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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/12/2022 in Posts

  1. With the cheap items that may not sell well? My suggestion is to use them to get new collectors into this hobby. Sell them at modest/low prices with a full and honest explanation to the new collector of the item's potential. Last month, I was going to sell a mumei wakizashi to a father whose son was really interested in nihonto. The blade itself was no catch and fairly abused, and would have made no financial sense to restore. I was upfront about that with him. And when it came time for him to see it and other potential blades, to my surprise, he had brought his son! His son looked at several of my blades and had his heart set on a slightly more expensive wakizashi than the original one I had proposed for a potential new collector. It was a modest blade in shirasaya and reasonable polish with a rather nice gold and shakudo habaki, mid-1700's blade. I could see how much it meant to him, so I knocked about 30% off my price on this blade so it was affordable for him. Taught him all about the blade, related terminology, and how to care for it that I could. And now we may very well have a new ITK member! So even though I ate a little bit of the profit on that blade, I feel pretty good about getting someone new into nihonto.
    12 points
  2. Brethren, Just stumbled across this site I haven't seen before: https://www.spoon-tamago.com/2020/02/05/eliza-scidmore-photographed-everyday-life-in-Japan-over-100-years-ago/?mc_cid=77cafa5ffb&mc_eid=962267c38c There are numerous 'by-way' tags of interest there too. Bestests, BaZZa.
    12 points
  3. It looks to me that the filler material that was used to secure the dragon and ken element to the nanako ji-ita is a matsuyani mixture. Essentially pine rosin and fire clay. It's very runny and sticky when hot/warm and rock hard when cold. I've encountered it many times when restoring Meiji period pieces that were constructed out of many components. When it was fresh it would have been much more tough and resilient but over time the remaining oils and resinous ingredients evaporate leaving the mixture characteristically dry and friable, like this. The use of matsuyani to stick decoration onto a kozuka is definitely not an Edo period norm I have to say I'm a little concerned about recent suggestions here on the NMB that vinegar, salt or other such potentially corrosive solutions be used in the cleaning of tosogu. Unless you know pretty well what you're dealing with in advance and know how to put it all right when you're done you may well be opening a can or worms/Pandora's box of trouble.
    10 points
  4. Ok a few of you asked for my story so here it is. I collected WW2 US, German and Japanese weapons including, knives, bayonets, rifles, pistols, shotguns, holsters and other WW2 stuff for over 40 years at the time of my dispersal. Everything that I purchased was purchased for myself and was the best that there was out there at the time. Do to a divorce I had to sell my whole collection. With this many years invested and the fact that I had all premium items I had many friends or so I thought. When it came time to sell many of those friends stepped up and expressed their desire for many of my items. With the type of person I was I figured that this was my opportunity to pass many of my beloved items on to “ friends” at a well below market cost so that they may enjoy them as much as I did and I could still be proud of the items as I “ thought “ I knew where they were going. I had offers well above my “ friends “ prices but this was my way of treating others with the way that someday I might be treated. Soooo after passing many pieces of my collection on I started to see “ my stuff “ for resale at inflated prices. When I questioned my so called friends as to why did they tell me that they wanted my items for themselves they said that they knew I would sell them my things to them cheap and they could resell them ( for what I could have ) and make good money as there was a demand for items in the condition of mine. They had no Problem telling me that once I sold my items to them that they now owned them and could do what they wanted with them. This was a tuff one and very unexpected. After that I started to offer my not so friends- friends the rest of my collection for going rate. Of course they told me I was nuts. At this point I sent the remaining collection off to a well known reseller that charged me 10% commission. The ironic part was that I added 20% and some of the same people stepped up and paid the reseller the new price so I ended up making more money through him. What did I learn: most friends are not friends they are acquaintances. I came through this with a new look on life and a new set of rules for those I call FRIENDS. For about the past 10 years I started collecting Japanese Swords, again only for myself, and the people that I have met here and at the Orlando Japanese Sword Show have restored my faith in what real friends are. Thanks everyone here for treating me as a friend and I will still pay it forward when my time comes but this time my Real Friends will appreciate my gifts I told you it would be long but you asked for it. Hope you enjoyed it and maybe learned a little from my life’s experience and take the time to figure out what Real Friends are I know the difference now. MikeR
    10 points
  5. WOW! I can't believe some of the stuff I'm reading. First off Riv - I was in the Boy Scouts and a lot of my early childhood friends were Catholic, I never witnessed any abuse. I lived in Japan for five years, specifically to study swords, I went to four Kantei-kai a month and visited many collectors in their homes, I never witnessed the abuse you describe. I say again I am sorry this happened to you, we welcome your "controversy", I think if you reach out we can help you gain a positive experience with the society right here in your backyard. I am not sure some of y'all understand the two kinds of Kantei, based on above comments. I like Jaques, even tho I'm not following this suriage thread, I like Jussi, and Like them both I try to do a little sword study every day. If youre going to play hardball in the big leagues you need to train like Ichiro, if you just wanna play sandlot that's great but don't hate on the Big Leaguers. Shijo Kantei or paper Kantei is the exercise where you look at oshigata and based on the descrition of the sword try to determine who made it. This requires you to learn the vocabulary and the various styles of hamon. It teaches you how to describe jigane in words but doesn't do much to teach you jigane. Therefor someone who studies from the magazine may in fact have a difficult time with Kantei in hand, even tho he hits the correct answer each month in the magazine. Kantei from photos is a fools errand. In hand Kantei is the best way to learn shape, size, weight, curve, jigane and hamon. It is the way swords have been taught to students for generations. My teacher is a sword polisher in the 24th generation of his family business - lots of technological changes over those generations but the game of Kantei has changed little. Remember the artists are all pretty much dead, there is no more work coming from Masamune, so the material we need to learn is pretty much static. There are new tools available to us and exciting things are happening, I believe all this new technology will help. However having been raised in the old school, I have a deep appreciation for it and do not see it getting replaced only enhanced. (forgot to add; studying jigane is pattern recognition, something happens subconsciously that helps you to recognize origins, BUT you need to see 1000's of blades for this to be meaningful...) There are guys who recognize swords in hand that cannot navigate the Shijo Kantei - cause they don't have the vocabulary or they don't understand the game. The game. Kantei is a game, it was an entertainment for courtiers that became entertainment for warrior that is now an entertaining game for us. If you don't play you don't understand the rules and the tricks and the skills and it might be easy to criticize others who do or those who don't. In Shijo Kantei they use certain expressions for certain schools or certain artists, when you understand this you will come to "hear" the hints that the teacher is giving you. In in hand Kantei there are certain conventions, usually five swords, usually one is very old and very special, sometimes that sword is in the number one spot, sometimes it is in the number five spot. Since it is a teaching tool they like to focus on textbook examples (studying gimei, gibutsu, flaws, rust, and oddball swords does not teach you what you need to know) sometimes, sometimes they will throw in a one-off piece by a smith that looks little like their usual work, but in this case there is almost always jigane, hamon, or something that is typical of the artist and if you spot it you get the correct