Jump to content

Leaderboard

Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/30/2014 in Posts

  1. Today I drove down to Kamakura to visit my friend Robert Hughes (well, being one of those jaded, elitist nihontō pricks, I don’t have any real friends, but Bob is the next best thing). After some hearty lunch next to a beautifully maintained Japanese garden we strolled to the Hongakuji Temple (本覚寺) of the Nichiren sect (日蓮宗). Ashikaga Mochiuji (足利持氏) built, and then donated, this temple to the priest Nisshutsu (日出) on the site where Nichiren stayed at after returning from his exile to Sado (佐渡島); the temple houses some of the ashes of Nichiren. A stone monument stands near the main temple in honor of Okazaki Gorō Masamune (岡崎五郎正宗). The story goes that when Okazaki Gorō, still a boy, came to Kamakura, Nichiren had already taken up residence in the Ebisudō (夷堂) Hall. Gorō 's father brought him to Nichiren to learn his teachings, and in return Nichiren gave the boy a new name, Masamune - which implies the rightness of the teachings of Nichiren himself. Nearby is a prayer column dedicated to Masamune, dating from the Muromachi period and finally there are the gravestones of Masamune and his son Sadamune; they date from the Nambokuchō period, and all inscriptions are eroded. To be fair, there are (yet) no hard facts or documents to support all this, only circumstantial evidence. Further research is needed to corroborate all of this. *** See, Bob, you censuring me for taking photos while you explained all this to me was totally uncalled for – I actually *can* multitask! Oh, and if I got something wrong, it’s only because you didn’t explain it correctly.
    38 points
  2. I have a dream to add one Naginata to my collection for a long time In the end, I succeeded and I think it's quite a nice piece So I share just for the pleasure of the eyes of nihonto fans Hizen Shodai Masahiro Mei: Hizen no Kuni Kawachi Daijō Fujiwara Masahiro Kanbun yonen nigatsu kichijitsu (February 1664) Nagasa: 40.8 cm
    29 points
  3. Darcy grew up in Windsor, Canada. He was one of 3 brothers. When younger, he worked in an automotive plant there. He would go onto McGill in Montreal to study Computer Science. He would start his own company and sell it to INTUIT during the Dot.com era. He bought a red Ferrari thereafter to impress the girls, but he rarely drove it. He preferred his dirtbikes, for which the local police gave him hell. He’d give them hell back. I’d visit him in Montreal. Generally, he was interested in the science of finely made things. Be it Scottish whisky, the chemical composition of rare gemstones, or nihonto, we would stay up late talking. When I went to Scotland, I’d bring him back some good stuff not available in the USA back then. He helped me design the wedding ring for my wife. We set it with a diamond he owned and I believe he was keeping for his own marriage. There was a pretty long haired brunette girl for him back then, but it didn’t work out. One of the many random memories I have is that he would do things like get a bunch of sleeping bags and give them to the homeless on the coldest nights in Montreal. We’d be friends for 20 years. We would meet up every few years and have a meal together, starting up again as if we had just seen each other last week. In recent years, life took us further apart- but I will miss the guy who could brutally argue statistics with me while we made hamburgers on a flame grill at 2 am. Curran
    29 points
  4. This was just posted by Andrew Ickeringill ( @Andrew Ickeringill ) on Facebook, and I thought it was worth posting here, and pinning for the future. Andrew is a FULLY trained traditional polisher and one of the most qualified to make these statements. Before bringing up the subject on this forum, and risking a storm of fire, please read this and take it to heart. Amateur sword polishers… I know you probably won’t listen, but I’ll try anyway. Recently, I’ve been seeing more and more rubbish from amateur polishers on the internet, it’s not a new problem, but with social media being what it is, amateurs have been given a platform where they can prosper. It’s beyond frustrating, it’s infuriating, and it's working directly against what I'm striving for, the preservation of Nihonto. I’ve had to correct the damage caused by amateur polishers many times, and the damage is always severe. Correcting these hack-jobs takes a lot of work, and it means removing more steel than would’ve otherwise been necessary if the blade had previously gone to a traditionally-trained togishi. A traditional apprenticeship in togi takes years to complete for a reason, THERE’S A LOT TO LEARN! It means giving up everything else to spend your time in servitude to Nihonto. My apprenticeship was 12 hours a day / 7 days a week / for over 6 years, and even my spare time (what little I had) was usually spent studying nihonto. But if you want to be a togishi, this is the way it must be, you have to go all in. Through arrogance or ignorance or both, amateur polishers have completely forgone this necessary training. Some of them may have attended seminars in Japan, or visited a togishi for a few days… but this obviously doesn’t equate to traditional training. And for many amateurs, the bulk of their training consists of reading books and watching youtube videos of swords being ruined without a clue. Unfortunately, these videos receive plenty of misguided encouragement from those who don’t know any better… “wow, so shiny!”. Amateurs will often argue… “this sword isn’t worth sending to a pro, should we just leave it to rust?”… but how would THEY know? They haven’t been trained in kantei, they have no idea if a sword is worth a professional restoration or not. A cold chill passes up my spine every time I think about this, how many great swords have been ruined by amateurs? I know I’ve already seen a few in my time. If you’re an amateur polisher reading this, let me give you a tip… this job is not for you. This isn’t something that should be attempted by anyone but a traditionally trained togishi, and if you haven’t realised this fact by now, then you need to develop more respect for Nihonto and the craftsmen who have worked their butts off to complete the proper training. Please stop scraping the life away from these works of art, you’re doing far more damage than repair… this job is not for you!
