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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/26/2020 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    Hi all just used an old japanse worn out butchers table to display love seeing all you pictures, great initiatives have a great day erwin
  2. 4 points
    I suppose it was a naïve question The samurai had been preparing for death for so many years but those involved in the 1st and 2nd wars were soldiers with the bushido spirit but not samurai When my mentor passed away just pre Covid I added this to his service sheet The joy of dewdrops Moto no mizu ni in the grass as they kaeru zo ureshi turn back to vapor kusa no tsuju I was asked to read it out but emotionally I couldn't but is was well received by friends and family
  3. 4 points
    Nice sword, nice patriotic phrase...sorry I can't add to the translation...that is definitely Morita san/Moriyama san task. I do have two swords with sayings on them...not death poems though, more 'optimistic' in tone...might be of interest. 1. Gendaito by unknown smith Seisui of Tokyo dated 12th Jan 1944. In Rinji mounts. LH column in sosho script says " Ippo susumrte tsuki, ippo susumite tatsu" (one step forward thrust, one step forward slash). Might be a kata from a sword fighting school. 2. Privately ordered Gendaito by RJT smith Okishiba Yoshisada of Osaka. Slogan is "Jin Chu Ho Koku" (loyalty, patriotism). A fairly common saying...I have seen it on Meiji era tangs/flags etc.
  4. 3 points
    Here is a simple iron kozuka in gold, silver and shakudo. I have always liked the bug.
  5. 3 points
  6. 3 points
    Mine are in my Dad's gun cabinet. Nothing classy.
  7. 2 points
    For those who like tying their brains in knots and wringing them. I have a papered Yoroidōshi Tanto, signed 俊宗 which translates to Toshimuné, I think. It was papered Tokuju in Showa 43 by the NBTHK, but the Mei does not look strange in any way. The hamon is typically Mino but I cannot find any Toshimuné smiths recorded from Mino. The Kanji 宗 Muné and 俊 Toshi were used by some Kotō Mino smiths, for example there was a 正俊Masatoshi in Muromachi Sakakura/Seki. There were at least two Bizen smiths and one late Edo Tosa smith by that name but why would any of them create a tanto with a Seki hamon? If it is Gimei, why insert a lesser known Mei? Judging by the healthy Kasané it should be Bakumatsu, methinks. Simple Meikan moré? Did any Mino/Seki lineage smiths forge Sanbon-Sugi in other provinces? "Ladies and Gentlemen!", uh.... er, I mean, "Folks! The floor is open!"
  8. 2 points
    So I picked up a Katana mounted in WWII Type 94 Koshirae, I got curious on the blade itself and I need help putting a rough date on the blade. It is a mumei, so unsigned. I'm sure the blade itself dates before WWII, it has the steel grain, Hada, and a Hamon line. Is there any way to date this? The Hamon is very difficult to see, I assume it was mistreated in the past. Sorry, this is my first post so m still fairly unfamiliar with the site.
  9. 2 points
    Nice gendaito by the Mino smith Kanekuni. In shirasaya with shin-gunto koshirae. This is a slender blade with a long nakago. Jihada is a very vivid itame-nagareru (running itame with a masame feel places). Hamon is gonome with kinsuji and inazuma all over. A very interesting sword with much activity to enjoy. $4,250 (plus shipping and PayPal) Mei: Kanekuni saku Nagasa: 62.2cm Moto-haba: 2.77cm Sori: 1.2cm Kasane: 0.7mm
  10. 2 points
    A good example on how not to post in TA. No request no thanks just its not what i want it to be. Members some common courtesy please.
  11. 2 points
    Taka-niku refers to the curvature of the vertical plates (hagi-ita) a helmet is composed of. This construction goes back to Yoshimichi and was adopted by Saotome smiths. Also seen sometimes on helmets of the Haruta school and later then also by some Myôchin smiths (very simplified explanation!). Example:
  12. 2 points
    Hi, Chris, I think they are paulownia (Kiri) leaves presented as 3-5-3 flower kiri mon as in your picture above.Silver sprinkles represent the flowers. Lot of variations of kiri mon are shown in page 249 in Gary Murtha's book Japanese sword guards.
  13. 2 points
    I found this old samekawa. What is interesting is the inner side.
  14. 2 points
    Dear Piers. Firstly, I think you are absolutely correct in identifying this as a late Shinshinto work, although you don't give us the nagasa, the sugta, the kasane and the feel are all indicative of that. Jean is also spot on though perhaps understating the case. Mino smiths moved all over Japan in the Shinto period and many carried on with the work style. Echizen Seki and Inshu Kanesaki school for example. From what I can see I wouldn't have called the hamon sanbonsugi however, perhaps more togari gunome, which still has a Mino feel. I think a number of smiths got a bit lost during the Bakumatsu, perhaps those just starting up and not yet enjoying a reputation in particular. I like the koshirae. All the best.
