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Guido last won the day on November 2 2020

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About Guido

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  • Birthday 11/19/1959

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    Guido S.

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  1. Unfortunately my friend is too busy to proofread my article at the moment - but I don’t want to let the NMB wait any longer, so here’s a tentative version, pending further corrections. @Brian: please feel free to upload it to the articles section. Sword Law.pdf
  2. 吉川英治 Yes, Yoshikawa Eiji - hole #2 ...
  3. Here’s an escape from the rabbit hole: the German word for novel is “Roman” ...
  4. "They" is probably me in this case - it sounds very much like something I wrote 12 or so years ago, and later changed to >regardless of whether<. Well, that's what you get when a non-native speaker like me butchers the English language ... At least it gave me the much needed nudge to revise, amend, and update my article, and I finished it today. I sent it to a good friend for proofreading, and will submit it to the NMB shortly. I hope that the endless shame of not being 100% usable in the court of my peers will finally be lifted from me, although wicked tongues might point out that you get what you pay for ...
  5. The very first photo in this thread shows the business card he gave me, complete with address and phone number.
  6. Yes, it was a sales exhibition, everything was for sale.
  7. The photos expand if you click on them. Anyhow, I think I know what you mean, but have seen those type of habaki only on tantō so far, and more often on Umetada blades, not on Gassan blades; they are called daitsuki-habaki 台付鎺 .
  8. Your “oni” is actually a hannya 般若, the soul of a woman who became a demon due to jealousy.
  9. The average price was 3 million Yen for a katana.
  10. 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 … 🥺
  11. 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.
  12. Some people really need to get out of their armchairs, and look at actual swords … First of all, it’s sumigane: 墨鉄 “ink steel”, also called namazu-hada 鯰肌, lit. “catfish skin”. Both terms aptly describe darkish areas of jigane that stand out; the keyword here is “jigane”, not shingane / shintetsu 心鉄, “core steel.” As already pointed out, sumigane is a major kantei point of Aoe swords, along with dan-utsuri. Jizukare 地疲れ, “tired ji“, are dark, rough spots consisting of exposed shingane, usually due to overpolishing. Areas of jizukare don’t show any jihada. Once you’ve seen sumigane and jizukare in person, there’s no confusing the both. The photos – and probably the state of polish – of the sword in question make it very difficult to see if it has jizukare or not; what I see, however, are numerous kitae-ware. Pictures of the nakago would be helpful, but my impression is that we’re looking at a shin-shintō. The nice sugata (insider joke alert!) can’t make up for the poor workmanship, and (from what I see) cobbled together koshirae. I don’t consider it collectable, but even if someone just wants to own a Japanese sword – any Japanese sword – the price is way too high. FWIW.
  13. The jūtōhō (short for jūhō-tōken-rui-shoji-tōtori-shimari-hō 銃砲刀剣類所持等取締法) only states in article 18-2 that a person who wants to produce swords has to apply for a permit in accordance with the bijutsu tōken-rui seisaku shōnin kisoku 美術刀剣類製作承認規則, the “art sword production approval rules”. In the application, the smith has to declare the type and number of swords to be manufactured, including the number of “shadow swords”. I couldn’t find any limits mentioned, but maybe there are “guidelines” that are not on public record, as Steve suggested, and/or the smiths exercise anticipatory obedience ...
  14. Well, I always considered him an artist, but what do I know? But even mere artisans should be able to offer some insights into the construction of sword fittings, especially if that's what they do for a living. I'm no artist, artisan, nor do I have decades of experience in engineering - but I handled quite a few koshirae the last 40+ years, and some aikuchi were among them. Only those with horn fittings were made of solid material. All other (metal) koiguchi and fuchi were constructed like regular fuchigashira, i.e. with walls of even thickness. Filing them back would therefore result in holes; hammering them back would completely deform the fitting due to the tenjōgane. Deducting from some scratches that it's a cobbled together koshirae with altered fittings is astoundingly brilliant. Or not. "Does your horse smoke?" "No, why?" "Well, I guess then your barn's on fire." Back into hiatus ...
  15. Well, Chris, maybe my reply was a bit harsher than I intended, but quite frankly, not by much; I was (and still am) irritated by some of the posts in this thread. By saying "basic research" I meant of course exactly that, i.e. basic: looking at the papers, and looking up the smith. You wrote This smith isn’t only listed in the "bible" of sword collectors, the nihontō meikan, but also in Hawley’s and Sesko’s (I’m sure in other standard books as well). Saying you couldn’t find records of this particular swordsmith makes me wonder where exactly you looked. Btw, the sword Chris (Vajo) posted is signed by the same smith, and a few more by him can be found online, although not in the same tsukurikomi. And yes, the seller "claims" it’s Edo period work - for a good reason, because the papers say so, even giving an exact time frame. As for not having a yokote: I’ve never seen a hirazukuri/katakiriba combination blade in my 40 years of collecting that had a yokote; probably because there is no such thing. The way your post was phrased seems to have the purpose of casting unwarranted doubt on the sword being legit; either that, or written without covering the aforementioned basics, to make my point again. And then of course we have that bewildering post by Ken, who says his mentor judges it as modern, and the papers are therefore invalid; even that papers by the NBTHK are generally not reliable. Is that the same mentor who bought a mass-produced, cast, Jingo-esque iaitō-tsuba, and judged it as textbook Yagyū? I just hope his "elite" Sōshū sword collection was purchased with a sounder judgment than occasionally shown here … Well, I’m obviously guilty of , so I think I now should take a break from the NMB, and go back to eating $ 100.- sushi, and looking at my five figure swords.
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