    29 points
  5. Darcy Brockbank: A Tribute “The captain of his soul” By Robert Hughes Ted Tenold, Darcy’s close friend and longtime business associate had the unenviable task of sharing this tragedy with our community. Thus, we began to mourn the loss of our nihonto associate and friend…. While at the same time, many condolences have registered Darcy’s great achievements and his educational legacy. This is the part that really deserves a life celebration for there is much that he generously shared! Just as one piece of a puzzle never represents the completed work, singular perceptions never define the magnitude of a person’s character. So, from the ever increasing list of heartfelt condolences following Ted’s notification, I have borrowed a few essential elements to quote here. I hope no one minds… By assembling a few shared thoughts, quite an amazing picture emerges. The condolences and reflections are like small pieces of tile, and when combined leave us with a large life mosaic. The mosaic records our sense of loss while recognizing the contributions he made to us. Darcy masterfully bundled three somewhat incongruous elements together: sword scholarship, friendship, and commercial activity. As many have attested, it truly was a blessing to be the beneficiary of even one, if not all three elements. Many important sword and fittings collections arose or were enhanced through either guidance or acquisitions from Darcy. With intelligence and a superb sense of refinement, Darcy had a great eye and appreciation for fine samurai art and beauty in life. With all his accomplishments, he was never vain. A trait he may have inherited from his recently deceased father who had been a well-respected teacher and school principal in Ontario. The apple never falls far from the tree… Mosaic Life Tiles “most respected and trusted scholar” John V. (Glencoe Il.) “inconceivable” Stephen (Iowa)he would do things like get a bunch of sleeping bags and give them to the homeless on the coldest nights in Montreal” Curran (Pirate Coves, USA)“nihonto legend… I’m crushed.” “He didn’t tolerate unethical dealings and fraud.” Brian (South Africa) “no words adequate to express this terrible loss” Ray (Florida) “amazing wealth of knowledge” Greg F (Australia) “a living legend has gone” Chris (Bavaria) "a devasting loss” Jussi (Finland)“ “a leader in the nihonto community” Mark S. (Illinois) “his reach was far, his knowledge was great, his friendship will be missed” B. Hennick (Canada) “he shared his time and knowledge which was more precious” Matt (Virginia) “very passionate guy searching for the truth” Robert (New York) “my mind is in turmoil” Jean L. (France) “and the sleepless nights he spent answering even the most ridiculous of emails and random enquiries in his honest, lengthy, didactic manner. Trying to teach, elucidate, steer. Often taking other people’s burdens upon himself.” Michael S. (UK) And so on…. the mosaic is taking shape….. Those that followed Darcy’s recent adventures know that during the onset of the pandemic, he relocated to Japan from Thailand. Little by little, flight opportunities diminished and Darcy found himself a temporary but long term resident in Japan. It was not a hardship arrangement, as his residency became the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi Hills. As his stay morphed into months, Darcy became a hotel feature and dined regularly with the manager. This, in turn, endeared special treatment and eventually he received a luxury suite for a near regular room rate. As a long term hotel resident, the staff found him friendly and interesting. Even during the winter months, he could be seen in the neighborhood walking around in a black t-shirt and short pants. Growing up in Canada, he had developed some immunity to the cold. Japanese were amazed. During this period in Japan, Darcy became close to Hisashi Saito of Ginza Seikodo. They made a habit of dining together regularly. I often joined them. We searched for venues that remained opened and that served libations which proved to be a tricky arrangement. This was during the pre-vaccination phase. These were eerie nights out because we often found ourselves the only patrons in the venues. Infection rates were like waves rising and falling. During a short window of opportunity when infections had dropped and there was a temporary respite in civic restrictions, the Grand Hyatt set up an evening of entertainment with the great Konishiki Yasokichi on ukulele and his wife as vocalist. Konishiki was the first non-Japanese born sumo wrestler to reach ozeki. Darcy got three tickets and we made the best of a great evening together. As you will see below, sword dealers are big celebrities, so even Konishiki decided to photo bomb our selfie! There were only a dozen tables and we lowered our guard… Darcy was generous as always and he picked up the tab. He loved hearing stories of my four decades in the sword trade in Japan. One night he suggested that I should initiate fireside chats on-line, smoke a pipe, and tell sword stories. We shared many laughs… When I think of Darcy, Henley’s poem “Invictus” comes to mind. Darcy accomplished much and took bold strides through life. He truly had an unconquerable soul, for which he was master and captain. As a fellow Canadian, I am proud to have been one of his friends. I raise a glass of fine Primitivo Di Maduria in his honor! Invictus By William Ernest Henley Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeoning of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. Please continue to leave individual messages under Ted’s original notice. My intention is not to hijack his thread… Stay well! Robert Hughes
    26 points
  6. Hello to everyone on this thread. I am Darcy's younger brother and on behalf of our family thank you all for all of your comments about my brother. This is a tough time for our family especially after dealing with the recent loss of our father and comments such as these help us heal. With respect to preserving his nihonto web content, there is nothing that we would like more than to have his content preserved and remain available for those that share his passion. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like more information. Regards, -joel
    26 points
  7. Hey Fellas- I finally finished my sword display and study space. Thought you might enjoy taking a peek into my little world. The swords displayed on the table usually live in the the bedroom/Livingroom, but I rotate them out in the display case from time to time. In total, I have acquired 18 pieces in 3 years of active collecting, 6 of them are "mystery nihonto" the rest are papered. I think that my next step should be to get a professional appraisal of the whole lot for insurance purposes. any suggestions for how to go about this? Thanks for helping me get this far! -- JT
    23 points