answer. Wrong answers are more Fun! The judges hints when you pout in a wrong bid help you to see the sword in the same way he does, it teaches you what is appreciated and what should be emphasized. If all youre interested in is the points, and seeing your name in the magazine, you are selling yourself short. Are you a "connoisseur" - the connoisseur's book is organized in a very specific way. This is the way you need to organize your thoughts on swords. I like to think of it as circles - the major areas of production are larger circle with more artists, more influence, more production and longer history. Understanding where these centers are, in time and in place, helps to assign any given sword to its proper spot. The closer you are to the center of the circle the clearer the influence and the clearer the work. Therefore there are swords that cannot be categorized. this is not the fault of the shinsa team - there were country smiths, lying between the large centers of production that didn't produce work that was clearly from any given tradition. They could still be good swords but just can't be assigned to any one group or artists. This is why Bungo Takada and Kai Mihara are popular pigeon holes they lie between major centers of production and show influence from outside - if the sword is kinda "in-between" then maybe it is from one of these in-between schools. We have a sword show and shinsa, here in the U.S., next weekend! Come on out y'all and see how it works. Come see me for an insiders view. Buy me a beer and I could go on ranting like this for days. Organizations are in flux, the hobby is in flux, the community is evolving, the generations are changing, but organizations are NOT OBSOLETE!! Support your local sword club! -tch
    10 points
  6. I do not believe sword organisations are obsolete. They perform several functions: a) social: allow like-minded people to have fun together; b) educational: whether through hands-on study of attendees’ items in physical meetings or formal lectures or kantei or Zoom sessions etc they can teach a member something. Few are those among us who know it all and do not learn anything; c) informational: some members do not know how to go about submitting or sending swords to one place or another or how to go about restoration, for instance. Members of sword clubs and societies can usually help (sometimes members are restorers or people can be pointed one way or another); d) credibility-providing: often membership of such an organisation is viewed as a positive factor, among others, by law-enforcement authorities when evaluating an individual’s possession of a blade; e) institutional: sometimes auch organisations can secure access or events that an individual, on their own, cannot. Examples include privileged access to museums’ collections or arranging a lecture provided by the NBTHK (in Japan, Europe or US) or other body. For instance, around the annual DTI, lots of overseas collectors gather in Tokyo. There are usually several educational events provided by several circles and one of these usually includes a session at the HQ of the NBTHK. Let us also not forget that often some of the members of such “organisations” have rare or precious or valuable-as-study-material items that an ordinary collector might not have. In this category, one can also include factors such as that the institution can write to authorities supporting a member or collaborate with authorities to shape legislation or regulation. The list can go on. That is not the point. We are social animals and cannot exist/operate in isolation, especially when pursuing a reasonably arcane hobby such as ours. Blades are best studied in hand and that happens in an environment where there is usually more than 1 person. And frankly an organisation does not need to be a formal club or society etc - it could be a small circle of friends too. That is how most “formal” organisations in our hobby commenced anyway. A point was raised about militaria items and how they feature in such societies. Actually, in the West, we are not so discriminate. At least in the To-Ken Society of GB there are many collectors of gendaito, gunto or showato, and even shinsakuto, despite our name including “To-Ken”. Things are probably different in Japan, where these are viewed as weapons and disallowed. But gendaito etc are quite common and owned. Different members own different grade swords of various merit, manufacture, condition. A lot of the U.K. members have a strong historic or practical interest in blades (several are martial artists), so again, one cannot claim that we are a group of elitists or theorists arguing over whether a hataraki should be called tobiyaki or yubashiri. I understand the frustration with organisations but I feel our discontent or dissatisfaction stem from the fact that we want these organisations to be protean, all-encompassing and fulfil all our needs - and that is not possible. They will meet some of the objectives but rarely all, or even the majority. If we find even one reason that is valid for ourselves, I feel we should be members of such organisations, provided we can afford it and can participate.
    10 points
  7. Gents, Once again, it was confirmed that dealing with established sellers who post their items here on the NMB is the best thing to do. I have bought a tanto from @Brano, and besides the fact that the sword is lovely, the execution of the deal was flawless, and the communication a real pleasure. Thanks a lot Branislav!
    10 points
  8. Excellent! When I started out and told my teachers that I was interested in Shinshin-to they all laughed, "You have to study Koto!" so you're in good company. It is a huge area indeed but that is what makes it all so enjoyable. Roughly there are four paths; Art Appreciation - study of the swords as art and kantei is the tried and true method for gaining knowledge in this area. Craftwork - construction, molding, forging, polishing, all the things that attract the "Hammer Monkeys". Fittings - mountings and all the bits and bobs that adorn the sword. History - the context, politics, fads, art and societies that influenced the sword. (I fall mostly into this last category) However you will see overlap in all these areas and long time students will understand you have to have knowledge, at least a little bit, in each of these areas for true appreciation. Ms. Halchaks book contains much the same information as what you already have but presented in interesting ways that may help cement some in your minds eye that others do not. Lonnie Kapps book is a must for everyone - no other book presents the processes of construction, forging and polishing in an understandable format like The Craft of the Japanese Sword. Of course if you want to delve deeper into this area his newer books provide lots of great information. On kantei in a swordless world - for more than ten years I studied the paper kantei (Shijo kantei) and monthly kantei notes in the NBTHK and NTHK magazines - when I couldn't read Japanese and I had no ready access to live blades. Once I got to Japan I had to learn a whole new set of kantei rules when looking at the real thing but that early study helped immensely. I recommend you join the NTHK and NBTHK and any other organization offering regular "paper kantei" these challenges help you to see swords the way the Japanese do and cement the terms and their importance in your minds eye. Do this and when the Society does start meeting again you'll be ready! -tch
    10 points
  9. So, Colin, thank you for the suggestions. Below is a heartfelt outpouring and please do not take it as a diatribe but a reality description of what is happening in the U.K. As you mention both the London and Birmingham arms fairs, you must be familiar then with how both of these (much wider arms and antiques, going beyond the purview of only Japanese swords) fairs have diminished and degraded in the last 10 years or so. Poorly attended with barely a few interesting items available. Why? Commercial reality and advancement of technology (ie Internet) and awareness / knowledge. Side events/ gatherings of ToKen members around the time of the fair though do oftentimes take place in smaller informal groups. Then, do you think there will be enough support for a purely Nihonto based fair as in the US? The answer is unfortunately a resounding No. Such fairs seem to have had their heyday in the pre-Internet era when all the Nihonto aficionados had to go by was John Yumoto’s book and the arms fairs to buy or sell a sword. Sadly, when Eddy tried to organise the second edition of the Japanese / Samurai arms fair in Utrecht this year, please try to conjecture how many sign-ups (ie prepayment of a daily ticket) he had? Sad, very sad and very disappointing outcome. A couple of dozen. And this was supposed to be an event aimed at the large European countries surrounding the Netherlands, a well connected place and easy to travel to. The first instalment was a fine event with numerous Juyo and TJ items