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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/28/2020 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    A recent acquisition.... All the fittings have a Japanese number 9, even the locking clip.
  2. 9 points
    Up for sale is a Wakizashi attributed to Sendai Kunikane with Koshirae and NBTHK Hozon. Beautiful blade with stunning Masame hada and Suguha hamon. NBTHK doesn't say which generation Kunikane, but the quality of the forging hints at one of the earlier generations. Nagasa is 48.8cm, 6X31mm at the machi, 4X21mm at the yokote. Unaltered and in very good polish. Comes with a nice kosherae and shirasaya to complete the package. Shipping to the US only. $4000 net to me gets it to your door.
  3. 8 points
    I began receiving my first down-votes the last time I commented that a sword appeared to a Chinese fake. However, that is what I see here as well. Elielson, based on the way this mei is signed it unfortunately does not give the impression of being an authentic Japanese sword.
  4. 6 points
    A beautiful Kantana Kake for 3 swords from the late edo period. Panels front and back have old -age crackle otherwise In excellent condition. Price €950
  5. 6 points
    Hi Nick, Welcome to NMB. The signature is partially obscured but luckily it's possible to work out who it is (assuming it's genuine): 佐渡(の)掾藤[原宗平] There may be characters before this, but the part that is visible reads Sado (no) Jo Fuji (the first four characters in the line above). Sado is an island off Japan and one of the old provinces. "Jo" is a honorary title equating to a subordinate government official so our guy held the rank of government official of Sado province. Fortunately, there was only one smith awarded this title - Fujiwara Munehira who worked in Hizen province around the Kanbun era (1661-1673) and yes, it is confusing that he had a rank relating to a province in which he didn't live. "Fujiwara" was the name of an old aristocratic family in Japan with whom he probably had no connection, but this it is not unusual for swordsmiths to take the name of one of the old Japanese aristocratic families (Fujiwara, Minamoto, Taira are common) and this doesn't seem to be something that was done officially but done by the smith themselves to add weight to their reputation. His art name was Munehira and again it's usual for swordsmiths and other artists in Japan to take an art name, usually linked to that of their master or instructor and different from their family name. I'm sure you'll get some more comments soon but I hope that this gets the ball rolling.
  6. 6 points
    While not totally what you are looking for, I've been building a basic Jūyō Index for few years now. I will give it to NMB for free when I am finished with it (should be in 2021 [if I find the missing session], as I am missing only 2 sessions and I have magazines in mail from Japan that include results for one). I have pretty much 1-31 ready as I have books for them. I should have pretty much all swords done except for the 2 missing sessions. I still have lot work left on tosogu & koshirae (and attachments too) items from sessions 33-57 (haven't really focused on those as I have my other database project which I see far superior to this one). And as I'm still missing some items I haven't been in hurry. I've kept this totally under radar as it's just a hobby project for me. But lot of effort put in this one, so far 616 pages and a lot of items. Still currently looking Tōken Bijutsu magazines from 1985 and 1986 (Session 32 results in there) and I am looking for Jūyō book 32 as that is next in line for me and only session still missing. Here is a preview page: It is pretty basic but I like my idea
  7. 6 points
    I don't know if this is appropriate to be posted here since this "trench knife" is half Japanese, half Chinese and used by an American who fought the Japanese in China. If this is not appropriate please delete. This Knuckle knife is made from the hilt of a Japanese army dress saber with the blade, scabbard and hanger from a Chinese dagger. The pommel has the name R.A. Tully and the date 1945 for his service in China. I believe the EGA on the pommel was added for a reunion of S.A.C.O. members since it dates from the mid 1950's. The U.S. Naval Group China, S.A.C.O. had reunions from 1955 to 2015. The Chinese belt was with the group. The dealer I bought the group from said it came from a Good Will Store. Richard Arthur Tully served in Company D, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division in July 1942. Tully participated in the landing operations and capture of Guadalcanal Island, British Solomon Islands. He was involved in offensive operations against enemy forces from 7 August until 21 December, 1942. The First Marine Division received the Presidential Unit Citation. He then participated in landing operations against Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New Britain where he participated in the capture of the Japanese airdromes. Tully was engaged in offensive and defensive operations against enemy forces from 29 December 1943 to April 23 1944. In March 1945 Tully joined the U.S. Naval Group China (S.A.C.O.) and he served in Calcutta, Hankow, Shanghai and with the Yangtze Naval Unit. The Yangtze Naval Unit attacked river and rail traffic and ultimately severed Japanese supply lines in central China. Platoon Sergeant Richard A. Tully was discharged from the United States Marine Corps on December 29th 1945.