  8. I'm sure all of you know and have interacted with Ray Singer and Swords of Japan before. He appears to be a respected voice on these boards and I am sure others as well. I became acquainted with Ray as of some direct information I picked up here with the suggestion to purchase an initial sword from someone on this site. Based on that information, I went to the Swords of Japan website and found a beautiful Takada Muneyuki Katana in a very reasonable range. After some initial discussions with Ray, including some wonderful background on the sword and the smith I decided to purchase the sword. That's where it all went downhill, for the sword. The transaction was professional and quick with the sword shipped to my house quickly thereafter. Sometime after it was dropped off at USPS, the sword fell out of the system. No scans were made, the delivery date came and went. This went on for a little over 5 weeks on a shipment that should have taken 4 days. During this whole time, Ray was working the system trying to find information for me to keep me up to date with the results. All told, he said he spent 50 hours on the phone with the USPS. Well, after 5 weeks, he finally decided all avenues had been exhausted and decided to make an insurance claim. Well as usually happens when that type of decision is made, USPS decides to walk up to my house and drop off the sword. The package was a little beat up but the sword inside was well packaged and unharmed. I really appreciate the efforts that Ray went through to make this happen. Most would have thrown up their hands after a week. With that, as long as I am in this hobby he has a customer. There is too much negative in this world and sometimes it's nice to focus on the positives. Jim Blubaugh
    23 points
  9. It’s been 2 years this month i have been waiting for this pole to rejoin the blade and saya. It’s been languishing in Japan. I am really pleased. It’s gorgeous from top to bottom. The mother of pearl is luxurious. Signed Heianjo Fujiwara Sukenobu. Just wanted to share. Mark
    20 points
  10. Hi my dear friends, First of all, I want to express my most sincere wishes and a Happy New Year to you all and your families. I know this should be in another section so Brian, please feel free to move it if you feel like it, but I posted it here because some members have contacted me and I want to reach most of them. Not sure they all go to the Izakaya. Then I guess I owe you guys an explanation and an apology for my silence those past few months. I’ve wanted to do that for quite some time but it isn’t always easy to expose your issues in front of everyone, and I know some of you may find those issues triffle or first world problems. Anyway, here’s what has happened to me since my absence. First of all, let me tell you that I’m an animal lover… maybe a little too much ! For years, I have been doing the job of a shelter for distressed cats without help or financing. At some point, I had more than 30 cats. Costly and tiring. That’s roughly three hours of work in addition to my full time job everyday. Those animals I recover are usually starving, some of them sick, all of them scared by very difficult beginnings. I’m used to have animals that don’t live long because of that. I loose some every year. Everytime, its a tragedy for me but I’ve developped some endurance to it. This year was special. I lost ten of them in a row over the space of two months. Causes of death were different but I think that the last straw was probably the last one who was litteraly and voluntarily crushed to pulp by a car and the driver purposefully drove over him with both wheels. I know it as I saw it happen. I guess it taxed me a lot and I entered some kind of a breakdown. I was starting to recover, in September, when the secong blow came. Now, here’s the second part of my life. Ten years ago, my elderly mother suffered a stroke that left her with paralysis on her left side. My father had a hard life working in construction and carrying loads so his back is ruined and he has to use a walker. Being an only child, I took them both in and care for them. Not a light job either, but one I feel I have a duty to accomplish. So, come September, my father has to be hospitalized because he had fallen in the middle of the night. His blood count was well below normal. Diagnosis : Mielodisplastic syndrome. To sum up, a bone marrow cancer that will turn into fatal leukemla in generally something like two years. That was the fatal and final blow to me. Now it’s been three months since that diagnosis and I am starting to digest it and recover. My father is responding to treatment and so far, he is neither better nor worse. There you have it ! All tis has made me depressed and apathetic, with no real interest for anything and some sort of self pitying. So I am sorry and apologize to all those who’ve contacted me and to whom I haven’t replied, I will reply to each and everyone of you. Please just give me some time as things have accumulated and I have some catching up to do. Know that I am feeling better and will do my best to stay around. Best wishes to you all, JP
    19 points
  11. I'm using this post as an opportunity to share a picture of my contribution. The original template for this piece is probably an Akasaka Tsuba. The flowing design represents a Waka poem from the Kokon Waka Shu 古今和歌集: ほのぼのと明石のうら朝ぎりの島かくれゆくふねをしぞおもふ "In the bay, of Akashi, when the day is drawing to an end, my thoughts follow a boat which disappears behind an island in the mist." Thanks Christoph
    18 points
  12. OK, I got a small teaser to share!
    18 points
  13. I know I always say this place is free and will never have a charge to sell or interact here. And I really resisted saying this. But seriously..... I am seeing many sellers who move thousands of $'s of goods through this place regularly, who have never contributed a cent. Or who won't even consider a $30 Gold membership for 6 months. Guys with multiple $2000+ sales who don't even say thanks. There are multiple ways to say thanks in the STORE section above. And then we have others that will send even a single dollar if they do even a $10 sale...and will contribute every time. Those guys...these small handful...are allowing these big sellers the opportunity and privilege to sell. Because those few guys are keeping this place running. Thank you again to the few who are always so generous. To the others, be thankful I don't institute a charge to sell here. And I don't refer to the small guys who sell a tsuba or 2 occasionally or one item a year. or the reputable dealers who contribute a sum every few months or annually as a thanks. I am grateful to all of you. But those who have sold thousands of $'s and never contributed a cent......don't thank me. Thank those that are covering the costs here for YOU so that you can benefit. Just needed saying.
    18 points
  14. For someone who has an interest in Soshu-den works, this is an extremely enjoyable sword to study. It is an o-suriage wakizashi which appears to be a Nanbokucho-period naginatanaoshi. The bo-hi appear to be ato-bori, and the upper portion of the blade is ubu (ie. the kaeri is intact). The jihada is an extremely beautiful, large pattern itame that is thickly covered in ji-nie and having areas which appear like yubashiri. Nie arcing out of the hamon becoming chikei in the ji. The hamon is generally midare, with areas of gonome-midare. There is deep nie-hataraki to the edge, including ashi, yo, kinsuji, sunagashi, etc. The hamon is brilliant. The nakago, as mentioned, is osuriage with 3 mekugi-ana (one plugged). The sword is very healthy and has a heavy feel in-hand. It is 7mm thick at the shinogi. The nagasa is 41.1cm and moto-haba is 31mm. The sword has two old attributions, which I will emphasize and make bold, are not to be considered guarantees of either attribution. One is an early Tokubetsu Kicho dated Showa 37 (1962) giving an attribution to Naoe Shizu. There is also an old sayagaki from Hon'ami Koson attributing the blade to Sa Kunihiro. Again in bold, the blade should be resubmitted to an NBTHK shinsa or discussed with Tanobe-sensei for a more current attribution. Regardless, this is an exceptional sword, and is whoever decides to purchase it is going to be very pleased. SOLD Kind regards, Ray
