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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/09/2020 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    The bottom sword doesn't rest ther it was out to show the sori...it has its own stand
  2. 6 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
  3. 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)
  4. 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
  5. 3 points
    Over time, I tried new light sources. I only share for enjoy. Jirotaro Naokatsu ko-wakizashi One of my favorite blades
  6. 3 points
    A sword of each Goban Kaji
  7. 3 points
    Saito: Foremost polisher for Soshu work, this is where Masamune and top work by his students should go. Also highly skilled in Hitatsura work. Dodo: Excellent with Bizen masterpieces, top sashikomi artist, very well suited for swords with Choji. These polishers, especially the top one, will not take just any sword and will need an introduction by someone in the milieu who can vouch for you. You give the sword, you wait, and one day you get the sword back and a bill. And if the sword isn't up to their standards, or you've shown yourself to be insensitive to Japanese norms ("Can you polish this Shimada tanto?" "Can I get a discount because the existing polish is still ok? How about we make the polish this way. I just want hadori work, please. It's been two years, where is my sword?"), you probably will wait five years or more or get your sword back without work done. Add to that, you will need an intermediary to navigate these delicate social waters, who will be risking his own standing within Japanese society by vouching for you. As a more local and less cryptic alternative, I wholeheartedly recommend Ted Tenold as probably the best outside Japan. His abilities are recognized by Japanese experts who comment positively on the quality of his polish on fine swords. These are just broad recommendations, and this topic is vast and deserves an in-depth analysis by someone with in the milieu. The best route is always to ask Tanobe-Sensei what polisher he recommends for the job.
  8. 3 points
    Yes, it is the same inscription 東都住人一貫齊國護謹作 東都住人 - Tōto jūnin (Resident of Eastern Capital: aka Tōkyō) 一貫齊 - Ikkansai (this is an "art name", a sort of pen name that the artist adopts. In Japanese its called a "gō". ) 國護 - Kunimori (this is the artists name. Actually it is an adopted name, often different from the artists birth/given name). 謹作 - Kinsaku (made diligently)
  9. 2 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.
  10. 2 points
    Yes, its the same as the 出 in 出来 https://glyphwiki.org/wiki/n-gtwinppx_kanjibeya-001-097 I'm thinking it would be interesting to have a database of his sayagaki. They are written so well. It would also be interesting to see how his descriptions progress through the years.
  11. 2 points
    Yours would be a solid tsuba like in my picture above. It may be sometime before you come across one of these, you may have some luck if you make a thread in the wanted to buy section.
  12. 1 point
    This past month and a half has been hectic to say the least for my family as we found our dream home, sold our old place, worked through some renovations/upgrades and a lot of refurnishing all while work remained busy and daycare remained closed! We are not quite settled completely but getting close currently working on getting everything hung. Today im working on the office, see preliminary pictures below. Parts of the collection are out for work or stuck in transit, while others are hung else ware in the house, but I would love to see how everyone else displays their collections to get some ideas. Thanks!
  13. 1 point
    A good signed Edo Katana with old antique mounts, previously owned by a Japanese collector living in the US. Antique mounts are in great condition, and also a good fit, unlike a lot that you see that are often cobbled together with ill fitting odds and ends. The only change since i bought it is the addition of a kogai, plain and simple, a perfect fit and looks nice with the copper tsuba. The tsukamaki is in perfect condition and the green always looks nice with a black saya. The copper seppa are a perfect fit, ignore some of my images as ive just realised ive put them back on assways, nice patina. The blade is signed with similar wording to a smith that worked around 1740, he signed Awataguchi Settsu no Kami Minamoto Tadayuki. The mei on this blade has additional kanji which relate to "final/end" and "grandchild/descendant (see translation below). Ive briefly looked into this and there really is not much to go on, sometimes thats just how it is, as you know. So possibly that smith as he was the last or maybe another thats not documented. For me personally, ive never had intentions of shipping this off to the NBTHK for shinsa, sometimes just not worth it. The smith is not known well and doubt would be a target for gimei. It might be gimei and it might not be but on a sword of this value i dont care. I bought the sword because it was a nice package and didnt bust the bank. Would be up to any new owner to go further with it. The work appears Osaka, a tight ko-itame with dense Ji-nie, the hamon Suguha with bright habuchi in ko-nie. The blade is in polish and made well without forging flaws, there are some stains to the mune and a few scratches and marks here and there. A slender blade, reminds me of an old tachi, in the koshirae it all appears quite long. Nagasa 69cm Moto-haba 30mm Kasane just short of 6mm. ive uploaded enough here, if anyone wants more i can send as many as you want until your hearts content!, best by watsapp Big thanks to the seller as ive used some of his images! Difficult to price, but looking at main dealer pricing in the UK i will ask £3000
  14. 1 point
    Hi Bruce: I checked with the current owner of this sword and he informed me that there are no inscriptions on the other side of the tang. Steve
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    We should collect cases like this on the board and display them in a sticky so it may serve as a warning to amateur would-be-polishers and collectors alike to show them what happens when you let hubris overwhelm common sense. This is a terrible loss and needs to serve as a firm warning to prevent as many future cases as possible! Brian, please lock this so they cannot attempt to save face or it may give other newbies the impression that this is okay!
