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  1. 32 points
    Today I drove down to Kamakura to visit my friend Robert Hughes (well, being one of those jaded, elitist nihontō pricks, I don’t have any real friends, but Bob is the next best thing). After some hearty lunch next to a beautifully maintained Japanese garden we strolled to the Hongakuji Temple (本覚寺) of the Nichiren sect (日蓮宗). Ashikaga Mochiuji (足利持氏) built, and then donated, this temple to the priest Nisshutsu (日出) on the site where Nichiren stayed at after returning from his exile to Sado (佐渡島); the temple houses some of the ashes of Nichiren. A stone monument stands near the main temple in honor of Okazaki Gorō Masamune (岡崎五郎正宗). The story goes that when Okazaki Gorō, still a boy, came to Kamakura, Nichiren had already taken up residence in the Ebisudō (夷堂) Hall. Gorō 's father brought him to Nichiren to learn his teachings, and in return Nichiren gave the boy a new name, Masamune - which implies the rightness of the teachings of Nichiren himself. Nearby is a prayer column dedicated to Masamune, dating from the Muromachi period and finally there are the gravestones of Masamune and his son Sadamune; they date from the Nambokuchō period, and all inscriptions are eroded. To be fair, there are (yet) no hard facts or documents to support all this, only circumstantial evidence. Further research is needed to corroborate all of this. *** See, Bob, you censuring me for taking photos while you explained all this to me was totally uncalled for – I actually *can* multitask! Oh, and if I got something wrong, it’s only because you didn’t explain it correctly.
  2. 23 points
    This was just posted by Andrew Ickeringill ( @Andrew Ickeringill ) on Facebook, and I thought it was worth posting here, and pinning for the future. Andrew is a FULLY trained traditional polisher and one of the most qualified to make these statements. Before bringing up the subject on this forum, and risking a storm of fire, please read this and take it to heart. Amateur sword polishers… I know you probably won’t listen, but I’ll try anyway. Recently, I’ve been seeing more and more rubbish from amateur polishers on the internet, it’s not a new problem, but with social media being what it is, amateurs have been given a platform where they can prosper. It’s beyond frustrating, it’s infuriating, and it's working directly against what I'm striving for, the preservation of Nihonto. I’ve had to correct the damage caused by amateur polishers many times, and the damage is always severe. Correcting these hack-jobs takes a lot of work, and it means removing more steel than would’ve otherwise been necessary if the blade had previously gone to a traditionally-trained togishi. A traditional apprenticeship in togi takes years to complete for a reason, THERE’S A LOT TO LEARN! It means giving up everything else to spend your time in servitude to Nihonto. My apprenticeship was 12 hours a day / 7 days a week / for over 6 years, and even my spare time (what little I had) was usually spent studying nihonto. But if you want to be a togishi, this is the way it must be, you have to go all in. Through arrogance or ignorance or both, amateur polishers have completely forgone this necessary training. Some of them may have attended seminars in Japan, or visited a togishi for a few days… but this obviously doesn’t equate to traditional training. And for many amateurs, the bulk of their training consists of reading books and watching youtube videos of swords being ruined without a clue. Unfortunately, these videos receive plenty of misguided encouragement from those who don’t know any better… “wow, so shiny!”. Amateurs will often argue… “this sword isn’t worth sending to a pro, should we just leave it to rust?”… but how would THEY know? They haven’t been trained in kantei, they have no idea if a sword is worth a professional restoration or not. A cold chill passes up my spine every time I think about this, how many great swords have been ruined by amateurs? I know I’ve already seen a few in my time. If you’re an amateur polisher reading this, let me give you a tip… this job is not for you. This isn’t something that should be attempted by anyone but a traditionally trained togishi, and if you haven’t realised this fact by now, then you need to develop more respect for Nihonto and the craftsmen who have worked their butts off to complete the proper training. Please stop scraping the life away from these works of art, you’re doing far more damage than repair… this job is not for you!
  3. 15 points
    Alive, still. @Neil: I saw that you wrote me a PM and apologize for not having replied (looking at the board on a regular basis, but hardly logging in, and the notifications go to my old email address, so I have to change that). I am still working on the Gendaito Project, but I wish I had met the full goal of donations back then to take that time off to bring the project to the finish line. About 1/4 was met, for which I am very grateful, and after so many years, I totally understand all the frustration, so if anyone wants a refund, I am happy to to do so. I have mentioned at some other occasion that at the moment, and going forward, I am working on what I call my "legacy," which is, newly researched monographs on each of the swordsmith and sword fittings schools published as individual (smaller, and thus less pricy) books. This will not be chronological and I have decided to make the Gendaito Project part of it and publish it as one of the first books in the series. Due to the number of Gendaito smiths, there might even be two volumes, and the website with all the pictorial references that can not go into the book(s) will be there as well. Now working remotely for the museum a full year (and 2,5 years in total), and living in a small town in North Carolina, going back to NYC becomes less and less attractive, also because no decision has been made yet if my position becomes permanent, as Assistant Curator, or not. This means, if that does not work out, and it might be so as it currently appears, I will have full time again to 100% focus on the backlog.