    18 points
  15. HI Khalid, I have a few thoughts on this below and a great article from Guido Schiller.
    17 points
  16. Greetings sword mavens, I just got back one my client's custom koshirae and thought I would share it with you. The client provided all the fittings and the koshirae was then created from scratch... The lacquer style for the saya is called fuemaki and consists of black rings. It is a nice visual alternative to the standard and conventional black gloss finish commonly seen. I have photographs of over thirty custom koshirae that I have coordinated for a variety of clients. I am putting together a catalog to entice interest. If you would like to see more....let me know! 1) wood foundation/tsuka and saya 2) antiqued ray skin 3) standard silk wrap 4) saya fuemaki lacquer work 5) tsunagi wooden dummy blade The price for this particular koshirae came to yen 222,000.... Best, Robert Hughes
    17 points
  17. Hey all! So I built a katana tansu, thought I’d share:
    17 points
  18. I'm back! The Tadayoshi did indeed make many styles of Hamon ---and the world recognised signature pieces were suguha. But not just any suguha….THE suguha. The forgers jumped on this bandwagon, and anything with suguha was faked into gimei Tadayoshi with varying degrees of signature quality from that akin to a 2 year old drawing in sand with a chopstick, to the Hizen Kaji itself adding the signatures. Some rare genuine pieces are in the more flamboyant choji midare, gunome etc and I suspect were special orders. The Oshigata books are full of them, but they rarely surface in the flesh, and when they do, they command very high prices and great care is necessary. The bulk of the works we see are therefore suguha- and in really nice suguha with some fine, often missed, ashi sometimes (4th and 5th if I recall correctly), and nijuba (2nd Gen), bright nioiguchi (2nd gen), nie deki in dark nie (1st gen) , flawless (3rd Gen)and so forth. Since the wilder hamon are buried deep in collections and rarely seen, the tendency is to assume they are gimei when they do show up. If you see a suguha sword, most jump straight to the Tadayoshi and if the hamon is lifeless, then clearly NOT the work of this school. The reality is that far more suguha gimei are out there, and unfortunately, some 85% of the overall Tadayoshi swords/oshigata/images I come across are in my opinion outright gimei, maybe 10% are in the 'not sure' bracket, and 5% have me drooling. The 10 % is the grey ‘floating world’ of gimei and all sorts of theories expound, but they can be really, really good. In short, its not JUST the signature, but the message the whole sword puts out. No I am not high! What I do when I see the wild hamon type swords is to put a great big question mark in the equation. In fact, the best approach is to not have any sword fever at all, and start with a gimei approach, the aim being to find signs that prove it is genuine and try to take the hoarder/gold fever attitude out of the equation as the heart beats faster. So the question is.... is this sword genuine. Since I presume no-one bought it who commented, it is now an easy option to say probably gimei, feel good about it and move on, but I don’t think that does this sword justice. I once saw an old collector at the SFO show years ago sit for two days behind the dealers table with a single sword he was contemplating buying – just getting to know it and listen to it he said! The sword, from what I can see (which isn't much) , doesn't have any obvious flaws and looks nice quality with a good colour to the steel. It gives an impression of quality, not junk. In no particular order...... The almost O-Kissaki and boshi is great with a Hizen type kaeri (I think that is what is there- an even tightish turnback without the wavy midare carried into the actual turn itself?). It’s a stoutly (very stout) proportioned sword, with an unusually short nakago and a signature that fills the nakago…… almost tsunobi tanto style --- so if it is only JUST a wakizashi in cutting length, then that's good news because there seemed to be a penchant for tsunobi (oversize 1 shaku 1 sun) tanto within this school (ie you don't often see small tanto, but you do see technically short wakizashi over 1 shaku, with tanto type proportions – tsunobi tanto), hence the rather short nakago ** (more later). Koshirae is possibly changed but ---glimpse of a Hizen Namban type of tsuba, a glimpse of lovely menuki in quality shakudo and gold, a glimpse of a silver dragon kanamono on the dried up saya ripe for restoration. Kind of points to a higher value owner than a hunter killer impoverished Samurai. Onto the nakago ----- well the nakago shape is good for the early generations, rounded V shaped nakagojiri, yasurimei are good quality, patina suggests maybe early Edo, if you go with a tsunobi tanto, then signature size and placement is kind of Ok. So I am thinking Hizen kaji work and haven't really seen anything to say it isn't yet. I love the powerful blade shape, and the short nakago maybe significant as the nakago wouldn’t be long enough to chop through your Xmas Turkey or opponents thigh bone in one stroke. The all important Mei. What I don't like: One chisel stroke in the Zen kanji runs into the nakago-mune. Hmmm. I would have been more comfortable if the mekugi-ana had pieced the left chisel strokes. Kind of suggests that the mei was added AFTER the mekugi ana and squeezed into place. I don't know what they did in this respect, but was told by an old Japanese sword master a few years back that the sword was a utility weapon, and was made into a sword after the smith made it. So you would expect the entire sword blade including the signature to be made first, and the hole placed later by the person fitting the koshirae who was more concerned with fitting the tsuka than the smiths signature. Not sure on this point but it makes sense........( Incidentally he also said once a sword was chipped or damaged, it was retired from use since your life depended on its structural integrity. I would suggest that depended on the depths of your pockets. I digress but all those Sengoku Jidai battle blades we collectors hold in high esteem with hakobori he thought of as junk!). What else is not right ......Kanji spacing is a little suspect but hard to discern on an oblique picture. The bottom TADA and YOSHI seem wider apart than the upper kanji ---almost as if they are set apart from the rest of the signature to say – “look at me ---- and don’t look anywhere else”- could be the angle but it is a question mark in the process. I usually run on 3 strikes and you are out--- right now we have a (probably) tsunobi tanto shape ( ** more later) but not a problem , with a wilder hamon than usual, again not a problem but care should be exercised, possibly awkward spaced kanji (maybe a problem) and a stroke runoff the edge (problem). What I do like : the vertical stroke in the kanji Tada is exactly correctly placed for X smith. The kanji are well cut, and let’s face it, up there with the actual smiths. Whoever applied this signature was in the upper end of his knowledge of this school, whether it was a master himself, or very good faker, or ......... the kaji itself. None of the kanji are out of place for this school in terms of shape and stroke ---none that I have spotted yet! We now take a while to let this sink in before returning to the kanji, and digress a little. The same Iaido master in Tokyo told me (and who am I to doubt him), that the castles in the castle towns were also repositories for weapons. Swords were stockpiled in times of peace for times of war. Thousands of them. And significantly many/most/all? were unsigned as they were churned out by the deshi and masters for the stockpile. The finest pieces went as gifts or were sold, the rest into the stockpile – unsigned. When hard times fell upon the Samurai (1800's onwards) and the CEO (Daimyo) was looking for cutbacks --- guess where the stockpiled swords ended up! Back in circulation ... but mumei swords were plentiful and what was required were swords made, and more significantly signed, by the masters (who were now dead). Add this to the grey production lines that the Daimyo did not control , and hey presto the actual 4th Gen sword with a faux 4th gen signature becomes reality... kaji made 'gimei'. Yup --- this throws a big spanner in the sword world... thank goodness it isn't rife in the armour world! I have that sword – a 4th gen blade, with a 4th gen signature, dated 1819 (8th gen was around 14years old). Un-papered of course but everything screams 4th gen except the inscribed date (which if anyone is aware is smack in the middle of the leaderless Kaji as the 8th gen was still too young, and the 6th & 7th recently departed this world)! Back to the ** short nakago issue. The same Iaido Master also told me that if you ever see a disproportioned (in length) nakago on a wakizashi size sword, it is PROBABLY a merchants sword. Remember they didn't fight, and could not wear a katana