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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/15/2020 in Posts

  1. 16 points
    Happy New year folks! Here is a project of mine that I think some might enjoy. This PDF should have all sword related National Treasures (Kokuhō - 122 items), Important Cultural Properties (Jūyō Bunkazai - 792 Items) and former designation Important Art Object (Jūyō Bijutsuhin - 1096 items + 5 EX blades). I have written all of the names in Latin alphabets but I have always included all of the kanji, so you will find lots of signatures in this one. There can be an error or two in the mix as I wrote all of them in by hand and there are thousands of characters to type in. However while doing so I got to check for errors like if years actually are correct, etc. So I kinda did checkup at the same time. There should be 137 Named swords - for which I used term Meitō in this index. There are probably some more in there but for these I have 100% confirmity as I have them in reputable books or online sources from Japan, as well I have the Japanese characters to all of these named swords. How does this work. Well you have 86 pages of swords & items indexed. At first it might seem that there is logic and there is not. First we start with National Tresures, followed by Important Cultural Properties and last the Important Art Objects. This part is logical but the actual placement of items in first two categories are not. As you can see the number in front and you will most likely wonder what it is, here is the explanation for that. I have checked all my data entries to database of Agency for Cultural Affairs. You can find the said database in HERE. They have assigned a number to each item, and I have gone through all the items in crafts section and added them in number by number to make sure there are no duplicates in. The database is only for current designations and as a former category Jūyō Bijutsuhin items are not featured. However I have the old set of books that feature all of the sword related Jūyō Bijutsuhin items, and I have typed them in numerically as they appear in the books. Just note that this is just an index. However you can find some info per item from the database I linked above. Likewise I should have extra information for I guess at least 90% of the swords. But this is just an index and I do have some far superior work in progress to this going on for multiple years. The format is very simple and this should be extremely easy to use. Item number - Item type - Maker - Signature. Few notes, I did not transliterate fitting or koshirae themes as I didn't feel I would get them correct, similarily I didn't type in kinzōgan or kiritsuke mei etc. However for those that I have the data I typed in the kanji so items that you might find interesting you can use the kanji. Same goes for long signatures on the swords. The format is simple, there is just maker and possible year. Signatures are typed in kanji so you can research more on your own. Check it out and I hope it is a fun one, might be totally boring to some. Kokuho & Bunkazai Index.pdf
  2. 14 points
    Hello, I wanted to show the last project. The order was for tsukamaki. However, after unwrapping the old braid, SAME was found to be in poor condition. I peeled off and cleaned SAME and then stained it using the traditional method. It was not the end of worries. The new fuchi and kashira needed a new spigot to make the fitter solid. On this occasion, I tried a new way to integrate new wood into the current wood. The wedge-shaped and additional 2 pins for this work gave a good effect. It shouldn't fall apart. Previously, I made flat inserts with 2 pins but I believe that the wedge will hold better if the tsuka was to be used for training. About tsukamaki. I learn something new every time. Currently, I plan to focus even more on shaping the washi paper under the braid. I believe my next tsuka will be even better. Thank You for watching. More photos and video here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/artur_drogamiecza/albums/72157717440581412
  3. 13 points
