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Shugyosha

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Everything posted by Shugyosha

  1. Too many questions over this one. No, I’ve not seen anything like this - unless there was a Showa smith with with the same name and title, run away.
  2. Hi Ed, I think Tomotaka or Tomoyoshi (友賢). I’m not sure of the reading.
  3. Jacques, Just out of interest, would you say that the blade in this thread had a splendid nioi guchi?
  4. Franco, There are many Juyo level blades that I wouldn’t consider spending money on as I couldn’t live with them. I need to own a blade in good enough condition that I can enjoy the features that are integral to the maker or school. I’m interested in the blade as art not as an artifact. No I don’t just buy the paper. You’re deliberately misreading what I’m saying. Have another read, but mainly f@ck off and argue with someone else.
  5. Hi Franco, Yes, that is so. Irrespective of your level of scholarship I'm going to take the opinion of five people who have seen thousands of blades in hand and who are the foremost sword scholars in the world over that of Franco D and, indeed, myself and anyone else. Sorry. This is where Darcy Brockbank is so sorely missed as he wrote about this many times and way more eloquently than I can but I'll try anyway. A paper can do a number of things: At Hozon level and likely with most NTHK papers where the attribution is to a minor school only such as "Takada" or "Shimosaka," and if the paper specifies a given time period, what you are buying is a sword with reassurance that it is a genuine blade. This is useful for novice collectors in that they have a foot on the ladder and they know that they haven't bought a pup. The more diligent amongst them will go away and do what you suggest in terms of research and then come to the conclusion that it is not possible to research the blade any more fully as, whilst the blade has some characteristics of the school or one of the styles it worked in, it isn't possible to be more specific. If it was, the shinsa panel would have specified an individual smith. Often a NBTHK paper will verify a signature but specify nothing further. This is potentially a more dangerous situation for a buyer where there are multiple generations of smiths signing in the same way as sellers tend to talk up the blade as being by one of the more important smiths in that lineage or from a more appealing time period. Where there is no date or period specified (the NTHK will usually specify a date and province in the notes section on the back of the paper) this is where the buyer needs to do their research before buying. Often, however, the buyer is in the same situation as that set out above - it is not possible to research the blade more thoroughly due to a lack of available source material, the language barrier to be overcome in order to access available source material etc and, oh yeah, if it were possible to be more specific the shinsa panel would have been. If the workmanship on a blade suggests quality and/ or the owner has an opinion that it might be a significant blade then it is probably worth getting this confirmed by the NBTHK as it has a more solid reputation than the NTHK and the owner can then potentially begin the process of seeking higher papers or invest in a polish knowing that the blade merits the outlay. When I say that the NBTHK and NTHK are right more often than not, I'm not saying that they are infallible. Shinsa have become time pressured with way more blades being evaluated than in the past and this will inevitably lead to errors. Recently a blade with a hagire passed shinsa and the suspicion was that this is because shinsa panels are cutting corners by not looking at blades if they can quickly confirm a signature. There are swords with more than one paper and to different schools and swords get re-evaluated at Juyo or Tokubetsu Juyo level and effectively marked up or down. So, do you buy the sword or the paper? This is a foolish question as it implies that you can only do one or the other. In fact, what you do is buy quality. If you can learn to identify quality and its various degrees and know what you should pay for what degree of quality then you are well placed, but beyond a certain price point you'd be foolish not to have your own opinion backed up by that of the NBTHK and I certainly won't but your mileage may vary.
  6. It’s been said that unless you witness a blade being forged then there’s always room for argument as to who made it and when. The NTHK and NBTHK shinsa panels have the reputation for being right way more often than not. That’s why they’re the gold standard and a blade backed up by there paperwork will usually be taken to be what the papers say it is. Hi John, I just wanted to offer Alec some reassurance - sorry you had a bad experience. Most of us have been there at least once though. For Alec - some historic blades by famous smiths will paper despite fatal flaws because they are “worthy of preservation”. Blades by Muramasa are an example of this as his hamon often run close to or off the edge of the blade due to repeated polishes. In other cases there may be dishonesty by the shinsa panels- the old green NBTHK papers have this reputation and they’re no longer considered legitimate. Mistakes also happen once in a while and it’s also possible that a blade was polished after it papered and that created the flaw.
  7. Hi Alec, The paper gives it to the Echizen Seki school and dates it around Houei (1704). You have the seals of five members of the shinsa panel who agreed with this appraisal. @JohnD - Normally if a blade has a fatal flaw it won’t receive papers so the hamon probably doesn’t fall off the edge at any point.
  8. Hi Gopas, Did you mean kogatana? A kozuka is the decorative part - it’s the handle for a kogatana. The kozuka is normally kept in a separate box like a tsuba.