  15. 2 points
    « Did any Mino/Seki lineage smiths forge Sanbon-Sugi in other provinces? » certainly Piers, there is no reason why they should not exist. The Diaspora of Mino smiths in Momoyama/early Edo was such that some must have brought sanbonsugi along in their luggages
  16. 2 points
    Hi Steve, Sorry to be picky but isn't that the ryou kuruma cut - so a single body cut through the hips and then dotan barai - into the earth mound below.
  17. 2 points
    My Kato Jumyo special order Gendai-To, has a poem of resolve engraved on it. Apparently a verse from the philosopher Rai San'Yo.... Translates to (I think)....... "Even in the deepest swamp, you are obliged to your country". Maybe some of our Japanese speakers could confirm this translation.
  18. 2 points
    I have a set up in my office, there is more to the left... But it is a work in progress...
  19. 1 point
    From my collection is an interesting early Shin Gunto Koshirae with high quality fittings, family Mon and General tassel. Sadly there is no provenance, this was purchased from Doug at Gunto Art Swords listed as a General's Koshirae found in Japan with a different General tassel attached. The current tassel is not original to the sword but is a good match patina wise. Anyway, I have enjoyed it for awhile and it has a few rare details that are of interest to collectors like the Kabutogane which is a reused Ishikuze (drag), this feature is listed in the Fuller & Gregory book (see pic). As there is no real provenance I'm listing it as an interesting early koshirae with worn General grade tassel, the tassel has seen better days and has some fraying but is authentic.
  20. 1 point
    This is most likely a civilian sword that was adapted to WW2 army mountings (kurikata was removed and leather saya cover added for service). More photos of the bare blade are needed to hopefully be more precise. Remove the wooden peg and try to slide everything to get a naked blade. If there is some resistance, use a piece of wood on the guard and gently hit with a hammer on both sides to loosen it. You don’t risk much doing this. They are meant to come off like that.
  21. 1 point
  22. 1 point
    I have in the past shipped for members. I do charge a small fee. I DO NOT BUY WITH MY OWN MONEY then expect payment. Id have have money in PP then refund if not won. I havent shipped a sword out of USA for some time up to you to give me correct shipping codes.
  23. 1 point
    Hi Jiri, As per Steve's translation apart from the bit about the two body cut which reads "Ryou kuruma dodan barai" (these characters: 両車土壇払). The "two wheels" cut (through the body at the hips) and entering the earth mound (below). This drawing illustrates the test cut (number 10):
  24. 1 point
    Maybe I'm wrong...but I think there is only one person here who might be able to read that. @k morita if he finds this post possibly?
  25. 1 point
    Thank you kindly, Jean. I have been looking at Chounsai Toshimune (disciple of *Chounsai Toshitsuna) and there are some similarities, despite the very different hamon. The age may be right. (Even the NBTHK paperwork is the same writing and year or thereabouts!) http://kako.nipponto.co.jp/swords/KT112175.htm *studied under Suishinshi Masahide, https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/長運斎綱俊#:~:text=長運斎綱俊(ちょう,水心子正秀に学ぶ。
  26. 1 point
    Hi Piers, Apologies if this is a silly question, but is there not a detailed write-up in the papers that might suggest its origin? You did say it had Tokubetsu Juyo papers...
  27. 1 point
    It looks to be quite old, perhaps 14th/15th century. For anything more informative we will need more detailed shots of the entire blade. Could you also please share some pictures of the Army mounts as well?
  28. 1 point
    Thanks for your help with the translations //Robert
  29. 1 point
    The top right writing looks to be 三菱商事 - Mitsubishi Corporation.
  30. 1 point
    I would not be surprised if someone made the mei more readable at a certain point. This could well be a real Myōchin Munehisa, the son of sansaku Yoshimichi.
  31. 1 point
    56 is a rather strange number for a suji kabuto. But also this is an indication of the Tohoku region, and the 16th century. Cherish it Howard, it is a fine kabuto.
  32. 1 point
    Well, the first think I recommend, for your reading pleasure, is NMB member Guido's https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/files/file/36-collecting-nihontō-–-what-how-and-who/ That's really invaluable, when it comes to deciding what your Nihonto interests are. Net, I highly recommend NMB member Markus' free, on-line https://markussesko.com/kantei/ This is a university-level discourse on everything you want to know, but, it gets deep, really fast. For books, Yumoto's https://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Sword-Handbook-John-Yumoto/dp/4805311347/ is a great primer, and I really like https://www.amazon.com/Facts-Fundamentals-Japanese-Swords-Collectors/dp/1568365837 but the best source is https://www.amazon.com/Connoisseurs-Book-Japanese-Swords/dp/1568365810/
  33. 1 point
    The Yushukan Museum at Yasukuni has a database of last will letters, of which, it publishes one every month. The back numbers go back to 2018 https://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/about/will.html
  34. 1 point
    Hi John- Frontside attached. I try to limit to 15 to 20 tsuba, and it was not in my 2 main regions of tsuba interest. Off to Bonhams it went. I do think I first offered it on NMB back then. Back to the monkeys...