    Hi, My name is Grey Doffin, I live in northern Minnesota, USA, and I have a website dedicated to Nihonto and books on the subject: https://www.japaneseswordbooksandtsuba.com/ I've been studying Japanese swords for nearly 40 years now and buying/selling for most all of them (I'm trying to lose my 1st million). If you check my site today, in late 2020, you'll find a dozen or so swords and koshirae (with more to come soon), 150 to 200 sword fittings (tsuba, menuki, fuchi/kashira, etc), and a very large inventory of books on the subject. I try to have reasonable prices and items to fit a variety of budgets. I try also to be helpful. If you're just getting started with Nihonto feel free to ask questions about any of my pieces; I'll tell you what I think I know. This field can be daunting; there is so much to understand and ample opportunity to make mistakes. If you come to me with a question, I will answer honestly. Promise. Not sure what all I'll do with this space on NMB. As I get some time in the coming days I'll post highlights of some of the pieces on my site; beyond that we'll just have to wait and see. Feel free to post here also; your comments are welcome. If you want to contact me please use my email, not personal message on NMB. Email is easier and I can keep track of our correspondence in folders on my computer. Phone calls, if you live in The States, are fine also. Thanks for stopping, Grey grey@japaneseswordbooksandtsuba.com 218-726-0395 central time
  4. 11 points
    Dear All. In this post Christmas lull I thought some of you might appreciate this. In 1905 The Japan Society in London organised an exhibition of Japanese arms and armour. Contributors include both Siegfried Bing and Lasenby Liberty, both key figures in the Art Nouveau movement, as well as some of the great names in early collecting; Behrens, Dobree, Huish, Garbutt and Church to name but a few. The collection is a snapshot of what was considered at the time to be the best, we might wish to see a different emphasis. There are quite a few blades with horimono and the plates are really too small to make progress with these. A lot of the koshirae are very late and flashy but tsuba fair better both in terms of the plates and the quality. Scholarship was in its infancy and some of the captions to the plates raise an eyebrow here and there. In short it is probably not on everyone's wish list. Just as well, copies are hard to come by. So when one turned up in an unexpected place and for a very reasonable sum I was very happy to get it. Even more so as of the limited number produced, 250 copies, this one is no. 24 and bears a book plate which shows that it came form the library of H Seymour Trower, another early collector and a significant contributor to the exhibition. As I have interests in fin de siècle art and design and the history of collecting this one really ticks a lot of boxes. All the best.
  5. 10 points
    Thanks Ray.👍 I posted it on Facebook « Nihonto Group » and got within 12 hours 5 positive answers, all willing to buy it at once 😃
  6. 9 points
    Hi everyone, I wanted to give a quick introduction as this new dealer page is set up (and appreciation to Brian for creating this new area and all he does to manage this board). Some of you know me from discussions here on the NMB, as well as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. I have been collecting and studying Japanese swords now for 32 years. As a collector, I primarily focus on koto blades (with a preference for Soshu and Yamashiro) but all time periods are interesting to me and one of the reasons that I branched out into sales is that I enjoy handling a large number of swords to research, study and learn from. My swords sales are almost exclusively consigned from other collectors (most from our community here), and I am happy to consider new pieces to receive for consignment. I also enjoy assisting with research & translation requests. I am no Markus Sesko, but I do my best. Here are a few links to my pages online. Website: http://www.swordsofjapan.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCItskiw60RZb7RShTOuW7tw Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ Please feel free to reach out any time there is something I can help with, either through NMB messenger or (preferred) by email at raymondsinger@gmail.com. Best regards, Ray
  7. 9 points
    You are asking two possibly complicated questions: value and equivalence. Its not a high value art sword, or even a high value antique, but value is subjective. Despite the funky signature, it does look like an authentic Japanese sword, possibly several hundred years old. Sub $500 on today's market, would be my guess. But I think everyone on this board would cringe at it being called a Walmart sword. Its a real Japanese sword (at least, it looks like one from the pictures), so it has real history, and at one point it had real utility and value. In the hands of a properly trained togishi (polisher), its old glory could well be restored. This is nothing you can buy at Walmart. And we get so many people on the board who proudly post their first purchase, only to find out that it is a Chinese-made replica. You are already through that minefield unscathed, so that's why it feels wrong to write this off as some mass-produced piece of junk. The other thing is: if you (or us) get into the habit of denigrating these old swords, its a very short step to abusing them, subjecting them to the old "sandpaper polish", or otherwise trashing them with the justification that they are "junk".