being limited to wakizashi. They carried fine pieces, high quality, but of little real fighting use due to the shortened tsuka. There was simply no need for a larger tsuka because if the merchant ever put his hand on it, he would probably be cut down in the blink of an eye. Best not touch it! They could afford the masters works and the flamboyant hamon, and often glamorous koshirae, and wanted the signed pieces. I am also thinking no self respecting trained killer of a samurai is going to put a silver kanamono dragon on his ro-iro saya. Incidentally the old Iaido Master’s grandfather was friendly with a local Daimyo, and they both had a passion for swords (he showed me the photo at his house one evening). Anyway, the Iado Sensei inherited the old family house, and had it restored. He found over 160 swords stashed in the attic and was slowly selling them off (I bought a few over the years) including a really nice Shodai Tadayoshi leaf yari that papered– and the usual bunch of (subsequent) gimei other smiths – stick to what you know! So that is where I am at with this sword --- possibly a tsunobi tanto, (someone is now going to post its length as 1 shaku 9 sun or something, rather than 1 shaku 0 Sun 8 Bu and shoot me down ! ), possibly a merchants sword in nice koshirae, and I would give it a shot at 80% genuine 1st gen and worthy of more research -note I did not say Shinsa in Japan as the last few swords I sent a while back to the NBTHK came back Horyu (undetermined). Did I say 1st gen? Slip of the pen but it got everyone’s attention. I am still pouring over the oshigata references, but I like it and am actually leaning towards 1st gen C1621 or a good gimei (not run of the mill). The ONE kanji that really cracks the Shodai question is the top of the HI kanji and the number of strokes top right – which was 3 for the Shodai and 2 for the other smiths – and that is the kanji we don’t see here (funny old thing)! The only solace is that had there been a couple of serious bidders, it could have hit a much higher price way outside of my now wife limited retirement budget of $4 per month. Had I seen it earlier and posted this, I guess the price would have been a lot higher than the rather pitiful $2,000 (sob sob). It is not 100% gimei and IMHO worthy of further research, and despite my setbacks with the NBTHK, even (dare I say it) worthy of Shinsa, otherwise known as “passing the buck” Hopefully some insight into suguha hamon, and gimei/shoshin appraisal (of Tadayoshi). Don’t you just hate it when a potential bargain slips past in the night! Rog
    17 points
  19. Today I went to a sales exhibition at the Nihombashi Takashimaya department store of works by Gassan Sadatoshi, and his son Sadanobu, by invitation of Inami Kenichi. I’m not a collector of contemporary swords, but wanted to have a look at their take at Sō-den, my main field of interest. Although the Gassan smiths are famous for their swords with ayasugi-hada, they also excel at the Sōshū style, and some very fine examples were on display / for sale. As a collector of antique swords, I sometimes feel a twinge of jealousy when looking at those absolutely flawless, healthy blades, exactly like the smith intended them. OTOH, they are also kind of “sterile” (for lack of a better expression, and not meant derogatory at all); in any case, art is art, no matter if it was made in the Heian period, or last week. It’s always a pleasure to meet Gassan-sensei, who is very friendly and humble (and constantly in need of a good haircut 😝). The only downside was the lighting, which was a little bright, so I had to twist my neck constantly to get a look at the details in the blades; that’s also the reason why I didn’t take more photos.
    17 points
  20. Hi folks, As some of you know already, on January 27 I suffered a fire in my house (an electric radiant heat panel in the ceiling arced out). No one was injured but the house is a mess and we likely won't live in it again until this fall at the earliest. None of my swords, kodogu, or books were damaged. All the books, however, have been put into storage and won't be available until I can move home. The swords and fittings, on the other hand, I can get to. I'm keeping a list of customers who want books so I can get to them later; I'd love to deal with you on a katana or tsuba right now. If you find something at Japaneseswordbooksandtsuba.com that interests you, please let me know (contact me by email through the site). The phone # on my site is the land line and is currently dead. If you want to talk my cell is 218-340-1001. Thanks for all the support I've received from my friends in Nihonto, Grey
    16 points
  21. Heianjo Fujiwara Kunishige Jumonji Yari Nagasa: 18.8cm x 14.3cm wide
    16 points
  22. Good morning all, and yes it is a good morning. A couple weeks ago I posted my concerns about a recent Tanto purchase being stolen while in the care of the USPS. Well it arrived yesterday safe and sound. I want to thank all of you here that responded with their support. I also would like to thank the seller Volker from Germany for the great transaction, the extraordinary packing and the follow up with me and DHL. Let me say to others that may end up in the same situation, Don’t Give Up, Stay On The Shipper, Don’t Except that they Can’t Find Your package and close your case. I filed 5 claims on this package with the USPS. I had the claims expedited two times. During all of this the USPS sent me Two emails stating that they were sorry but my package was untraceable and lost. I then reopened my claims and made two calls to Consumers Affairs and filed claims with them. During this time Volker was also in touch with DHL. I believe that if we didn’t stay on the USPS and had accepted that they Couldn’t Find It I would have never received it. I still believe in being Pro Active in cases like this, when something doesn’t look right or feel right, get on it right away. If you feel it may be missing post pictures here so that all the good people can be on the look out for it if it should surface and most of all DO NOT EXCEPT THE SHORT ANSWERS THAT IT IS JUST LOST. Stay on it and push it. Again thank you all for your support, thank you Volker for the sale and all your help. I am Now the Proud New Caretaker of a beautiful blade that has finally found its way to its new home. MikeR
    16 points
  23. Many times the people making the translation request will themselves not know what they wish to understand from the document. In their minds, they may have an idea that the document will somehow tell them the details of the smith who made the sword, but in reality the document will just be a dry description of the sword itself. Is the sword old? Is it real? How much is it worth? These are basic things that people want to know, but this information isn't necessarily included in, for example, a registration certificate or a tag attached to a WW2 sword. Here I agree with Christopher and Michael, that the narrative "setsumei" which accompanies the Jūyō swords would be as valuable as, and more interesting than, the technical, almost boring, Jūyō certificate. The Jūyō document here in this thread is full of sword terminology which is meaningful for most of us here, but I'm afraid it will be impenetrable to a new person. And yet, there is no middle-ground. You either know the jargon, or you don't. The translator can include explanations of the terms to try to make it easier, but that is time-consuming. A paper like this could easily take hours to explain fully. In this case I think I probably looked at Jiri's post count, and felt he/she would be able to spend some time with a search engine as long as the text was machine-readable. So rather than me doing a deep-dive on what "ko-ashi hairu" means, or the nuances of "jinie-gakari", I put it into text so that Jiri can explore on his own, and then come back for further explanation on any terms that remain unclear. To the larger question of translation for free, Mywei has it absolutely correct: pursuing an accurate translation can be enjoyable and rewarding for the translator as well as the reader. It also brings new collectors to the site, which is (hopefully) good for the site and good for the hobby. Its also good to have a number of eyes and brains looking at inscriptions because, as we all know, translators make mistakes. So translation work - even complicated passages, can be a pleasure. I will avoid doing a translation if it looks like its going to be thankless drudgework ("I saw this possibly fake WW2 flag on ebay today, could you please translate the 100 names on it even though I might not bid on it"). If people wish to donate to the board when they feel they have received something of value, that is a great thing, and I'm happy to help. It does get complicated if people expect a service in return for a donation, so I wouldn't want to obligate either of us to that. There are so many entry barriers to Japanese sword collecting, that its a good thing for us to try to reduce those barriers.
