the phone with the USPS. Well, after 5 weeks, he finally decided all avenues had been exhausted and decided to make an insurance claim. Well as usually happens when that type of decision is made, USPS decides to walk up to my house and drop off the sword. The package was a little beat up but the sword inside was well packaged and unharmed. I really appreciate the efforts that Ray went through to make this happen. Most would have thrown up their hands after a week. With that, as long as I am in this hobby he has a customer. There is too much negative in this world and sometimes it's nice to focus on the positives. Jim Blubaugh
  2. 15 points
    Hi Jim, thank you for sharing the story here and I am just relieved that the sword finally arrived. I will add to this that I needed to open investigations three times with USPS. The cases would be under investigation for a week at a time with no progress or call-backs, and then were simply closed. After this I opened investigations with Consumer Affairs first at the Florida side of the journey and then the California side. In retrospect, perhaps I should have initiated the claim at an earlier point but I continued to receive promises of a call-back "soon" with additional information, which were never fulfilled. As I told Jim in my last email, I am grateful and appreciative of his patience and understanding throughout this long process. Best regards, Ray
  3. 13 points
    Over time, I tried new light sources. I only share for enjoy. Jirotaro Naokatsu ko-wakizashi One of my favorite blades
  4. 13 points
    As I was browsing through my Tōken Bijutsu magazines, I noticed some interesting information. I have pretty much just skipped the yearly report as I have seen it mainly as financial stuff etc. and with my limited Japanese skill is not possible to really read it, I know some info that it contains etc. but now I decided to take a closer look on some sections and I was surprised to see how much info is presented in there. I must say I have probably had bit more conservative number about yearly items, I think I have been in somewhat correct ballpark as I have done research based on paper numbers and what numbers pop up to dealer sites in Japan after shinsa. As this is public information posted on Tōken Bijutsu magazine I do think it is ok to post data I translittered to English in here. NBTHK membership is unfortunately quite rare especially outside Japan. I know many people in the west are bit suspicious about NBTHK and there has been some negativity and slander behind the scenes and out in open too. I know people often still bring up some things that happened way in the past, in order to discredit the current organization. I do believe in open discussion and exchange of information, and I do think NBTHK is doing wonderful things for our tiny hobby (as are many other smaller organizations too). Here are the numbers that NBTHK provided in their yearly report, for some reason In Jūyō results number of swords passes is 100% match but other items do not always match the actual number of items passed on results list? But here are the last 5 years of results for you to study and think about. 2019 Hozon Tōken – 7,106 submitted – 4,749 passed Hozon Tōsō – 333 submitted – 186 passed Hozon Tōsōgu – 3,764 submitted – 2,401 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōken – 3,317 submitted – 2,259 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsō – 154 submitted – 102 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsōgu – 1,062 submitted – 841 passed Jūyō 65 Tōken – 997 submitted – 101 passed Jūyō 65 Tōsō – 45 submitted – 8 passed Jūyō 65 Tōsōgu – 287 submitted – 29 passed 2018 Hozon Tōken – 7,433 submitted – 4,978 passed Hozon Tōsō – 345 submitted – 177 passed Hozon Tōsōgu – 3,408 submitted – 2,131 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōken – 3,372 submitted – 2,342 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsō – 203 submitted – 103 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsōgu – 854 submitted – 604 passed Jūyō 64 Tōken – 916 submitted – 135 passed Jūyō 64 Tōsō – 63 submitted – 7 passed Jūyō 64 Tōsōgu 296 submitted – 23 passed Tokubetsu Jūyō 25 Tōken – 342 submitted – 70 passed Tokubetsu Jūyō 25 Tōsō – 10 submitted – 2 passed Tokubetsu Jūyō 25 Tōsōgu – 41 submitted – 5 passed 2017 Hozon Tōken – 4,257 submitted – 2,880 passed Hozon Tōsō – 199 submitted – 126 passed Hozon Tōsōgu – 2,600 submitted – 1,646 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōken – 1,891 submitted – 1,287 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsō – 106 submitted – 66 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsōgu – 629 submitted – 421 passed Jūyō 63 Tōken – 753 submitted – 140 passed Jūyō 63 Tōsō – 35 submitted – 6 passed Jūyō 63 Tōsōgu – 279 submitted – 29 passed 2016 Hozon Tōken – 7,455 submitted – 4,913 passed Hozon Tōsō – 351 submitted – 196 passed Hozon Tōsōgu – 4,123 submitted – 2,753 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōken – 2,771 submitted – 1,893 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsō – 135 submitted – 89 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsōgu – 1,022 submitted – 763 passed Jūyō 62 Tōken – 875 submitted – 149 passed Jūyō 62 Tōsō – 54 submitted – 9 passed Jūyō 62 Tōsōgu – 274 submitted – 29 passed Tokubetsu Jūyō 24 Tōken – 326 submitted – 71 passed Tokubetsu Jūyō 24 Tōsō – 10 submitted – 2 passed Tokubetsu Jūyō 24 Tōsōgu – 27 submitted – 5 passed 2015 Hozon Tōken – 6,984 submitted – 4,594 passed Hozon Tōsō – 367 submitted – 218 passed Hozon Tōsōgu – 3,948 submitted – 2,613 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōken – 2,450 submitted – 1,648 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsō – 152 submitted – 107 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsōgu – 940 submitted – 754 passed Jūyō 61 Tōken – 826 submitted – 165 passed Jūyō 61 Tōsō – 49 submitted – 11 passed Jūyō 61 Tōsōgu – 277 submitted – 37 passed
  5. 12 points