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    and some other.....
  19. 1 point
    Geoffry, If you spent time on this forum, you'll know that amateur polishing is forbidden completely here. No matter what the circumstances. Please drop that subject now, as it is not negotiable, and rather discuss the sword. Btw, your friend doesn't know what niku means. Although polite, no need to call any of us sir, as we are all equal here
  20. 1 point
    The reality is there are so many polishers in Japan.... Saito san, Abe san, Mishina san, Fujishiro san, Honami, Dodo san, etc - all mukansa. Then you have their deshi. Sasaki san is another mukansa with top work. Ikeda san, Mizuta san, Usuki san, Tsuyoshi san, etc etc etc the list goes on and on. Paul Martin has access to many Japanese polishers - he facilitated a sword of mine being polished by Ono san. Why don’t you ask him? I have had a different sword polished by Dodo san. I have had one by Sei san.. They were all good. Admittedly none of those was hitatsura. Ted is one of the best choices outside of Japan, but he is in the US.
  21. 1 point
    A thought on the 2-1-3 design - I had initially thought them to be crude and/or sloppy attempts at the kikusui, but the idea occurred to me that the top 2 lines are tight and the bottom 3 are wide giving the visual impression that the river is flowing toward the viewer, with the top farther away and the bottom nearer. Didn't expect to sit in on an art appreciation class, did you!
  22. 1 point
    Well there you go...so I wasn't dreaming. Thanks Bruce...you are on the ball as usual.
  23. 1 point
    When trawling the 'net for info on Habaki I found these photo's of finds from the ground. Varied condition and sometimes wrecked, but very useful to see how they were put together. Mainly on Ebay and described as casual or metal detector finds.
  24. 1 point
    I’d take just one Go Yoshihiro I have seen only one, and it was by far, by a very large margin my favorite sword I’ve ever seen.
  25. 1 point
    Steiner, seeing a shiny finish doesn't really allow any detail. Take a look at Ray's photography on Can you see how he controls the lighting to show the blade's hada?
  26. 1 point
    Will see if I can assist with this, in part. First portion of the sayagaki (description): 慶応元年紀有之 Keiō gannen aru no This sword is of (made in) the first year of Keiō period (1865) Second 姿態剛壮作域賑々數候 Third 屶耒レ且為此工ノ最高作哉
  27. 1 point
    Ref. http://ohmura-study.net/714.html
  28. 1 point
    Value would be 3-5K USD.
  29. 1 point
    There are times when I approach the NMB like Amatarasu doing a dirty dance in front of a cave in hopes of getting the important spirits to come out (If I have misremembered this story forgive me. You should hear my recollection of Genesis). My point is that NMB is a wonderful resource when a naive can pose a question that draws out real experts. I think I shook my bootie pretty well today. I drew out Ian! Thank you, Ian, and let me say that the Fur Trade Museum also mentioned the "Leather in Warfare" volume. Peter
  30. 1 point
    Thank you all for these interesting replies. In the popular understanding leather working was the specialty of so-called Burakumin or Eta folks. I had seen one of these pictures but not the one with the fellow painting the drum. They are very neat, Thank you David. In popular presentations these folks are often classed as "untouchables" and the folks in these images might seem a little unkempt but it also seems fair to view these folks as careful handlers of a field they monopolized. A friend of mine - now departed- studied the archaeology of Meiji period Eta sites because they got way (!) into bone working and made bone tooth brush handles for the world - but I digress. I will attached an image I have been permitted to attach to this discussion. This is a snippet, but it really looks to me like it was not made in Japan Peter
  31. 1 point
    Its a soft wood, not sure what it is but nothing special. Allan Lee McKelvy is the artist and they are prints of his hand painted oshigata. I buy directly from him on FB but you can also purchase at Fine art America below. I custom order my frames from Art to Frames too. https://fineartamerica.com/shop/metal+prints/allan+lee https://www.arttoframe.com/?rmsrc=1&channel=google&effort=Brand&rmatt=tsid:1049903|cid:257969082|agid:19246359642|tid:aud-347227194905:kwd-12229092428|crid:288064910786|nw:g|rnd:3444125072397866871|dvc:c|adp:|mt:e|loc:9019609&gclid=CjwKCAjw19z6BRAYEiwAmo64LYlS5lBkjYoRivXW79LJJWamPXqX0ZVW8YYSrgIukW8GiAfQpZ7GexoCDIgQAvD_BwE
  32. 1 point
    Nice sword David, I have one by him in the same mounts (no leather cover) with star stamp. Mine is 7 months after yours being date 18/5 (May 1943) and matsu in a circle stamp is number 1080. BTW (for our US friends) Milne Bay in PNG was one hell of a battle (25 Aug-7 Sept 1942) and the Aussies stopped the Japanese there...didn't stop the war, but drastically weakened the Japanese army in PNG. Going by the date on your sword David (17/10 = Oct 1942) your friend's dad (while being a medic at Milne Bay himself) probably got the sword some time later, at one of the later battles/surrender. Great stuff, Regards,
  33. 1 point
    Everything is locked up most of the time, but i got a small display case so that I have a a tanto out when I'm at the sword desk. Link to the display case and others can be found here https://en.katana-case-shi.com/shop
  34. 1 point
    I display everything Japanese style: In the drawers of a TANSU. Sometimes I have one single TSUBA out on a stand for a short while.
