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  1. I'm using this post as an opportunity to share a picture of my contribution. The original template for this piece is probably an Akasaka Tsuba. The flowing design represents a Waka poem from the Kokon Waka Shu 古今和歌集: ほのぼのと明石のうら朝ぎりの島かくれゆくふねをしぞおもふ "In the bay, of Akashi, when the day is drawing to an end, my thoughts follow a boat which disappears behind an island in the mist." Thanks Christoph
    18 points
  2. Dear Jace. A large shinshinto katana with an o gissaki in nice original mounts, spotted many years ago as I was cycling past an antiques shop I knew. Groaned and pulled over on the basis of, "Well at least I can have a look!" Went in and drew the blade out a little to see a sticker, yes, on the blade, which said £30. Force of habit more than anything else, I asked if there was anything they could do on that and to my surprise the owner said he could do it for £28. With trembling hands I wrote the cheque, knowing that it would make me over drawn, first and last time for that. Next problem was cycling home with it. I still have it, papered now to Inshu Kanesaki. Iron mokko tsuba, gold foiled habaki and seppa, shakudo fuchi kashira and menuki of samurai fighting in boats. All the best.
    12 points
  3. Kurihara Akihide, Horimono by Akitada
    12 points
  4. Pat, (Please edit, the rule about first names is well known) There are few stupid questions. But apparently stupid answers are a thing. That was uncalled for and rude. Take a short break.
    11 points
  5. Tōkyō stopped all sword production in March 1945 due to bomb damage. Interestingly, right before this, Tōkyō started using civilian parts to keep production going. This cessation of production would have caused a ripple effect on all swords assembled from this point forward. The burden was now on other existing locales to assemble swords. Seki was one such area that starting in 1944 resorted to using wood scabbards and iron component parts. Short Development History of Type 95 Gunto, Post #82 The Atsuta Factory & Military Swords Several of these hybrid swords are using Type 95 replacement parts that would be available to the divisional ordnance unit and above, such as the army and area army ordnance units. There are several indications that these parts were used such as the undrilled handles and the unserialized scabbards. These hybrid swords could have been assembled just about anywhere in Japan toward the end. However, several of these hybrids are using blades coming from Kyushu which did not have a large scale sword assembling center like Seki, Ōsaka, Jinsen, or Nan-Man. It does not surprise me that spare parts that were readily available were used to fit these swords out. An invasion was literally months away and the Japanese just wanted things put together and in the hands of the troops.
    9 points
  6. Great question, Peter, I've enjoyed reading everyone's story! Mine was simple as my goal in collecting was specific - I set out to collect a fair representation of the major WWII sword types: Army officer & NCO, Navy, and the pre-war kyugunto and Type 32s. In the process, I got 1 kaigunto with a Koto era blade, and 1 RJT gendaito, so I wound up with a sample of traditionally made blades, too. So, my "hunger" was satiated. I got hooked on collecting data on blade stamps, after that, which has run it's course, mostly. So now, it's mostly the social enjoyment of hanging out with all you guys, occasionally finding something new for the files, or helping a new guy.
    9 points
  7. Wanted to stop in and show off a new koshirae Robert Hughes just finished up for my Shigenobu blade . Ray Singer helped find the matching fittings and suggested the tensho style koshirae . It turned out way better than i had imagined it . Thanks guys ! Amazing job ! !
    8 points
  8. Sorry to disagree with most of the 'analysis' - it appears to be a cut down of a larger guard, likely with rim damage that was removed. There are several examples where this has been done. The cut down was done much further back in time than the 'recent' drill damage. The patchy patina is also pretty common from an over clean in the past.