to view and study, with 10-15 dealers present, with iaido demonstrations and sword kantei, with sushi and lectures, with socials and drinks….There were only around 100 attendees over 3 days. Unfortunately, nowadays when one can buy a sword from Aoi Art with three clicks of the mouse (ask Paz for instance or other new ToKen GB members) or when people can place a “like” here or on Facebook, or view a NihintoNoBi or TheJapaneseSword YouTube video instantaneously, the Token of GB are struggling to attract more than 10-20 attendees to our physical events even when we roll out various Juyo swords by Saijo Saku top smiths. But our Zoom sessions, on the other hand, are often attended by 30, sometimes over 40 participants. I honestly believe that we have enough publicity and awareness among interested people that if they really wanted to join and participate, they would. In fact, we have been attracting foreign members in the last few years, whose only interaction with is via our newsletters and Zoom sessions. Believe me, the fact that gunto and gendaito are not mentioned in our statement is not stopping anyone. As mentioned before, one of our most prominent members with close to 100 swords in his collection, actually specialises in gendaito. What is hindering people is often apathy, reluctance to travel / participate / come out of the shadows / inertia. Or similarly to Kiril, they might not believe in organised events, mentors, sensei, authorities (whatever you might call them, we don’t have them in our organisation anyway). Regarding “for sale” publicity: we are not a commercial organisation but an educational one. Members can sell to each other as much as they wish. However, it is not our purview or ambition to facilitate or organise such endeavours since there are plenty of venues, dealers, arms fairs, auction houses and the like for such activities. Our little creative energies or available time are dedicated to indeed expanding the popularity of our subject, organising events and advancing knowledge of our members. What we are truly lacking is: individuals who have the commitment and energy and enthusiasm to share what they have, to organise regional events, to make presentations or to write content for the magazine or help with the editing of the magazine. Or even to attend / participate. People are often passive consumers of content. Nowadays, younger people crave instant gratification and knowledge and have no time to learn kanji, know about the Gokaden or Roads or traditions, or go and visit museums or study sessions to learn about swords rather than instead look on the Internet or search for answers on this forum and other such venues. How often do we cover the same ground even on this forum because newcomers did not bother to even use the Search function? Better inter-member communication and discussion is something we have been thinking about for a while and need to resolve. We are pondering a member-only section of our Token website akin to a forum. But that will also need volunteers to monitor, oversee, curate, administer. Any help putting it into practice will be appreciated. Anyway, as Tom Helm in the US has been advocating for a while, it boils down to participation. People often good-naturedly make recommendations but it is indeed the same committee members who often need to implement things or try to change things. If more people volunteer and participate, things could improve. Otherwise, we are all growing older, grumpier, less capable and energetic or willing to shake things up.
    8 points
  10. Japanese swordsmith apprenticeship is advertised with five day weeks for five years with no pay | Daily Mail Online This highlights the long road ahead and the sacrifices required to becoming a smith.
    8 points
  11. Let’s do the reveal! As I said earlier, please cut me some slack – its easy to act as sensei when one runs the kantei and has all the cards, but still explanations should be given – and they should come with an exclamation its just a personal opinion. There are a few ways to judge this blade. Sugata locks you into either Kamakura-earliest Nambokucho or very late Nambokucho-early Muromachi. In hand the lack of niku and the balance point suggests Kamakura, but this is subjective. Its heavily nie-based so its either Yamato or Soshu, with some exceptions. The coarse jigane in shinogi-ji comes up as very long lines, and that’s a sign there is long masame there as well. Lets go Yamato route, its easier and faster. Possibility 1: Not much comparable in early Muromachi, so accept the notion its Kamakura. Kamakura Yamato by definition should be first and foremost considered as Senjuin. Possibility 2: Its Yamato with midareba. By definition it can only be Senjuin. That’s actually what the sayagaki argues. It can be added that nioi choji-like midare in Yamato is also exclusive Senjuin traits. Lets go Soshu route, its also fun. It does look like Satsuma, but nioi-guchi is seldom Satsuma’s strong point, it tends not to do nioi based midareba covered by nie and sugata is quite off. But its an important note, because Satsuma was particularly inspired by Go and Norishige. In the same way if we would say its Horikawa, we mean it looks like Sadamune. We can also right away check that nie 1cm wide and 20cm long endulating “belt” is either Yamato Shizu or Etchu, its Extremely uncommon everywhere else. So in Soshu route there are not that many practicing first class tight itame (often referred to as Awataguchi hada) with bright broad nioi-guchi and nioi/ko-nie hamon covered by nie towards habuchi. Most Kamakura lineage is strictly nie based, for example. The three options here are Sa, Naotsuna and Go. Some Mino Kanenobu are nioi based but nioi-guchi is weak and jigane is large featured. Naotsuna tends to have large featured jigane, more mokume. Sa is a good option, I felt. His itame hada is excellent, but he did not do much masame-nagare and ara nie away from hamon is uncommon. If you look at his kinsuji you don’t really see transition to masame. In fact, Awataguchi hada with nagare, bright broad nioi-guchi and nioi/ko-nie hamon covered by nie towards habuchi, plenty of ara nie and occasional use of “nie belts” in Etchu fashion is a textbook definition of Go. You can find the exact wording more or less in “Connoseurs”. Re: Nabeshima Go meito and many other examples. So what’s wrong with calling it a Go? First the boshi is not typical for Soshu, Go’s in particular tends to be much wider, its can be called “yakitsume” but its wide. Sugata is a bit different, the sori is larger, the tapering is larger than what you usually see with Go. There is arguably stronger presence of masame-nagare, nie within the hamon forms really nice clouds, but overall its presence is more… sort of “stout”. It has substantially more Yamato character to it. Here one can remember that there Senjuin Yoshihiro smiths from Echizen province, with signed examples, and Go Yoshihiro is often considered to be one of them. So the commentary of Honami Koson (which might be my confirmation bias, I really need to study the issue much more!) was that its Kamakura period’s Senjuin Yoshihiro, possibly the father of Go. This in turn should bring us to the question – what is the so called Senjuin school? As I mentioned, its not advised to be placed in judged competition except Ryumon Nobuyoshi. The attribution to particular names is impossible; there have been attempts to write up different subschools but they all run into problems that there are plenty of nijimei examples which are papered Senjuin but which are not consistent namewise with “Shigehiro school” etc. Its also largely attributed in a negative fashion: really old blade with Yamato features which is not Yasutsuna or Kyushu-mono. How did we come to this? To an extent we have to thank the “five Yamato traditions” for that. When the classification was created Tegai Kanenaga and Hosho smiths were considered almost mid-Kamakura, and Taima was also referenced in Kamakura genealogies. When it became apparent that Taima, Shikkake and Hosho were very short lived, Tegai did not really begin until 1300 – still the “five traditions” were kept. So you have a bizarre case that Yamato Shizu is not considered a mainline, while Taima does. Even more bizarre case is that while every Soshu tradition is “shadowed” by its Yamato counterpart, all of these counterparts actually can be found in Kamakura period’s Senjuin examples. Here is mid Kamakura “proto-Taima” in tight itame with nie splashed all over. The quality varies, but towards 1270-1310 you start seeing extremely high end Senjuin. Awataguchi hada, nie laced throughout; the best ones do tend to come to old attributions to Echizen Masters like Go and Norishige. But they are different: the forging style can vary a lot within the blade, more comfortable with pure masame sections, more comfortable with chouji midareba or nioi ko chouji based hamon. The signatures are sadly lacking, but it can be ascertained as Echizen Senjuin – a precursor to Echizen Soshu.
