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Everything posted by mecox

  1. Eric As George read “Mino ju Kaneyoshi saku” and this one is Matsubara Shozo Kaneyoshi. Born Taisho 10 (1921 Jan 20). He was a student of Watanabe Kanenaga and the younger brother of Nakata Kanehide. He later became a Naval swordsmith. Summary and examples in Naval Swordsmiths Part 2, in the NMB Downloads. With a Sho/sakura stamp is an early war Showato.
  2. Kiipu that is a really good paper from Japan Steel Works (2019/12/23; No. 70) about Horii smiths, with some good pics. It supports the Horii 1996 book you listed in your bibliography written by Horii Tanetsugu. It shows the line of Horii from Toshihide (see Slough p.173) to Tanetsugu (1996 book) to Tanetada (JSW paper). Thanks for posting.
  3. Peter, here is a possibility. From Seki info I have, Kanehisa (#34, b.1908) was trained under Kanetoshi (#21, b.1905) so may have been deshi and living with Murayama family. Father, Murayama Kaneyuki (#30, b.1884) trained his 2 sons Murayama Kanetoshi (#21, b.1905) and Murayama Kaneshige (b.1909). Kaneyuki was trained by Watanabe Kanenaga (#16). Kaneshige stayed under father Kaneyuki. But son Kanetoshi looks to have also trained (probably mainly) under Niwa Kanematsu Kanenobu 兼信 (#17, 1874-1941) along with his son Niwa Shuji Kanenobu 兼延 (b.1903; he was adopted). Kanetoshi then took on Niwa Kanehisa (#34, b.1908) as a student. Tosho often sent their sons to peers to train with. So maybe Niwa Kanehisa (#34) was another adopted son of Niwa Kanematsu Kanenobu (#17) ???
  4. Yes Steve is correct. This is my summary. It is from an article on the 1937 Gifu tosho report, which Brian is currently processing.
  5. I cant add much more. But even without stamps, say 1940, it is likely to be Showato. If it was an actual "Takayama-to" it would have a rather long nakago, likely with a curve in it, plus a short and thick kissaki, and often suguha hamon. But it is signed Ujifusa, and this one was from Seki.
  6. The pic with tsuba looks early war and he looks to have done some blades then with 2 holes. Early on he did produce for Takayama forge, but he was probably working in Seki. I think he was likely working independently, filled orders and sold other work. Probably after blades were made they could have been fitted in army or navy mounts. A number of these tosho also moved to different forges/companies. Does your sword have a stamp e.g. Sho/sakura? But I think pretty sure to be Showato ....but I havent seen it.
  7. Chris and friends, it looks to be Shinoda Ujifusa. Have a look at the Naval Swords (part 1) in the NMB Downloads. About the smith on p. 9 and many examples of mei pages 49 to 62. Page 49 very similar cut mei. Mal Mei: Takayama To Ujifusa saku kore 高山刀氏房作之
  8. Steve there is a relevant article on Tokushima/Kaifu swordsmiths in NMB Downloads. Mal
  9. Thanks Bruce, it was in fact rather difficult. I started to look at the WW2 Tokushima tosho there and found although small most were RJT but not in lists. Also they had close links with the Osaka Army Arsenal. Then to try and get context I looked further back in history. Fortunately my wife also found the translations of interest. I do hope there are no major errors.....and would be pleased to hear if there are, or member have more examples. Also I was unable to get a copy of the 1972 book Ashu no Tosho.
  10. Bruce, in Naval Swords #2: In addition to aircraft weapons, the Toyokawa Navy Arsenal produced naval kaigunto, bayonets, the Nambu pistol and a variety of small calibre artillery weapons. (from an online summary report)
  11. Bruce & Thomas, regards the Sukenobu (post#676) dated June 1942, he was working for Seki Token Co Ltd (Seki Token Kabushiki Kaisha 関刀剣株式株式会社) [see Toki Tosho article in Downloads, p. 35] and this blade has NA & HO but no star. He became RJT and blades in Dec 1943 and Jan 1944 have star & NA.
  12. Looking at arsenal & inspection stamps, this is my take: (a) all arsenals had their own stamp which is a kanji and an abbreviation of the arsenal name: Kokura "KO"  小 , Nagoya "NA" 名 , Osaka "SAKA" 阪. (b) these are mostly on RJT blades with STAR stamp. (c) usually stamped on nakago mune with arsenal stamp at top and "HO" below it. (d) the "HO" stamp ホ is katakana, and has been described as "inspection stamp of Kokura Arsenal first factory". OK, but that does not mean specific to, and I think more likely applies to arsenal "first factories" in general. I made a note in my article on Taguchi Masatsugu page 8 (NMB Downloads): ( ホ “ho” which is katakana (shorthand for non-Japanese words) and its use has been translated to mean “first factory” of Kokura (see Ohmura website). It is likely this “ho” comes from 本部 “honbu” which means "main / primary / headquarters" (for example, as in “Rikugun Heiki Gyōsei Honbu” 陸軍兵器行政本部 [Army Ordnance Administration Headquarters] ). [for summary of inspection stamps, see Bruce Pennington paper on stamps, page 13 table, NMB Downloads]) (e) this indicates to me that "HO" is a head office stamp, and a common stamp carried by inspectors who were based at the various arsenals, plus visited forges in their local region. Inspectors visiting forges has been confirmed. (f) however, there are some RJT STAR blades with a "HO" stamp but no arsenal stamp. This suggests the tosho is local to, or afffiliated with, that arsenal. (g) also it appears to me that the bulk of the traditional blades with a STAR and made by RJT were made in forges outside of these arsenals. (h) we have many examples of blades from the various arsenals that have their arsenal stamp plus "HO". They cannot have all come from Kokura. How do these points all fit with the evidence? Mal