    8 points
  9. OK, Jesse. I think we have started making it very easy for newcomers here on this board and people just ask for answers and get pre-digested opinions. This is not how one is supposed to learn/progress (even though at school that is what teachers do but they also set homework :). So, let us jointly look at this: - easy one: do you think the mei is on the appropriate side for a 1520s-1550s sword (ignoring the generational argument for a moment); does the patina look right in the mei - slightly more difficult: do you think this is a Muramasa hamon (tips: look at the nioiguchi, look at presence of lack of sunagashi/kinsujiu, look at the shape, etc) - the hada question is a bit more difficult yet again but again, look at hada (itame vs nagare and loose vs tight and presence or not of jinie) - even more difficult: can we see a slight, shirake-like utsuri (not always there but often there in Muramasa) - most advanced: look at the chisel strokes, particularly the last two-three atari of the Masa character vs genuine/recently (Hozon and above) papered examples As a reference, please consider the yasurime and patina of the attached (TH Muramasa nidai).
    8 points
  10. Seikōsai Ichimonji kore o tsukuru (晴光斎一文字造之) - Yasuki-hagane sanmai-kitae (安来鋼三枚鍛)
    8 points
  11. The NBTHK shinsa is not open to outsiders and is behind closed doors. So Darcy would not have been able to attend a session. And why even ask that question in such a petty and irrelevant manner, as it is not pertinent to the discussion whatsoever! In fact Darcy has not talked about the shinsa panel being pressed and looking at signatures only. That statement came from elsewhere (two different sources in fact) and I do not wish to quote names. But I have also heard that when an attestation is obvious (eg a very clear Sanbosugi hamon with some nie and some sort of nagare itame, etc) and the signature is OK, they would not spend too much time and give it to the obvious maker with the signature on the tang (eg Kanemoto sandai, yondai, whatever). Next, not all members of a shinsa panel are disclosed or known outside of the NBTHK so as to minimise external influence. What is however possible is to sit down with a shinsa member some time afterwards and ask about a certain attestation or the opinion of the shinsa (member). I have had the pleasure of such a sit-down, facilitated by another well-known friend and contact in Japan, and listened to the gentleman explain what he thought. Fortunately, the friend could translate for me what the NBTHK gentleman was saying. Is this part of the standard procedure? Or is this something that my friend could organise because he was well known / connected in sword circles? I do not know... But it is possible to get a little extra colour beyond just the paper. However, it happens at the NBTHK HQ in Tokyo. As far as I know, only in the USA, with the NTHK, were some of the American organisers allowed in the shinsa room. But again, I have not really participated in those processes so US members will know better. I have read reports here of submitters being able to peer over in the shinsa room, and also some of the NMB members. Kiril makes some very good points, which Darcy also made by the way. Darcy had an excellent post about 'fungibility' of certain attributions. Some nondescript schools, or indistinct makers, made such generic work that an attribution could swing one way or another on a mumei blade but roughly fell within the same quality bucket with the similar features and craftsmanship. One should not take it personally. It is what it is. So for the blade here, indeed Mino seems right and fair enough. The owner could spend a lot of time looking for features that differentiate it from other sub-schools of Mino but the blade will not become a Soshu masterpiece. However, the owner can still learn in the process and eventually that is part of the hobby and pleasure of this pursuit.
    7 points
  12. As stated at the top: https://nbsk-jp.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/12_e.pdf Congrats to the non-natives that did quite well: Tosogu: Ford Hallam - Gold Prize (2nd place) Jeff Broderick - Bronze Prize (2nd place) Christoph Kopp - Nyusen(Recognition prize) Saya-nuri: Michael Cummins - Nyusen(Recognition prize)
    7 points
  13. I'd admired a tsuba from the Birmingham museum and fortunately met a UK tsuba maker He showed me one of his tsuba and I asked him to make a copy of the Birmingham Long story short: It arrived a few weeks ago and I was stunned at the result (attached) I've not taken proper pictures yet and these are just quick snaps Due to various personal circumstances he is no longer taking on any commission work I hope you like it as much as I do PS. The tsuba is made from 14C German horseshoes NMB.pdf!