    8 points
  12. I've been used to lone wolfing as living in bit remote location for this hobby. I think learning can be had with and without sword clubs the most important thing is putting in hours. Flying solo I think best way is to spend hour after hour using good quality references. I would agree with Jacques that just Aoi website is not the way for learning. If not having good books and even if you have, I will recommend going through ALL Japanese dealers with good online precence at regular intervals (for example weekly). I strongly believe quantity is important in solo learning, so you must have volume and log in lots of hours. With teachers and good groups you could learn more in less time but I am still in the hard work camp. If you have for example 1 hour of daily sword study you should start to notice some results in few years. Sure it will nice to attend meetings every once in a while but I am firm believer of daily grind and putting in the hours.
    8 points
  13. Way back in 1968 I and another corresponding member of the UK ToKen Society, that holds its meetings in London, decided to contact others in the North of England. Getting to meetings in London was not really feasible for me since it would have involved travelling some 180 miles, and since the meetings were held in the evening, staying overnight in a hotel, or travelling back during the night and then facing work the following day. Plotting the addresses of other corresponding members showed around half dozen or so lived within 1 to 2 hours drive of Manchester and were prepared to meet at two monthly intervals. Premises in that city were identified and in due course some 6 to 8 members met in an upstairs room above a pub in Manchester. Sadly by the date of the second meeting the pub had been tranformed into a trendy bar who refused us the use of the upper room and was so dimly illuminated that members had to take their swords into the only well-lit location in the premises - the gents toilet. Over the next many years members met in a series of locations, individuals dropping out and new ones joining but with the total of members rarely reaching a dozen. Then Covid hit and meetings were suspended, never to be revived. The reasons are many and varied. Old age has taken its toll and I suspect I am the only original member still alive. Others have lost the habit of going out in the evenings, given up collecting or now have vision problems that prevent them driving at night. In other words the Society is now defunct and sadly with no real likelyhood of restarting. Meeting with others, sharing knowledge and showing each other our latest treasure was an experience to look forward to that is now sadly missed. Ian Bottomley
    8 points
  14. Nowadays everyone uses the Gregorian Calendar, where ichi gatsu = January. Before Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1873, they used the lunar calendar, which means ichi gatsu = sometime in late January or February depending on the year. When translating old (say, pre-1873) signatures, its a pain to try to be faithful to the lunar calendar, so even on old inscriptions we (or, I should say "I") tend to just translate ichi gatsu = January, and so on. It may not be chronologically accurate, but there is a linguistic simplicity and consistency to it that most people find more satisfying rather than trying to figure out when exactly the months started 300 years ago. Also, many swords carry inscriptions that bear auspicious dates (February and August, typically) rather than the exact date the sword was made. A swordsmith may have made a sword in April or May, but the swordsmith would still inscribe it with "a lucky day in the second month" because it was customary to do so (or the client may have wished it that way). So given the auspicious nature of the dates on many swords, it is something of a fools errand to try to faithfully transpose lunar dates into Gregorian dates, and better to consistently use Gregorian dates.
    8 points
  15. It's inevitable. There are always security updates to prevent malicious attacks, and the newest update to the software (nothing major) requires a newer version of PHP. So we have to do it. I am determined to keep software up to date. Another small militaria forum I run on bayonets was hacked, and all the files changed. It's not fun at all. Brian