    There has been a great deal of discussion around what one should collect, how one should collect and what is right and wrong. Having been caught up in that debate, in some cases rather uncomfortably, I have taken some time to think about what I do and how I do it, to try and create a framework to help me understand the reasoning behind choices made. Collecting in any field is multi-facetted and everyone is motivated by different things. I think this why misunderstandings and sometimes arguments occur. Debates as to whether something should be polished or otherwise restored often occur because of these differences. For some it is purely a financial decision, for others more emotional and driven by more abstract concepts. While there should be no debate as to how something should be restored, i.e. by someone qualified to do it, there will always be varying views on whether something should be restored or simply conserved. For the sake of transparency I should confirm that my own collection has evolved over almost 40 years. It started as many do by buying anything that appeared to be Japanese and sharp. I accumulated a number of not very good swords. As I learned more and looked at more good swords my searches refined in to some specific areas. About 15 years ago I took the decision to reduce the number and improve the quality of what I held. I did this fairly ruthlessly over the next three or four years until I had what I believed to be the best examples I could afford of the schools I was interested in. Since reaching that point I have added one further blade that I regard as an important addition, but also two or three others simply because I found them interesting or enjoyed what I was seeing in them. Within my current collection which is predominantly work from the Koto period I have two signed koto works and one signed Shinto piece. The remainder are all o-suriage with the exception of an ubu, mumei shin-shinto work. While I am reluctant to say I have stopped collecting I do pretty much believe I have reached the end point in what I can achieve. While it would be foolish to say I will never buy another sword I certainly have no plans or immediate ambition to do so. Having reached this point I have looked at what I believe to be important in this pursuit and how it should be approached. I must also make it clear that this is a personal view; it is not a recommendation, instruction or any form of guidance. It is an explanation of how I have collected. Basic rules to myself: 1. Always study the very best examples of blades that you can find. Take every opportunity you can to look at good quality workmanship. This may be at a museum (although access can prove problematic) viewing days at auctions (less frequent and poorer quality than they used to be) and at sword events and shows such as the DTI, S.F. show and other specialist fairs. Or if lucky looking at swords in other enthusiasts’ collections. 2. Also look on line. The quality of blades published on various websites is exceptional and the images first class. While this is not a substitute for looking at good pieces in hand it is a useful addition and greatly broadens the opportunity to see works that might otherwise not be available. However also be aware that images can be and sometimes are doctored or modified by less scrupulous dealers. By doing the above one can identify which aspects of a sword have the greatest appeal. In good quality blades features such as utsuri, activity within the jigane and hamon etc. are generally more clearly visible and identifiable. Having seen them clearly in these pieces it is easier to identify them in lesser work, or pieces in less than perfect polish. 3. Once you have identified what you like and want to add an example to your collection find the best example you can afford. As has often been said patience is required. By waiting and saving a little longer a better example may become available. However one also needs to be realistic in setting targets and what can be achieved. 4. One of the challenges a collector will ultimately face is that as they learn more they become more discerning and as one colleague once put it “their knowledge surpasses their budget”. As understanding increases one often hears of collectors refining their collection and moving toward the “fewer good quality pieces are a better collection than many mediocre” concept. 5. But then there comes the odd ball. Occasionally, albeit increasingly rarely, a piece may appear that does not fit in to the criteria identified above but it just appeals. It has features that can be enjoyed and appreciated. It doesn’t have to be a great work or by a recognised master it is simply a good thing. However that assessment is not based on “I just buy what I like” it is a view formed after following the steps above and after time studying good workmanship. The nearest comparison I can make is in painting or sculpture. I know the masters I really love and study as much as I can. That study does not stop me appreciating work by lesser painters or from buying work that appeals. Adding this to a collection does not necessarily improve it, add to ones education or understanding, but it can enhance enjoyment. Put simply it can just be a beautiful thing and can be appreciated for that alone. So do I always stick to the above? No, I am human and sometimes for all sorts of reasons I take a flyer, thinking I see something in a particular piece that could make it worthwhile. More often than not I am wrong but I learn though the process. Fortunately that hasn’t happened too often. However if I do get it wrong one thing I have not, nor will I do, is try and pass on my mistake to someone else. If you gamble and it fails live with the consequences. I think we are all motivated by different aspects of collecting. My approach will be different to many and similar to others. There is not a wrong or right way. The important thing is that whichever route one chooses to follow is based on an understanding of the subject and of one’s motives for collecting. Once those are understood it is much easier to enjoy the process.