    7 points
  14. Shingunto signed Hizen no Kuni Masatsugu 肥前國正次 with Rikugun Jumei Tosho star stamp plus “ko” and “ho” stamps on nakago mune. Traditionally made water quenched, nagasa 64.2 cm, hamon is suguha based ko-midare with nie deki, boshi is jizo shape with kaen (flames); appears to be muji hada. Blades is dated at June 1943: Koki ni sen roku hiaku san nen roku gatsu kichi jitsu 皇紀二千六百三年六月吉日 “lucky day 6th month 2603 years Japanese Empire” (June 1943). Nakago is ubu with kiri yasurime. Blade in very good condition, in original polish, no bends or rust, but some fine stratches. There is one small fukure blister (1 mm) on edge of hamon. Shingunto koshirae is all original and good condition (one minor dent on saya). Tsuka is all original, ito binding very good, quality same rayskin with large nodules. Brass gunto tsuba with 3 pairs of seppa (no stamped numbers). Locking clip complete and working; brass sarute has sakura pattern. Copper habaki with silver wash. Masatsugu originally from Saga, Hizen, trained in Tokyo at Denshu Jo at Akasaka. He received high ranking at all wartime exhibitions, and returned to Saga around 1942. He was appointed Rikugun Jumei Tosho. Post-war he continued to make swords from 1958 receiving numerous awards. See Article in NMB Downloads for details of Masatsugu and examples. Described in Slough as "medium to high grade gendaito" pages 106-107. Price US$2000 (plus shipping & Ppal).. Blade is in Australia. https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/files/file/51-taguchi-kiichi-masatsugu-hakuryushi-tadataka/
    7 points
  15. Dont think I've ever showed my Enomoto Sadayoshi / Yorimasa (later mukansa) before. One of the swords I enjoy the most in my collection. Pretty beefy blade with nice sori and sugata in my opinion Images dont do the sword justice, very difficult to take a proper photograph as you know! Enjoy anyway!
    7 points
  16. Gents, I am offering a fantastic gendaito katana made by Tsukamoto Kazuyuki, a former mei of Okimasa. The sword was made in Showa 13, August on the grounds of Toyama Mitsuru. The mei reads: Oshu Iwashiro - junin Tsukamoto Kazuyuki saku and Toyama Mitsuru o no teinai ni oite. This gendai was shown previously on the high class gunto thread. Here are the measurements: Nagasa: 63cm Motohaba: 3,2cm Sakihaba: 2,1cm Kasane: 6mm The Kazuyuki was professionally polished in Japan by Eto Koichi in 2016. It comes with a new made shirasaya and the original shingunto koshirae, which has an pierced tsuba. Besides the fittings have matching numbers. The saya is the rare wooden type with a silk like lacquer surface. A near mint company grade officer tassel is included. In Addition the sword has a NTHK certificate. I can ship the gendaito worldwide with DHL Premium International. I live in Germany. I accept paypal and bankwire transaction. Pay Pal fees have to be paid by the buyer. My asking price is: 9400€ plus fees and shipping costs.
    6 points
  17. The word “splendid” is not a precise scientific term as far as I know. It therefore does not have a precise scientific meaning. It therefore follows that it is a matter of personal taste and opinion which in the world of Nihonto is really pretty common. To ask for an “explanation” is unscientific and is like asking “what is a splendid meal?” Opinions will thankfully vary.
    6 points
  18. Might be 宗十郎 (宗十ろう) – Sojuro. After reading the previous post by Chris, I think I can read the last character.
    6 points
  19. i don't recommend removing the handle of an NCO sword. there is nothing on the nakago that will help and too much chance of damaging the sword. the handle looks like it is brass. if so the only NCO swords i know with brass handles are post war copies
    6 points
  20. Ok guys, points made. Let's get back on topic. And I do agree that we need to be careful about making absolute statements when they are not proven facts. Opinions are fine. But statements of facts that are not if they can't be backed up. Done now...let's move on.
    6 points
  21. This is a public forum of opinions, I encourage you to challenge every single member and their opinions if they offend you or differ from your reality. It is quite remarkable the things not disclosed in listings that are then clarified here later, to the benefit of everyone involved.