    8 points
  16. Found these in a thrift store for $4 ea. Do I have real Tsubas or are these Chinese replicas?
    8 points
  17. Colin, those latest images are really far more revealing. I can see what you mean with respect to there perhaps being some indication of structure in the iron. If you'd like to send it to me, I'm in Dartmouth, I'll remove all of the rust/corrosion product safely, photograph at high magnification and resolution the resulting surface and then re-apply a suitable patina. I'll do this for free and post the images here so we can all see and learn more, and you'll get a much better tsuba back to boot. If you'd like to take up my offer message me for my studio address etc. And having read with interest the superbly detailed chemical and metallurgical discussions this thread has engendered I must add one last bit of info myself. As I think we've now established, and contrary to Bavarian school of metallurgy dogma , silver does indeed covert to a corrosion product, namely silver sulphide. What I'd like to add is some real world experience that is directly relevant to tosogu and may be of interest to fellow students of the art. As a restorer I must have worked on at least a couple of dozen of bronze vases that featured fine silver wire inlay. Typically the wire was around 0.5 mm in diameter and once inlaid it had been polished flat. These were mostly Meiji period pieces so around the time I worked on them perhaps 90 to 100 years old at most. Without exception the silver wire was black, unless someone had previously buggered around with them in which case the bronze patina was knackered too. Sometimes the black 'scale' (silver sulphide) had grown so thick that it'd started to flake off. This flaking happens because the silver sulphide is very brittle compared to the underlying silver. Changes in temperature and the resulting differing degrees of expansion and contraction of the silver and sulphide layer causes a break where they interface. The newly revealed fresh silver appears a dull white at this point and is quite rough in appearance, almost stony. It's quite a fiddly and time consuming process to restore a degree of polish to this corroded silver. With the silver sulphide removed what was once a smoothly polished surface now has a very clear groove in it that you can actually catch your finger nail in. Consider that the wire was 0.5 to begin with ( an average based on those pieces I've restored and had to re-inlay) , some thickness is lost in the inlay and polishing process so we can estimate perhaps a depth of around 0.35 remaining. this is in fact what I've measured myself when dealing with tiny fragments that have fallen out. What is remarkable is that the action of the hydrogen sulphide in the air in converting the pure silver (it's almost always fine/pure silver in Japanese inlay work) into silver sulphide has easily consumed half or more of the original silver in 100 years. Sometimes actually all of it. This is also why we find that gold nunome-zogan tends to survive more frequently than silver numome-zogan. Even on the same piece of work the silver will inevitably be more fugitive compared to the gold. This is a very real problem I've had to deal with countless times. Higo tsuba collectors will know this well too I suspect, tea inspired wabi-sabi aside those Jingo tsuba rarely have much silver left. Some applies to Hizen and Jakushi works. For reference the foil used in this type of Edo period nunome-zogan is generally around 0.02mm thick, that's about as thick as a sheet of standard 100 gsm printer paper or 20 microns thick. In the Jewellery industry the accepted standards for gold plating is 0.5 microns (or more) for standard plating and 2.5 microns for heavy (sometimes termed Vermeil, from the French term for mercury gilded bronze) plating. And 20 microns of fine/pure silver (jun gin) sometimes doesn't last 100 years on a tsuba whereas gold that thin can survive in wet acidic soil for thousands of years virtually untouched. Well, the gold survives, naturally, but any additional copper or silver in the alloy is inevitably attacked and is lost to the gold artefact. This leaching out of the non-gold elements is what causes that characteristic frosted rich fine gold appearance of ancient archeological gold.
    8 points
  18. Thank you so much Ray. Here is a screenshot of the promised support!
    8 points
  19. Hello I came across this fascinating article on Ittosai Yoshimune, while researching one of my Tanto's and would like to add to the history.
    7 points
  20. As far as I'm concerned the answer is knowledge. A great collection is one where you can tell a captivating story about each and every item and answer just about any question someone might ask. I don't care if it's a collection of insects, books, meteorites, memorabilia, coins, stamps, toys, swords, etc, etc; people find it fascinating when it's tied together in a meaningful way with an interesting narrative. Otherwise most people don't care unless they're connoisseurs themselves. I tend to view collectibles as props for storytelling. I'd rather be shown (or possess) a collection worth $0 where the owner has true knowledge and passion for each item than a collection worth $20 million which is devoid of meaning.
    7 points
  21. Best way I could think to try and answer this is in rhyme and prose..... What is the most beautiful tree? What is the most delicious kind of pie? It is what you feel you love and need The best collection depends on one's eye It is the tree that speaks to you It is the pie that makes you swoon It is what sparks, inspires and glues It is what satisfies and sounds in tune There's the most expensive and most rare Theres the oddest, humble and more There's the expert high end affair To the simple soldiers need in war All to appreciate and hold in esteem All things that deserve admiration Art, beauty, history all can be supreme Knowing yourself, behold a revelation So what's on your shelf Collect from thyself. Still learn true and buy wise Know what and why it's your prize Then it will always be the best For it's yours and different from the rest. Dr. Adam Suess.
    7 points
  22. Think about when they were made, and the warfare of the period. Often the nakago ana is large. No kozuka and kogai ana. I've heard the theory before that they were going on large swords. Maybe what one would call 'horse killers'? Give one to the biggest guy in every platoon or group of a certain size, and tell him that his job is to fulcrum that long sword through every pair of horse legs that comes near him. The one Mifune-san was swinging in Seven Samurai has a Gorinto sukashi ko-tosho / ko-katchushi and the Saotome tsuba sometimes get lumped in the katchushi made tsuba category for relatively well known reasons.
    7 points
  23. Morning Bryce. I am sure that you will get lots of replys to this but just to get the ball rolling........ Aoi Art produce really good images so you can see what the sword is, the sugata is wonderful, if you look at the enlarged view on their site you can see that the hada is very clear and consistent over the whole blade. Now imagine forging and folding steel over a blade of this length and doing all that with such great control and without a single flaw. The hamon is also consistent over the whole blade and very attractive. By the by, here I do not think the oshigata does the sword justice, look out for the sunagashi that Tsuruta san mentions, it also is uniform and very controlled. The sword is ubu, it's in great condition and it is clearly done by a master smith. Now, the smith. There is some information here, http://sanmei.com/contents/en-us/p1774.html to add to what you already have. So if Naotane is arguably the best Shinshinto smith and if he mastered all five of the gokaden, (pause for a moment and imagine that you can not only forge a sword like this example but you can do it just as well in four other different ways), and if he was the best at Bizen den and if this is his masterpiece...... See where this is going? The shear technical skill to be abe to produce a sword like this is extrodinary, the ability to do it under such control that you can generate exactly the outcome that you intended without a single, tiny mis step is staggering. OK, I'll shut up now. Thanks for bringing this up, it really made me look at the sword. It's all to easy to skim, isn't it? All the best.
    7 points
  24. Massive wakizashi by the shinto smith shodai Kawachi (no) kami Kunisuke. Wide 33mm mihaba and thick kasane. The blade is in the tsukuri-komi seen in the Shinto period modeled on the appearance of naginatanaoshi (osuriage and reshaped naginata) but this is an ubu wakizashi. Very beautiful jitetsu and a bright gonome-midare hamon. This blade is in polish, with shirasaya, single piece gold foil habaki and Tokubetsu Hozon kanteisho. $6,750 (plus shipping & PayPal) Best regards, Ray
    7 points
  25. I have worried for some time that society meetings were becoming less and less frequently attended. Some years ago we introduced regional meetings and the apatite for these was very strong. When Covid hit we resorted, like so many others, to technology and uses zoom to hold regular online meetings. These proved extremely popular and now even after commencing physical regional meetings again we are continuing to hold regular zoom meetings. The point is that none of these things are exclusive and you can mix and match to suit member's needs. I honestly believe there is no substitute for holding physical meetings that enable you to look at blades and fittings in hand, share ideas with fellow enthusiasts and discuss what is in front of you. Enthusiasm is contagious and it only needs one enthusiastic presentation on a subject to inspire others. It is too easy, especially as we have got out of the habit of travelling to meetings, to sit in front of a screen and think it works just as well. It doesn't. I have learned more and more quickly from meetings with people who have generously shared their knowledge that I could ever have done on social media alone. Use both for their own benefits.