  6. 12 points
    This film shows swords being presented by the CO of the 13th Field Coy , Major Carmichael to members of his Company . This occurred at Rabaul on New Britain . The Japanese had dug an extensive tunnel system ( 150 miles according to one report ) at Rabaul and the swords were stored in the tunnels under guard to keep them safe from souvenir hunters. There is a photograph in the Australian War Memorial ( number 98687 ) showing Capt Williams of the 11th Division Headquarters issuing swords to a unit which appears to be at the mouth of one of these tunnels. The photo caption states that there were 7000 swords issued to troops at Rabaul as souvenirs . Years ago I bought a sword off a man who said that they found a back way into the area of the tunnels where the swords were stored . He and his mates drove a jeep into the tunnel, loaded it up with swords pistols and binoculars and drove out again.. Records show that there were 53212 Army troops ( including 3661 officers ) 16218 Naval troops ( including 1222 officers ) and 19861 civilians on Rabaul at the end of the war . If all the above figures are correct then it means that about nearly eight percent of ( or one in every thirteen ) Japanese had a sword with them. There is a list dated 2 Nov 1945 which sets out how the swords were to be allocated . Larger units such as infantry battalions received from 250 to 350 swords depending on their size .Small outfits were allocated smaller amounts commensurate with their size . For example the 11th Div postal unit only received four . The 13th Field company who appear in the film received 96 swords . It was interesting to me that all of them seemed to have tags with the owners name on them and some seemed to have multiple tags . Many years ago I came across a sword which had been bought back by a very senior 11th Division officer . This had a piece of paper with it saying that it was the best sword on Rabaul The blade was signed Kunihiro ( Horikawa ) and it was dated 1606 . It had been carried by a Japanese Captain and was in average quality shin gunto mounts with no mon. Unfortunately it was not for sale so never became part of the Brooks collection. Ian Brooks
  7. 11 points
    For someone who has an interest in Soshu-den works, this is an extremely enjoyable sword to study. It is an o-suriage wakizashi which appears to be a Nanbokucho-period naginatanaoshi. The bo-hi appear to be ato-bori, and the upper portion of the blade is ubu (ie. the kaeri is intact). The jihada is an extremely beautiful, large pattern itame that is thickly covered in ji-nie and having areas which appear like yubashiri. Nie arcing out of the hamon becoming chikei in the ji. The hamon is generally midare, with areas of gonome-midare. There is deep nie-hataraki to the edge, including ashi, yo, kinsuji, sunagashi, etc. The hamon is brilliant. The nakago, as mentioned, is osuriage with 3 mekugi-ana (one plugged). The sword is very healthy and has a heavy feel in-hand. It is 7mm thick at the shinogi. The nagasa is 41.1cm and moto-haba is 31mm. The sword has two old attributions, which I will emphasize and make bold, are not to be considered guarantees of either attribution. One is an early Tokubetsu Kicho dated Showa 37 (1962) giving an attribution to Naoe Shizu. There is also an old sayagaki from Hon'ami Koson attributing the blade to Sa Kunihiro. Again in bold, the blade should be resubmitted to an NBTHK shinsa or discussed with Tanobe-sensei for a more current attribution. Regardless, this is an exceptional sword, and is whoever decides to purchase it is going to be very pleased. $6.750 (plus shipping and PayPal). Please email raymondsinger@gmail.com with any questions. Kind regards, Ray
  8. 8 points
    Hi, Mei says Yurakusai (遊洛斎) .
  9. 8 points
    The bottom sword doesn't rest ther it was out to show the sori...it has its own stand
  10. 8 points
    All, Several topics have become entangled here, so please bear with me. Firstly - the whole leather situation. Japan was in fact a large user of leather despite the fact that the raw skins and the leather workers were regarded as unclean. Several native sources were used including deer and horses but the supply was totally inadequate and hides needed to be imported. Quantities of buffalo skins came in from China and SE Asia that was converted into rawhide or nerigawa. Sakakibara Kozan states that that produced in Nagato and Suwo were best. In 1604 and 1635 it is recorded that some 250,000 deer skins were imported from Siam and Cambodia (Yoneo Ishii, www.asjapan.org/web.php/lectures/2002/04). Large quantities of rawhide, including that made from buffalo skin, when suitably lacquered, was used in the making of armour. as did deer skins. It seems that when processed into something it was no longer defiling. A softer white leather was a speciality of Himeiji. Deer skins were first washed in the local river and then dried.The stiff rawhide was then treated by trampling with rape seed oil for hours to give the soft white leather. This was then usually treated in three ways: firstly by smoking to give fusube gawa. This involved fastening the skin on a drum above a small furnace in which was burnt either straw or pine needles. The former