  8. 6 points
    Hi Tim and Dave, All of the Tully group came together in a box to the Good Will store, many of the it items are named including his Good Conduct Medal and the trench knife. The U.S. Naval Group China (S.A.C.O.) served behind the lines with the Chinese. I sent for Tully's records from the National Archive in St. Louis. He was entitled to everything in the group. The knife is named to Tully. Dick
  9. 5 points
    Folks, for those interested in wartime Seki swordsmiths we have done a compilation on the Kojima family (Kanemichi, Kanetoki, Kanenori, Katsumasa). This puts them in the pre-war, wartime and post-war setting of Seki. Answered a lot of questions for us. Article is in Downloads. Mal & Neil
  10. 5 points
    John got it right. Maybe add 肥前 to the front of the mei, making it 肥前佐渡掾藤原宗平 . The mei looks very similar to the one shown in the pictures in the tweet below. Restoration is not cheap (a few thousand dollars), but your sword might be worth it. I mean, regardless of the cost, preserving the sword is a worthy pursuit, but often the restored sword's resell value will fall below the cost of the restoration. In the case of your sword, if you get it professionally polished and it ends up looking as good as the sword below, I think the resell value could be higher than the cost of the polish. "Could be" leaves a lot of wiggle room, mind you. I doubt it would be a fabulous investment from a profit standpoint. A proper polish, a new wooden resting scabbard, a new metal collar (these three are usually considered the minimum for restoration) would set you back maybe $3000-$4000. The negatives are: the sword is from a time period that doesn't excite many collectors (with some exceptions). The rough polish this sword has been given may have already ruined it. The patina on the tang is ruined, but this might be restorable. There could be fatal flaws lurking in the blade that would discourage collectors. The signature could be a fake, as is very common in the sword world. (The sword is an actual Japanese sword, but someone could have added a signature sometime in the past to "enhance" its value). The positives are: looks like a good size, it must be 70cm or longer? In general, long swords (katana) with an intact tang with signature are desirable. If the signature is authentic, the blade should have a temper pattern (hamon) similar to the one in the tweet. The connection with Hizen province in Japan, and the lineage of well-known and respected smiths, hints at a well-made blade. The neutrals: the sword furnishings look like a hodgepodge of boring fittings, possibly assembled during wartime when one had to make due with whatever materials were on hand. The fittings excite neither the collector of militaria, nor the connoisseur of antique swords. But the good thing is that you can make new fittings using authentic metal fixtures (tsuba, fuchi, kashira, menuki). The existing menuki might be OK. Scabbard and pommel would be made with new wooden parts, and the silk pommel wrapping would require new silk, but this is normal in restoration (and you could keep the existing parts separately if you like). One of the jobs of the professional polisher to get the fine crystalline structures of the hamon to look like what you see in the photos in the tweet. When people grind away with abrasive tools they ruin those structures, so avoid anyone who isn't known in the sword world. Some of the people on this site can help you. Avoid the temptation to do it yourself or to follow some dude on youtube who's got a million followers. Edit: Don't hang it on the wall. Edit #2: The menuki don't look too special. Save as antiques, but if you are restoring the blade I would go for better furnishings.