  4. 11 points
    For almost a decade I struggled to photograph Ichimonji. I could do the shallow angles technique; the results are bright and can show some details, but are difficult for kantei or to publish. But other techniques were just giving me watery images with little substance. Yet finally I think I am getting to point where I am personally comfortable with the results.
  5. 10 points
    Hello all, acquired a few pieces over the past year's mix of COVID lock-downs and while eagerly waiting for the latest to arrive thought I would start a few threads to share the blades with fellow members and provide some more searchable examples of these smiths for the NMB. Also maybe start some discussion if anyone sees anything interesting. The first is a papered NBTHK TH to Ko-Mihara with a sayagaki from Tanobe Sensei. Photos are courtesy of @Ray Singer and will get an in-hand update/photos once it arrives hopefully this week… delayed due to an issue at the DPO transit point . Without a full translation yet but looks like Tanobe-sensei commented that it a representative example of the sword, dates to Nanbokucho jidai, is osuriage mumei, and yuhin (exceptional work). I had been on the lookout for a blade in this style with some helpful advice and comments on other pieces from @paulb . nagasa: 66.3cm moto-haba: 28mm saki-haba: 18mm kasane: 6.5mm The next two pieces to be posted await post-COVID shinsa but have other attributions that might spur some debate.
  6. 10 points
    Once again thank you all for your input. The blade is attributed to Awataguchi Norikuni who is recorded as working between 1219 nd 1222. He was believed to be the son of Kunitomo and the Father or grandfather of perhaps the greatest maker of Tanto Yoshimitsu. He is also listed as one of the resident smiths of the Emperor Go-Toba. I think this points out how difficult it can be to assess a blade from images. Most misleading of all was the nakago which as John pointed out looks red n the image. Two things one it is O-suriage so it is possible the tang could look less black then the age might suggest because the patination has had less time to develop on the newly formed nakago. In this case it has more to do with the lighting for the photograph. In hand the nakago is a deep rich black. The shape is rather slender and if you try and imagine the ubu sugata it would have had a relatively strong koshi-sori and the overall shape slender and refined. it also has an ikubi kissaki. Almost everyone picked up on the very tight ko-itame hada as all the suggestions were for schools that created this in varying degrees .However Awataguchi smiths took this to a whole new level. The hada comprises of a minute ko-itame, known as Nashiji and covered in very fine and bright ji-nie. When I first saw the Enju blade illustrated I said the hada was so fine it might be considered Awataguchi. Then I saw the Norikuni and realised how wrong I was. Nashiji is a whole level finer than anything else. On occasion works by smiths such as Kunimitsu and Kuniyasu can also include a nagare element and o-itame, but it is this very fine nashiji that makes Awataguchi work unique (at least in my opinion) well done all who answered , all picked up on some elements which led to the strong Yamashiro association. Interestingly no-one got the date of manufacture which I think shows one of the issues is trying to date an O-suriage work.
  7. 9 points
    Thank you John. The injury to the hand is a severed nerve, so while I'm unlikely to make a full recovery, there will be significant improvement. I'm feeling very fortunate overall. It was an attempted murder (the guy has been apprehended and charged by police) rather than an accident; but due to some excellent medical care and a few surgeries, the hand is the only major lingering issue. Very briefly, I was out running with my wife and came across a man assaulting a young woman and making death threats to an elderly couple. I intervened, he attacked me and a fist fight ensued. After a few moments he was face down on the ground. While I was calling an ambulance for him, he regained consciousness, drew a weapon, stabbed me in the lung several times (puncturing the lung) and slashed the rear of the right arm (severing a nerve). An eventful day overall. I'm mostly feeling lucky that I survived, wasn't castrated, didn't lose an eye and that nobody else was hurt. Edit: Please edit this as appropriate if there's anything inappropriate or too graphic.
  8. 9 points
    I agree with Curran and John. But that said, it's important to communicate regularly on projects like this. Even if just to say "No news yet guys, but I'm still on it" We have people form over 32 countries and the only way they know what's happening is through updates. So maybe once a month just add a quick sentence somewhere that you are alive and well and the project is proceeding. I get a lot of inquiries and no-one is up in arms, they just request an update. All good, and best of luck with the employment.
