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rkg last won the day on November 9 2019

rkg had the most liked content!

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About rkg

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    Jo Jo Saku

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    Portland, Oregon, USA

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    Richard George

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  1. I have a couple of pieces with kirikomi on them. The first is this: As can be seen, the cut appears to be from a sword(part of it is still in the blade), and the bottom doesn't come to a sharp V. And the second is this naginata(?) tsuba I recently acquired - there are a couple of what appear to be kirikomi on it: Best, rkg (Richard George)
  2. Thanks for all the replies! I'll follow up on these observations. Best, rkg (Richard George)
  3. Hi again, Here's another dumb theme question. Does the combination of akikusa (fall flowers) and suzumushi (bell cricket) have a legend, story or some other meaning that they're both found in the fall? Again, I'm trying to write up something, and... Obligatory eye candy images of the theme: Thanks in advance, rkg (Richard George)
  4. rkg

    theme of tsuba help

    Yakozen, Thanks for the reply! I'll look into that. Another collector also suggested it might have to do with the story of Binbou (貧乏) or Bimbo if you use Joly's odd romaji: https://books.google.com/books?id=OSxPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA23&lpg=PA23&dq=bimbo+joly+Japanese&source=bl&ots=DVAA0Xo_yS&sig=ACfU3U0ZCyMwwPTzeaNNIepKN7wtS8wnjw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiVi8ai8dnrAhUJvZ4KHZ8rD3kQ6AEwC3oECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=bimbo joly Japanese&f=false Best, rkg (Richard George)
  5. rkg

    theme of tsuba help

    Sebastien, Agreed on the quality (IMHO a bit better than usual), though I recently saw a jakushi piece with similar quality inlays. In addition, the Jakushi guys did indeed do Kawari gata pieces (I've seen several, and actually have one: ) In addition, somebody responded to one of my earlier inquiries about the piece withan image a signed one that was both kawari shaped and actually had similar sukushi/hitsu , though the theme appeared to be different. I don't have the owner's permission to share the image directly, but its posted on the kiodogu no sekai fb page... You may well be right - it could well be somebody else doing their interpretation of Jakushi/nagasaki/hizen/etc work - especially in late pieces like this where there were pleny of craftsmen versed in a number of different techniques who did whatever the client asked for.... not signed = we'll never really know. Best, rkg (Richard George)
  6. rkg

    theme of tsuba help

    Hi, I am trying to write a description for one of my tsuba, and am having trouble determining what the meaning of the decorations are. I think the piece is Jakushi work (though we'll never know for sure because its not signed - had to have been somebody in the Nagasaki area though). One side shows a rain dragon (thanks Gordon/others), and the other shows workers who are apparently planting rice. They seem to show the cloud the rain dragon is from wrapping around the piece, suggesting this is some kind of unified theme. So... is there a legend or standard name for this or is it just a "rain dragon/rice planting themed tsuba"? Apologies if you've already seen this - I've posted it in another forum or three as well. Thanks in advance, rkg
  7. rkg

    Thunderstorm Tsuba

    Sorry to be late to the party. Here's a couple of lightning/storm themed tsuba I own. first up is a Tenpou piece And here's an old saotome piece: Best, rkg (Richard George)
  8. FWIW, those are lantern flowers I believe. I have a piece with that theme (the fun part is that the nunome is created completely with lacquer, including the crosshatching): Best, rkg (Richard George)
  9. rkg

    Lacquer work kozuka

    Adrian, I understood what you said. the tsuba a bit more than just black lacquered - the nunome is completely built up with lacquer (crosshatching,e tc) - not as ornate as you are talking about, but... Best, rkg
  10. rkg