gave yellow colours, the latter browns. The leather could be patterned by folding, binding with cords or pasting paper cut-outs on the surface. Fusube gawa was mainly used in situations where rubbing could occur such as the linings of armour. The second method was by stencilling to give e-gawa, often in patterns involving shi shi lions amid peony foliage in blue with flowers in red. The third method was to dye the leather.A common pattern, shobu gawa, involved rows of stylized iris leaves and flowers in white on an indigo dyed ground. This was done by carving the patterns in relief in wooden battens and binding them onto the leather wrapped around a drum. When dyed in indigo, the wood patterns prevented the dye reaching the leather under them giving a white pattern on the blue ground. See: 'Leather in Warfare' edited by Quita Mould, Conference proceedings, Royal Armouries ISBN 9780948092763 I forgot the cuir bouilli bit. In reality it was just moulded rawhide. To make a helmet or mask, the hide was stretched over a wooden block carved to the required shape and dried. Where the leather needed to be concave, small nails were hammered in. When fully dry and translucent it then underwent a long lacquering process to prevent it absorbing moisture. For helmets, several shapes were made and nested together, either glued or sewn with rawhide thongs. I have one such helmet which has 4 layers of hide making up the thickness. Provided the lacquer kept the moisture out it made excellent armour, but if cracked, the hide swelled and soften and the piece was ruined. Ian Bottomleyi
  11. 7 points
    Adam if you do not want to receive comments to your post do not post. If you post any member of NMB is entitled to give his opinion on the topic, regardless of the fact that you like it or not. From your profile it seem that you joined NMB about three months ago, since then your posts have become increasingly intolerant of criticism on what you post. If you cannot withstand negative opinions, or opinions diverging from yours you are on the wrong blog. Personally I am here to learn from more experienced collectors. If this involves being corrected, even in harsh terms, fine, I have shoulders strong enough to bear it. I prefer onest opinions to flattery. Luca
  12. 7 points
    I was saddened to learn today of Frankie Banali's passing on August 20th from viewing Mike Yamazaki's website. Thanks for the post Mike. Frank was only 68, and just one year younger than me. He apparently passed from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and put up a hell of a fight. I will miss him. I first met Frankie when he came into the S,F. Token Kai one year. He had an interest at the time in Mishina Yoshimichi blades, as did I, so we had something in common, and we had some fun conversations about swords, his travels to Japan, and struck up a casual friendship. I found him very personable, friendly, and willing to share his love of sword collecting and knowledge very readily.What I found interesting was that he was not only a sword collector, he was the drummer of the heavy metal band "Quiet Riot," one of my secretary's favorite bands. When I told him of my secretary's love of his band, he was kind enough to send me an autographed picture of the band, signed by all members, and a copy of their latest album, before it was released, to give to her. He did this out of the blue, without me asking, just because he was that kind of thoughtful person. My secretary was beside herself. Sometime later, Frankie purchased a second generation Kikumon Yoshimichi from me. I do not know whatever happened to the tanto after he purchased it. I hope he enjoyed it like I did.. One time when Frankie's band, Quiet Riot, was coming to my home town (Chico, California), Frankie called or emailed me and asked if I would like to attend the concert, and of course I said "Yes," and he put me and my nephew, and his friend on the Guest list. They put on an incredible concert, and Frankie was amazing on the drums, as usual. It was a memorable concert that my nephew and others in Chico still talk about...thanks to Frankie. I will miss seeing him coming into the S.F. Token Kai and speaking with him. He was a great guy, a knowledgeable sword collector, and fellow lover of all things Japanese. I am better for our paths crossing on this journey of life, as I am sure many others are who knew Frankie. Rest in Peace, Frankie. Regards, Bill E. Sheehan
  13. 7 points
    It looks like this is not restricted to swords so some tsuba and in no particular order All from the Birmingham museum so I had these in hand. Also there is condition problems If the selection was from any source then the selection would have been too difficult for me Like most selections it tells more about the collector than the collected
  14. 7 points
    Ray is one of those dealers that gets consistent praise on the forum. Glad to see there was a good outcome.
  15. 7 points
    John, Here's a doozie from Wehrmacht-awards: https://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/forum/ken-jasper-international-militaria-forums/Japanese-militaria-forum/11742585-help-with-battle-damaged-ww2-officers-sword
  16. 7 points
    Lucky to get the right one..
