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mecox last won the day on December 3 2020

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    Queensland, Australia
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    Swords (Mino; Kyushu, gunto), tsuba (iron sukashi)

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  1. SBK 16. Two Books: (A) ART OF THE Japanese SWORD & (B) SHOHIN SHU. The two books are US$40. A: The Art of the Japanese Sword: As Taught by the Experts. 2004. by Kunihira KAWACHI and Masao MANABE. Softbound with a glossy jacket, 21 x 15 cm, 156 pages in English. This is an introduction to Japanese swords, manufacture and care, the current Nihonto world, with personal history, plus a Q & A section, sword stories and lists of sword museums. Excellent condition and signed by Kunihira, an acknowledged Mukansa level swordsmith. B: Shohin Shu (“Collection of Small Items”), Showa 61 (1986). This booklet is by Sumitani Masamine (1921-1998) from Ishikawa-ken, a modern smith, who became Mukansa in 1966, and in 1981 was designated Ningen Kokuho (“Living National Treasure”). Size is 24.5 x 21 cm, with 31 glossy pages, and presents coloured and B&W photos of kozuka and bachiru made by Masamine. The latter small knives were popular in the Tempyu Era (711-781) of the Nara Period. There is a note enclosed by Mr Soichiro Inokuchi (around 1990) who was head of the Nihon Bijutsu Token Kai of Kanazawa and a colleague of Masamine san confirming the link. Published by Token Shibata. Very good condition. SBK 17. Two Books: (A) Japanese SWORD BLADES. & (B). SAMURAI: THE CULTURED WARRIOR. The two books are US$35. A: Japanese Sword Blades. 1974. by Alfred Dobree. Softbound with plastic cover, 21 x 14 cm , 73 pages. An earlier book in English with introduction and overview, which summarises sword features and area/school they belong to, and which swordsmiths. Also looks at Japanese writing to different smiths and periods. Very good condition, owners name in front. B: Samurai: The Cultured Warrior. 1984. Barry Till. The book is linked to an exhibition by The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, BC, Canada. Softcover with plastic cover. 23 x 15 cm, 102 pages. A summary of samurai related items and swords, with explanations in a useful sequence. It is a good read giving a braod perspective of the time. SBK 18. Special Exhibition: THE Japanese SWORD, IRON CRAFTSMANSHIP and the WARRIOR SPIRIT. (Nippon no Katana) US$50 Tokyo National Museum, Exhibition 14 October – 24 November, 1997. Softcover, glossy pages, 29.5 x 22.5 x 2.2 cm, a big book of 376 pages, of which 246 are colour and B&W photos, around 100 are Japanese text and captions, and at rear 20 pages are English figure captions plus explanations. Quality photos of swords over time, and a variety of classic swords and fittings. In very good condition. SBK 19. Two Books: (A) EXHIBITION OF KANESADA & KANEMOTO & (B) SEKI CITY TOKEN & KOSHIRAE. The two books are US$45. A: Special Exhibition of Kanesada & Kanemoto, Sengoku Jidai Mino-to. 2008. By Gifu City Museum of History. Soft board cover, 80 glossy pages, 29.5 x 21 cm, text in Japanese. Many B&W photos of swords with detail of mei and hamon. Also shows detail trees of these swordsmiths and other documents for this earlier period of Mino. Excellent condition. B: Sekishi no Shoyu Token Koshirae (“Seki City Token & Koshirae”). 2008. By Seki City Office of Tourism. Softcover and 40 glossy pages, text in Japanese. Most of book is full page B&W photos of swords plus detail of mei, and a range of Seki swords over time to modern (no wartime swords). SBK 20. Two Books of shinsakuto: (A). NBSK SHINSAKUTO EXHIBITION 2012 & (B) SANO EXHIBITION 2007. The two books are US$40. A: Nihon To 3rd Shinsaku Nipponto (plus polishing & fittings) collection; Toshoku Gijutsu Tenrankai. 2012. By Nippon Tosho Kai (NBSK). Softcover, glossy 64 pages in B&W, in Japanese, and colour photos of swords, shirasaya, tsuka and tsuba that were in the competition and exhibition. The items received awards and are ranked plus there is a list of participants. Quality photos of these modern made items. Excellent condition. B: Nipponto no Takumi (“Masters of the Japanese Sword”) The “best products” exhibition in 2007, at the Sano Art Museum. Softcover and 43 glossy pages of modern artisans and their work history, with a summary of their highlights. Text in Japanese. There are 26 swordsmiths, plus togishi and tsubako. Quality photos of swords and detail of hamon. Size 29.5 x 21 cm in excellent condition. Books are in Australia. Thank you.