  11. 4 points
    Last night, a gunto was posted on the Facebook page 'Military Swords of Imperial Japan' with a mei written *almost* entirely in katakana. I read the mei as 'Jawatō Sumaran' (ジャワ刀 スマラン), which can be read to infer that this sword was made in Java, Semarang. Another user posted a reference from Fuller and Gregory (attached below), where a similar mei is translated as ’Shiyawaka Sumara' (シヤワカ スマラン). However, I believe this to be a mistake, and the example in Fuller and Gregory should also read 'Jawatō' (ジャワ刀), rather than ’Shiyawaka' (シヤワカ). Firstly, the image in F&G isn’t very clear (and perhaps also the mei), so it is not unreasonable to read shi (シ) instead of ji (ジ). Also for someone unfamiliar with the nuances of Japanese they may not know that Shi (シ) with a small ya (ャ) makes Sha (シャ), rather than Shiya (シヤ). The katakana character for 'ka' (カ) is also quite similar to the word for sword (刀), so it is not unreasonable to confuse these when the preceding characters are written in katakana. I have attached another example of this mei to support my reading, (from https://www.warrelics.eu) where the ジャ and 刀 are both very clear. I also checked google maps and was unable to find any such place as Shiyawaka - so I think F&G may have just inferred there was such a place based of the reading of Sumara (スマラン), and the knowledge that this was in central Java.
  12. 4 points
    Very brave of Ray and diplomatic. The mei is interesting. There is an example of this mei https://www.fujibi.or.jp/our-collection/profile-of-works.html?work_id=731 in Tokyo Fuji Art Museum "Heki Tsushima Nyudo Chikyu Tsunemitsu" Heki (or could be read Hyoki) Tsushima is in Hokkaido. "Nyudo" could be "entering/living in" but here there seems to be a context of entering Buddhism, and the tosho Tsunemitsu making this in 1698 in Hokkaido at age 73. (my wife read into this for me). However, I would agree with Ray, but to me your sword looks like a very poor copy, almost by someone who doesnt speak the language? Of course thats only a comment on the nakago. Mal further reading...mei has nothing to do with Hokkaido, its about Kyushu. Heki is in Kagoshima and Hyoki, Tsushima is part of Nagasaki. Tsunemistu was born in Shiga pref and went to Edo .
  13. 4 points
    https://studyingjapaneseswords.com/2019/09/09/66part-2-of-30-bakumatsu-period-history-幕末時代/ This is chapter 65, the second part of chapter 29, Bakumatsu Period History. This chapter narrates the process of Commodore M.C. Perry brought the diplomatic document to Japan and opens three ports for foreign ships. Please click the link above to go to this chapter directly. Thank you Yurie
  14. 4 points
    Hi, The attached pictures are of a Fuchi & Kashira that I had collected some time ago, and I would humbly request help with the identification of the school/ Craftsman if possible. What I do know is that is a depiction of the Demon Quiller-Shoki. It appears to my novice eyes to be good craftmanship with a signature...Real/ Fake ...not sure. Thank you in advance Jason
  15. 4 points
    The one in front is 36.4 kilos.
  16. 4 points
    Dale wrote "Bazza - so you are what an ordinary collector looks like! [Its not an exclusive club I hope- can I join?]" Dale, self-appointees are always welcome!! I remember when I started 55 years ago my first book was John Yumoto's little primer. In it he wrote "Study never ends". How true I've found that to be over the years. I'm mainly a blade-man with just a slight detour into the world of tosogu, but without study Yas san has shown how much it can be a pit with sharp stakes at the bottom!!! Having said that I do have some "heavy" books on tosogu without seriously putting my toe in the water to collect. As Bert said in the song "Oi loiks wot I do and I do wot oi loiks" without worrying too much about authenticity - blades are another matter. So, how very glad I am that Yas san shares his knowledge here. To add some "juice" I've attached images of an Akasaka Tadatoki V tsuba. The description given when I bought it was: I believe this particular tsuba was made by Tadatoki V (8th master of the Akasaka school). He became head of the family in 1818. This tsuba has a near faultless surface and demonstrates the artist’s ability to create a dynamic composition in an extremely limited space. There is a imperfection on the ura side of this tsuba (near the signature). This looks like silver inlay, however I'm not sure how or why it is there. Overall it doesn't detract from the tsuba ... That little silver "blob" next to the -TOKI is curious. The tsuba doesn't have a paper, bit oi loiks it. It appealed to me the first time I saw it in a friend's collection and jumped on it when it was offered. I've just realised this is a "friends-of-y-auction" page and hope i haven't committed trespass... It wouldn't be the first time I have lost the plot. BaZZa.