  17. 7 points
    I realize at times I may sound like an elementary school boy with "My father this, My Dad that." However, I'm now to the age I don't concern myself much with what the perception may be, and enjoy many board members sharing their families stories during wwll. I often regret not asking my father more about the details of his wwll military service. It seems as though now, I understand he was way ahead of me as exactly how he was going to address the questions of a young son regarding what he experienced. He mentioned he was in the Philippines, but very little, mostly what I recall of his time in Luzon was over hearing him talking with other Vets. Some of it was quite disturbing. I would also hear him talking about staging in Okinawa, but mostly about the 11th airborne occupation of Japan, and performing guard duty for General MacArthur at the New Grand Hotel in Yokohama. His unit was camped in the Yamashita park, in front of the New Grand Hotel during guard duty. He was also very proud of an exhibition jump he performed with two other paratroopers out of a small aircraft, I believe at Atsugi air field near Yokohama. He traveled to Honshu, then on to Hokkaido where the Amahide sword story begins. By then he had made Sgt. rank and was either in charge, or at least part of a weapons collection mission which entailed several days up the Ishikari river.( I read somewhere there were several thousand swords collected on the island of Hokkaido, which was actually quite surprising to me for some reason.) My understanding was there were at least several hundred swords collected during the Ishikari mission, and the mission participants were given permission to choose a few for Bring backs. Dad was somehow able to acquire, I think, five or more, some of which he gave to relatives before I was born, and have never seen them to this day. One particular sword he told me about in Japan was what I now know was in Buke Zukuri mounts, black Ito and saya, he somehow managed to break the saya , bend the sword, and simply cast it into a pile. Damn, I would love to have seen that one... Long before the internet, my father handed me a bring back wakizashi and Shin gunto and ask me to research them. The Shin gunto, I eventually managed to translate as " No Shu Seki Ju Minamoto Amahide Kitau kore." The Wakizashi papered as a Shin Shinto Jumyo. My younger brother ended up through a flip of a coin with the Amahide, me the wakizashi,of course, I had always wanted the gunto... I moved to Idaho a few years ago, and have always attended estate sales. At one particular sale there were two Shin gunto swords of which I bid and won both.The day before the auction we were able to view the items, the tsuka on one of the swords was going to take a little work to remove, and the owner was understandably reluctant.Oddly, the next day, the tsuka was able to be removed, and I was able to briefly see kanji, but for some reason the characters did not appear familiar to me. After winning the bid and getting home, I once again removed the tsuka and doubled checked the kanji. To my total amazement, it read " No Shu Seki Ju Ichimonji Minamoto Amahide Kitau kore ." Seriously...What are the odds!!! Dave M.
  18. 7 points
    At one of the Irish Token Society meetings I decided to give a talk on shingunto, as they are perhaps the most commonly encountered Japanese sword in the English speaking world (due to the widespread dissemination to British, American, and Commonwealth troops during the Second World War). For the meeting I threw together a 'primer' on shingunto, which I thought might also be useful for NMB members too. It's quite basic in terms of the information provided, and which any military sword collector will already know, but it should be helpful for those first encountering shingunto Shingunto.pptx
  19. 7 points
    Oeder collection pics from 1916 ! First one is also pictured in my seta bridge article.. https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/photographs-of-Japanese-sword-guards-1916 Best
  20. 7 points
    Darcy has come back to me and believes the blade could be around 600 years old and should be worth investigating more. Has put me in touch with Ted Tenold with regard to getting a window polish done to determine school and maker. "Right now it's a lottery ticket, and we can help reveal if it is a winner."
  21. 6 points
    Mine you mean? Mine is here .... Tokubetsu Hozon at the moment.
  22. 6 points
  23. 6 points
    Good move Brian. I hate to get dragged into this, but feel the need to express my opinion about posting and style. Kawa San, please go back and read the thread. I read it, and it is clear that Alex bought a decent sword from a reputable dealer and is selling it at a deep loss because he has lost his job. Which part of that is not clear to you? Why would anybody with a shred of empathy make a concerted effort to undermine that person's ability to recoup some hard needed money at a very unfortunate time when many have lost their jobs? And yet, even after he told you this hard situation, you continued to prattle on hard-headed and completely tone deaf to Alex and his situation, arguing trivial points about taste, which should always be respected as a personal choice. At some point, it is no longer about your opinion about the rarity of a school, it's just about ego. When it gets to that point and you are clearly not listening to Alex, I don't think that anybody cares about your opinion about this small sword issue any more. You have turned what should be a light hearted and informative thread into a painful experience for Alex and anybody else who has the misfortune to read it. As a matter of respect, we should never get between buyers and sellers on this site, unless done in a non public way. There is an unwritten rule about this. If you did this at a sword show - walked up to a seller trying to make a deal with a buyer - and started talking crap about the sword, the deal, the seller etc., you might well be challenged to go out into the parking lot and settle things with the seller. This is just not cool. Just as importantly, Brian has given you a "cease and desist" order. There are at least a half dozen recent threads where you, using a variety of different names, have turned them into bitter personal nasty affairs. Frankly, I am surprised that Brian is even giving you rights to still post through him.
  24. 6 points
    Adam, again Michael has said "I'll leave it as is. I'll give it some oil and wiping." Can you not just accept his comment at face value, rather than to continuing to push on this point and telling him what you think he really plans to do?