  9. 9 points
    No..I'm not a nice guy. I just play one for the purposes of online interaction. I'm too tired to even go into this again. Every guy is like a stuck record: 1- I polish my own stuff 2- We tell you we don't tolerate amateur polishing here 3- You tell us how you are different, how you know what you are doing and how you polish stuff no-one else wants to 4- We point out that what you think is good, removes metal, ruins lines, opens or closes grain and does no-one any favours 5- You come back indignantly and tell us how your 5 years of welding or plumbing gives you experience 6- We ask what you know about kantei, and are you able to kantei before you polish, in order to bring out what should be shown 7- You admit you cannot kantei, and fall back on the "I'm saving ruined swords" plea 8- We point out that you are not qualified to tell what is ruined or not, and that after your work, the swords now need another polish 9- You leave in a huff, refusing to take the advice first given and just shut up about amateur polishing. This will be the 20th time? 30th time? Gets monotonous. Decide if you want to just agree to drop the subject, or if you want to go for the ban.
  10. 9 points
    A fine Edo-period Tsuba for sale Old Sakura / Ume - tree under the moon Iron,Gold,Silver Dimensions 87 mm x 83 mm x 4 mm Very nice condition Price is 180.- Euro ( plus shipping ) PM me if interestet Cheers! Christian
  11. 9 points
    A Type 98 with Samegawa saya, they are fairly uncommon to find on Army swords. The blade is a decent Seki-To by Murayama Kunitsugu, one of the nicer half forged ones I believe.
  12. 8 points
    Greetings thread followers...especially former Kamakura resident, Big Bad Tombo! So first off....Tom know his Japanese history and his Kamakura s**t! However, there seems to be an evolution in thought among Hongakuji administrators. This is the part that needs further research as pointed out by Guido...... So Tom, when flights and immigration matters get smooth I invite you to help me resolve the budding contradictions at Hongakuji.... Within the grounds of Hongaku-ji, there is a tall stone monument that was set up in the late Edo period, Tempo 1835. Inscribed: Myoho Goro Nyudo Masamune hi Tempo kinoto hitsujidoshi aki Kankarin shujin sho which translates into Lotus Sutra Monument of Goro Nyudo Masamune Fall in the year of the sheep Tempo (1835) by the donor Kankarin, a pseudonym of Matsudaira Naooki, a Mori fief Daimyo. On the backside is a reference stating that Masamune was ordained to priesthood by Nichiren, hence the "Nyudo" addition to the name. So we can say the Nichiren/Masamune connection is “carved in stone.” Inscribed in the base are the names of sword dealers who also contributed to this memorial. Moving into the cemetery about 15 meters from the tall momument, we find a stupa said to have been erected by an early generation Yamamura Tsunahiro to mourn his ancestor Masamune. The stupa pedestal inscription reads: Shinryu-haka tsuchinoe-ne shogatsu juichinichi zokumyo Masamune: translated as Grave of Shinryu, eleventh day of the first month of the of the earth rat which could correspond to 1348. Masamune’s posthumous Buddhist name is Shinryu Nikken. Taking into account the timeline between the death of Masamune and the working period of Yamamura Tsunahiro, there is quite a gap in time. Therefore it is illogical to conclude that this marker actually is Masamune's grave, unless it was erected over top of Masamune's original resting spot.... so where does Masamune actually rest? The big mystery..... Deeper in the cemetery grounds, there are two very ancient tomb markers, in very early form (Nambokucho style) with inscriptions weathered away. A month ago, when I visited Hongakuji, I went to the admin. office and made an inquiry to end this dilemma. Not being able to resolve this neatly was causing me stress and serious sleep loss. This may well account for my obesity......not knowing the truth: overeating and drinking for the past forty years. I am blaming my poor physical condition .... you guessed it.....on Guido...not Masamune. Guido makes me drink too much, but not for long as Guido will be moving back to Germany in July. Sorry for the digression..... A kind Hongakuji Temple administrative attendant explicitly stated that these two ancient tombs were those of Masamune and Sadamune, side by side resting for eternity. Next to these two tomb markers, is a large Yamamura family tomb and nearby are a series of at least ten individual markers for the remains of successive generations of Tsunahiro swordsmiths. As Tom has mentioned the current Yamamura Tsunahiro is the 24th generation successor.....so you see the Soshu school lives on in Kamakura. So friends, the truth hinges on whether the Temple administrator was pulling my leg or not..... Next time I will ask for supporting documentation..... Yours in serious investigative journalism, RRH
  13. 8 points