    7 points
  26. Dear colleagues, today I want to show you one of the latest pieces that I have added to my collection, with a curious story. It is the work "tsuba no naka no tsuba" performed by the tsubakō Ōkawa Chikō, 18th generation of the Būshū Edo Itō school under the name of Itō Masanori, and which also has the gō of Masami Tōhōsai. In November 2019, we invited Mr. Ōkawa to Spain for tsuba exhibitions, lectures and gin zōgan and nanako tagane demonstration workshops, in one of the few such visits to Europe and the first time in Spain. During this trip, I took Mr. Ōkawa to the Prado Museum, and there, looking at the painting "Las Hilanderas" by Velázquez, we talked about the concept of the work within the work (as Velázquez depicted in this painting the paint "Europe's kidnapped" by Rubens) In this sense, I told Mr. Ōkawa that I had seen tsuba with many decorations, including nakago decorating, and nihontō-shaped menuki, as well nihontō in suemon zōgan in tsuba and fuchi-kashira, but I had never seen a tsuba inside a tsuba, and I told him that it would be a piece very interesting for me as an art historian. So, he accepted the commission, and after the years of the pandemic, I have been able to travel to Japan and collect this wonder in his own atelier. It is a tetsu tsuba where he has applied sukashi to recreate not one, but two tsuba within the same tsuba. The recreated tsubas add up to four because they represent the omote and ura sides. The tsuba chosen to represent belong to the first generations of the Akasaka school, the other being from the Owari tradition, although with a design also seen in Kyō-sukashi. I hope you like this piece as much as I do, and, of course, if you know of another tsuba that has a tsuba inside it, it would be very interesting to see it. Best regards, Marcos.
    7 points
  27. Hi guys, My business partner Mark Jones and I have recently taken in a large collection of swords and I have been listing some to my website. Yesterday I put up a fine Jumonji Yari (in polish) and I just finished listing a long katana (75.6 cm) with Tokubetsu Hozon paper, signed Echizen no Kami Minamoto Sukehiro (Tsuda Sukehiro). https://www.japaneseswordbooksandtsuba.com/store/swords/q682-long-katana-tsuda-sukehiro-tokubetsu-hozon And there is more to come: some very nice pieces (a large shinsakuto gifted to a Sumo star and a fine daito from the Bizen Kozori School with wonderful itomaki no dachi koshirae come to mind). All are in polish and most have papers. There are good swords for entry level (beginners) also: quality work that won't break the bank. If you have a minute have a look and please keep checking back; I'll be listing more in the next few days. Stay well, Grey
    7 points
  28. The Return of the Umeki Family Sword https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/society/general-news/20220705-42741/ Some of you may have seen the headlines announcing how a Japanese sword returned home several weeks ago to the Umeki family in southern Japan. The news story details Kevin Chroust’s successful account of returning a sword his grandfather had retrieved from a beach in Okinawa where a number of confiscated weapons had been piled up at the end of W.W. II hostilities. Although not mentioned in the news article, I can modestly say I played a small part in assisting Kevin to complete his mission. Kevin reached out to me several months prior to his journey to Japan through an introduction by Mark Jones. I offered advice pertaining to sword licensing and made arrangements for the sword to be licensed prior to Kevin’s arrival through my friend Hisashi Saito at Seikodo. With Kevin on and off during his Japan visitation, many experiences were enjoyed and the beer taps flowed. Memorable adventures included a visit to show the sword to Tanobe Sensei who corroborated my kantei of the sword as sue-koto. There were some Kashu features in the work, but Mr. Tanobe evaluated it as a Seki/Mino production and he suggested a couple of smiths. With this information Kevin and I travelled to Seki and we spent an afternoon in the Seki Sword Museum where much can be learned about this regional center of sword production. While in Seki, we visited the sword forge of the talented father/son Kanemichi smiths. On a blistering hot day, they fired up the forge to give Kevin an appreciation of summer heat… and hot iron: the full combination of earth, wind, water, and fire. As we were in the area we also took in the Masamune exhibit at the Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya. These were a few of the highlights that supplied a solid foundation for Kevin to understand the sword, prior to returning it to the Umeki family. By the way, Kevin is a journalist and no stranger to adventure. Read this account of his daring bull sprint in Pamplona, Spain. https://themorningnews.org/article/the-bull-passes-through As you can see in the photograph, Tanobe Sensei, former director of research at the Tokyo sword museum, looks very well and has recovered from his serious traffic accident when he was knocked off his bicycle by a delivery truck. He has evolved from a walker to a cane, and now to pretty much free mobility. I have monitored his progress over several visits since the accident. Many years have passed since my first meeting with Tanobe Sensei in 1986 at the old sword museum, a fifteen minute walk from my apartment at the time in Shinjuku. Prior to Kevin’s return to Denver, the full support cast assembled at TY Harbor Brewery on the Tokyo waterfront for an epic five hour session of sword banter and libations…. In the house was renowned NY/Tokyo photographer Shina Peng. Check out her portfolio here: https://shinapeng.com/portfolio Stay tuned for the full report as Kevin was on assignment for Outside Magazine and his fleshed out story will be coming our way in late November/early December with Shina’s photographs. Oh…. you might have to buy the magazine…. nobody rides for free!
    6 points
  29. Here is one in my collection papered by NBTHK as Saotome. Dimensions 92.9 mm x 89.5 mm Regards Luca
    6 points
  30. There are obviously those enjoying the proper type of kantei. The shijo comics released by the mainstream organizations. Yet I know there are those hungry for the crack feeling of kantei by photo. It must be illegal! It cannot be done! Only the shijo can capture the true secret of the nihonto! Yet we just can't stop ourselves. Again and again we must feel the stream of image bytes flowing into our system. Today I present to you the blade so controversial, in NBTHK journal no less it was stated that this type should not be used for a judged kantei competition! Whether in shijo or in hand, it shall remain a forbidden fruit! But I am sure real crackheads will not be stopped from guessing by such cowardly words! Go ahead, enjoy the show. Who will get the first atari? I will add that on the other side the kaeri is not nearly as easy to observe. First image is probably the key. Tape is included in the overall photograph for dimensions.