  25. 6 points
    Does anyone have a sword with a Buka Island tag on it? Buka Island is at the northern tip of Bouganville . At the end of the war the northern part of Bouganville and Buka island were garrisoned by the 87th Naval Garrison unit commanded by Captain Kato . The 32nd Navy pioneers and the 211 Navy pioneers had been combined into this unit . It was said that it consisted of civilians with Naval regulars as NCO's and officers .The units strength was said to be 1000 Naval troops and 2000 civilians. Following the surrender officers from the Australian 2 Corps HQ visited Buka on an inspection tour.. There is a series of photographs at the Australian War Memorial taken at this time showing surrendered swords arrayed alongside a grass hut with Japanese troops looking for their swords to affix the tags to . The photos were taken on the 19th of September 1945 .The swords were later taken to 2 Corps HQ where they were distributed . The tags are all relatively similar . They are on a piece of wood about 9cm by 2.8 cm. On one side written in Japanese is the officers name branch of service and rank . On the reverse in English is a space for a number to be inserted and an English translation of the information on the other side . The number is filled in in a different pencil and is sometimes absent . The translated names are written western style with the forename and then the surname ,as i have done . Over the years I have made a note of these swords when I have come across them. In numerical order these are No 4 Staff Surgeon Takahashi Shin gunto , showa blade No 3837 Sub officer Takashi Hisamatsu Shingunto showa blade No 83 Surgeon Hideo Okamura . Katana style mounts, blade by Hizen Kanehiro with a huge bullet scar on it No 147 Surgeon ( I didn't note the name ) Tachi mount with shakudo nanako fittings with gold clove ( ? ) design . Mumei grooved suriage blade . A fine piece . No 161 1st Lieutenant Akina Saka . Naval kyugurto with mumei suriage shinto blade . This sword was once owned by Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey. No 179 Chief technical warrant officer Kenzo Obe , gunto style mount with mumei old blade No 189 Commander Shiro Suzuki . Shingunto with a gendai blade by Oshu Masatomo. No 227 1st warrant officer ambulance Kichitaro Ogawa. Old blade in saya no other mounts No number Captain Masahira Ikeda . Kaigunto mount . Blade signed Kaneuji and dated 1331 . A showa fake . The mounts all have the name Ikeda scratched on them No number (split tag ) Ist Lieutenant Seiji Okamoto . Kai gunto ,old mumei blade No number equipment 1st warrant officer Matao Amida , Katana style mount with old mumei blade No tag or Number Paymaster Lt Commander Shimao Suzuki ,tanto in shirasaya blade by Hosokawa Masamori .Details written on the Shirasaya . Nice piece It is interesting just how many of what were apparently naval troops were carrying shingunto . Ian Brooks
  26. 5 points
    Hello, I would like to see more tsuba examples without hitsu ana, This is what I try to collect. If you have examples to show, I would be happy to see.
  27. 5 points
    To point out....you cannot say naginata naoshi and then say mumei ubu nakago. For the record, cannot see anything that suggests this was a naginata or a nagamaki. Just an ubu wakizashi.
  28. 5 points
    Morita san is the pilar of NMB mei transcription and I have learned so much during these last years. Thank you so much.
  29. 5 points
    I like this idea Mike Tachi mumei atributed Masamitsu
  30. 5 points
    Wow great close up shot there! In general, the beauty of martensite doesn't seem to be emphasized enough, would love to see more examples if others can share and make this a show and tell thread. I dont seem to have many shots close up like that focusing on the martensite but here are a couple that I have readily available from my recent Ko-Uda acquisition. Mainly a fine stream of sand. Additional pics available here too: https://imgur.com/gallery/VLFNouU
  31. 5 points
    As is quite often the case, the sayagaki is written in kanbun, which you need to be something of a scholar of classical literature in order to read (alas, I am not). I can pick out the meaning, but I am unsure of how to pronounce some of the phrases. This description feels majestic in its use of complicated kanbun and seldom-used kanji. I think Tanobe sensei takes pride in finding out-of-the ordinary kanji (㞮来 and 穀旦), and in employing the slightly idiosyncratic use of other kanji. 荘司彌門直勝  Shōjiyamon Naokatsu 慶應元年紀有之 Keiō gannen ki aru kore. With date of Keiō gannen (1865) 姿態剛壮作域賑々敷候 Shitai gōsō sakuiki niginigishiku sōrō A powerful piece, full of activities. 㞮来傑レ且為此工ノ最高作哉 Deki sugure katsu tame kono kō? no saikō-saku nari A magnificent piece (unsure what comes after this) which will take its place among his best works. 刃長貮尺五寸七分有之 Hachō ni-shaku, go-sun, nana-bun kore ari Length 2 shaku, 5 sun, 7 bun 平成拾四歳壬午暦水無月穀旦 Heisei jūyon nen, mizunoue-uma reki minazuki kokutan Heisei 14 (2002), water/horse. Auspicious day in June. 探山邊道識 Tanzan Hendō shirusu Written by Tanzan Hendō (aka Tanobe-sensei)
  32. 5 points
    Here are mine. I've left out some by Hallam students and others that have an aperture but may not be actual hitsuana Some will be revival pieces and the odd repro Normally I like to show big images but I'm restricted by NMB size rules but I don't see this as a problem in this case as I believe the outline is shown OK
  33. 5 points
    According to an ancient Chinese collection of short stories, "The Shuyiji" (A.D.460-508), "A snake grown in muddy water becomes a Mizuchi (rain dragon) in 500 years." In Japan, it brings the blessing of rain to agricultural gods, especially rice cultivation. https://www.facebook.com/imamiyajinja/photos