    What a great afternoon! I spent many a day here when I lived in Kamakura - actually the Kamakura Branch of the NBTHK holds their monthly meetings at this very temple, so we were literally studying at the foot of the great master. I would like to make some small additions to the information. The large stone that Guido is standing in front of is from the Edo period - it was dedicated by a collection of sword dealers, who owed their prosperity to his excellence (Masamune not Guido). If you were to look closely at the square stone at waist height on Guido, the names of all those who donated to have the stone erected are inscribed there but the years have nearly worn them away. The grave where Bob is standing is the grave of Masamune. As Guido pointed out Masamune can also be read Seiso and means "true teaching" however he got the name he was a devotee of the true teaching of Nichiren. The very ancient pair of graves in the last photos are held to be the family graves of the Yamamura Family, so may include Sadamune and other early members of the school (family). Incidentally Yamamura Sensei still practices sword craft in Kamakura as the 24th generation Masamune, Yamamura Tsunahiro. Kamakura is absolutely the place to visit for anyone interested in the sword, Bob is very lucky to make his home there taxes or no... -t
  14. 8 points
    Amazing.....Guido was paying attention to my long-winded explanations! We had wonderful weather for our little walking tour. It is enjoyable days like today that remind me why I chose to live here.... The euphoria lasted until I got home and opened the Bill for property taxes which comes every three months like clockwork.... Yes, the fifty-four temples and shrines that attract visitors....like Guido.... are all tax exempt! I think I will have to declare myself high priest and Guido as my first disciple....all our religious observances will involve rituals with lager, raw oysters, and possibly bratwurst...to keep Guido’s spiritual motivation high.... and get tax exemption! Stay tuned ....a detailed video production will be out soon with more detail regarding Masamune and Shizu Saburo Kaneuji.....
  15. 8 points
    For those who didn't see the story on Facebook, and didn't know about the discovery, I would urge you to check out the latest article in the Downloads section regarding a significant find in the Nihonto world. My thanks and congratulations go out to Ian Brooks - @Ian B3HR2UH Awesome story!
  16. 7 points
    Listing an absolute top-quality gendaito by Kato Jumyo. Jumyo was a smith who worked in Mino during the war. This sword has a well executed horimono on each side and is in beautiful polish, solid silver habaki and shirasaya with horimono hatomei. The hamon is an interesting gonome midare in nie deki with a lot of depth and activity. The jihada is a perfectly forged ko-itame with ji-nie. There are a number of tobiyaki in the ji. Boshi is komidare/kaen. Nagasa is 2 shaku 2 sun 4 bu. There is a long three-column inscription which will translate shortly) with special order. NTHK kanteisho. $4,800 (plus shipping and PayPal). Any questions, please email raymondsinger@gmail.com. Best regards, Ray
  17. 7 points
    I offer for sale, a Spring 1943 Koa Isshin WW2 officer sword. They are rarely found in the original leather combat covers these days, which I have left on to preserve its originality. I have slightly peeled back the leather, and looks like the painted metal saya is immaculate underneath. The blade is in as found condition, no rust no pits, no chips. The features of the blade are there for the eyes to appreciate. As expected there is very slight staining with age and combat use. I love the patina on these swords that show that they have been taken to war, and not left in an office or cupboard. The mei is well cut, and the nakago is in very nice condition. To further prove its originality, the MUNE stamps are evident, and not obscured by rust that so often happens. At AUD3150, I will express post with tracking and signature any where. These swords are now very collectable and sought after, not often does an original example that hasn't been monkeyed with come up.
  18. 7 points
    Hi Bjorn , Thought I would reply with a few thoughts - The fact that you have not had any replies to your post , says that it is difficult to make an honest opinion from the pictures . I do feel however that if the kozuka is real or not , it will prove to be a little disappointing . I may be completely wrong , but it reminds me of the kozuka that were made to be fitted with a western style knife blade and were produced in large numbers to the same pattern , often being pressed from sheet metal. I am glad you have not paid a lot of money - please take a little time to look at something like the Aoi site ( link in the commercial 2 column on NMB frontpage ) - I have just seen , for instance , item nos. F20694 & F19411 , which although a bit more expensive are the real thing and would be more satisfactory as a start for a collection. There are lots of other dealers to look at also - Aoi just happen to have a wide variety of pieces at pretty reasonable prices in my opinion. Best of Luck ! Regards
  19. 7 points
    Blade isn't the main interest here I think. Here is a pic or 2 of the fittings. Not superb, but nice. It also has a decent kogai and a kozuka/kogatana. Tsuba isn't bad either.