    16 points
  24. 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
    16 points
  25. Getting to see this today almost felt a bit surreal, though I‘ve been told of it. After all, it is the final proof of the blade being an original Masayuki. Can’t tell how happy I‘m today!
    16 points
  26. 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
    16 points
  27. I built a fire proof lined vault in the man cave and lined it with slat board. Then we got to work in the shop and made wooden, stepped brackets which allow a blade in shira saya to be displayed adjacent to the koshirae. Blades having just shirasaya simply rest on slatboard hooks. I’m now gradually repositioning blades and grouping them by eras, and schools which is useful for study purposes . jim
    16 points
  28. Over time, I tried new light sources. I only share for enjoy. Jirotaro Naokatsu ko-wakizashi One of my favorite blades
    16 points
  29. Adam, at this point I do not want to speak on any investments from my side. I do not know the final costs myself (yet), I do not know what the value is when fully restored and papered, I'm only following what I'm being recommended to do by experts, so why discuss something like this? I have received help from this forum and several members in particular, by giving feedback to the current status and additional information I got I try to give some of this help back. That is the reason why I keep this thread alive. So even if the numbers Michael quoted are correct, wouldn't that be my problem what I'm investing in a hobby and as long as I'm happy with it, all should be fine? And finally, it is a bit weird if not rude for you to assume I would only do this for financial benefit and that you are sure it will be put on the market. Several times within this thread I made it clear that a) I can afford all of what so far was done plus b) I don't have the financial need to sell this item and I'm looking forward to the day I'll get it back. While my background surely is not the same of a person who dedicated centuries of his life to the study and collecting of Nihonto, I still can appreciate workmanship and give it a warm and good home as long as I am happy and pleased with it.
    16 points
  30. The little Tansu in my study room.
    16 points
  31. Dear Jace. A large shinshinto katana with an o gissaki in nice original mounts, spotted many years ago as I was cycling past an antiques shop I knew. Groaned and pulled over on the basis of, "Well at least I can have a look!" Went in and drew the blade out a little to see a sticker, yes, on the blade, which said £30. Force of habit more than anything else, I asked if there was anything they could do on that and to my surprise the owner said he could do it for £28. With trembling hands I wrote the cheque, knowing that it would make me over drawn, first and last time for that. Next problem was cycling home with it. I still have it, papered now to Inshu Kanesaki. Iron mokko tsuba, gold foiled habaki and seppa, shakudo fuchi kashira and menuki of samurai fighting in boats. All the best.
    15 points
  32. First day of the show is on the books. It was well attended and looked like there wasn't an empty booth space to be had. I walked in there with a wandering eye and curious hands which I mostly scolded and kept in my pocket. Behind my eye and hands was a main drive/focus...my Unicorn Cinderella quest. I had a type 98 koshirae with sharksin saya (purchased on NMB) and wanted to find it a blade. I would mention this quest and mostly told "Good luck" and I'd take the well wishes. I knew it would be tough, but if it was to be done; this was the place. I walked booth to booth with my tsunagi with a few potentials coming and going. Hours later I had about given up while at the same time never yet losing faith. Then at the end of an aisle it happened.... I came across a Tadakuni Nidai with Hozon papers for an affordable price. I laid the tsunagi over it...huh...this might work. I tell the dealer my quest and the potential of his blade so he says, "Well lets try". I ask him do it because god forbid anything happen. He takes the blade out of shirasaya and it just happened to fit perfectly into the seppa, perfectly into the tsuba, perfectly into the tsuka...but could the mekugi ana honestly linenup as well? I heard the magic words..."they line up perfectly!". I responded "No way, you might have found my Cinderella! Now if it's a perfect fit I feel like I can't even try to haggle!" The seller then said, "ha, I'll take $100 off". Class act.... Then of course is the last and final piece...the saya. He picks up the blade perfectly mounted in my tsuka and slowly...slowly...starts to slide it in. Only the penitant blade shall pass. He continues...so far so good....and then the Cinderella moment...it fit perfectly including the habaki. Tight, nestled and safe. Lastly, it really could use one extra seppa to really snug things up. Went to Grey and Mark's table digging into Mark's tacklebox of seppa, gunto etc...parts. found the perfect seppa that lines up perfectly with the other seppa and locking mechanism. We were all systems go. No pumpkin. The only thing off was that the tsunagi was about an inch and some change longer. So Cinderella Tadakuni was a bit shorter than she could have been. This I will allow. That blade was my entire haul this year and couldn't be happier. I'm not the first to have this happen, nor will I be the last but thank you Chicago Sword Show 2022. Honorable Mentions that I Almost Bought: 1. Signed tanto early 1800s with a Fuji design in hamon...but no sun/moon. 2. Signed Gendaito (Kanesomething?) by a WW2 era smith in shirasaya who made the hada look like soundwaves all the way down the blade. Was told it was an old "forgotten or secret" (i forget the adjective used) technique only done/known by a few smiths. There were more details about the blade but I lost them in the fog. It really was quite beautiful besides its flaws but walked away without it for a few reasons. Picture collage below of seperate sword in shirasaya becoming one with the type 98 koshirae.