    6 points
  22. Hi Franco, Yes, that is so. Irrespective of your level of scholarship I'm going to take the opinion of five people who have seen thousands of blades in hand and who are the foremost sword scholars in the world over that of Franco D and, indeed, myself and anyone else. Sorry. This is where Darcy Brockbank is so sorely missed as he wrote about this many times and way more eloquently than I can but I'll try anyway. A paper can do a number of things: At Hozon level and likely with most NTHK papers where the attribution is to a minor school only such as "Takada" or "Shimosaka," and if the paper specifies a given time period, what you are buying is a sword with reassurance that it is a genuine blade. This is useful for novice collectors in that they have a foot on the ladder and they know that they haven't bought a pup. The more diligent amongst them will go away and do what you suggest in terms of research and then come to the conclusion that it is not possible to research the blade any more fully as, whilst the blade has some characteristics of the school or one of the styles it worked in, it isn't possible to be more specific. If it was, the shinsa panel would have specified an individual smith. Often a NBTHK paper will verify a signature but specify nothing further. This is potentially a more dangerous situation for a buyer where there are multiple generations of smiths signing in the same way as sellers tend to talk up the blade as being by one of the more important smiths in that lineage or from a more appealing time period. Where there is no date or period specified (the NTHK will usually specify a date and province in the notes section on the back of the paper) this is where the buyer needs to do their research before buying. Often, however, the buyer is in the same situation as that set out above - it is not possible to research the blade more thoroughly due to a lack of available source material, the language barrier to be overcome in order to access available source material etc and, oh yeah, if it were possible to be more specific the shinsa panel would have been. If the workmanship on a blade suggests quality and/ or the owner has an opinion that it might be a significant blade then it is probably worth getting this confirmed by the NBTHK as it has a more solid reputation than the NTHK and the owner can then potentially begin the process of seeking higher papers or invest in a polish knowing that the blade merits the outlay. When I say that the NBTHK and NTHK are right more often than not, I'm not saying that they are infallible. Shinsa have become time pressured with way more blades being evaluated than in the past and this will inevitably lead to errors. Recently a blade with a hagire passed shinsa and the suspicion was that this is because shinsa panels are cutting corners by not looking at blades if they can quickly confirm a signature. There are swords with more than one paper and to different schools and swords get re-evaluated at Juyo or Tokubetsu Juyo level and effectively marked up or down. So, do you buy the sword or the paper? This is a foolish question as it implies that you can only do one or the other. In fact, what you do is buy quality. If you can learn to identify quality and its various degrees and know what you should pay for what degree of quality then you are well placed, but beyond a certain price point you'd be foolish not to have your own opinion backed up by that of the NBTHK and I certainly won't but your mileage may vary.
    6 points
  23. Tameshigiri - Koto Katana O- suriage 26.75 inches NBTHK Hozon to Mino Senjuin Early Muromachi circa 1500 Sword has pronounced Utsuri Tameshigiri conducted by the 8th master of the Yamada family of test cutters , Asaemon Yoshitoyo in November 1860 cut one body in half into the Dodan ( sand pile ) Test cuts on Koto swords are rare.
    6 points
  24. A topic already long debated. I'm sceptical, others aren't. I've already presented a logical argument covering the points I think most meritorious in a previous thread and won't repeat it here, unless someone can find that thread so it's a simple copy paste job. I'm going to say it as clearly as I can here. There was a shortage of swords. Some early NCO were privately sold due to this shortage. Most were issued equipment, owned by the Emperor, not owned by the officers. There is ZERO primary evidence of privately owned blades being fitted in NCO mounts. Not one account I've seen, nothing. No photo. Nothing in archives, accounts, period news papers etc. There are a number of such swords in existence. Some are crude hatchet jobs, other like this very good, though lacking a habaki. It's entirely a matter of opinion and in no way can anyone claim otherwise, UNLESS new evidence has been found to show it was common or even the rarest practice. Some would have you believe otherwise, but it's all conjecture.