  17. 4 points
    Brief update: I called Aoi and spoke to a very nice young lady who was able to sort me out. Payment received and confirmed and am now waiting for the export permit. Turns out my email server was blocking their emails. We resolved the issue by providing an alternate email address. During and subsequent to my call they have been great, basically killing me with kindness! lol! Thanks again everyone! Paul
  18. 4 points
    Robert, you are mixing up hardness and stiffness with flexibility, but I think you mean brittleness, toughness and resilience. Carbon steel alloys do not harden deeper than 4 mm down into the metal in small workpieces. That means that a 8 mm thick blade would theoretically be hardened through IF IT WERE MADE FROM MONOSTEEL THROUGHOUT. But this is mostly not the case. By the way, the effects of hardening are different with test pieces of considerably higher mass (e.g. 10 by 10 by 10 cm). Annealing (YAKIMODOSHI) takes away some of the hardness and makes blades more resilient instead. In composite constructions (with a flexible low-carbon core/SHINTETSU) blades will just harden in the high carbon KAWAGANE, often a thin layer of steel. This is the reason why blades can lose their HAMON if polished too often. As Christian writes correctly above, you cannot judge a blade's properties by looking only at the HAMON.
  19. 4 points
    Bruce I think it is 'i'512. I think he is Katsumura Masakatsu of Ibaraki, which is north of Tokyo. Here is the number of my Kunishiro, also RJT and also north of Tokyo in Aomori....maybe the same RJT blade inspector guy collected both blades to take back to Tokyo for polishing/mounting and gave them his stamp? I say this as your 'i' is from Ibaraki and my 'o' is from Aomori...both numbers 5 and 1 seem to match in font and size...just saying.
  20. 4 points
    Lot of 6 New Tsuba Boxes. Pack of 5 has never been opened.Price Min $60 Donation to NMB. I will cover standard shipping Regards Doug
  21. 4 points
    Dear All. A confession of sorts. Many years ago, (pre internet if you can believe such a time existed), I decided to make my own mekugi nuki. All I had to go on was an illustration in Stone's Glossary so off I went. Found some nice brass and built my own, threaded punch and all. It turned out well and I was quite pleased with myself. It was some years before I came across another Japanese one and realised that mine was a bit of a beast. It is beside a conventional one in the photo and you can probably see it's more appropriate for cracking coconuts than getting the mekugi out. However I have to say I have yet to come across a mekugi that can resist it! One or two visiting collectors have blanched a little when I get it out to dismantle their sword. All the best.
  22. 3 points
    Hi Nick, If you would like to talk with someone, get a bunch of questions answered in one swell foop, feel free to call. I'm not an authority but I have been at this for almost 40 years and I will be honest with my answers. Cheers, Grey 218-726-0395 central time
  23. 3 points
    An excellent Powerpoint presentation has been shared with us by Malcolm Cox. @mecox This discusses the evolution of Mino Den and although without the commentary, most of it is self explanatory and contains a huge amount of valuable info. As the author of the Mino-to book, Malcolm is a wonderful source of info and I would like to thank him for his contributions. Downloads can be found in the....Downloads....section. Who woulda thunk it? Lots of great articles there and more to come.
  24. 3 points
    Dear Alex. Forgive me if you know all this already. There is a saying that you pay for knowledge and this is a good example. You already know that the tsuba is a repro/fake, you will look at lots of tsuba with a different eye from now on. The fuchi, collar at the base of the hilt, is pretty average quality but genuine, the kashira, cap at the end of the hilt, is missing and the hilt wrap is Japanese. So what you have is an unsigned or mumei wakizashi, probably Shinto period. It's genuine but it is representative of the commonest form of Japanese sword so not a great collectable. That's fine, it is a good place to learn how to care for the sword, what to look for and what you can see. I don't think you bought a bargain at todays market but you have a Japanese sword which may well be the start of something for you. You are probably doomed at this point, once the fascination takes hold there is no escape. At some point you are going to need to spend some money on a book or two to help you with the terminology, ask for some recommendations when you are ready. Meanwhile enjoy the sword and the journey. All the best.