    15 points
  33. I hope everyone had fun looking into naginata for a change. Like many I had dreamed on having a naginata in my collection and I missed few old ones in Japan very closely in the last 5 or so years. So even though rationally I really shouldn't have even thought about this, my heart was pushing me to this when I saw this at Nihonto Australia around Christmas time. I just felt I won't be able to have a chance for such an item in long long time if I miss this one. This had passed Hozon in 2021 and here is the answer: Explanation: Zaimei naginata signed 備州長船義景 / 嘉慶三年二月日 (Bishū Osafune Yoshikage – Kakei 3 nen 2 gatsu hi [1389]). This naginata is work by second generation Yoshikage. According to tradition first generation was the son of Kagemitsu (景光) and/or a student of Chikakage (近景) and second generation was a student of Kanemitsu (兼光) it is also said that he was the son-in-law of Chōgi (長義). However more recent studies have been associating Yoshikage more closely to Osafune side lines like Chikakage (近景) and Morikage (盛景). This has been mentioned in more recent Jūyō and Tokubetsu Jūyō explanations for Yoshikage, when in earlier sources he has been put towards Sōden-Bizen group. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find many extant blades by the second generation Yoshikage, I will attach naginata from Jūyō 13 (dated 1388) and the description for it, it is very similar to this naginata. I translated it myself so there can be errors so I will attach the original Japanese text too. I will quote this part of it “Judging from the ordinary worksmanship, it is seen as work of second generation, these are generally referred as Kozori-mono” So the worksmanship of second generation Yoshikage seem to also fit the “outsider” group Kozori who presumably didn’t work with main line Osafune smith traditions. Kozori group is interesting as their work generally is from late Nanbokuchō to early Muromachi period and of certain style but I think there is lot to research on Kozori. With some earliest work by some Kozori smiths being around mid-Nanbokuchō period. I have listed Yoshikage as Sōden-Bizen smiths in my personal records, however due to more recent info I might have to adjust it. Unfortunately, dated items by Yoshikage smiths are extremely rare, and so far I have found only 7 items. Jūyō 61 there is a wakizashi dated 1357 Jūyō 46 there is naginata-naoshi dated 1363 NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon tantō dated 1363 Jūyō Bunkazai wakizashi owned by Tanzan Jinja dated to 1374 Jūyō 16 there is tachi by Yoshikage dated 1379 Jūyō 13 there is the naginata dated to 1388. This naginata with NBTHK Hozon dated to 1389 Out of these 7 the first 5 items are judged as work by first generation Yoshikage, and naginata (+ I would assume this naginata for kantei) by second generation. I am also aware of 7 signed swords without date and I believe they are all attributed towards the first generation Yoshikage. 5 Tachi out of which one is also dated but the era and the smith are unreadable but attributed towards Yoshikage. And two blades with orikaeshi-mei (a katana and a wakizashi). So, the total that I have found thus far is 14 signed blades by Yoshikage. In general Naginata dated pre 1400 are extremely rare. Over the years I have gone through thousands and thousands of items in my research and so far I have been able to find only 37 naginata and naginata-naoshi that have pre 1400 date. Out of these 23 are NBTHK Jūyō and Tokubetsu Jūyō items and other 14 with various designations, some high government or provincial designations and some lower NBTHK designations etc. I am sure there are some more as I haven’t been able to dig through all items in shrine/temple collections, all museums, or imperial collection and surviving major collections etc. But the point here is that very old dated naginata are rare historically important items. Here is the naginata from Jūyō 13 and my own translation.
    15 points
  34. A fine sword by Hayama Enshin dated Taisho 15, in excellent Type 94 Koshirae.
    15 points
  35. Dear friends, It is heartwarming to see the concern felt for Guido. Please keep him in your thoughts and meditations. However, it seems the rumor mill was spinning recently regarding his situation. Guido was given follow-up surgery in December to relieve pressure that was still being exerted on his brain. The situation is still dire as there are few signs of improvement other than some eye activity and some wrist movement, but these small signs are positive. It is not known where this will lead and whether any rehabilitation can be effective. Sadly, I have nothing more to report at this time, but if I receive any developmental news, I will certainly keep our community informed. Best Regards, Robert
    15 points
  36. Hi, The carving on the Tsuba is a famous maxim/Proverbs of TAKEDA Shingen. pic #1: 人は城、人は石垣、人は堀、 (Hito wa shiro,hito wa ishigaki,hito wa hori, ) People are castles, people are stone walls, people are moats, Mei is 秀斎(Shusai/Hidesai,gago) and 直忠(Naotada). pic #2: 情けは味方、仇は敵なり。 (nasake wa mikata,ada wa kataki nari.) Sympathy is needed to the peoples,and Don't be passionate.
    15 points
  37. First, thank you for all those kind words. This post is prompted by yet another thread started by a new collector who is wondering if he should buy some gawd awful & ugly unsigned wakizashi with bad kizu on ebay. Beginners, I know you want to be the one to find a diamond in the rough and your natural inclination is to be wary of anyone who knows more than you do (us dealers) but you are doing yourselves no favors. If you are just getting started you need guidance and you won't find that on ebay. I am not the only dealer who claims to be honest here on the message board or with a website; there are more than a few of us you could safely approach. If, however, you do come to me about a sword you're considering, I will tell you about any defect or shortcoming it may have and what it means to the value and answer any questions you may have and gently steer you in a sensible direction and I won't lie to you just to sell a sword. And, as mentioned, there are others you can trust; it doesn't have to be me. But please, leave ebay alone. Take your business to someone who has nothing but his reputation.
