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Everything posted by mecox

  1. 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. 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. 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.
  2. 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. 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. 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
  3. SBK 01 SWORDS and SWORD FITTINGS: Treasures from the Tokugawa Art Museum Heisei 10 (1998) US$40. 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. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. Jarett, Hattori Masahiro here page 30:
  10. 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.
  11. Kanemune was adopted son of Ichimonji Minamoto Amahide, Seki, see - Member Articles, background and examples.
  12. Apologies Ron, should have linked it
  13. 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:
  14. seems to be around 15% now, as they have cut ties with Paypal and do it themselves. But of course also worst exchange rate, and they hang onto funds for a few days, plus in Aust we get hit with a 10% gst.
  15. Steve, based on pics 27 Dec kaigunto, nothing appears "wrong" with the tsuka and ito wrapping. Disregard criticism.
  16. George & others, this is interesting, and may be an unrecorded smith. Based on reading 角屋政光 as Sumiya Masamitsu, I could not find anything in Seki including registration, or in general records. But apparently your sword is Seki stamped in shingunto, with yon-ji mei and sujikai yasurime. The Japan auction site found by Piers https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/l689802003 interestingly has a sword by him, wakizashi 43 cm in bushi mounts with matching yon-ji mei, sujikai filing, Seki shape nakago and also undated. The Torokusho is from Gifu and dated 1992 (Heisei 4) Oct 28. The note says "details are not known". As an exercise I looked at the other reading of family name, Kakuya, which in Sesko came up with: MASAMICHI (政道), Shōwa (昭和, 1926-1989), Gifu – “Masamichi” (政道), real name Kakuya Shōzō (角屋正蔵), born on April 11th 1897 (Meiji 30), he worked as guntō smith. He was registered in Seki on Dec 24, 1941 (Showa 16) and was living at Yoshimoto-cho, Seki-machi. Some tantalizing similarities, but that's all.
  17. I tried a few, the others beyond me 1. 肥前國藤原忠廣 Higo Kuni Fujiwara Tadahiro 肥前国藤原忠広 (Sesko eSwordsmiths has him on page 1054, using simple "hiro"). He is the 2nd generation Tadahiro. He is in Hawley as TAD37 with the longer "hiro". 4. 近江大掾受領前ノ寛永拾四年頃ノ作也 this looks to say he received the title Omi no Daijo in Kanei ju yon nen (14) which is 1637. Sesko has "he received the honorary title Ōmi no Daijō on the 22nd day of the seventh month Kan´ei 18 (寛永, 1641) 5. 刃長貳尺四寸六分有之 sword length nagasa is 2 saku 4 sun 6 bu which is approx 74.5 cm
  18. Stainless steel naval sword, Feb 1940 Tenshozan Tanrenjo saku, see Downloads Naval part 2, page 93
  19. Eric and others, this looks like Shinoda Hiroshi Ujifusa 篠田 寛 氏房. He was born 20 May, 1912 (Meiji 45) in Seki, and was trained by Kato Jumyo 加藤 寿命, who was from the Watanabe Kanenaga 兼永 school. Ujifusa was producing swords in the early-1930’s and in particular with the increased demands in 1937 after the Japanese invasion of China. At this time there were many requests for shin Nipponto, more than he could supply. Yes the date is Showa 14 (1939) which fits with the Sho/Sakura stamp. But the mei of "Ujifusa" is roughly cut for then, which was more common in late war (1944+). And yes be good to see the koshirae. He is explained in Download file, pages 9 and 49-62:
  20. Eric & Others, this is TOKI YUICHI SUKENOBU 土岐 雄一 亮信, younger brother of Toki Kanemasa and a student of Niwa Kanenobu. See Member Articles in Downloads: Seki Toki Swordsmiths - Member Articles - Nihonto Message Board. This is outline of these two swordsmiths.
  21. Arielle, here is a summary of Ozawa Kanehisa. He was a very capable swordsmith but died at age 30 almost at the end of the war, so limited examples. He was from Seki in Gifu Prefecture and became a fully trained independent smith at age 20. Your sword looks in good condition. Any more pics?
  22. Bruce, in Sesko is : KANETOSHI (兼俊), Shōwa (昭和, 1926-1989), Gifu – “Kanetoshi” (兼俊), “Ikkōsai Kanetoshi” (粋光斎兼俊), real name Kumazawa Shun´ichi (熊沢俊一), born April 20th 1899 (Meiji 32), his gō was Ikkōsai (粋光斎), he worked as guntō smith and was from Seki-machi, Kifune-cho. He registered as a Seki tosho 21 October 1942. The kakihan stamp does have Buddhist association. It is probably a stylised ken straight sword with a "handle", possibly called a sanko-tsuki-ken or sanko-zuka-ken. The ken (or suken) can reflect the incarnation of the deity Fudo Myoo, and the "handle" appears to be a rendai, the lotus petals put beneath an image of the Buddha. This Buddhist symbol is to chase away the devil. But I dont know anything about the smith, how he trained or his relation to Buddhism. He produced quite a few blades, most with Sho/Sakura or Seki stamp, but some with no stamp, and did produce some gendaito. He is also listed in Slough page 70 (which shows he is not Murayama Kanetoshi).
  23. Thomas, I will try PM's. No Mino book is not archived on NMB. It is 1993 pre-digital.
  24. Thomas, an interesting topic. Although you may have it, attached is some background info. In note Sesko eSwords has a good summary of the Daido smiths pages 63-65. Text here is from 1993 book Mino-To and copies of oshigata, which reflects some variations in reports. The reference and pages of original photos in Fujishiro book are included. There are a few more oshigata in Japanese Sword (cox website) » Oshigata: Mino-to (on.net) Section of Late Koto has 4 and Shinto has 1. I have another 15 or so originals from Japanese books that I will need to copy in 1-2 days. Perhaps I should PM?
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