  8. 8 points
    I see a lot of comments about "I can't upload more pics" or "I have reached my attachment limit" etc etc. I wanted to clarify the limits here, so people know what they can upload and how many. Firstly, for regular members: Each post has a 5 meg limit. So one image of 5Mb (crazy) or 5 x 1Mb files etc. You can reply and add another post, but each post has a 5 meg limit. You should be resizing images down to less than 200kb anyways, so no need for huge images. Maximum image dimensions are 1800px x 1800px. Larger, and they are automatically downsized. Each member has a TOTAL board limit of 1 Gig. That is cumulative, but I don't think anyone will reach that Each member can post 50 comments, posts etc a day. To prevent flooding You can start 15 private message conversations a day. You can have 150 private messages stored You can give 30 reactions (likes, thanks etc) a day Can edit your own posts for 12 hours. Then for those that have upgraded to Gold Tier Status through subscription: Each post has a 10 meg limit. So one image of 10Mb (crazy) or 10 x 1meg files or whatever, with a 10 meg limit. You can reply and add another post. Same max image dimension limit Total board limit of 1.5 Gigs storage Limit of 80 posts/comments/messages a day Can start 25 private message conversations a day. Can have 500 private messages stored Can give 30 reactions daily. Can edit posts for 48 hours. I hope this clarifies the upload limits. Everyone should be able to add enough photos to a post unless they are using huge files sizes and haven't edited them.
  9. 8 points
  10. 7 points
    I have just put out a 'new' book updating and refreshing an 1850s design book of metal carving patterns, mainly for sword fittings. Two versions will be available, the first is printed on gloss paper through Blurb - https://www.blurb.com/b/10516296-album-of-designs-for-metal-carving-ch-sen-gafu-de The second will soon be available through other book outlets like Amazon, Abebooks etc. on matte paper at a cheaper price. Text is limited to a few pages in the original Japanese with approx. 150 pages of multiple illustrations in colour. The book is called "Chōsen Gafu" Album of Designs for Metal Carvers by Ranzan Tsuneyuki. The original is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a scrap book collection of designs compiled over a number of years, the images have been cleaned up and enhanced with many of the smaller designs enlarged for better clarity, so it is not a facsimilie copy and is aimed at showing the designs to their best effect. I hope the book finds a good audience.
  11. 7 points
    無邪思 The phrase is usually written as 思無邪 (Omoi yokoshima nashi / Shi-mu-ya). That means “Thoughts without wickedness”.
  12. 7 points
    First it's indispensable to know what really is a kazu-uchi-mono. Mino produced a huge amount of them and indistinguishable by their mei. Worth reading : http://www.nihontonorth.com/blog/the-kazu-uchi-mono
  13. 7 points
  14. 7 points
    In the Ohmura Study, he describes a "Late Stage Type"/late war Shin Gunto, with pressed metal fittings, and yellow handle wrap. In Fuller and Gregory, they explain how that late in the war, when the Japanese sword making factories were being bombed, sword makers used what ever fittings they could find to complete officer swords. This is one such example, with a 1944 (Onoki) NORINAGA signed and dated blade in good war time polish. The original fittings are mixed as described by F&G, and to add proof of its war time originality, the sword assembly numbers on the fittings match that on the blade. The tzuka re-wrapped in yellow ito tight and in original design. This sword feels really good in the hand, the locking mechanism works, and is an important piece of Japanese war time sword manufacture. It would make a great military sword study piece, and is also priced to suit the new sword collector. A signed, dated, complete sword doesn't come any cheaper. It could be am entry level sword to get your kid interested, with Hamon, boshi, mei, date.... a lot going for it! At only AUD900 (thats less than USD700!), posted.
  15. 7 points
    Geraint During one of the small-circle visits we organised for our members at the ToKen Society, 10-12 of us had the opportunity to study that Masamune at length. Below are description and oshigata by Clive Sinclaire and photos by me. Nagasa: 72.0 cm Moto-haba: 3.1 cm Saki-haba: 2.0 cm Sugata: Hon-zukuri, a graceful tori-zori, chu-kissaki, mitsu-mune. Jihada: A prominent and flowing itame-hada with mokume and abundant ji-nie forming chikei. Hamon: Fine nie-deki, notare-midare with some gunome like inclusions, profuse sunagaeshi which spills over into the ji in places and kinsuji. The boshi is slightly midare-komi with very little kaeri. Horimono: A bo-hi on both sides that finishes in the nakago between the two mekugi-ana. Nakago: Suriage by probably 3 or 4 cm and machi-okuri, 2 mekugi-ana. Kiri-jiri, faint kiri yasurime are just visible and the bo-hi finishes in a pointed end. There is kin-zogan mei on the sashi-omote MASAMUNE and on the sashi-ura HON-A with kao.