  2. Book sale, following are sold: SBK 03, SBK 09 & SBK 12, thank you.
  3. SBK 11 KOTO SWORD SCRAPBOOK W.M. Hawley. 1976 US15. Softcover, 27.5 x 21.5 cm, 64 pages. A book of oshigata from a sword appraisers records around 1550. Swordsmith names are in English in the index, plus the reference number to Hawley’s large swordsmith compilation. Reasonable condition, cover a bit worn Oshigata of around 127 swords with clear mei. SBK 12 HIZUKE NO HON Malcolm and Sueko Cox 2006 US$15. SOLD............but more available This book is designed to assist reading Japanese dates on swords. It is soft cover, 29 x 20.5 cm, and 75 pages in length. It is a compilation of how dates are read and different systems, glossary of types of signature (mei), list of nengo with kanji, map of provinces, and explanation of the zodiac date system. The book contains tables listing dates from 1000 to 2010, with nengo, western year, zodiac and other cycles. Various ways of writing dates are summarised. Now upgraded to include Reiwa era, and up to 2028. Includes highlights of Japanese (sword) history. There are 26 full page oshigata of examples from 1186 to 1943, with mei and dates in Romaji and kanji, and explanations. Book is unused. Buy with another book for $10. SBK 13 TWO EXHIBITION BOOKS: Omamori (tanto) & Gotoh Museum Swords Two books US$35. A: Court and Samurai in an Age of Transition (exhibition at Gotoh Museum, Tokyo). By Japan Society, 1990. Soft cover, glossy pages, 29.5 x 22.5 cm, 127 pages, English text, description of period, background and all items. Full page B&W photos of 22 swords with full descriptions. Very good condition. B: Omamori To Tenran Kai (exhibition by Zen Nippon Tosho Kai), 2007. Soft cover glossy booklet, 29.5 x 21 cm, 40 pages, beautiful colour photos of blades and koshirae of tanto and smaller omamori-to. Japanese text but easy to follow captions. Excellent condition. SBK 14. Enishi: Katanakaji Horii Ke Hyaku Go Ju Nen no Rekishi. (“History of 150 Years of Horii Family”) HORII Tanetsugu (son of Toshihide) (1996) US$40. SOLD Hard cover with slip cover, 27 x 19 cm, 359 pages, text in Japanese, numerous photos of work and family plus sketches of sword features. Card in book signed by author (Kin Tei Horii Tanetsugu "with compliments"). Horii family covers: Taneaki (grandfather), Hidetoshi (father), Nobuhide (older brother), Tanetsugu (author). As new except pencil notes on 2 pages. SBK 15. NIPPON TO SEKI SHICHI RYU (Seven Styles of Seki Swords”) YAMADA Aoi 1970 (Chuou Token Kai) US$75. Hardcover with slipcase, 27 x 19.5 cm, 339 pages, this is a summary of the key toshi of the main Seki schools. In Japanese, there are 210 pages of oshigata with Japanese script, tosho names are easy to see. Each smith is later described in Japanese text. Plus 13 pages of clear B&W photos of mei of the key swordsmiths. Also shows “family” trees. Authors stamp in rear. A very hard to find book, in excellent condition. Books sent from Australia. Thanks, Mal.
  4. SBK 06 MINO-TO plus SUPPLEMENT Malcolm Cox Book (1993) plus Supplement (2021 update) Two book set US$50. Book is the original 1993 version (with a page of errata) but is as new, unused. Softcover, 29 x 20.5, 268 pages, it is a comprehensive compilation of Mino swordsmiths and Mino-den. The features of these swords are described, the swordsmith history and various groups/schools listed, and there are 100+ pages of pics and oshigata. This is a very useful reference book with much information in English. The original Supplement has been upgraded and contains additional oshigata. It is a new quality print of 50 pages, with 30 pages of oshigata and explanations, family trees of different