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Gakusee last won the day on January 5

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About Gakusee

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    Koto swords in order of personal preference: Bizen, Soshu, Yamashiro

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    Michael S

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  1. The mei is not a tachi mei, as it is sashi omote mei. To me it reads Noshu ju Kanemoto, which would place it in Muromachi Mino. The pointy gunome would be consistent with Mino, but the photos above shows only a small section of the blade. Not convinced by the acid bath statement above, but clearly the polish is old and dulled. But the sword could have been Mino Muromachi, even though with these photos one cannot tell the patina of the nakago well due to the warm-light photo flash making the nakago look redder than it probably is.
  2. Has not been the case for a long while. Perhaps you are getting mixed up with being able to submit for Hozon & ToHozon concurrently?
  3. Gold members bantering = preaching to the converts indeed. There should not be naming and shaming of specific people who do not contribute, as that could be counterproductive and viewed as finger-pointing and victimisation. Mechanical, objective, software-imposed limits to how many items can be sold a month by non-Gold members is probably the most equitable. It feels like 2-5 sales per month is probably right but perhaps Brian and the other administrators can decide. I feel that beyond 5 sales a month is actually generating a recurring income and people who sell more than 5 items are month are running a business out of it. How one controls for private sales is different..... Unless there is 'big-brother' policing of private messages (which, I am sure, we all want to avoid), I cannot see that being feasible. I do not sell on NMB but feel that subscribing to the forum is a small thank-you gesture for the knowledge and relationships NMB has brought.
  4. No, no special book. Have to work with the Juyo Zufu directly.
  5. Well, I use Fujishiro sensei oil. If it is good enough for him, it is good enough for me :)) Never asked the family for uchiko, but it might be that they also sell uchiko? After all, it is a residue of their normal polishing process, and the so-called 'polisher uchiko' (I still have one ball left) is the best one can buy. However, I do not use uchiko any more, after I scratched some blades, so cannot comment on sources of uchiko.
  6. Collectors have different tastes and desires, so one cannot group everyone in the same category: be focused or be broad. Often collectors start broad and eclectic and after, say, 10-15 years they decide to specialise. But they decide to do that because that specialism gratifies them and they have finally realised, after trying out different aspects, what really pleases them and evokes the emotional response that keeps them collecting. There are others who prefer to accumulate and every new acquisition causes the adrenaline and dopamine spikes that make people euphoric. To them it is not so much about what they buy, as long as it is likeable in the broadest sense of the word, but the identification, negotiation, acquisition, restoration (“the journey rather than the destination”) count at least as much. It is all very well to draw parallels with fine art or coins or stamps but this hobby is different. It has its own peculiarities even though I admit understanding collecting and human psychology evinced in all fields of collecting helps rationalise certain general behaviours. How the OP proceeds is up to them. But being educated about the hobby, what is out there (and where it is), the price levels and dynamics of the resale market afterwards and most importantly - about the swords themselves - is paramount. How their taste evolves afterwards is up to them.
  7. Gakusee

    Is this chikei?