    6 points
  25. A mate asked me to lunch a few days ago for my first visit to his house. Now, I know this bloke well. He has 4 rather nice swords that are above the batting average for a beginner. However, as he was showing me over his old, rambling house that was a once long ago haven for artists of various persuasions, we went down a flight of stairs to a large ground floor room that seemed hardly used apart from a Great Wall of Books. In the gloom on a mantle-piece I saw a kake with a sword on it immediately recognisable by its lack of a drag as a Type 95 I wasn't aware he owned. Having asked permission I picked it up and noticed THE BEST original copper handle I have ever seen. Totally unmolested and with a beautiful, bronze-like patina. No photo sorry as I wasn't prepared. However, I did note that the serial number was 4250. I shall remember it in case it ever becomes available. BaZZa.
    6 points
  26. Recently, I visited the Berlin SAMURAI Museum. A lot to see, and all nicely presented so that I absolutely recommend going there. Inspite of all good things, some items were presented in a wrong way (bows strung on the frontside, spelling mistakes on the information tables, YARI shown in a throwing position a.s.o.). I have informed the people there who will correct these mistakes. A special item was the 440 MONME hand gun - ideally used as a concealed weapon by a NINJA.....
    6 points
  27. Not even sure any more why I called this a Kago yari! Perhaps it was, in a previous life, or perhaps not. Some two or three years ago I had it polished, with mixed results as you can see, but I don’t recall ever taking shots of it. So here goes with a quick series. Length of blade 2.9’ or 7.3 cm.
    6 points
  28. Interesting thread. Just to add to this ...I am interested in WWII examples. Here is the gangi-maki hilt from my WWII gendaito. Not sure what the binding is...seems leather. I have seen 2 other WWII like this ... not common, but they do exist...all have been true gendaito. Regards
    6 points
  29. Hi, The poem on the saya is a waka-poem of MOTOORI Norinaga. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motoori_Norinaga
    6 points
  30. I believe the book you have is a copy of Shūko Jisshu (集古十種) and yours is the sword portion of the book set.
    6 points
  31. The middle one, no writing apparent.
    6 points
  32. @Baba Yaga You clearly didn't even read the question. He's asking about Nagashi lines and you are talking about yasurime. Lets imagine the question was Yasurime...How could he able to search it without knowing the word? On top of that, what's wrong with helping out a new member?
    6 points
  33. Another gendaito in ayasugi hada: Gassan Sadakatsu . Made in Taisho 10, June
    6 points
  34. Here's a auction buy that comes from a mega collectors estate that is being parceled out. A NMB member did the write up for the piece and attributed it to Sukeyoshi, do you agree? Blade was pretty dirty when it came in but shows some detail after clean up and in a nice morning son. Really nice early family blade that in all likehood saw Port Arthur or the Tsushima straight waters
    5 points
  35. Can't comment on the first one... sorry. The second one with the egg shaped form is typical of an early Chinese guard (which I'm pretty sure are called "Hushu"), but has none of the typical "Nanban" aesthetic, so probably made in China and probably never exported to Japan. The third one you posted is definitely not Japanese made or modified to fit a Japanese blade. Likely made in China for a Chinese blade. Here are some more egg shapes made in China for Chinese blades (worn blade edge down like a tachi), with a more typical "nanban" aesthetic. Both were modified in Japan to have a hitsu-ana: Here's one that is unmodified and mounted on a Chinese Dao sword: Here are some unmodified Chinese guards (except maybe the nakago-ana): and these three Chinese guards had the design cut through later, to make 2 hitsu-ana to fit a Japanese koshirae:
    5 points
  36. If that is so, then what? Are we buying the sword or the paper? Once the NTHK or the NBTHK issue an origami, doesn't it then become the task of the owner (or future owner) of the sword to follow up with a full and complete analysis of the "opinion" offered, especially when the sword is mumei? Did the shinsa judge get the time period correct? Why or why not? Did they get the tradition correct? Why or why not? Did they get the school correct? Why or why not? Did they get the smith correct? Why or why not? Is/was the polish of the sword correct? Why or why not?