  20. 6 points
    Hi all, I am trying to make contact with Markus Sesko. Many of us have forked out big bucks to help him research and write a treatise on GENDAI SWORDSMITHS, and to pre-purchase an edition. I write this on behalf of many people who have contacted me with the same request. Firstly, I hope nothing untoward has befallen Markus, but if things are OK with him, I think we are at least owed a progress report, a copy of what we paid for, or if the project has been aborted, a financial refund. It has now been years in the making. First prize is, as far as I am concerned, is a completed edition. As this work would be great reference material. Failing that, well, I would like my money back.
  21. 6 points
    Thought I would put up a (OTA) YASUTSUGU, he is featured on page 194 in Slough. Although rated a Medium-High Grade Gendaito, he did make some really nice swords. The nice polish on this example, displays his skill in sword making.
  22. 6 points
    There is no doubt that early Mantetsu swords exhibit HADA, fine grained it may be, but definitely there. I have some. Some of them even had wavy HAMON. The steel used in a Mantetsu sword was made in an electric furnace, not the traditional TATARA. An electric furnace is just another way of providing heat to the raw materials. As you all know, the iron/steel used in a sword made from TAMAHAGANE never melts, it is made into a sponge, full of impurities, and gases. Repeated heating, hammering and folding remove the un-wanted impurities. So one could assume that at least in the early production of Mantetsu, the metallurgists were trying to reproduce a TAMAHAGANE like material, or steel sponge in the electric furnace. Using the high-speed power machine tools of the time, this sponge could be quickly turned into a many times folded homogeneous piece of steel. This folded hot steel could then be hot sheared, and the center pierced into "hockey puck" like pieces or donuts. So, it is commonly assumed that the softer iron core was inserted into the outer skin steel, some liken it to a rod inserted into a pipe. The longer the pipe the greater the probability of voids and discontinuities exist on forge welding, so a shorter "pipe and rod" system would guarantee no forging faults. In the sword forging process, this billet would be drawn out and lengthened by repeated heating and hammering into the sword shape. It is feasible that the Mantetsu steel pucks were made in Manchuria and distributed to sword makers in many localities, like boxes of donuts, but with a core of soft iron. Getting some Mantetsu swords, cutting and sectioning them would confirm their production methodology. So in summary, you have to assume that the above method would lend itself to mass production, ease of production, and a consistent product. The very rough sketch below is an attempt to show how a shorter pipe and core would have many production, manufacturing and quality benefits over a long thin difficult to make pipe.
  23. 6 points
    Well, one of my best attached. I almost was foolish enough to sell this one during a dry financial period.
  24. 6 points
    I know there have been discussions on the topic and I hope my example here is not taken wrongly. I was thinking what type of title I would choose, decided to go with this one. As there was a good attribution thread that featured Yamashiro and it's influences I thought I could post this. This gets into very high level territory and I am not nearly proficient enough to say anything of note regards it. As a disclaimer do not think similar thing will happen to you if are submitting/resubmitting an item. I just thought this would be fun to post and possibly create some discussion in positive sense. Here in left the mumei sword passed Jūyō 21 and was attributed as Enju (延寿) then later on the mumei sword passed Tokubetsu Jūyō 6 and the attribution was now den Awataguchi Kuniyoshi (伝粟田口国吉) Of course this is very complicated matter and there are no easy answers. I know we often talk about Enju being close to Rai but on great pieces the gap is most likely quite small. I must confess I am not a quality oriented nihontō enthusiast but I do feel it is important try to understand the quality. This most likely very nice sword got first attributed as Enju and then with more throughout Tokujū shinsa it got "upgraded" to den Awataguchi Kuniyoshi. Note that I am using the word upgrade bit tongue in cheeck in here. I know many people think Enju as maybe lower high tier - upper mid tier attribution below Awataguchi & Rai. While not as prestegious as the others mentioned Enju school had multiple historically important smiths that produced high level work. Also to be noted in the end it is the same sword... Regardless of the attribution it must be very nice mumei sword. I guess what I was kind of aiming at is that there is much more to the items that just the attribution. While commercially some attributions are very desirable, I feel they carry slightly less weight when trying to just study. Still I have to bow my own head down as I feel I am very easily influenced by attributions as my own level of understanding is lacking. At first I had trouble locating the counterpart for this TokuJū from the Jūyō items. So I had to go what I considered as logical Yamashiro route, first all of mumei Awataguchi -> mumei Rai -> mumei Enju. Unfortunately I cannot really put the few thoughts I have on this subject in easy to understand form but I was kinda just aiming to kick off a conversation starter.