schools, and contains kanji for swordsmiths names plus 3 pages of kanji used by Mino tosho. Size is 29.5 x 21 cm. SBK 07 THE Japanese SWORD Kanzan SATO 1986 US$25. Hardcover with dustcover, 26 x 19 cm, 210 pages in English. Gives a clear overview of the Japanese sword and its history, as well as components and manufacture in English. Good explanations supported with colour and B&W photos. Very good condition; owners name in front. The author was a recognised sword expert. SBK 08 TANTO (Japanese DAGGERS) Yoshisada SUZUKI 1980 plus translation (1984) by JSSUS. Two book set US$65. SOLD Hardcover with dustjacket, 21.5 x 15.5 cm, 270 pages in Japanese. A wide range of tanto of different styles and periods, clear B&W photos (~120) with description of blade and swordsmith. Book in very good condition. Translation is softcover/spiral binding, 83 pages with valuable translations of introduction and each blade. Reasonable condition; owners name, out of print. SBK 09 THE ARTS OF THE Japanese SWORD plus PRIMER B.W. Robinson Book (1987) Primer (1955) Two book set US$35. SOLD Hardcover cloth bound with dustjacket, 24 x 16 cm, text of 110 pages explaining the styles and roots of the sword, and the main groups, with good explanation of the features of the features of each. Types of swords and fittings are described and explained and there is explanation of smiths names and kanji as well as dates. The last 107 pages are gloss photos of swords and fittings. This was a key publication when first produced in 1961. Good condition, owners name, slight wear on bottom edge. The Primer is an early work by Robinson, published privately by him in 1955. It was the forerunner of the book and of historic note as in English. This one is complete but a little dirty and some stains. Softcover, 22 x 15 cm,95 pages. SBK 10 WAKIZASHI NYUMON “Beginners Book for Wakizashi” Kazuo TOKUNO Showa 50 (1975) US$20. Hardcover & plastic dustjacket., 21 x 15 cm, 190 pages, 56 pages of B&W photos with nakago and monouchi, 10 pages of koshirae, 55 pages of oshigata. In Japanese, very good condition (but some names noted in English). Books will be sent from Australia. Thanks, Mal
  5. SBK 01 SWORDS and SWORD FITTINGS: Treasures from the Tokugawa Art Museum Heisei 10 (1998) US$40. SOLD Hardbound 26 x 22 cm, in Japanese 215 pages, with 12 page appendix in English of useful figure captions. There are 150 gloss pages of clear photos, of these 88 are B&W swords, fittings and tsuba are colour. In excellent condition; name of owner at front. SBK 02 SHINTO BENGI OSHIGATA W.M.Hawley 1975 US$35. Hardcover, 28.5 x 22 cm, 165 pages. This is a book of oshigata from the original Shinto Bengi covering 1590 to 1779. Oshigata are arranged alphabetically, and have tosho name and the reference number to the listing in Hawley’s large swordsmith compilation. Very good condition, some pencil notes and name of owner. There are over 650 oshigata, includes some yari, great detail of mei. SBK 03 NATIONAL TREASURES OF Japan Exhibition Catalogue, Tokyo National Museum 1990 US$20. SOLD Publisher: The Yomiuri Shimbun. Softcover, all gloss pages. 25.5 x 21 cm, 350 pages (267 are gloss colour photos, 83 are smaller B&W ref pics with Japanese caption). At rear are 10 pages with numbered captions in English. Very good condition, a wide range of interesting items, with clear photos. Around 20 pics of swords, also armour. SBK 04 EDO no TANTO KOSHIRAE IDE Masanobu Heisei 9 (1997) US$30. Hardcover with dustjacket, 99 gloss pages (70 pages are colour photos), 20.5 x 21,5 cm. In Japanese, shows wide variety of koshirae over time, good photos. Very good condition. SBK 05 THE OSHIGATA BOOK Richard Fuller & Ron Gregory. 1985 US$65. This is the "pink book” of 144 pages and with 104 oshigata with translations and often much further information and background material. Oshigata are grouped under type / purpose. Book is softcover, 21 x 15 cm, in very good condition, binding in tact. Owners name in front. Out of print and was a limited edition of 500 (this is #156). Continues to be a valuable reference work. Books will be sent from Australia. Thanks, Mal
  6. mecox

