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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. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 8 points
    Hi, Mei says Yurakusai (遊洛斎) .
  7. 8 points
    The bottom sword doesn't rest ther it was out to show the sori...it has its own stand
  8. 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
  9. 7 points
    It simply starts with what do you have? With what you have you pursue a good individual in that field who specializes in those swords. That's all. Louis as good intentioned as he is, being mentioned in the same thread as top level Japanese polishers, this is kind of inappropriate. It really depends on what it is. Foreigners are so brand limited that they want to drop everything on one guy. And it's just not done like that in Japan. You send something to the guy who has the best skills in that zone for the effect you want to obtain. There is no such thing as a "best polisher" any more than there is a "best car". It depends on what the goals are and what you have to work with. You don't wanst junk swords being worked on by the top polishers, there is no point. "YOU CAN'T MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOW'S EAR" ... but you can make a sow's ear out of a silk purse so you must choose well.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 7 points
    Ray is one of those dealers that gets consistent praise on the forum. Glad to see there was a good outcome.
  14. 6 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.
  15. 6 points
    Custom case with dehumidifier and locked glass front doors - over blade LED lights and I can sit and look at them all day !!
  16. 6 points
    Mine you mean? Mine is here .... Tokubetsu Hozon at the moment.
  17. 6 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
  18. 6 points
  19. 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.
  20. 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?
  21. 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
  22. 5 points
    Hi, There has been some comment on the possibility of this smith Munetoshi making non-traditional swords (showato). I think this definitely did not happen! Your smith was Yamagami Wakakichi (Munetoshi). He was born 27 Dec. 1902. He and his brother Akihisa were both trained under the famous Kasama Shigetsugu in Tokyo and then set up a forge together back in Niigata and made quality swords for army officers. Munetoshi used a different character for 'mune' (the one seen on your sword) after he became an RJT smith for the army. A little mystery for me is that your sword has no RJT star stamp (you say) but he is using his 'new' name character...I have only ever seen it with a star. Bruce Pennington and I have been trying to "unravel' the mystery of the 'matsu' stamp etc used by the Yamagami brothers, but no luck yet...and your later used mune character and no star messes things up more. I have 2 swords by Munetoshi...one is Type 98 mounts with original mune name charcter and one is identical to yours, but with star. Both brothers returned to swordmaking after the war. If you want to check out the details of the two signatures/mountings/stamps etc on both my Munetoshi blades, you can download my little article on the NMB index page (top) called 'Trotter Collection' ...check out swords #3 and #6. You have got a good hand-made WWII sword there...just gently oil the blade...try to gently 'stabilise' the mounting wear, and enjoy forever!. Regards,
  23. 5 points
    Yes Adam a great reference. I have found one image from the same volume that matches the design of a guard found in the National Gallery of Victoria [Australia] The guard though is unsigned. I am seriously thinking of doing a copy of the volume for my own reference, it is all in the public domain so there would be no copyright problems. I do wonder if the designs are for "new" pieces or is the book a collection of "past" pieces? Some pictures look like rubbings of existing work.
  24. 5 points
  25. 5 points
  26. 5 points
  27. 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.
  28. 5 points
    Boy, There are some great tosogu here. I am an iron lover, and so the Owari, Myochin, Akasaka, and Kyo all look especially fine for me. Here is an Akasaka (yondai) Tadatoki NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Tosogu. A standout in my Akasaka collection.
  29. 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.
  30. 5 points
    I like this idea Mike Tachi mumei atributed Masamitsu
  31. 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
  32. 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)
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 5 points
    I know we’re not supposed to comment on items for sale any more, but I’m so sorry that you have to sell all those marvels Alex. It must feel terrible and I wanted to say that I sympathize with your situation. If I had money, I would buy it just to sell it back to you later when things get better. I hope they do soon. Hang in there buddy!
  36. 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!
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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 ?
  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. 4 points
    This Japanese sword was sent home from Guadalcanal by Gunnery Sergeant Sidney Asa Cook. The sword has been damaged by several machine gun bullets down the length of the scabbard. However, amazingly, the blade itself was not hit. The heavily worn sword has high quality mixed metal fittings and a silver Mon. The blade is unmarked. Gunnery Sergeant Sidney Asa Cook was a member of Company “E”, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Sergeant Cook “Participated in, under actual combat conditions, in offensive operations against the Japanese Army, on Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands, from November 4, 1942 to February 9, 1943, both dates inclusive.” On February 9, 1943 Sergeant Cook embarked aboard the USS American Legion and arrived at Wellington, New Zealand February 17, 1943. In November 1943, Cook was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Cook died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943. In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio, but Cook’s remains were not recovered. On Feb. 8, 1949, a military review board declared Cook’s remains non-recoverable. In June 2015, a nongovernmental organization, History Flight, Inc., notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed were 35 U.S. Marines who fought during the battle in November 1943. The remains were turned over to DPAA in July 2015. DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of Gunnery Sergeant Sidney Asa Cook's remains.