  25. 6 points
    I wasn't even aware of this project. I thought I was strictly a Koto lover, but I fell in love with the work of a particular gendaito smith and researched the heck out of him at one point across several of the books mentioned. Remembering the pain and pleasure of that, I'd contribute to this project just out of respect for Markus' work. I don't need final product. I simply want to support the efforts of someone who has already helped my own knowledge beyond that which I think I have given in return. Moreover, I understand the NYC difficulties as close to my own heart and mind these days. Hell of a year or two. The Immortal American City seems to have broken. Markus- my respect for you is great. Your translations have greatly added to my tosogu knowledge, including a very recent deep dive into Ko-Nara and subsequent artists. Without your translations, I would have taken weeks more to learn as much as I did. Life being what it is, I don't know if I would have done it without your works. Communicate to us and let us know how we can help. CURRAN
  26. 6 points
    Markus, thankyou for your reply. I realize the enormity of task at hand. However with books by Kishida on Yasukuni, and Wallinga on Minatogawa, Slough on hundreds of Gendai smiths and the latest works of Malcolm Cox, a book covering those missing from these publications would be a great start. Most of us have these books already, or access to them. You could also put out a call for any missing oshigata that we could could supply from our collections. Hope this helps, and I am sure that the enormous burden you have undertaken could be somewhat relieved.
  27. 6 points
    Sorry, modern Chinese fake - (whoever is telling the 80 years old story is fibbing...)
  28. 6 points
    G'day Guys, Here are some more photos. The koshirae is in almost pristine condition. The saya is the lacquered wood kind which I think is quite rare. What makes this sword really stand out is the beautiful, two piece, gold and silver foiled habaki. Unusually the fittings which are the mid-war type, are not numbered or marked in any way. The boshi is ichimai style with a long kaeri. The only down side is the blade is suriage and machi okuri. Cheers, Bryce
  29. 6 points
    花踏帰去 馬蹄香 Free translation: I took a long ride on a horse. The horse seems to have stepped on flowers on the way home. The horse’s hoofs smell sweet.
  30. 6 points
    Toppei Koshirae possibly.... http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/koshirae.html
  31. 6 points
    > "You attack me here in public for your stupidity." This is not called for in the least and is the kind of toxicity that brings this board down. > I don’t mean to condone Thomas’ aggressive tone, although it might be due in part to his poor mastering of English. Then don't condone it by making excuses for him. The word "stupid" has the same connotation in every language and he is past the toddler phase where people begin to grasp what it means.
  32. 6 points
    Shingunto Mei - Kikumon Shinano no Kami Fujiwara Nobuyoshi (1st generation) Kanbun period 1661 Nagasa - 67.2 cm Sori - 1.3 cm Mekugi - 2 Width Hamachi - 2.83 cm Widith Kissaki 1.93 cm Kasane 0.68 cm The blade is suriage however flawless with well grained Koitame Hada and Gunome Midare Hamon with Tobiyaki. The shingunto koshirae is in excellent to near mint condition with a Company Grade Tassel. The sword was originally purchased from Aoi Art some years ago and they gave a 100% Guarantee at the time that it would pass NBTHK Hozon. Price $5,750 AUD (Australian Dollars) which is about $4,400US...........Payment by Bank Transfer Only Additional photo can be found here: http://www.guntoartswords.com/nobuyoshi.html It is time to sell some nice pieces Kind Regards Doug
  33. 6 points
    Christian, my old friend, this one is so bad that I take it. PM me the details😁
  34. 6 points
    Just a few observations on ' A series of fittings ...etc ' Having just posted item No. 25 , I wanted to mention that this is a similar quantity to what I would take and show at a Token of GB outreach meeting , and this in part is the idea of the thread. As we have all been in various stages of lockdown , for probably a year or so , for most people , I thought that I would put my fittings on the NMB instead and give a wider access to those who are interested. The main difference is that the entire collection will be displayed , albeit one at a time , over the coming months . Of course this may be regarded as a ' look what I've got' vanity project , but that is not the intent - as I have stated in an earlier post , the good , bad, and indifferent will all be shown. I have numbered up all fittings and then generated a random sequence of them so that , with the exception of a few favourites which I am keeping to the end , any quality or type of fitting could appear next. No. 26 will be posted tomorrow ( Wednesday )....