  16. 7 points
    Here are few photos of tsuka I just got with the wolf and moon fittings.
  17. 7 points
    True story time. About three years ago I bought a sweet little iron Bashin from a dealer, in the shape of a bamboo stalk. He assured me that it was the work of Yanagimura Senju, the famous Kinko and Horimono-Shi (who passed away not too long ago). Sadly it was not signed. I was proud to be buying something created by Senju Sensei, especially as I had once owned, and stupidly sold, a Chiisa-gatana with a superb horimono by him. Through an intermediary, I contacted his son Soju who continues the workshop and asked if he could certify it in some way. He and his mother both clearly remembered the piece, but he would not insert his father's Mei. He kindly wrote a cover letter acknowledging its provenance, but he did not want any payment. I gave him a bottle of good Scotch whisky in thanks. Then I discovered that they had put another little handy knife into the box, which actually did carry the signature of his father!
  18. 6 points
    I should be a wiser man... I know that making up a coherent collection needs making choices. But actually I'm not rational in collecting. In that strange year of lock-down, social distancing and hard work I had to wait months to receive in hands, almost at the same time, all my acquisitions. Definitely I'm not a "serious" collector, but after all I'm quite happy about my new pieces. No masterpiece here but some interesting opportunity for study. 1 signed Echizen jū Kinai (越前住 記内), possibly Yondai Ishikawa (circa 1640). 2 otafuku-mokkō-gata tsuba with an unusual tetsu-fukurin, possibly Edo Higo (thanks to Mark from NMB). 3 maple and deer antler tsuba, possibly Shōami. 4 plum blossoms in moonlight, possibly kodai Higo (thanks to Thomas AKA Leporello). 5 signed Jakushi (若芝), quite typical of the school, and the only tsuba I purposely searched for buying. 6 Musashino theme tsuba; the still good zōgan remakably contrast with the weared iron surface, and make me think it could be an old tōshō tsuba (just 3,5 mm thick) repurposed and decorated in late Edo. 7 mitsudomoe, inlaid dew drops (or toad skin?); signature unreadable. 8 bamboo and snow tsuba, possibly Kyō-Shōami.
  19. 6 points
    Here we have a kimono merchant and assistant helping a lady with her purchase. Meiji period, and they wear wakizashi as they serve on their shop, why, because they are handling money and goods of serious value. Probably fairly nice pieces as well given the value of what they sell. (As second hand kimono dealers, they might have picked up a bargain). The other reason for a Chonin to have a sword is when travelling on the road, there are bandits out there. In this case probably a cheaper piece.... and it might even be rented....
  20. 6 points
    I have been a member of the Japanese Sword Society of the United States (http://www.jssus.org) for over 30 years, a member of the NBTHK -American Branch, and I run the Chicago Sword Show (http://www.chicagoswordshow.com). I sell on eBay, my i.d. is mark!!1 please check my feedback. I partner with Grey Doffin and many of the items on his website are ours (https://www.japaneseswordbooksandtsuba.com). I live in Maumee (near Toledo) Ohio U.S.A. I can accept Paypal, check, or bank transfer (for larger purchases). Prices are in USD (US$). I prefer to use USPS but will send as a buyer requests. Buyer pays actual shipping cost. I will only ship a package with tracking. For international customers: I can not insure a package for more than the declared value (and insurance can be limited by carrier). I try to respond to inquires within 24 hours, but different time zones can impact response time. You can message me here or email me at nixe@bright.net (preferred) or chicagoswordshow@gmail.com There is a 3 day inspection period for any items purchased. A refund will be given if i am notified, in 3 days, and the item is returned, and received, in the same condition.