    Well, be careful. Not all is chikei. Some is merely laminations ie mokume or itame. The chikei would be accumulations of nie mostly and be dark but shiny
  8. I have dealt with Parcelforce numerous times. Sometimes something gets stuck in there, sometimes the postal slip gets delivered to a neighbour (who does not know me or has no idea how to give me the slip or just cannot be bothered to do so), etc. My recommendation is to be pro-active and keep checking with the overseas (EMS, UPS etc) reference number, which the Parcelforce online checker tool will convert automatically to the UK Parcelforce reference. If you notice in the online history tracker that your parcel has been stuck in there (eg Coventry hub or London depot, etc) for longer than 3-5 business days, I suggest you either telephone them (034485522427 or 03448004466; cannot remember which one worked for me) and clear the payment on the phone or email them (pfw-ccb@parcelforce.co.uk) to accelerate the clearance through the customs bonded warehouse. Sometimes, it might help to speak with a local depot (for me this was the London S East on 03442096101). Always be pro-active: when requesting seller / sender to document items (both inside and outside the parcel, with the correct codes, with the appropriate description, with as full documentation in English as possible even if this means translating the Hozon certificate, etc) and also when dealing with Customs or Parcelforce. Do not rely on others to do the job properly and always double check everything. If you are too eager or the item - too precious, yes you can go and collect the item in person. Note: the hubs do not accept cash payments. If you are there on the spot, you could pay the fee using their card reader. When the card reader does not work (happened to me once), they ask you to call a line or speak with a colleague of theirs upstairs (using the telephone lines mentioned above, etc) and you clear the payment on the phone, then hang around in a small unsightly cold waiting room while they potter around doing their jobs behind the bulletproof screen, you and need to remind them to check their screens the item has cleared. Once, it took me 45 minutes to an hour of just hanging around there due to faulty card readers even though there were only 2-3 customers there.
  9. Mark I maintain approximately 45-50% humidity and temperature of 20-25 degrees. In line with the NBTHK. No need for multiple dehumidifiers - just the one, where my swords are. Now when the radiator comes on due to winter coldness, humidity drops to 35-40% sometimes but that is when it becomes too hot, so I try to control for that by reducing temperature.
  10. Ok, gents, this has been covered several times on this board. Humidity in the air and its composition will cause the steel blade to rust and therefore you counteract it by: - oiling the blades (very thin, invisible, film, not the usual thick oily and greasy splotches that many people tend to err on the side of) and when beading occurs - wipe the excess with paper tissue. The paper tissue will leave a minimal oily layer in any case; - containers or receptacles (shirasaya or controlled cabinet); - dehumidifier in the room or inside the cabinet. That is how the NBTHK stores and exhibits blades (large dehumidifier and temperature system connected to display cabinets) and so do dealers (floor-based smaller dehumidifiers) in Japan. Often they do not oil blades much or at all but they have dehumidifiers. Some people are more adventurous and do not oil their blades in the UK, even when they live in very humid areas, but I personally both oil and have a permanently plugged dehumidifier. Other options include large but unsightly rechargeable desiccant pouches. I am not a fan of Dri Rods due to the heat / potential fire hazard in the display space or in close proximity to a blade or shirasaya.
  11. I have never regretted joining the To-Ken Society - in fact one of my best decisions ever, together with following this portal/community for well over 16-17 years. The NMB provided theoretical knowledge while the To-Ken meetings enabled me to see swords and koshirae first hand and hear more experienced people describe these items while teaching us. Of course, once one builds an own network of contacts, then it becomes easier to navigate the field solo. But still, the social and educational elements are valuable. In informal and interpersonal meetings, one can learn and share a lot more than publicly..... People sometimes focus too much on price. Price is an important element of a purchase but so is the quality of the item, the guarantees, the deferred purchasing methods that some offer, the trustworthiness, the investment in a relationship with someone who might offer you items that will never be published officially on a website et cetera. Also, my main piece of advice is to defer a purchase until you can make your own judgment rather than rely on judgements by others. If it takes years, so be it. It might be better than burn money, burn bridges/relationships, get disappointed, acquire something that in a year you will not like anymore as you have changed your mind or did not know what you were buying in the first place.
  12. John, thanks for the additional photos. Unfortunately, I cannot tell anything with this remnant of a gakumei, so apologies. For me it is too corroded, but others could be able to discern something. The hada is consistent with the purported age. But regarding the last two photos (the post immediately above), there is a bit of a question mark there: the hamon seems to drop off the edge. So, please request for sidewise photos of the blade with the kissaki pointing towards a light source and the nakagojiri towards the photographer (sort of like this below a bit at an angle). The idea would be to see the actual hamon through the hadori polish, which is a bit heavy at the moment.
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