    6 points
  31. A new area for us "sword swingers" to discuss, weapons, hoplology, martial traditions, famous swordsmen and techniques. I am a member of various other forums on the same subject, as I am sure many of yall are. Still I do not mind revisiting old ideas, since this is our favorite subject and the study of sword and culture is the warrior way! -tch Shichi-Dan MJER
    6 points
  32. Paz, many are bitten by the "koto bug", including myself. However, I have kept most of my great shinto and shinshinto blades (mostly signed, ubu, polished, papered and obtained in need of restoration from ebay over the last two plus decades), and just been adding koto blades to the collection. My frustration with koto blades is the huge emphasis on kantei, since so many of these swords are osuriage. That puts collectors often in the position of buying, for high prices, mumei (osuriage) blades with high level papers to makers that the shinsa team chose. In many cases, we are paying huge prices just for the papers on swords lacking a signature. Since I have bought many of my koto blades on ebay or at shows and had them restored, I have to say that I have several that have gotten two, three or even four different attributions. I don't share your sense of koto superiority - shinto and shinshinto blades are wonderful, are often great examples of the pinnacle of Edo period sword making and can be found in perfect, near-mint condition, as they were when new. Also, the imagination of swords as art fluorished during the shinto period and later, and there are many schools that produced magnificent pieces of sword art. Many of these, e.g. Kiyomaro, command prices at or exceeding the prices brought by many of the koto masters. The path you have taken is very common and perfectly normal, though it need not be accompanied by a loss of affection for shinto swords. I have found some very nice koto blades and love owning and restoring them, but I love my Edo period swords as well.
    6 points
  33. Elitism There is a huge difference between saying “I only LIKE the best 10 smiths” (and by default “so should you”) and “I KNOW jack about those 10 smiths”… or anything else for that matter. I’ve met many people who have money and claim to like the best (of whatever… cars, wine, etc.) only because they could afford it, not because they knew or appreciated anything about it. And I’ve met people who ‘claim’ to like the best of everything because they think that is what they should say to impress people. You can never be wrong with that claim and you can even pretend to ‘hang with’ the ‘right crowd’ based only on your words. I’ve also met many people who can enjoy the best of everything, graciously share some of that experience with others, are grateful for their ability to have all that, and still treat others who don’t have all that with respect and dignity. Rare maybe?
    6 points
  34. With over a thousand years of development, history, styles, etc.... I don't think anyone has the right to claim the title of "Elitist" in this discipline.. except for maybe Tanobe Sensei and even then, I've heard he's a very humble and unassuming man. A wonderful smith can produce a low-quality blade, and likewise, even the lowliest of smith can produce a blade that should be held in extremely high regard. Far as I've read, the rankings just refer to a general sense of the known and published body of their works. Maybe as blades are papered and information is collated, rankings should change.. not be a static thing. But that is just my humble opinion. I look at the blade first, generally ignoring the name on it or on the papers until I've gotten an opinion on the quality of the work itself.
    6 points
  35. Turns out you also needed to be proficient in "hentaigana". The 川 certainly threw me, as I, too, expected this to be some poem talking about nature. Even with the clues of "hatsu yume", it totally slipped under my radar. But its a classic use of hentaigana. If any of you are wondering how you get は and つ from those first two characters, its not very intuitive. Much respect to Morita-san.
    6 points
  36. I think we all wish that our stuff is going to another connoisseur who takes a good eye on it for a lot of years.
    6 points
  37. I was thinking about this collector problem too and came to the conclusion. The swords found you. The swords are much older than i and they overlive wars, disasters and catastrophic events. The swords will find a way. I made two collection books with description, pictures and buying prices of every piece. Thats all i can do.
    6 points
  38. Hi, Yes, it's Haiku poem. はつ夢や、おもふて寝たる、日の光 "hatsu yume ya,omofute neta-ru,hi no hikari " meaing is: I went to bed expecting year's good first dream, but when I woke up, it was morning.
    6 points
  39. Interesting idea of approaching dealers for a first-right-to-buy. I'm not a dealer, so I could be wrong about this, but dealers aren't going to give you market rates for your collection. They have to sell at market rates, so their going to need to buy your swords below market rate in order to make a profit. I've make a page of notes for my wife (or daughter, if we both kick off at the same time) with the contact info of a couple of collector friends that can help/advise when I'm gone.
    6 points
  40. If my heirs don't appreciate my collection they can sell it however they like. I will be beyond caring, my legacy is in their genes for good or evil. Don't be too attached, it is just temporary. John
    6 points
  41. This software has an advanced feature called clubs, where you can have private areas administered by certain groups. So for example, a sword club could have a private discussion area here, where they would have full control and where their members could be granted access and have discussions. I have always been open to the idea if any groups wish to use this as a hub.
    6 points
  42. As a younger (nearing late thirties) collector and student I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. I own multiple blades, including one Juyo, and I’m a serious martial artist. I may be rare but I am not unique! I’ve also been a member of the NBTHK and the American branch since I bought my first sword. I’m going to share some thoughts here that I have already shared with folks at the AB, lightly edited, because I think they can be generally useful and contribute to the discussion. One caveat though: maintaining (and growing) a niche organization like this is very difficult and requires significant investments of time, attention, and effort. The NBTHK competes with everything else in life, and many if not most of the competitors are also investing massive sums of money in addition to time, attention, and effort (hello, Netflix). Most people who are going to enter this field nowadays will do so through the “side door.” For example, a few years ago in Japan, the video game Touken Ranbu led to a massive surge in the popularity of nihonto among younger women. There were lines around the block at museums. Here in the states, I think the most likely point of entry for potential NBTHK members, including younger members, is through the martial arts. To that end, in parallel with an organized social media effort, I think the NBTHK should explore how to better connect with the martial arts community (reputable dojos only, of course). What kind of partnerships might make sense? Can we provide some basic nihonto curriculum to introduce the NBTHK into dojos around the country? Any legitimate dojo teaching the Japanese sword should be or is already teaching some aspects of what we might consider the basic NBTHK curriculum. Many serious dojos already have one member who is the “real” sword guy/gal. In this way, forming relationships with dojos, to include events and programming, could be a good path to generate a steady stream of interest. It also opens up the possibility of collaborating with their social media accounts, and so on. This is my dojo, which is a good example of the kind of group we could target: https://www.brooklynbattodo.com. You’ll notice a few relevant articles I’ve written for the dojo, one a primer on nihonto overall, and the other a sword buying guide for martial artists. I have yet to meet a serious martial artist who isn’t utterly amazed when they get to see a nihonto in person. That’s no guarantee they want to expend any more effort, but it’s a start. Combined with some work on membership tiers and educational materials, this could be something of a shortcut to an interested / invested audience. Many of us have deep connections into kenjutsu dojos across the US, for example, and I don’t think it would be too difficult to organize a series of virtual seminars or lectures for dojos aimed at 1) sharing basic nihonto knowledge that is relevant to practicing a sword art and 2) introducing the NBTHK and the benefits of membership. In this way offering “101 level content”, especially via lectures, can be a lead generation strategy. Not everyone who loves nihonto/tosogu will become a collector, but I have personally guided multiple people in my dojo to buying their first nihonto or collecting a few tsuba. Having someone to guide you through the process makes it so much easier to spend $2000+ on an antique. On the other hand, it’s been much harder to convince folks to join the New York Token Kai and physically come see more stuff in person once a month. So I recognize there are limits here — but online content has the advantage of being consumable on any schedule one likes, for the most part. Taking most of a Sunday to go into the city, even to see amazing swords, is a lot to ask I guess. Traveling to one of the big shows will always be an activity for the most passionate among us. Another angle that I think can be very effective is simply that the NBTHK offers authoritative, authentic resources on the Japanese sword and related arts like tosogu. Emphasizing affiliation with “The Japanese Sword Museum in Tokyo” is a good idea. The internet is such a minefield, but with the right framing the NBTHK can be positioned as an antidote to all the crap out there. Essentially the NBTHK can market itself (yes marketing!) as one of the best English language destinations for nihonto-related resources and community. In doing so it should be able to connect with people who are likely to self-select into the right kind of groups (i.e. people with a serious interest for the right reasons). But NBTHK also needs to create and tailor membership benefits for beginners. Perhaps there is a "102 level" series of lectures they could offer that would build on the “101 level” that could be shared for free to the public (for the purposes of lead generation). Within the NBTHK AB there are some of the foremost nihonto/tosogu experts in the English speaking world. They could create some simple but amazing materials to support newcomers. For example, there could be a “Gokaden Intro Course,” and the NBTHK give anyone who joins at a certain level of membership a copy of Connoisseur’s to go along with it (financially I don’t think this is insane but I could be wrong). Getting started with nihonto really is the hardest part. If we remove some of the friction and target the right audiences we might see more success in the long term. But as you can probably tell, to even begin to execute some of this is a part time job at least. Apologies for the wall of text!