  21. 6 points
    Shared this on FB and forgot to post here before the busy weekend, my apologies, enjoy! Acquired this katana by Enomoto Sadayoshi(Mukansa) this past spring but has been in Japan until now for fresh shirasaya before having the honor to receive sayagaki by Tanobe. With a 74.2cm nagasa this blade was commissioned in 1986 for iaido master Sekiguchi to his exact specifications and was also a commemoration for ascending to 7th dan. Enomoto Sadayoshi (1908-2000) began his studies under Gassan Sadakatsu becoming one of the most prolific and active smiths of the century later receiving Mukansa. He worked in the styles of Soshu Den, Yamato Den and Gassan Den. Due to attachment limitations il attach a couple teasers, the rest can be found at the link below: https://imgur.com/gallery/YH8Pbls
  22. 6 points
    Zaimei Koto Mino katana.
  23. 6 points
    Most of the writing very hard to read.I got few 軍曹?Sergeant 島本保雄(owner's name) 和歌山市(City WAKAYAMA)水X 一四一一(1411) 備前助宗(Sword smith)
  24. 6 points
    This is one of the best swords I have listed for sale here. Etchu (no ) kuni Kunihisa is one of the best smiths of the Uda school and was a student of the great Nanbokucho Ko-Uda smith Kunifusa. Kunifusa himself was a Norishige student and produced spectacular work (as seen in my formerly owned Kunifusa wakizashi which recently resold here). This Kunihisa katana shows a lot of that same quality, with a spectacular gonome-midare hamon having areas of togari-gonome with kinsuji & sunagashi everywhere. The hamon breaks out into tobiyakai, some of which extend up to the shinogi. The blade measures 2 shaku 2 sun 6 bu (68.5cm) with a very deep sori. It has a top class niju-kinkise habaki and is in shirasaya. There is a beautifully executed kinpun-mei (gold lacquer signature) with great color. The NBTHK issued a kanteisho affirming the attribution on the nakago. This is a really great sword, with wonderful workmanship and old attribution to an excellent smith upheld in the present day. Whoever buys this is going to be very, very pleased. SOLD
  25. 6 points
    I wanted to pick up on a point made by Michael S and expanded on by Bruce in the "secret of success" thread. I am not sure if this is the right place or even of great interest to anyone other than me but I would value some ideas. One of the challenges any sword society or study group has is engagement and it is the task of those who organise various events to try and ensure they are addressing the needs and interests of their audience while at the same time trying to broaden their perspective by introducing new, related, material. There is little point in a master chef who specialises in creating the best steak dishes in the world discussing their finer points with the national vegan society. Likewise if the interest of a particular sword group is blades from WWII there may be a less enthusiastic response to a discussion on Kamakura period work. ( I mean no disrespect to either vegans or WWII sword collectors). I would be very interested to have some answers to the following questions: 1. When looking at a sword what are the primary and most important things that you look for. Not what do the books tell you you should look for, but what is it within a blade that peaks your interest and increases your pulse? 2. In presentations and discussions about swords which are the most difficult features/ideas to understand? 3. Given the opportunity to sit down with smiths from the past what are the questions you would most like answered? Hopefully thinking about these may focus thinking a little and help one understand why they like what they do. It would also help those who try and make sure what they are presenting is relevant to their audience. Thank you in advance for any ideas shared
  26. 6 points
    Jim, agree! My polished NOBUFUSA is a also go-to sword for enjoyment.
  27. 6 points
    I wanted to share these photos. So many collect Gunto swords and so few have them properly polished. Once polished the skill of the smith, at least the better ones, is revealed. So many have hastily done "war time" polishes which along with decades of neglect or abuse, hides their beauty.
  28. 6 points
    The increasing threat of fakes to our field of art is something that has occupied my thoughts a lot in recent months. Where I can I will continue to offer my own technical observations, as a craftsman, to provide ammunition to our community with which to protect our wallets and pride But it seems to me that the most reliable defence against fakers is to develop a finer eye. I'm still not absolutely sure as to how this 'education' might be best achieved though. The development of a reliable critical aesthetic eye has been a long standing philosophical conundrum but perhaps we might at least begin to more carefully define the issue and thereby find our way to a semblance of reliable connoisseurship.