  13. Bruce, my draft had "ko?" but I will change to unidentified as I dont know.
  14. Thomas, that is interesting aspect, but Shigefusa was from Tokushima, he also set up his own forge there, and he was an appointed RJT at Osaka Arsenal and lived at Osaka for a while, and was ranked in exhibitions. You seem to be saying that this blade was made in Kokura and distributed out, and that he "finished" it. Very hard to believe that. However, I have not examined the blade...maybe I misread the stamps, also there was some discussion over the original post in 2011. cheers Mal
  15. George & Bruce, for interest I have been chasing WW2 (actually any Showa period) smiths from Tokushima, on Shikoku. Turns out to be a challenge as not many and little info. But of note many were RJT and they had a close relation with Osaka Arsenal. So many of them had star stamps, plus some other stamps. Attached some examples: Masaharu looks like "saka" stamp?, cant see a star, Nov 1944. Shigefusa star and "ko" Aug 1942. Shigefusa star and 'ko" Nov 1942. The "ko" looks odd for him as used by Kokura, but he was an Osaka RJT also lived there for a while. I am still trying to compile info, so if any members have ANY material on Tokushima tosho, I would greatly appreciate it.
  16. Its a date Taisho 10 (1921) 2nd month (Feb) a day
  17. Sorting my collection, selling 4 iron sukashi tsuba, 2 Higo (Nishigaki) and 2 Echizen Kinai. Tsuba A: Higo school, 6.7 x 6.5 cm, bamboo, NBTHK Hozon, SOLD Tsuba B: Higo school, 7.75 x 7.45 cm, leaves & branches, Aoi Art Appraisal, US$450. Tsuba C: Kinai school (Yondai Ishikawa), 8.6 x 8.6 cm, kiku flower, leaves & waves, US$250. Tsuba D: Kinai school (Nidai Ishikawa), 8.2 x 8.1 cm, dragon, US$400. Information on Kinai school here: Japanese sword » Tsuba: Echizen Kinai (on.net) I am in Australia. Paypal accepted, plus airmail shipping (around US$18 to USA & US$25 to Europe. Please examine pics. Mal
  18. It does appear to be various pieces combined. The blade is stamped Navy Toyokawa Arsenal and looks stainless steel and maybe shortened. The suspension ashi is kaigunto, as noted the fuchi and kabutogane (too big) are shingunto, the menuki is civilian (post-war?), tsuba looks to be iron and cast?, habaki is copper which was not used on these blades and also is too small. The tsuka has been re-wrapped with the original ito but it is not criss-cross and only a knot on one side at the top. But of course I have been wrong before.
  19. Drew, this is a very nice example of a preserved sword and its history. The swordsmith is Yoshida Kaneuji 吉田 兼氏 , his given name seems to be Suzuichi. He was from Seki and born 13 January 1925 (Taisho 14), and registered as a Seki tosho on 9 September 1938 (Showa 13) which was quite early. Look in NMB for other posts (30 Aug 2019 by David [m41700]) and also page 72 in Slough. His blades had both Sho/sakura and Seki stamps, and also some have a kokuin hot stamp. An early war blades notes he also used Yasuki steel for it. He used both long forms of mei and the short niji mei with some variations in cutting style. Attached some examples, others in Rick Steins Swordsmith Index. NOTE: His date of registration looked a bit odd (1938; S13.9.9) as he world be 13 years old. I re-checked and that is what is in the old Japanese record, is it an error? Also it is the only one in the whole list for Showa 13 (1938), so does not look correct. He could have started an apprenticeship at 13 but not be qualified.
  20. Purely as an exercise a Murayama Kanetsugu was sold by Shouzando in June, 2008: 6月14日・・・刀「濃州関住村山兼次、軍刀拵入り」......the correct mei and in brackets has "gunto with koshirae" . Seems swords by him are rare and I cant find him in several Seki lists. I could not find a picture. This is their list of sold items: www. shouzando.com/old.rireki.html 刀剣 象山堂 古い更新履歴 (shouzando.com) In English they are Touken Shozando, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
  21. Any chance it could be Murayama Kanetsugu (with a slightly different Kane, 4 separate strokes below). There was one tosho with limited production, but i cant find this Kane).
  22. From my readings for Masatsugu (in NMB Downloads): Due to demands on supplies, including food, and the expansion in numbers of students, in November 1941 teaching activities of the Denshu Jo were transferred to the new Nihonto Gakuin 日本刀学院 (Japanese Sword Academy) which opened at Sagamihara, Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture. This is on the Sagami River around 35 km SW of Tokyo, and was on the grounds of the Imperial Army facility which also housed the Army Officers Academy. The Gakuin was headed by Yoshihara Katsukichi Kuniie (also called (Akihiro)(昭広)(1894-1970) as chief instructor.
  23. Barry does this have the typical artificial suguha hamon?
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