  35. 1 point
    I thought that an unusual feature this 1000 monkey tsuba might be of interest. You might like to go straight to the pics and see if you can spot it. But first, for those unfamiliar with 1000 monkeys, some background info on this type of tsuba that I gleaned from literature (I’m no authority and much was taken from an excellent article by Robert Burawoy, Bushido, 3, number 1 p18-21). Makers: I believe that this design of tsuba originated with the three Mitsuhiro tsubako (father, brother and son) who lived in Yagami, a part of Nagasaki in the 18th and 19thC. Mitsuhiro I probably studied at the Nanban School in Nagasaki before moving to Yagami in Hizen province. The Nanban influence can be seen in the tsuba which is rather stiff and flat in design compared to Mitsuhiro II (regarded as far the best and died in 1823, aged 75) who’s monkeys are rounded and vary in both size and activity. Mitsuhiro III (died in the Meiji period aged 70) did not produce many works and these were like his father’s. Their works tend to be signed Hishu or Hizen Yagami Ju Mitsuhiro and they worked in both iron and brass (sentoku). This tsuba is mumei (unsigned) and may not have been made by any of the Mitsuhiro’s, as others copied their work. 1000 animal tsuba: I’ve seen tusba with both monkeys and horses, but there may be other animals in their designs. Monkeys are the most abundant and this tsuba contains about 40 monkeys, but had they been continued around the rim, as is common, there would have been about twice as many; but still far short of 1000. Therefore, many people refer to the design as 100 monkeys, but the Japanese description is ‘sen.biki.saru’ literally ‘1000 units of monkeys’. The Mitsuhiro’s obviously believed in marketing and stretching the truth (some tsuba are inscribed ‘sentoku kin wo mote kore wo tsukuru’, ‘made with sentoku’, but some believe they just used a cheaper brass alloy. Inventive marketing again!). Most of the monkeys just seem to be scrabbling around in these tsuba, but if you look carefully four groups are often involved in specific activities. Usually found at the top are the three wise monkeys (see, hear and speak no evil), as in this tsuba. In the bottom half can be found a pair monkeys sitting and facing each other with a loop of rope around their necks having some sort of neck wrestling contest (the monkeys appear in this tsuba without the rope). Another monkey can often be seen carrying some sort of baton, paddle or gunbai (as in this example) while another monkey is sometimes depicted as holding a giant peach (absent in this tsuba and I wonder if the peach is actually a tama jewel considering the Nanban influence on Mitsuhiro). If anyone has info on this odd choice of subjects, please comment. Although this tsuba is nicely carved it is rather flat, especially when compared to second generation work. The eyes of the monkeys seem to be inlayed with sub-mm spots of gold (a bit dirty to see clearly). Mitsuhiro I carved monkeys around the rim in a uniform manner, whereas Mitsuhiro II carved them in a variety of poses. This tsuba has a simple mimi with gold nunome cross hatchings, resembling examples of the I and III generation artists. So my evaluation is that the tsuba is quite skilfully carved and inlayed, but no way near the quality of Mitsuhiro II and possibly not by any of the other two generations either. However, this tsuba has an unusual feature (unique as far as my limited experience is concerned). Seven of the monkeys are wearing court caps highlighted in gold nunome and three of these are the three wise monkeys. Another is the one carrying the baton/gunbai and the other three seem be just part of the general melee. Any ideas why seven were selected? Although the three wise monkeys are of ancient origin they seem to have become famous after being carved over a door at the mausoleum of Togugawa Ieyasu at the Nikko Toshogu shrine (see pic). A gunbai (war fan) is the badge of authority of a commander and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (nick named Kozaru, Little Monkey) is also commemorated at the Nikko shrine. The rope wrestling and peach carrying monkeys are noticeable by their absence. In view of this I wonder if the tsuba was a special order from someone who did not like the Tokugawa’s and wanted to imply that Ieyasu, Hideyoshi etc. were a bunch of monkeys. In which case, I can understand why the maker did not want to sign this piece and be identified to anyone in the shogunate. Maybe my imagination is taking flight, so constructive comments welcome as always. Metrics: Height: 7.1 cm; Width: 6.7 cm; Thickness (rim): 0.45 cm; Weight: 106g Best regards, John (just someone making observations, asking questions and trying to learn)
  36. 1 point
    As Robert says, smith and date is 荘司次郎太郎直勝 Sōshi Jirō Tarō Naokatsu 天保十一年庚子八月日 Tempo 11 (year of rat) August 柳本越智敬隆所持 Owned by Yanagimoto Ochi Tadataka Cutting test inscription 同年十一月十三日於武州千住小塚原 両車土壇払山田五三郎様 Same year November 13th, at Kozukappara, Senjū, Bushū (Tōkyō) Two-body cut performed by Yamada Gosaburō
  37. 1 point
    I found this....a Kanetada gunto being surrendered http://guntoartswords.com/010802.html Mal
  38. 1 point
  39. 1 point
    Luc T, You have made me glad I resisted thoughts of selling this over the years that I have enjoyed displaying it in my home. Now I can enjoy it even more and further research it. Any idea why I have never been able to find another example with 56 plates? Howard Dennis
  40. 1 point
    There is a phrase in Chinese 落花隨風而逝-Falling flowers gone/die with the wind. Kind of similar meaning as the poem on the wood saya of your digger.