  34. 5 points
    Hi John, i posted some pictures on show us your high class gunto's last year i'm not sure how to show the link so i have posted them again. made by shigetsugu 1938 on the 8 month at the estate of Toyama Mitsuru, as its his grass script mei its a daisaku work would love to no which one of his students forged it as i love the hamon. cheers Chris
  35. 5 points
    I don't collect these Minatogawa and Yasukuni blades, but I have owned a few over the years, including an early Masatada. Tom, when I saw your listing, I sent it to a friend in Germany who is a big time Minatogawa collector (and to whom I sold my first Masatada). He says he knows you and also that he thinks it's good. I have to admit that without study, the mei looks well cut to me as well. My friend was a personal friend of Walinga and knows these swords very well. As you say, this may be Masatada's first sword, or one of the very first from the shrine. He was the founder and initial sensei of the shrine as I recall. If this was his first sword from the shrine, he may well have been working on his own there and had to cut the Minatogawa mon onto the habaki himself. In fact, it could be one of or the oldest example of a Minatogawa mon on a habaki or shrine/arsenal blade - is that possible? The other funny thing is that I believe that I have the very last blade that Masatada made. There is a long story attached to it, which includes Rikihei Inoguchi, the top officer of the Kamikaze, who was its owner at the end of the war or early thereafter (apparently the Kamikaze were in the navy). Masatada had had to stop working at the forge a couple years before the war ended due to ill health, and he died the month that he made my sword. My speculation is that he came out of retirement to make it. He did sign it as from the shrine but in an unusual way. Interesting coincidence!
  36. 5 points
    Folks, it is considered done and dusted. Please don't comment about members who are now unable to reply. This thread is a train wreck. It has been dealt with, and now it's time to pick up the pieces and move on.
  37. 5 points
    I have to admit to feeling really stupid, which I guess is not novel. As hard it is and arrogant it is to kantei by pitch dark photos, I just keep hitting the same questions which apparently bother only myself and thus something is being missed. Apparently for a number of polishers, sensei and other experts those are not worthy addresing: a. If its Kamakura, why no utsuri? Why very tight itame with no sign of being tired? Why hamon so broad without approaching the edge at any point? Why its so bland aside from its general contours? b. If Muromachi why transitioning so quickly to perfect suguha in the boshi? Why no coarse hada? Why no large feature hada? Why it goes for wide choji, the least favorite Ichimonji feature for Muromachi Bizen smiths? Why no evidence of clear cut Muromachi features? Why no utsuri? Nambokucho Bizen is no better fit. By the same token I don't know what comparing to signatures achieves here. Say its a decent match for the 4th generation. Does it mean it can't be third? Does it mean the mei comes from this blade? Say its not a good match for the 4th and 3rd - it still does not resolve anything. The mei is not horribly wrong, its a decent example of probably Muromachi period Bizen script. Kirill R.
  38. 5 points
    John, yes indeed I purchased this tsuba to you and more renctly I succeeded to get together this tsuba with a kozuka , same technic, same school, same topic,thanks to another estimated NMB member. Where are the Kogai, F/K and menuki ?
  39. 5 points
    Just saw this and thought some of you might like to see it too.
  40. 5 points
    This thread could get out of control rapidly with comments like this. "We just don't care here" shows your lack of understanding of the other side of the argument. Conservative constitutionalists care deeply. The Founding Fathers cared deeply. We believe that people matter, but we disagree with today's version of Liberlism (actually falling rapidly into Leftism) in how best to help people. Your ability to fully enjoy your hobby is unrestricted here because of the principles laid out in our Constitution, including the Second Amendment. "DON'T TAKE MUH GUNS!" Is as insulting as it is ignorant. You label us all as backwoods and uneducated with that slur. It's as bad as Obama's declaration that half the population of the United States are "clinging to our guns and religion" out of ignorance and fear. The Left in our country need to take some time to actually talk to others on the other side of the isle and get to know them. We wouldn't be as tempted to thow ignoramous statements around so carelessly.
  41. 5 points
    Yanagawa Ushoshin This is a gendaito by the smith Yanagawa Ushoshin in one of the most perfect condition shin-gunto koshirae I have seen. I don't have a great deal of information on this smith, but know he was a Betsuki rated smith based in Tokyo. This sword has a gonome hamon with a very bright nioi-guchi. Hada is a very tight ko-itame. For the koshirae, everything including the tsukamaki is in in exemplary shape. There is also a ka-mon on the kabuto-gane. The blade is in Japanese polish, with shirasaya and a solid silver habaki. A beautiful example throughout. Mei: Toto ju Ushoshin Nagasa: 61.1cm Moto-haba: 2.86cm Sori: 2.8cm Kasane: 6mm $4,250 (plus shipping and PayPal)
  42. 5 points
    Rich, it’s billed as $30 for 6 months at a time. People can choose to let PayPal auto renew if they like. You sir don’t need to pay for Gold Tier. You automatically qualify and I’ll be adding you shortly. Members will agree.