  9. This can be helpful, but I’m not sure there’s anything definitive. https://www.amazon.com/Legend-Japanese-Art-Henri-Joly/dp/0804803587
  10. Doesn't sound like much of a friend to me. A friend would have disposed of it discreetly and never mentioned the matter again.
  11. I think a certain amount of caution is justified with anything likely to inflate the value of a blade. If not signed and sealed in an inlaid mei, with a sensible test cut by a verifiable tester, then look away.
  12. Hi James, Suguba hamon exist in koto Bizen blades and the shinto Bizen school harked back to that tradition so it wouldn't be out of the question, but googling around this was the only example I turned up with a suguba hamon but it does have papers. https://www.aoijapan.net/tanto-yokoyama-kouzuke-daijyo-fujiwara-sukesada/ Here's Fred Weissberg's description of his work etc on Nihonto.com and which confirms his work can have suguba hamon. https://www.nihonto.com/sukesada/ As John V. says, if it has NTHK or NBTHK papers (but be careful of green NBTHK papers to big name smiths) there shouldn't be anything to worry about in terms of authenticity, but if you have doubts don't buy. Swords by this smith, and good Japanese swords in general aren't exactly rare and if you prefer the gunome choji/ midare style hamon one will crop up before too long that doesn't come with this concern.
  13. Torokusho says 38.0 cm if it belongs to this blade. Chris, what listing are you referring to? Unless I’ve missed something the second kanji of the mei is illegible so there’s only “Kane” to go on.
  14. Hi Dirk, The paper describes these as “left-right matsu (pine) sukashi”. I assume the difference between these and wada sukashi is one of scale but any idea where the pine thing comes from as I can’t see it?
  15. Hi Robin, I can see two kanji there, maybe Yasunori (靖憲)? There's a couple listed here working in Showa, but the patina on the tang might suggest an older blade. https://nihontoclub.com/view/smiths?page=17&order=title&sort=desc
  16. Hi Colin, Sorry, for some reason I thought you were in the USA - I’m in the UK too. I was about to plug the To-Ken society but Paul got there first. Not sure which bit of East Anglia you’re in but I’m in north Leics. I’d be happy to meet up if I’m not being too pushy but bringing your swords to a To-Ken society meeting would yield more information. Stunningly good value at only £20 per annum.
  17. You’re right, sorry. Saw the dates for this year and presumed it was on then spotted the link to story of the organiser’s death.
  18. I don't think that this blade would need a polish before shinsa: in its current state it ought to be possible to make an attribution as the boshi, hada and hamon can be clearly seen. Also, I think with the US shinsa a post-in and sometimes a walk-in service is available and as John is in FLA it should be relatively convenient if the next sword show there has a shinsa. That's usually in the winter months if it goes ahead (someone will be more precise than me I'm sure)*. I understand the San Francisco show has a shinsa this year: *Not even close, it's in a couple of weeks but no shinsa. https://orlandojapaneseswordshow.com/OJSS/event/orlando-Japanese-sword-show/
  19. Yep, a lovely sword. There’s a number of smiths signing Muneshige in the Koto period but not much available on line. https://nihontoclub.com/view/smiths?page=108 Don’t be quick to write it off as gimei. I’d go with Shannon’s suggestion: shinsa then take a view on whether it’s worth a polish.
  20. There are reputable polishers Stateside: http://www.legacyswords.com/index.html https://nihontoantiques.com/sword-restoration/ http://www.bushidojapaneseswords.com/restoration-services.html There are also normally NTHK shinsa either at the Florida sword show or in San Francisco. If you want it to have NBTHK papers then it will have to go to Japan and it would make sense to send it there for polish at the same time. This gentleman can handle receipt of the sword and the registration process and sourcing a suitable craftsman for you: https://www.thejapanesesword.com/services.php
  21. Hi Jean, Kansei four (1792) nezumidoshi - year of the rat: 寛政 四子年.
  22. Friesen, There are a quantity of Japanese sword dealers listed in the links section above under “info”. Have a look at what they have to offer, read and learn what you can and do what you’ve just done - ask questions. You’re possibly on a tricky situation in that you probably have money in your pocket but you’re a novice. Take your time - even with authenticated blades there are potential pitfalls as the papers don’t necessarily tell you all you need to know. There are lots of swords out there and there’s no need to go treasure hunting until you know what you’re about.
  23. It may simply have been submitted to Hozon shinsa and not Tokubetsu Hozon. The owner may have done so just to get or confirm an earlier attribution feeling that it’s quality would speak for itself. You can find the shinsa criteria here: http://www.nihontocraft.com/Nihonto_Shinsa_Standards.html
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