  29. 6 points
    I honestly don't know why I love the blades, but what I love most is the STORY. I love to hear and read the stories of the smiths, of the carry-ers of the blades, of the times surrounding the making and the using. My almost compulsive focus on stamps is not about the stamps, but really about the WHY, which always leads to stories of the times, people making decisions, etc. History.
  30. 5 points
  31. 5 points
    Found the best example of the emergency produced, late-war officer gunto that I've ever seen. Posting all the photos here as a study on the item. Without the "Emergency" stamp, I would have been tempted to write this off as a bad Chinese copy. In a sense, it was. At the end of the war, Allied bombing had ruined a great deal of sword production capacity in mainland Japan. Production was shipped out to Manchuria/China/Korea, and orders were sent out reducing the stringent mil specs on weapons in general. As Nick Komiya loosely translated "If it shoots or stabs, make it" became the Quality Control standards! The seller, hennadiy2006, in his sale on fleabay, HERE, said the gunto was made by the "Chinese Mukden Arsenal." My memory is sketchy on that, but I THINK I remember that Mukden was taken over my the Nanman Army Arsenal, and became a private manufacturer of swords (and maybe other weapons) for Nanman. Here's the gunto, enjoy:
  32. 5 points
    Stunning and flawless Yasutsugu wakizashi attributed to the Echizen nidai (second generation). The blade has a gorgeous jigane packed with ji-nie and small chikei. The hamon is suguha with deep nie hataraki. Measures 50.6cm in length. This is one of my favourite Yasutsugu blades I have handled from the school and comes from a local S. Florida collection. In shirasaya with quality gold foil habaki and NTHK kanteisho. $6,750 (plus shipping and PayPal)
  33. 5 points
    And here I am.... There is a definite style of koshirae we label as "Satsuma" and the term is as good as any, though we need to differentiate from the distinctive mounts known to be used in the Satsuma Han.... Which is one of the reasons I prefer to call them "Okashito." It's a largely ignored area by collectors because they are fairly shabby and the blades often tired or even flawed. Dealers love the term just as they love "Pilot Swords" and "Kamikaze Tanto", they do have a living to make after-all. I have tried to define what makes a sword a Satsuma, because there are a lot of swords that look like they may be, but are in fact probably just cheap swords. I was frustrated in this endeavour before, so I will just say, if it has washers as menuki and the spiral type Itomaki (katatamaki) them pay attention to the blade.... It was thought to be usable, but not worth keeping!
  34. 5 points
    Hi Everyone, I'm putting up for sale a very beautiful koto attributed to Bizen Hidekage. Background: Bizen Hidekage is the great grandson of great smith Chikakage. Rated as a Jyo-saku smith in Fujishiro. The hamon on this sword is gunome choji ba with kinsuji. Uniform kinsuji with thick layers of ji-nie Utsuri is present. A very beautiful hada throughout, exposed by a superb polishing work (i'm assuming, done by the previous owner). On the nakago, there's remnants of kinpunmei that may imply an alternative attribution to (X)mitsu, but let's just take it as Hidekage. I have thoroughly enjoyed this sword and studied it. Now it's time to pass it on to other nihonto collector. Specifications: O-suriage Mumei 69.9cm nagasa 6mm kasane 3.2cm moto-haba Niju-Ginkise Habaki with special decorative pattern NTHK Kanteisho Asking for $5,800 + paypal & shipping DM me if keen. I'm from Singapore, and the regulations for importing/exporting swords are rather stringent. Do note that I cannot take any returns, but I can assure you that the sword is in original pristine condition as I bought it from Ray. Photo credits to Mr. Ray Singer Credits Link: http://swordsofjapan.com/project/bizen-hidekage-daito-with-kinpunmei/ ~Ben
  35. 5 points
    Robert, as a cat guy (I’m giving shelter and food to about 20 stray cats, all of them gathered when they were starving and sick), I can only wish my best to you and Mittens. Our little pets are often more human than other humans and I’ve lost so many over the years that I feel your pain. I hope Mittens recovers. Best to you and Mittens, JP
  36. 5 points
    The 4th one looks like signed Nobuie (gimei or not...) The 3rd may be Yamashiro no Kuni jū Umetada Shigenari (a very hazardous guess)
  37. 5 points
    Sometimes a picture online cannot truly explain a "feel" of a fitting. This is an example to me. Very pleased with the purchase and via DHL, 2 day delivery from Japan to Boston, MA. Tsuba attributed to Aizu Shoami. The inlay detail under study is very good to my eyes, and the gentle curve of the stream is calming and attractive. Really happy with this piece and welcome it to the collection.