  35. 6 points
    For anyone who collects modern knives..it's a Shirogorov 110 Kickstop. It's an awesome flipper, and an easy $1700 on the secondary market. So the waki isn't cheap. But it fits into my main interests better, and add a kozuka and kogai, I think antique swords will hold value better than modern customs. I'll do the deal. And then spend a few months trying to replace that knife anyways
  36. 6 points
    Jan Pettersson has been pushing me to write something about our latest defense at Tsuyama Castle. Therefore. Early on Sunday 4th April, our various baggage trains set out for magnificent Tsuyama in the pouring rain. We all arrived around 8:30 am to offload tons of kit as the rain grew more persistent. Perhaps 100 boxes and bags. "No point in putting on the armour and strapping on our swords", I thought as we lugged everything to the changing rooms. My back has been suddenly letting go recently, (since Tottori Castle above in mid-March) and I had brought a 'new' complicated set of Kote greaves that needed trying out for size, strength and fit, so I was not feeling entirely confident anyway, in body or outfit. At the back of my mind was also the worry that they might just push this thing through regardless. I should add that one of the characteristics of our troop is that we use genuine antique armour, sword fittings and matchlocks. If we do compromise, it is mostly in the footwear, although some members will insist on wearing genuine straw waraji, with their toes hanging off the front. One mark of a true leader is the ability to get people to do things they would not normally contemplate. Bento lunches appeared, gunpowder was handed out, and our marching and firing orders were given. Still the rain fell outside. Everyone started loading the guns, and donning armour, piece by piece, in time-honored fashion, as if they had not noticed the weather. A message came through that we had been summoned up the flights of steps to the second level of the castle, where the main Sakura Festival was being held. We gathered outside in the street, the banners were raised, the drums and gongs were beaten, and we formed into a snaking column, ready to march off to the castle gates. I tried to find somewhere dry for my powder and matchcord. There were very few people around, although rows of foodstalls had been set up in forlorn hopes. Again I counted the massive stone steps under my feet. "Step by step one gets to Rome", I muttered. Exactly seventy of these later we were up at the staging area. Luckily there were some small tents where we waited to be called. I managed to grab one of the few chairs, hoping age might come before beauty. Rain poured off the edge of the tent roof. Now I have a confession. The wife had made me promise to make the right decision over me back and the heavy gun. "I trust you", she added, (although I have never heard her say that before). All the way to the venue I had debated in my mind. Eventually I went to our leader and begged out of the 50 Monme part of the display. He reached down and picked up a sealed bag. He had prepared a special short section of hammered match for me with my name on it, so I felt both ashamed and guilty. He accepted, but took the opportunity to make loud comments over my shirking of duty, even over the microphone during the live display. Luckily I am old enough to laugh and shrug it off, and the spectators enjoyed the little tidbit. So there you have it. Suddenly all was movement as we stood up and formed outside, carrying guns and equipment to the main steps to the upper levels, forming the backdrop to our display. I lit my now shortened matchcord before leaving the safety of the tent, and kept it burning inside my cupped fist. All of our gun/cannon boxes and cases were kept closed until the last second, and then we began. The muzzle reports were strangely muted in the rain, and clouds of wadding landed wetly like Sakura petals. A knot of spectators, perhaps fifty or so, gathered under their umbrellas in front of us. I think they had come to see the famous newly-repatriated 100 Monme, advertised recently by the lovely DJ Misuzu San on Tsuyama FM radio. The highlight of the show was when Mr K lifted and fired the 100 Monme. This time it was loaded properly and the boom was most satisfactory. The kick knocked him over onto the sopping ground, but he managed to pull himself upright and recover. Finally it was time for our last full broadside. "Tama-gomé", came the shouted order. I poured a tube of blackpowder down the now slippery gun and tried to remove the wet ramrod. Impossible. For a second I thought of using my teeth, but gave up. As I leant over to insert priming powder, a trickle of drops fell from my kabuto into the firing pan, so I jerked my head right. Lifting up the slimy gun, I blew on the match one last time, fitted it, and cocked the serpentine. In the general roar of twenty matchlocks, she went off better than I was expecting. I am now more certain than ever that six shots in the rain is probably close to the limit for a matchlock, relying as it does on dry powder and cord. Awaiting photos...
  37. 6 points
  38. 6 points
    Andrew i paint this fast to explain. On the upper side you see gendaito / down side showato. You see on a gendaito the structures of the pearl matrix of the iron after hardning in water. On a showato all is uniform. with a mostly dark line during the hamon and dark shadows in the spikes of the hamon if it is not suguha-ba (straight hamon). Most of the gendaito where forged in masame hada - straight lines. Most of the showato you didn't see a hada between the layers of the iron. If you see some dark or bright shining spots which looks like asteroids rocks in front of the sun, this is nie and dark ones like ara-nie and a sure sign of gendaito. Btw: Don't forget that a wartime polish isn't such shining as a modern polish. The sword looks much more decent and you must play with the lights and angles to see all the beauty of a blade.
  39. 6 points
    What Jean Said. Micah, the problem here is that it seems that you have approached this the wrong way around in that you've decided what you would like the sword to be and tried to make its characteristics fit that description. The issue is that there isn't much that can be gleaned from this blade. Even if it was in perfect condition, you might struggle to get past late muromachi to shinto mu mei wakizashi but, in this condition, there's nothing definitive that can be said and to categorize it as a "Satsuma" blade, whether made in the province or used in the rebellion, doesn't add up. Yes it may be, but it's way more likely that it got into that condition being stuffed into someone's attic and forgotten about. When you hear the sound of hooves, think horse rather than zebra.
