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Guido

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Everything posted by Guido

  1. 備州 Bishū consists of 備前国 Bizen no kuni, 備中国 Bitchu no kuni, and 備後国 Bingo no kuni - literally front-Bi, middle-Bi, and back-Bi. The above examples all mean the town of Osafune 長船, the different arrangements of where it is put just follow the traditional pattern.
  2. Looks like 竹下宏國作之 - Takeshita Hirokuni saku kore (kore [w]o saku).
  3. Fred was quite a character. I met him for the first time in the late 80‘s while shopping at Namikawa Heibei in Tokyo, and where he was doing some business. I later gave him a ride back to the station, and we exchanged addresses and phone numbers. Imagine my surprise when he sent me a first edition of Shinkichi Hara’s “Schwertzierraten” as a thank you a few weeks later! We occasionally met when he was in Tokyo, and I always had some interesting conversations with him (if I managed to steer him away from topics like politics and kinky sex ). RIP, Fred!
  4. https://www.photographytalk.com/photography-articles/8053-why-all-cell-phones-in-Japan-are-shipped-with-an-annoying-shutter-sound
  5. Punching was done alternating from both sides, so there’s no outwards facing exit “pillow”, but usually a kind of “step” in the middle of the hole.
  6. Golden Week is the term for the week that encompasses 4 of Japan‘s 15 national holidays. Government offices, the postal service, banks, and many businesses close during that time.
  7. Don't forget the temple maidens: not too smart, short attention span, and having a thing for chubby guys ...
  8. Huh? There's no slim guy in the photos by any stretch of the imagination. But to satisfy your curiosity: I'm the handsome one (in the blue shirt).
  9. 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.
  10. I tried the other way around, and looked it up in my English to Japanese dictionary - one possible translation of “raid” is kirikomi ...
  11. I put together some examples of how the actual certificates look. They used to be issued by the monbushō 文部省, the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture. In January 2001, that ministry and the Science and Technology Agency (kagaku-gijutsu-chō 科学技術庁) merged to become the present Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (monbu-kagaku-shō 文部科学省), also known as monka-shō 文科省 or MEXT. @Jussi: feel free to add the attachment to your article.
  12. My impression is that it’s saiha - retempered - which also would explain the strong curvature.
  13. I already uploaded two new versions, and am optimistic that we now arrived at the final one. A huge "thank you" goes to Barry Hennick and Robert Hughes for making valuable contributions. Canadians to the rescue!
  14. 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
  15. 吉川英治 Yes, Yoshikawa Eiji - hole #2 ...
  16. Here’s an escape from the rabbit hole: the German word for novel is “Roman” ...
  17. "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 ...
  18. The very first photo in this thread shows the business card he gave me, complete with address and phone number.
  19. Yes, it was a sales exhibition, everything was for sale.
  20. 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 .
  21. Your “oni” is actually a hannya 般若, the soul of a woman who became a demon due to jealousy.
  22. 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 … 🥺
  23. 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.
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