  38. 5 points
    Allow me a little correction. 平成十三年新作刀展覧会出品作 Heiseijūsan nen shinsaku-to tenrankai shuppin saku Submission to Heisei 13 (2001) Newly made swords Exhibition
  39. 5 points
    What is "true" utsuri? What isn't? The question in this thread could be interpreted in different ways, I believe James is probably referring to hadaka-yaki, but I'll touch on a few different things that come to mind. 1) Yes, there are swords on the market (particularly coming from Japanese auction sites) that have fake utsuri. It’s a chemical technique applied to the blade in the polishing process, which is designed to resemble utsuri on certain angles. However, the examples I’ve seen have been rather crude and obvious, and can easily be detected through pictures. I’d also like to make clear that this technique is not being applied by traditionally trained togishi, I’ve only ever seen it on blades that were defiled by hobby-polishers/self-taught hacks. If you want more info on how to spot fake utsuri, please read the following link: https://www.facebook.com/toukentogishi/posts/2401556073244615 If you don’t do facebook, it was also posted on NMB: https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/28800-warning-about-fake-utsuri/?tab=comments#comment-291807 2) There is another type of fake utsuri that appears in Nihonto, though you wouldn’t really refer to it as fake, as it’s very much a naturally occurring effect, not an artificial effect applied in the polish. It’s called tsukare-utsuri. Tsukare-utsuri literally translates as ‘tired utsuri’ and it occurs when shingane (core steel) is exposed. More often than not it can be found in lower-quality work of the Muromachi period (known as kazu-uchimono) which is known to have especially thin kawagane (skin steel). Tsukare-utsuri forms a loose/hazy utsuri-like effect in the steel that… - sometimes appears only around the border of where kawagane becomes shingane. - sometimes it completely fills that area of shingane. - or sometimes appears in patches within that area of shingane. In any case, it doesn’t look very appealing, it's definitely not a desirable trait in a sword, and you should be able to recognise it as something other than "true" utsuri. 3) Then there is the question around hadaka-yaki (heat treatment without clay) which is most likely what the question in this thread is about. During my training I was lucky enough to have quite a few conversations regarding utsuri with other craftsmen, and I get the impression that some of them believe that the utsuri produced when hadaka-yaki is performed on a blade is not really considered “true” utsuri. I recall one such conversation with several togishi at NBTHK kantei-kai. There was an exceptional Naotane which had very strong utsuri, and I was keen to understand why it was so much stronger than utsuri I’d seen in his work before. It was explained to me that “yes, this utsuri appears strong, but… this is only hadaka-yaki, and Naotane rarely used this technique”… implying that hadaka-yaki was a lesser way of achieving utsuri. I’ve heard similar remarks from tosho who work at producing utsuri when using tsuchi-oke (applying clay for heat treatment). Apparently, producing a clearly visible utsuri on a consistent basis is more easily achieved when using hadaka-yaki, but that type of utsuri can often appear wild and unrefined. So it's viewed by some as a greater achievement to produce prominent utsuri using tsuchi-oke. It’s a fascinating topic that deserves further study and debate, but I won’t wade into those depths today. I will say however that from recent efforts I've seen, it seems modern tosho are continuing to advance their abilities and re-discover the "secrets" of utsuri using both methods. Lastly, I’ll add a little article I posted a while ago, it’s a beginner’s guide to utsuri that should give you a little more info and some instruction on how to view it properly: https://www.facebook.com/toukentogishi/posts/1109394242460811?__cft__[0]=AZX5euUw0LcK-KtWaluQagI_Mp3mJ_MjHaxXY3D8nwx2FUANlNbxuChojfhd7LXkGKTJPIQa53xCp92Q9iuUGaQhj2gI1DAz03C4pGBNqEbXGglfyD-a1360xzhwIr8ZhQmn_ljmPPS351Mu31OHJynoJNKq8gQFGloA9qcDyRHbbp6-yAOqH73jfStPElKolfI&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R
  40. 5 points
    "Wayben" selling this on fleabay. Just had to share. The hada looks like wood-grain at the kissaki. Pretty cool! A Yoshifhiro (kao added to Stamps doc!) Not involved in the sale, but if anyone is interested it is HERE.