  40. 5 points
    Hello to all from Western Australia and thank you for the informative forum I am new to Japanese swords and have been trying to educate myself on the subject through a variety of sources which is an ongoing process I imagine till the day one dies. Anyway I made an impulse purchase for my first acquisition on eBay and yes I know my folly but anyway I was wondering if I could ask for help in the way of an experienced opinion of the sword, I have yet to hold this sword in my hand and after reading here about Tokubetsu kicho papers being dubious I have been wondering how silly I have been considering the price i paid $2800usd. Thank you in advance for any help and a very good day to you all. Steve
  41. 5 points
    Hi Les and Mark, and y'all of course. In the meantime, and experimenting with proof copies from Lulu.com, I decided to entirely redo the first two volumes and ship these new ones – at my own expense – to all who have purchased any of the them, including, of course, those who have prepaid for the entire set, and the remaining ones the same way. I know, this all is a nuisance, but I need to get this right going forward, that is, I do not want the print quality being an ongoing issue for me/us years to come. That said, I know that Grey and Barry are kicking their heels to proofread the remaining chapters –which I am working on every single day in any case, and they are accumulating on my end – so I apologize for being such a dinosaur, meaning, I suck badly at switching tasks and my reptile brain can only work off stuff in big batches. Now the broken record is being put on again, but I can promise you that as long as I am alive and not turning into a vegetable, I am working constantly on all outstanding projects as their non-completion does really gnaw on my soul
  42. 5 points
    Here is a tsuba with a mask theme.
  43. 5 points
    As promised the second addition, this one for the Bizen crowd. This sword is o-suriage mumei with gonome choji-ba hamon, ko-nie, and utsuri. The better photos are again courtesy of @Ray Singer (that may be a trend with these) with some of my own thrown in... I know I need a darker background. Happy to provide any photos of specific areas if my skills allow. nagasa 69.9cm moto-haba 3.2cm kasane 6mm There is varying opinion on attribution: The NTHK attributed the blade to Hidekage, Eikyō era; there is a remnant of an old kinpunmei (see photo) that might be mitsu 光; and a previous owner was told it could be Nanbokucho Omiya. Attributions all in the same general style but vary from Nanbokucho to early Muromachi. In hand it has a lot of heft to it. I do plan to send to NBTHK shinsa once global shipping is more reliable and will update the thread then. The blade has a lot of heft and a lot of activity to see in hand that I am not good at describing quite yet. This was a forum purchase so some of you may have seen glimpses of it before. (The black line in the boshi is a relfection, not a ware)
  44. 5 points
    The Chicago Sword show is starting soon. Looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends and meeting new ones. A few saftey reminders: The hotel requires masks be worn in all common areas. I will have masks available for any that need them, I will have FDA class 3 surgical masks, N95, cloth and others. There will be hand sanitizing stations. The show is in the large ballroom and tables will be spread out (social distanced) and the air circulation fans will run during the show. Please remember when in the show and in line to maintain a safe social distance. We want the show to be enjoyable but also safe for all. Lets get ready for a great show. I hear that a number of exhibitors are bringing some very special items. A great chance to study and learn, but also add something special to you collection. See you all soon. www.chicagoswordshow.com
  45. 5 points
    The most basic requirement is to put in the necessary effort yourself.
  46. 5 points
    To a very understanding member who helped last Aug when I needed to raise $$ for my son. No need for names she knows how grateful I am. Two of my favorites to return before next month.
  47. 5 points
    贈 福井 兄  Gift of Fukui is correct. 兄 is probably a first name (Kei) but its an unusual first name. It could also mean "brothers", as in "Gift from the Fukui brothers". Hard to say, but in any event, it indicates the sword is a gift.
  48. 5 points
    Hi guys here is another wakizashi for you in shirasaya Godai [ 5th gen ] Kaminari Yoke Iga No Kami Fujiwara No Kinmich
  49. 5 points
    We are indeed, and it never came across as a "look what I have" Often, no comment is needed, it is just nice to see a steady flow of nice items. Like you say...a virtual exhibition. Please keep them coming. Each one has been viewed and appreciated. We don't always have to discuss. Sometimes we can just admire and enjoy.
  50. 5 points
    I like your evidence based reasoning - far better than unsupported opinion. It is a worthy acquisition to anyone's collection. The sukashi patterns may be linked to 'Tale of Genji'
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