  25. 3 points
    A little correction. 以古銷鉄作之 - ko-shotetsu ( old melted iron ---> well forged steel?) wo motte kore wo tsukuru 享和二年八月日 - Kyowa 2 (1802) nen 8 gatsu hi 信高磨上之 - Nobutaka kore wo suriageru
  26. 3 points
    Hi Nick, I recommend that you don't get this sword restored, at least not now before you understand a lot more than you currently do. Restoration does nothing to preserve the sword; a fine coat of machine oil will do that. Here is a care and handling brochure you should read: http://nbthk-ab.org/cleaning-maintenance.php Some day, if you develop a serious interest in Japanese swords and you know a bunch more about them, maybe you'll want to get this one polished and put into shirasaya (new resting scabbard). I don't think it makes sense to have it done now. Grey
  27. 3 points
    Another old blade, this one in KAI GUNTO Navy mounts, at 52 cm some would call this (wrongly) a submarine crew sword, due to its shorter length. The large ray skin "eyes" on the SAYA are quite unique. I think it is made by KANETSUNA in the 1500's, but I am open to more knowledgeable translators.
  28. 3 points
    柳川直政 - Yanagawa Naomasa + kaō First Yanagawa generation (1692-1757)
  29. 3 points
    Bazza - so you are what an ordinary collector looks like! [Its not an exclusive club I hope- can I join?]
  30. 3 points
    I think i read at usagiyas website that choji heads can become tobiyaki after a polish because the big heads are deeper hardned then the lower part. After the polish they get disconnected from the hamon and become tobiyaki. In my opinion that means that a hitatsura blade dont have to lose its "felx" because the hardening could be mainly on surface. Also many blades have a lower carbon content in the core what makes it less likely to harden. I dont think you can say how durable a blade is just by looking at hamon.
  31. 3 points
    Keep the blade as the Tsunagi....
  32. 2 points
    I just find this one which is hozon http://lll.pro.tok2.com/bdata/0109801b.htm
  33. 2 points
    Hi Jonas, I'm assuming that your question has not been asked tongue-in-cheek, so I will attempt to give you a serious answer. This is because ANY o-yoroi in existence is either a National Treasure, in a shrine or museum or exponentially less likely, still hidden away in some noble family's kura - they're certainly not floating around on the market, much less online. The real question is if this is even a real reproduction of an o-yoroi because even reproductions made by modern day katchushi have been known to have taken years to make with prices in the hundreds of thousands. I'm not sure what this particular example is (can't make out anything really from the pictures supplied), but it is assuredly not "real". Besides, it's from China - not the bastion of authenticity when it comes to Japanese antiques.
  34. 2 points
    My opinion, the tang/sword is genuine based on the nakago there. But the mei is totally false and done by someone who isn't Japanese. Doesn't even look traditionally done. But the sword may be a real one...mumei. Let's see more pics.
  35. 2 points
    Hi Jussi , i have those magazines and will drop you a PM . A great project . Regards Ian Brooks
  36. 2 points
    Some masame/ nagare hada and some mokume hada there too so that suggests that it's a folded blade and may be traditionally made as opposed to machine made. I'd say traditionally made but I'm not sure there isn't the remains of a stamp, but as you said it might just be corrosion marks giving it a similar look. As regards the tang, definitely some machi okuri, the lower hole seems to have some original patina on the inside whereas there's some clean steel and pillow from a drill bit in the upper one. Looks like it might be a bit of a hack job though: the pictures in post No.10 suggest that the alignment of the machi are off, not with each other but with the shape of the tang. Edit: Our posts crossed - have you tried talcum powder or chalk dust on the tang to see if it will highlight any markings?