  41. 5 points
    Good morning Yurie san, Thank you for your diligence. Truly, the concept of a Book is daunting, placing your heart on display for all to see. Respectfully, please have the courage to fail. If the sum total of all you have so freely shared with us here on NMB over the past few years is a gauge by which to assess the Book, then it is surely destined to become an important resource for future generations to come. As an eyewitness to a specific aspect of History, your position is unique, your observations hold a validity which truly deserves to be recorded. 頑張ってください
  42. 5 points
    I prefer kakejiku of oshigata or sometimes Japanese castles... -t
  43. 5 points
    John, An anecdote told to me many years ago about sorting steel. I can't remember where or by who but we were told: "The Smith using his yeas of experience and great skill sorts wafers in to different hardness's" I said "yes but how?" the answer was he put them over the edge of the anvil and hit them with a hammer. If they bent they went in to the soft pile if they broke then in to the hard. Not sure how accurate it is but it does help to debunk some of the mystique and hype that can grow around a very practical art form.
  44. 5 points
    Here’s some of my favorite gendai.
  45. 5 points
    Steve, you are always amazing. I am still unsure about the …雅… part. But my guess is as follows. 古雅掬すべし (koga kikusubeshi) – should feel the classical grace
  46. 5 points
  47. 4 points
    Just a few thoughts on these so we don't miss out on possible hidden gems in the future. Tobacco pouch pins don't come in pairs, so the pairs above are not pouch pins. The lobsters have unusual pins (too thin for antique menuki) and shape, so they are probably modern pressed menuki for modern decorative swords. Menuki are often repurposed for Tobacco pouch pins, obidome (the decorative "buckle" on the thin rope that goes around a women's obi/belt on her kimono), Western broaches, etc. If you look carefully, you will see the vestiges of menuki posts (in the middle) on a few of the items in the picture and the later added two thin pins toward the edges (that shows that it is a menuki that was converted to a pouch pin). Finally, some menuki were glued on with pitch and never had any pin or post at all (see one above that appear to have their backs filled with pitch). I'm not saying any of these are gems, but you will often find great menuki that have been converted to other uses.
  48. 4 points
    Hello everyone, I wish you all are well and a happy new year. After much thought, I put my first Shinsakuto up for sale. It is a sword with the following characteristics; Nagasa: 73,1 cm Sori: 1,7cm Hamon: Ô-notare with ashi and kinsuji. Hada: Itame jinie. Mune: Iorimune. Mei: 肥後国住赤松太郎兼嗣作 (Higo no kuni jyu akamatsu taro kanetsugu saku) Mei omote: 義勇気仁礼誠名誉忠義 (Reference to Bushido virtues) 平成二十八年八月吉日 (Forged on an auspicious day of the 28th year of Heisei, August 2016) Sorry for my bad pictures, I've tried my best. I'm asking 7500€, shipping worldwide included. Europe no taxes. Comes with a quality bag. Best wishes for all. Emilio
  49. 4 points
    And I'm also attaching a photo of the blade
  50. 4 points
    What is readable is 江州住 Koshu ju On the other side was probably written "Soten", it looks like a cast copy tsuba from Meiji period
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