  41. 1 point
    I want to share my bokuto.
  42. 1 point
    here is some good read about the beginning of the hamon and utsuri. http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/yakiotoshi.html a shinsakuto i have from the smith there shows the hamon beginning well past the hamachi in that yakiotoshi manner. the utsuri starts at the same point as well. very interesting to see a clean beginning of the hamon.
  43. 1 point
    The whole wakizashi status thing is a bit odd. Nowadays we tend to go with 24 + ins = Katana, anything under is a Wakizashi until we hit 12 inches and then it is a Tanto, but....... The Japanese army in WW2 counted a new purpose made blade over 22 inches as a Katana, and when under pressure in the late war happily took old blades over 21 inches. We also know of more than a few of these under 21 inches in military mounts. Back in the Edo period, a Wakizashi was legally limited to 18 inches and under, and later (but still Edo) further reduced to a maximum of 16 inches blade length. That is why you get so many swords made as Wakizashi, with that second mekugi-ana just a couple of inches away, altered to fit with the change in the law. Interestingly, the Chūshingura deliberately carried swords longer than legally allowed because they were about to make themselves outlaws anyway and the extra length would be an advantage in the coming combat. Personal opinion only here, back in the day the Daito was made to (or bought at) whatever length suited the customer, governed by his height, the intended use, his circumstances , and the school of swordsmanship he followed. As for the 24 inch rule, what a good way to save a lot of swords from the occupation government's policy of destruction, defining anything under 24 inches as a Wakizashi and except from destruction.
  44. 1 point
    The sword is a family heirloom, rather than a newly-made arsenal sword. The bearer had military mounts made for his family sword. There are many such short swords repurposed for military use. They are often erroneously referred to as "pilot's swords", with the assumption being that pilots would use shorter swords, but I think this site has disproven that claim fairly comprehensively. The inscription (the ones in blue are written by the cutting tester) 乳割土壇払 Chichi-wari dotanbarai 天保十年二月日於江府作 Tenpō jūnen nigatsujitsu oite Kōfu saku 会津住元興 Aizu-jū Moto-oki 同年十月二日於千住神谷清治試之 Dōnen jūgatsu futsuka, oite Senjū Kamiya Kiyoharu tamesu kore Cut across the chest Made in Tenpō 10 (1839) February, Kōfu Moto-oki from Aizu province/city Cutting test performed in the same year, October 2nd, at Senjū, by tester Kamiya Kiyohara So the swordsmith Moto-oki made this sword in February of 1839, and someone had it tested by cutting it across the chest of a cadaver (probably) in October of 1839. I didn't find this tester's name in Guido's list of famous testers, or anywhere else on the internet, so it looks like the tester is someone lost to history. It also looks like the tester didn't have room to write everything on one side, so he continued on the other side, which is slightly unusual. The longer sword is a typical military/arsenal blade.
  45. 1 point
    I have one where the broken end is polished so that you can see how the blade was constructed. Ted Tenold had a collection of those and made a great presentation with them.
  46. 1 point
    I encourage all NBTHK members to submit an answer to this. Enthusiastic participation is the only thing that will generate a motivation to retain it as a regular medium for access to education. In the past, I've heard objections about how difficult it is to navigate to and retrieve the transation, figure out what info goes where on the post card to submit an answer, get the right postage on the card, mail it. How much easier does it get? Submit your answers folks. Your willingness to respond and participate in the effort the Honbu has made to reach out to it's member in a difficult time will show them that these kinds of improvements are valued, effective, and efficient means of communicatig and learning. It's my feeling that if members don't show their appreciation and support by participating in this exercise, then they aren't entitled to complain about not having more on-line access in the future.
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