  37. 2 points
    John Thanks for correcting. 山野勘十郎 is professional cutting tester and executioner. 「江戶初期,有名的試刀家是谷衛好、谷衛友父子。衛友的弟子中川重良兼任幕府的旗本(家臣),他的弟子山野加右衛門永久被認為是最早的專職試刀家,據說他試斬了6000多名罪人。永久之子,山野勘十郎久英,不但擔任幕府御用試斬官,也負責處決死刑犯。也就是說,先砍了頭,再把屍體搬來試斬,他一個人包了。但久英的後人沒有能夠掌握這項技術,之後山野家被解除了職務」。
  38. 2 points
    Dawson page 301, Tokyo Police Lieutenant.
  39. 2 points
    Hi Mark, Can I reassure you that you’ve done pretty well with your first purchase: you’ve bought a sword that’s in polish, probably not shortened significantly from its original length (the paper suggests 73.3cm if the online converter works) and with papers to a well respected smith. The trick here is to “decode” the papers - there are a number of examples of unsigned blades on line with papers simply saying “Daido” attributed to the first generation by respected sellers. So this, and the length of the blade (a little longer than standard for the Edo period) are good signs that it’s muromachi guy rather than later. If it helps, Also, if you bought from a reputable dealer there’s a better than average chance that their judgement, made with the blade in hand, is good. The loss of reputation wouldn’t be worth misrepresenting the blade. Once more, we’ll done on your first buy.
  40. 2 points
    Welcome, two wheels down avoid pot holes called ebay. Have fun enjoy the adventure.
  41. 2 points
    You have to show the blades sugata. A picture from a 90degree angle of the Blade without tsuka and the habaki. Even then you can’t be sure... For a „good“ amateur appraisal you better show everything. with that pic only I would say early edo
  42. 2 points
    Interesting sword, Wayne. Thanks for sharing. Swords exactly like this should make up at least half of a Sendai Shinto collection - at least they form about HALF of my collection: nicely mounted. very well-made masame, unsigned short swords. There seems to have been a very serious market for these swords - which I assume means that they were what Sendai Samurai wore when they were out and around. It also means that smiths in Sendai worked very routinely and with good discipline. These were guys who did NOT wish to stand out. They were NOT showy. They knew their role and they gave a good product - thank you! As I said, I have a couple of these and I love them, but they also raise some questions in my (collector's) mind. 1. Who made them? There were 13 (or 14) generations in the KK line and they all had apprentices so assigning them to the "School" is as far as the "experts" will go. 2. Why are they unsigned? This is a good question. Maybe guys in Sendai just sort of figured...isn't it obvious who made this... 3. Why are unsigned wakizashis common? Maybe lots were made that way - BUT I also have to suspect that unsigned katanas were liable to having had a GIMEI signature added to them. Tut-tut All this to say, THANK YOU WAYNE. Peter
  43. 2 points
    Bruce it is not English letter "i" it is katakana "i" (the sound - look up katakana "i" and you will see your character)...on my sword the katakana (in pic) is pronounced "o". The two numbers you have added here are katakana "ta" 2353 and "fu" 37...(actually fu is pronounced more like "who"}. Hope this helps.
  44. 2 points
    Are you looking for display or for mounting with a blade? Are you looking for tanto, wakizashi, katana. daisho tachi etc...? Koshirae can range in price from humdreds to thousands of dollars. I need some guidance as do others with koshirae.
  45. 2 points
    Mutsu Daijo Miyoshi Nagamichi Grey
  46. 2 points
  47. 2 points
    Nothing special? I think it is quite nice!
  48. 2 points
    Nothing terrible here, nothing to bin. It is typical of the tens of thousands of acid polish swords. But nothing fatal, nothing that can't be fixed. It has a nice hamon, no major flaws. Plenty of these being enjoyed in collections. Let's not get carried away. I have swords like this myself. Uchiko over time helps a lot too. Mino maybe?
  49. 2 points
    I love the tsuba, the nanako is excellent, [ not perfect ] the delineation of the seppa-dai is sharp and well done. They all look like good acquisitions. Namako [sea cucumber] and nanako (fish eggs) - fishy!
  50. 2 points
    And also in the beginning as well. It was during the time frame of May 1939 to May 1945 that the lower ranks were prohibited from wearing non-regulation swords. https://www.warrelics.eu/forum/f216/short-development-history-type-95-gunto-676112-post1751561/#post1751561
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