    6 points
  43. This is an old thread but I don't think this sword was shown before, a Kai Gunto from Australian War Memorial with blade broken by bullets. Relic from a fierce fight for sure ! https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C147367?image=1
    6 points
  44. 出来典型  deki tenkei 且出色也 katsu shusshoku nari Classic/Representative style and an outstanding work The 出 used on the sayagaki is a variation used by virtually nobody in Japan except for Tanobe-sensei.
    6 points
  45. Julian, The problem with this bright red lacquer is that the particles of pigment, vermilion or mercury suphide, have to mask the dark brown colour of the lacquer itself. This involves using a large amount of pigment in comparison with the quantity of lacquer needed to hold the particles together. As a result, the coating of red lacquer is somewhat porous, there being insufficient lacquer to fill the spaces between the pigment particles that fill up with dirt particles. You often see this problem on the inside of face masks which resist all attemps to come clean when wiped with alcohol. The problem with your helmet is that the lacquer on both the red and black areas has become degraded by exposure to light. Lacquer when first applied is a complex structure in which the lacquer particles are surounded by an adsorbed layer of water molecules forming what is known as a micell. Exposure to light results in the water layer being driven off leaving the dull degraded surface. Ian Bottomley
    6 points
  46. Well as I've mentioned few times that I have a "sword database" that I am building and I've also mentioned that I have some online prices stored up. As I am not a commercial guy I thought I'd share the price list to NMB. Sharing is caring right? The idea for this came to me some years ago as I was constantly listing the few favorites for potential purchase, and that list was evolving all the time. As I removed sold ones off and saw that I started to get more expensive swords to the list that I could not even dream of getting. So I thought I should just let the swords stay in list even if they were sold. Here are few words about the price list, there are about 1750 swords listed, I have direct links to about 1600 swords that you can just click and they should take you to the sword. About 1250 swords have their prices listed. The really high end swords usually don't feature the asking price. And I have taken out some prices that I've got to know privately, as I wanted to keep this so that all info in this is/has been open to public. And private information that has been said in private should not be in my opinion distributed on open forum. The cut off point in the list is approximately around 1450's (I know I still have few dated ones in the 50's). There might be some errors that I've put a smith under wrong school or tradition (or even have the wrong smith) but I've tried to minimize them and tried to correct most to my actual database. Sometimes it is quite difficult to pinpoint the origin of some smiths. This is kinda barebones version as for example I've put mei and measurements to my real database. I just wanted to have this document as easily viewed and quick as possible. The document has headlines, so when you open it it should be 1.tier Province 2.tier School 3.tier Smith etc. Granted I didn't make headlines for all the smiths. For example there are 2 Sōshū Masamune in the list, so I thought it wouldn't be necessary to make a headline for him as he can be easily found through search or just going to the Province. Once you start using it for the first few times it should be quite easy to navigate. Especially when you use ctrl+f to get the headlines tab open. Then you can just move fast by clicking various schools. The format on the document is like this Smith or School - Type of sword (mei or mumei) - [koshirae] if there is one featured Length in cm - price of the sword - authentication paper - seller of the sword Direct link to the sword I might have messed it up in some place but in general the classification arrangement I used would be odachi -> tachi -> katana -> naginata -> naoshi -> wakizashi -> tanto -> others I hope members will find this useful Miekkojen hintaseuranta NMB version 1.docx
    6 points
  47. 70cm nagasa, some (minor in shinogi-ji,as pictured) ware but overall the work is clean and in a good condition for Kamakura period. Different books give different dates for Ayanokoji Sueyuki, circa 1270 being one of the possibilities here. LOTS of activity. midare utsuri, chouji in ko nie with plenty of sunagashi, tobiyaki etc. Jigane has a strong white hue, mostly itame. You will not find another at the same price. 11K USD. I was way too lazy not selling some of the items until yen collapsed... Now they have to be downpriced accordingly. Full or partial trade is of interest, but interested only in "interesting" items. Will be selling it at SF sword show, please see my table. All blades have habaki, shirasaya, sword bag. The work is very tight and clean, but there is always one week inspection period to make sure.
    6 points
  48. The fisrt line; 独逸 (Doitsu) - Germany キリル港 (kiriru-ko) – Kiel port 停舶中 (teihakuchu) – at anchor
    6 points
  49. They are great quality - you didn't mention the name of the shop? You wouldn't take $20 each? - Just joking - What about $200? That is the find of the Century [well the first quarter of 21st century at least!] You don't need to go out and buy a lottery ticket - you already WON!
    6 points
  50. I realise I'm a few years late; I didn't see this until earlier today. Attached is Jussi's document, reformatted as a spreadsheet. Miekkojen hintaseuranta NMB version 1.xlsx
    6 points
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