  43. 4 points
    Note, for the record, I will NOT be refunding any members who choose to leave or are unhappy for any reason. I took a hit doing that for Rayhan, and will not be doing it again. Please take this as official policy. We do our best here, and usually any actions taken are not just my own choice, but are representative of majority choice. I'm not going to make a big deal of this. If anyone posts here, then anyone is entitled to respond. There is no such thing as banning someone from your threads. If someone is obviously biased, then I will take action and remove them from posting. That is not the case here. We have a wonderful "ignore" function here in your profiles. You can add someone and not see their posts. If you don't get on with someone, use that. Adam, your choice. You have some nice items to share, so would enjoy seeing them. But if people want to comment, that is the risk you take and is how we all learn. Sometimes we learn the most from arguments. Ball is in your court. I mentioned many times less is more and it is time to back off just a little.
  44. 4 points
    I just uploaded pictures of that exhibition if you want to have a look: here. 2 years later, better late than never
  45. 4 points
    Ray, Your advice is not being seen a good thing by anyone. And the idea of ANYONE "vetting" sale items is flawed in so many ways I won't even discuss that. I really, really, wanted to find a place for you on this forum. But I just cannot. Your collecting level is just too high for most of us, and the fact that you think it is ok to call out items people are selling is ridiculous. Do you go through Aoi's stock list and post all the items you think they should not be selling? You can educate people. But THEY need to decide what they want to buy or sell. I won't allow this forum to be brought down by this attitude. So really sorry...but you can't do this to my forum. It is far from perfect, but I need to make it better....not worse. And nothing you demand is going to bring advanced guys back. Many of them feel the whole internet discussion thing is beneath them. So I choose my members and will back them to the hilt. Again, sorry. But I tried. I'm putting you on post moderation, so each post needs to be accepted. It's that or a ban. I really am sorry to everyone that it went this far. I'm asking guys not to resort to insults either, and let me handle this.
  46. 4 points
    Everyone is so touchy! I like it...it is well signed and unlikely to be gimei. That said...people can only comment on what they see. Tom...if you were studying these and were presented with a habaki that is completely different from known ones, don't you think it fair to mention it and discuss? This is not a forum where we post stuff just to get a lot of "wow!'s" The idea of studying and learning is to examine each detail and discuss variations. I don't see anyone claiming the whole thing is fake. Just people trying to understand things that are out of the norm. No need to get offended. If this is very early or was somehow presented outside of the norm, it could explain things. But let's not jump on everyone trying to understand variations. And by the same token, let's not immediately jump to gimei and try explain what we see. C'mon folks. I'd rather people share stuff like this with us than fear being run off as fake. It's an interesting piece with a very interesting mei. This is a good place to research more.
  47. 4 points
    藤原光長  Fujiwara Mitsunaga is a name handed down from master to student for several generations, and so it is almost like a brand name. This name was in use from 1709 to 1862 (according to the site below). The three-leaf hollyhock motif inside the border is a family crest, as you may already know. That's about all I know from a quick search on the internet. https://www.morita-stone.co.jp/weblog/sp/2017/06/post_364.html
  48. 4 points
    I believe they are Dha swords from Southeast Asia, Thailand, Burma etc.
  49. 4 points
    ..https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/treasures-of-temples-and-shrines/hwKyGKCr7r_XJw Best
  50. 4 points
    This is revised Chapter 49, Part 2 of Chapter 14, Late Kamakura Period History. This chapter explains how the Mongolian invasion happened on 1274 and 1281. You may find this chapter very exciting. Please click the link below to go to this chapter directly. https://studyingjapaneseswords.com/2019/03/14/49-part-2-of-14late-kamakura-period-鎌倉後期歴史/ Because the editor suggested me a few things, chapter numbering may be confusing for a while until I finish changing. The reference chapter and other few chapter will change the location. On Chapter 39, Heian Period History, a few things were added. Thank you Yurie
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