    Tsuba reading

    Well this initial challenging post by Piers has caused me substantial loss of sleep, so I had to look further into this tsuba and its design, then could not stop.
  7. mecox

    Tsuba reading

    Bloody hell....well looks like 櫂Kai is the correct term for the tsuba design. And the other term is the origin of the old Japanese song "ro, ro, ro your boat gently down the stream...." . I'm getting ready for that glass!
  8. mecox

    Tsuba reading

    Wow, your concept is very deep, if not oblique..... its morning here, so my view tended not to be enhanced with the benefit of a few reds!
  9. mecox

    Tsuba reading

    Interpreting these tsuba gets a bit philosophical...and you need to ask the maker. But for this one I would go with umbrella (kasa) which is a common design item with rain drops (kasa ni ame); and an oar or paddle (kai). So with an umbrella in a paddled boat, suggests a passenger, so maybe theme is "water taxi" , boatman and passenger in the rain. Re the tsuba, rather small (7.3 cm) suggests small katana (or wakizashi), plus the tsuba looks rather crude and thick, so more like "Tosho" as opposed to "Ko-tosho". The latter are earlier and Muromachi, even Kamakura, and are larger often 8.0-8.5 cm, basic but well made and designs neatly cut, and well forged iron. So themes can be rather open.
  10. mecox

    Tsuba reading

    Piers, maybe Tosho, long sukashi definitely an oar, the other likely an umbrella, but could be old Japanese straw hat. A fisherman? Can you paddle a boat and hold an umbrella?
  11. Jarett, Hattori Masahiro here page 30:
  12. Two Higo sukashi tsuba price reduced to sell. TSUBA C: Higo Nishigaki school. $250 Sukashi bori tetsu (iron), mumei, uneven round shape (kawari gata) with round mimi. Size 7.8 x 7.5 x 0.4 cm. Design of sakura tree (cherry) with trunk, branches and flowers. Engraving design on flowers. Hitsu ana has copper sekigane. Nice iron and patina, probably late Edo. Solid and no cracks. Comes in good kiri wood box with purple lining & pillow. TSUBA E: Higo Nishigaki school. $275 Sukashi bori tetsu (iron), mumei, four lobe shape (nade mokko gata) with round edge (maru mimi). Size 7.73 x 7.42 x 0.4 cm. Design of paulownia tree with 3 groups of branches and leaves. Engraving design on leaves. Two hitsu ana. Good iron and patina, mid-late Edo. Solid and no cracks. Comes in quality kiri wood box with red wood trim; green lining & pillow. With Aoi Art Appraisal certificate.
  13. Kanemune was adopted son of Ichimonji Minamoto Amahide, Seki, see - Member Articles, background and examples.
  14. Apologies Ron, should have linked it
  15. Ron, yes this is Koketsu Genzaburo Kanetaka (sometimes read as Kanekami) and listed in Sesko swordsmiths. He was born Meiji 32 (1899) and died Showa 38 (1963). He was one of the students of Watanabe Kanenaga school, from Seki, and registered as a Seki swordsmith Showa 15 (1940) July 25. I cant find any examples, but he is in a group photo in Seki around 1952 at opening of Fujiwara Kanefusa forge (see NMB Download article on Kojima family, page 4). He had a student Ogawa Toichi Tofuji (also in Sesko) born Meiji 37 (1904) and registered in Seki Showa 15 (1940) Sept 28. But is an example on NMB February 4, by Frank at Bigsgtg. I missed this one:
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