  35. 1 point
    I very much like that tsuba, Bruno! And I agree with Yas that it has a very strong Umetada influence. Here is a thread a while back where the second tsuba has some similarities (mostly the shakudo inlay of tendrils in a copper tsuba) and has been attributed to Umetada.
  36. 1 point
    Dear Bruno. Well I really like your tsuba! Hitsu ana are easy to cinsider as a functional part of the design but they are also very much part of the design in some cases. These large hitsu ana tend to appear in Higo/Edo Higo schools, I will leave it to the experts to steer that thought. However it is also the case that sometimes hitsu ana are included in the design but fitted with plugs from the start, It seems to happen more often in later work from what I have seen. Often the size is diminished so that the hitsu would not fit standard implements. It is possible that this tsuba was so fitted from the beginning. I am interested that Patrice can tell hat the existing hitsu is cut on the side for the kogatana, I am not sure I can see that and would have assumed that it was for a kogai on the usual side. All the best.
  37. 1 point
    Took this in my pocket to a sword exhibition today and showed it to a collector. No hesitation. "Hamidashi tsuba," he said. The jagged edge? Maybe could have been added later. He suggested what kind of seppa would go well with it. We chatted for a few minutes about it, and then he started to walk away. He half turned and gave me a funny look. "You do find some interesting things," he added.
  38. 1 point
    Its a lovely sword Alex at a good price. Say well mate.
  39. 1 point
    When I was gainfully employed at the Royal Armouries, a lady wrote to say she had dug up what she thought was a very corroded sword blade in her garden. Since she lived in Edgehill, the site of a large battle in the Civil War (the real one not the American one) I wasn't unduly surprised except that a photo she enclosed showed it had an habaki and was about the size of a wakizashi. Now I am fully aware that it could have been lost in the garden at any time since the 1860's, especially since I have no idea how corrosive the soil in that garden is, but the degree of corrosion was impressive. It is just possible that it was a relic of the battle of Edgehill in 1642 which as improbable as that sounds, a portrait of Alexander Popham, a general in the Civil War at the Royal Armouries shows him wearing a Sri Lankan kastana. We know that Capt. Saris and probably others, brought back a wakizashi but it disappears from the records after he recorded being given it by the Shogun. I even checked Saris' will and despite him being presented with various weapons before leaving Japan, not a single Japanese item is listed. Ian Bottomley.
  40. 1 point
    I used to have a metal detector. In the new forest found lots of pennies, hundreds of musket balls, a few crotal bells and a jews harp. Oh and half a sterling silver cigarette case. However having your eyes on the ground does bring some other surprises. A flint arrow head and pixie loaf (fossil).
  41. 1 point
    In Cirencester I found three Roman coins while metal detecting. The museum authenticated them but they were suspicious as to where I had found them. "Outside the city walls, by the By-pass, in the road works", I said, and the curator relaxed. There was apparently a row of shops there in Roman times, and the soil was full of oyster shells and bits of Roman brick. Another nice find was here in Japan when they emptied the castle moat for the 300th anniversary of the building of the adjoining gardens. As I was finding bits of this and that, I saw what I thought was a very rusty sickle/scythe blade pointing up out of the mud. It was a bent Tanto; one character on the nakago was just legible through the rust. Eventually I gave it to my sword appreciation Sensei. Generally though I did not have much luck in Japan. Mostly Coke tabs, plus a rusty kitchen knife, and a 10-yen coin.
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