    5 points
  37. Unfortunately this is a chinese made fake or reproduction, the signature is probably gibberish. Best to get your money back if you were after a real Japanese sword.
    5 points
  38. Tanshu (但州) means Tajima no kuni (但馬国) and its area was the northern part of Hyogo prefecture. Ref. Tajima Province - Wikipedia
    5 points
  39. Very hard to say if this is authentic. The. Photos of the entire blade, or at least of the tip and more close-ups of the blade, could help. I think the signature is trying to say 但州住囗囗 on one side, and then 應永四??on the other. The signature would be Tanshū-jū something, meaning a smith from Tanshū province (present day Hiroshima), but I can't read the characters after that. 應永四 is 1397, but here too I'm not entirely sure of the number or numbers following 應永 . In addition to being cut down, the nakago has been filed kind of crudely, and it looks as if someone has tried to polish the nakago, which has unfortunately stripped it of a lot of its patina, and has made some of the mei illegible. So that, along with the general bad condition of the blade, doesn't make me very optimistic. As always, its best to have an expert examine it in hand.
    5 points
  40. Thank you kindly, Jean. The museum sounds like a definite place to visit. Glad you were able to adjust some of their fantasies!!! If a 100 Monmé is a rare beast, then anything larger than that is quite special. There was a time in Edo when people vied for larger hand-held cannons. You sometimes come across references to 一貫目 Ik-kan-mé, which is 1,000 Monmé which must surely have been the upper limit, the ball being almost 9 cm in diameter. My chart here goes up to 5 Kan, but that would be for a ‘hand’ cannon resting on a wheeled carriage. I cannot imagine anyone firing without a support/rest; a 100 Monmé blank is usually fired squatting or kneeling and even then it’s an art, a test of mettle. I don’t recall ever seeing one being fired from a standing position. On Sunday June 12 I accepted the challenge (do not ask), rammed it tight, and (left hand bound to the barrel) fired the 50-Monmé standing up, but it nearly knocked me off my feet, even a blank. 926 grains blackpowder.
    5 points
  41. Dear Michael. There are a huge range of styles and materials used for this, just when you think you have seen them all another pops up. I'm quite partial to this style. From your desvciption it sounds as though what you are seeing is plainer than this, as Mark suggests a scren shot will help. All the best.
    5 points
  42. After many months of study, assisted in large part by members of this forum, I completed the acquisition of this yoroi set. Many thanks to the wonderful John Masutatsu for advice refining the armor arrangement for display. Suggestions and comments are welcome. I'll post papers of the mento and kabuto below.
    5 points
  43. Indeed, should have a mimi and been like my Kyo Sukashi.
    5 points
  44. 5 points
  45. The results are in. Tokubetsu Hozon. Umetada. Well happy with the Tokubetsu Hozon result and the Umetada attribution was always at the top of the possibilities. The disappointment is that I think they should be Ko-Umetada. Oh well....we move on. Mark
    5 points
  46. Sometimes you have to be very careful there is a fine line between re-shaped and trashed guards. Like this one - https://www.jauce.com/auction/r1051664170 it says Tachi tsuba but in reality it was probably an O-seppa that has been broken and 'evened up'. [and not that well either!] Or this obvious cast sukashi that is just the remains of the seppa-dai This one is to be found in the Toledo Museum of Art from the Edward Drummond Libbey collection - obviously cut down from a very common form. [No colour image available] number 1912.720 it is amazing how the removal of two lines can change the look.
    5 points
  47. Okan, I think it is termed 'O-suriage' at least that is what a 'shortened blade' is called. They are more common than you may think - they must be because I have three at least myself, including this 'pair' - the central area of both tsuba are identical in size and the smaller one shows clear chisel marks at each separation. Not a true Daisho.
    5 points
  48. What he is asking about is not called Yasurime! Yasurime is the file marks on the nakago!!! Maybe you should research more before passing judgment to others.. and always in such demeaning manner. Shame. J.
    5 points
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