  43. 5 points
    Is there something I don't catch in the point you're trying to make? The green paper remains utterly irrelevant regardless if it is proven TRUE or FALSE because the modern NBHTK paper is the certification gold standard and the green paper adds no new information to it in terms of the sword's attribution. Or put in less formal ways, roll in a ball, toss in fireplace Perhaps you could explain a little more your specific scenario? As for NBTHK, NTHK, NPO, etc...it's all contextual. BIG NAME Green paper by itself = hot garbage BIG NAME Green paper + NTHK or NPO certificate in agreement = big suspicions: owner has been "rolling the attribution dice until results convenient" BIG NAME Green paper + NBTHK papers in agreement = never happens because green paper gets rolled and tossed into fireplace Now if it's medium name or small name on a signed sword, it's a different story. Then I trust NPO and NTHK papers because the US Shinsa is very convenient and paying 2K for hauling a blade to Japan to certify muromachi SUKESADA SAKU is just folly. Would you pay Kyomaro price for a Kyomaro with green papers and NTHK-NPO certificate? Probably not. You'd wonder why the owner doesn't like FREE MONEY by sending the sword to Japan and getting NBHTK certification. You'd be right in most cases. Not all, but the vast majority. If the "Kyomaro" comes from a dealer or someone knowledgeable with swords and it feels cheap then shhhh! it's a trap! And this inevitably gets priced in. Lately there are a few NPO "mistakes" that even the Market won't buy - for instance a Wako by Shinkai which went unsold in the infamous auction. 6K, Shinkai Wako. If it had NBHTK paper it would have sold instantly. These guys process a lot of swords with limited time and without weighty references overseas, it's normal mistakes happen. This topic is a dead horse but as we saw with Rich it's good to sometimes beat it up again to make sure it's really DEAD
  44. 5 points
    Dan, there's not really much to koshirae kanteisho papers. There's no suggested attribution to whom or which school produced the koshirae, the paper simply provides a description of the parts, which I have translated for you 
  45. 5 points
    For the interest of members, an article from 'Morning Bulletin' Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia 15th Feb 1946 titled "Jap Sword Makers Unhappy" https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/56434572?searchTerm=Jap Swords Regards Rob
  46. 5 points
    Here comes a nice Soten Tsuba, NBTHK Hzon certificate. A work by Mogarashi Nyudo Soten Sei. Jidai (era): Edo. Dimensions: (3.23 inches x 2.16 inches) Weight: 111 grams. // Robert
  47. 5 points
    Danny Lynch aka "The Great Stromboli" was one such man. Apparently he ran a nice line recovering Gunto from the harbour bottom after they had been dumped, courtesy of a couple of Ama diving girls. Not really my story to tell, but a couple of people here remember him well. Oddly enough a Lady friend of mine remembers him as her trainer in fire eating, but was not at all surprised to find out about his endeavors in Japan. https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/great-stromboli-daniel-lynch-death-16151487
  48. 5 points
    I know it was said to be bad practice to praise something you are not buying buttttt that is a beauty How many warning points did I get?
  49. 5 points
    For the record: I have entertained this whole discussion because we are a discussion forum. And what is posted is in the interests of collecting. I don’t delete what I don’t agree with, and keep what I do. That said, it would be great if we could all collect top swords only. Ubu swords in great condition, signed and polished. But that’s not reality in this hobby. The majority of us will strive for that, but end up with suriage Shinto or average swords in average condition. And as long as we don’t let our ambitions stay there, and at least study better swords, that is fine. As long as you enjoy your collection, That is just fine. As long as we do no harm to swords we come across, that is just fine. As long as we respect the culture and history of what we are collecting, that is just fine. This is not an either/or situation. Strive for the swords Ray advocates, but collect what you are able to and never feel embarrassed of what you own. This forum will never become elitist or exclusionary. The fact that many members here started out with nothing and ended up with fine papered swords means we are doing something right. Unless I win the lottery, a juyo isn’t in my future. But I enjoy what I own and see some beauty in all of them. Discussion and advice on how to collect is welcome. But let me stress that denigrating anyone or insulting them because of their collecting choices is a fast way out of here.
  50. 5 points
    Ray, Hope my post did not come across as criticism. I genuinely wanted to speak for others out there in a similar situation, and find out if there is a place for them/us. I think it is precisely because I stay firmly grounded that my Jen situation is always under control. Reality guides my purchases. But I think I speak for many. And of course you are allowed your (valid) opinion as long as it remains a civil discussion. I enjoy reading these posts. But I speak for the average guy out there too. As for the lovely Aizu katana, it remains my only papered sword. It, and a wonderful katakiriha zukuri waki by Tsuguhira from Darcy remain my 2 favorite and best swords. I treasure them. When I typed above, I specifically mentioned really good swords, meaning stuff like Ichimonji and Aoe etc etc. those that go for $20k+ No, I will never sell these swords. No matter what happens. They are not investments or money storage. They are things that make me happy.
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