    15 points
  38. Alive, still. @Neil: I saw that you wrote me a PM and apologize for not having replied (looking at the board on a regular basis, but hardly logging in, and the notifications go to my old email address, so I have to change that). I am still working on the Gendaito Project, but I wish I had met the full goal of donations back then to take that time off to bring the project to the finish line. About 1/4 was met, for which I am very grateful, and after so many years, I totally understand all the frustration, so if anyone wants a refund, I am happy to to do so. I have mentioned at some other occasion that at the moment, and going forward, I am working on what I call my "legacy," which is, newly researched monographs on each of the swordsmith and sword fittings schools published as individual (smaller, and thus less pricy) books. This will not be chronological and I have decided to make the Gendaito Project part of it and publish it as one of the first books in the series. Due to the number of Gendaito smiths, there might even be two volumes, and the website with all the pictorial references that can not go into the book(s) will be there as well. Now working remotely for the museum a full year (and 2,5 years in total), and living in a small town in North Carolina, going back to NYC becomes less and less attractive, also because no decision has been made yet if my position becomes permanent, as Assistant Curator, or not. This means, if that does not work out, and it might be so as it currently appears, I will have full time again to 100% focus on the backlog.
    15 points
  39. Some more photos. The last one shows (from left to right) Gassan Sadatoshi (sitting), Gassan Sadanobu, Inami Ken’ichi (and an unknown visitor). I just couldn’t bring myself to ask them to post for a selfie with me … 🥺
    15 points
  40. Custom case with dehumidifier and locked glass front doors - over blade LED lights and I can sit and look at them all day !!
    15 points
  41. Hi Jim, thank you for sharing the story here and I am just relieved that the sword finally arrived. I will add to this that I needed to open investigations three times with USPS. The cases would be under investigation for a week at a time with no progress or call-backs, and then were simply closed. After this I opened investigations with Consumer Affairs first at the Florida side of the journey and then the California side. In retrospect, perhaps I should have initiated the claim at an earlier point but I continued to receive promises of a call-back "soon" with additional information, which were never fulfilled. As I told Jim in my last email, I am grateful and appreciative of his patience and understanding throughout this long process. Best regards, Ray
    15 points
  42. Hello, I would like to present my newest Tanto Koshirae. Saya. Working with the shells turned out to be very laborious. I used eggs from the village with a fairly thick shell. It is important to peel off the inner film after boiling, which is best to come off wet. The application lasted about 4 days. Then, filling small gaps and lacquering. During sanding, be careful not to take too much ... Tsuka. Samegawa dyed in the process of 2 natural dyes, which I received from a Japanese professional Tsukamakishi. Tsukamaki. The first time I did a 10-pair braid. The difficulty with more pairs is keeping straight lines on the center of the hishi in the cross section. Therefore, I decided to make the middle part of hishi - using the hineri-maki method. This in turn causes the cross section to be raised and the need for more hishigami / komekami ... The braid is a bit taller / protruding, but it gives a good depth. The braid is fully stitched so the threads do not slip and are tightly stretched. Used jabara is 0,85 mm diameter. My dream is to make a 12-pair braid. However, I can't find the right thickness for the jabaraito anywhere, it has to be about 0.65mm thinner. I used honoki wood. Saya fittings. Koiguchi of copper, rest of buffalo horn. Seppa with filing big teeth of copper. Keep fingers crossed for next better project.
    15 points
  43. You are so right, Brian. Hyper intelligent, cerebral and over analytical, which naturally lent itself to dissection of behaviours, moral codes, ethical standards…. And sometimes approaching matters clinically and logically, while in our life often emotions and irrationality rule. He sought honesty in people and would give people second chances, even if the initial reaction might have been explosive. But I appreciated that as we connected on that moral plane in the approach to the world. For him, the commercial aspect took second place, way behind the educational aspect and connecting with people. He would love to find the “right” item for the “right” person, sometimes going through years-long hurdles and obstacles and personal difficulty to facilitate this for his close circle. And the sleepless nights he spent answering even the most ridiculous of emails and random enquiries in his honest, lengthy, didactic manner. Trying to teach, elucidate, steer. Often taking other people’s burdens upon himself. Anyway, I am sure several of the board members can go on and on and on even more than me. So very sad really…. shattering ….and frankly unfair to have gone so young, with so much potential and with his big, generous heart…..
    14 points
  44. Item No. 120 - Copper tsuba with copper , shibuichi and gold inlays 7.93 cm x 7.18 cm x 0.46 cm Subject of falling Ginko leaves by Ford Hallam 16 years ago. On the carved copper tsuba there are inlays of three different copper alloys and two alloys of shibuichi - the gold highlights applied by fire gilding.
    14 points
  45. Item No. 63 Iron tsuba with gold inlay - 8.13 cm x 72.4 cm x 0.47 cm Modern made tsuba by Ford Hallam , about 14 years ago , subject of Orchids against a textured background , reminiscent of Natsuo style. A few views under different lighting conditions.
    14 points
  46. Kai Gunto, Bizen Kozori school Tachi. Owned by a IJN special landing forces Colonel with full provenance on Japanese & Australian sides. Note the saltwater crocodile leather cover, made in the field on Balikpapan.
    14 points
  47. 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
    14 points
  48. Thought I'd share an interesting tsuba from my personal collection. By Hamano Shozui aka Masayuki(1696-1769), founder of the great Hamano School of sword fitting makers and pupil of the legendary Nara Toshinaga. Tokubetsu Hozon papers from 2014. Size: 75.8mm x 70.4mm. The omote side is an armillary sphere, an astronomical device for representing the great circles of the heavens(likely an import from Portugal to the Shogun while they were trading with Japan in 1605). It's carved with incredible skill of depth and perspective in Sukisagebori technique. The ura side is crashing waves among rocks. Both sides together I believe he is conveying a theme of time. The armillary sphere shows a movement of the sky while the ocean tides ebbs and flows weathering away the rocks. Shozui must have been inspired by 金家 (Kaneie) because this type of non-matching components on each side to express one hidden thing is definitely Kaneie’s style. Shozui signed his mei on either ura/back or omote/front of tsubas. Usually when he signed on the back it indicated that this Tsuba was ordered by a higher rank authority than Shozui. Another note is this is signed “穐峰斎”(Kihousai), a very rare signature among the numerous signatures Shozui signed with. I've only seen one other Shozui tsuba signed this way and it's a masterpiece by him.
    14 points
  49. The bottom sword doesn't rest ther it was out to show the sori...it has its own stand
    14 points
×
×
  • Create New...