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  1. Ok, I think we have our answer now. This from Togishi David Hofhine and photo of a Mantetsu that he polished in 2017. "When finely polished the Koa Isshin Mantetsu has a nashiji-hada. This is a surface that looks something like the flesh of a sliced open pear. In this case this is a texture caused by the crystalline structure in the metal and not by a folding pattern. Some folded blades exhibit a similar pattern if the skin steel has been folded so many times that the weld lines all blend together. The hamon is primarily nioi deki suguha, but with some ko-nie along the top. No larger nie crystals. It has been reported that the Koa Isshin blade may have been tempered in water rather than oil. The composite construction of the blade allowed for the more traditional method of tempering. There is also a faint bo-utsuri about 1/4" above the hamon, visible in parts along the length of the blade. Unfortunately all of these subtle features are nearly impossible to photograph using the equipment that I have."
  2. That's true and if all Mantetsu were manufactured the same way, high carbon steel tube and low carbon steel core, I have no explanation as to why we see that line. The auction sword seems to have a line as well or am I mistaken?
  3. Hi Bob, the Kiyomitsu was from the late 17th, early 18th century.
  4. Blade reminds me of the Kiyomitsu I sold not long ago.
  5. There is no Hada in the sense of a pattern created by folding steel multiple times and forge welding it together to create a billet. It's simply the grain of the steel which depending on the polish and which stones and nugui were used, can either highlight the grain or hide it. As I understand it, Mantetsu swords were forged using a sophisticated taco or san mai method so the lines would be the demarcation boundaries between each different steel once it's been shaped/ground/filed to the final geometry of a Katana.
  6. Swords with boxes seems to be the latest fashion on yahoo auctions in Japan. It's a win win for the sellers, more money for the items and more money they can demand for shipping. Buyer beware.
  7. Ah, thanks for letting me know. I hope John is ok and nothing bad has happened.
  8. I'm having a hard time getting in touch with John Kurata, does anyone have any up to date contact details for him please?
  9. BenVK

    Unsigned Katana

    Hi Georg, I think your friend is correct, pre war 1920's/30's Could be traditionally forged judging by all the little kitae-ware. Nothing special unfortunately.
  10. No of course not. Kiyomitsu from Kaga blades are known for being no nonsense cutters which is why I mentioned it. Anyway, it's sold now via facebook.
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