    Lacquer work kozuka

    I have a tsuba like that, where all the nunome, etc is lacquer work. I don't know if its a Kyou shouami piece that was "spiffed up" or what, but... Best,rkg (Richard George)
  11. And here's another similar piece that just showed up on YJ - note that I didn't compare the pieces very carefully, so YMMV (it is left as an exercise for the reader :-) ) https://www.sendico.com/ayahoo/item/n439356272 Best, rkg (Richard George)
  12. Dale, Rest home for tired tsuba = Ebay + Yahoo!Japan, and then on to tsuba foster care... :-) Good to know that piece wasn't actually on your 'gotta have it' list :-) But seriously, I believe you are correct - you can usually learn -something- from even the most common/rotted out/butchered/doctored tsuba (even if its only that). I personally usually try to at least look at pieces that are in the "hurt your eyes" category because of this (plus its an exercise to try and observe what's "right" about a piece because over the years I've had to photograph a surprising number of pieces that are er, not what the Japanese would collect - its often interesting what's important to a particular owner/what you can see if you look hard enough. The downside of that is that I now have to include 360 image sets of anything I sell because you get kind of hardwired to see/reveal/image what's right about a given piece, but I digress). I think you are right about the pricing - pieces with crazy prices aside, I personally feel this is because there are a lot fewer "diamonds in the rough" coming out/being up for auction, and anything desirable is now usually getting bid up higher than it used to. The agent I use used to keep everything you put on a watchlist with a small thumbnail/final price around forever, and you could watch this trend. Add that to people stuck at home often with money and hope, and its a fertile ground for crazy auction results (look at the effect the "idle day trader wannabes" are having on the markets (the price history of Hertz after they went BK is a case study for this)). There for a while I think there were more pieces coming out of the woodwork than could be snapped up by the Dealer Industrial complex - not true anymore, so you see more crazy priced pieces... On the dealers that have had pieces up forever at crazy prices - I used to marvel at this, since inventory turns are the way you make money - sitting on something for 10 years is usually not a good business model. But a pal pointed out that most of these items are on consignment and the light bulb went on - its no skin off the dealer's nose to let it sit (all it takes is a little shelf space and megabyte or three on their website) - if they get the crazy price, great - if not, the item kept people looking longer in their shop/website, which improves the odds of them finding/buying something else) A corollary to that is the observation that people don't like to lose money - I know a surprising number of people who have pieces they don't want anymore that were bought before the sword/tosogu bear market (or they got rooked by a dealer on, or bought sight unseen (read: off of ebay/yahoo!Japan) that had problems, or....) that would (now) bring less than they paid - and they just can't bring themselves to deaccession the piece(s) for the current market price. And so yeah, -somebody- saying "'I paid this much for it, so it must be worth more now" is a big cause of this. Best, rkg (Richard George)
  13. Rich, The saotome is actually covered with that sukiurushi stuff and the coating is in surprisingly good condition/old - at the risk of threadjacking, here's a link to more images of that piece on FB: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Kod%C3%B4gu-no-Sekai-%E5%B0%8F%E9%81%93%E5%85%B7%E3%81%AE%E4%B8%96%E7%95%8C-266005023454853/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2496660033722663 D*mn straight on your comments, though its still a good idea to go try and see the best examples of what you're interested in first - That way you make an informed decision to either spend the big bux for a top end piece or know you're paying less because the piece isn't (Its a bad feeling when you buy what you think/are told is a really good piece only to blindsided later when you learn more). Or you -know- you're getting a deal :-) There's a lot to be said for mid grade tsuba - I love Rich Turner's term "cheep and cheerful" for these - there are hordes of examples of pieces from most schools that are charming, but will never sell for much because of some condition issue, it was made by "tsubako Bob" rather than the founder of the school, is a later work or an utushi, is unsigned (another can of worms though), etc. rkg (Richard George)
  14. Dale, First off, this probably isn't the best example of what your are getting at. The ebay piece is clearly listed at a ludicrous price for what it is (as an aside, there's a lot of items out of Japan listed for ludicrous prices on fleabay - and often they are reselling items with (sometimes much) lower buy-it-now prices that are currently listed on Yahoo! Japan). I personally get the "worn" aesthetic/have several pieces like that which have been used and used: The problem with the YJ piece you have listed the link to is that it really isn't an example of a "worn" tsuba. While the piece has obviously been used, its more like a tsuba that's been damaged by neglect - if you're collecting akasaka you probably don't want a piece like this as a pinnacle piece in your collection - they really can't be fixed very well (the surfaces are "supposed to be smooth-ish", and if you fuss/bone it, etc, you'll still have a poxed-er, tsuchime surface), and there is so much Akasaka material out there that the piece doesn't seem to me to be in the "its a miracle it exists at all, so a bit of corrosion, loss, etc - eh, its OK" category (which is also quite subjective - again, one man's trash...). Although the overall quality of what's showing up has been declining for a while, the chance to buy unpapered (or mis-papered) items is one of the big attractions on YJ, but you kind have got to have studied a lot of "good" examples in hand to know what to get/not get (and even then its a gamble, but I digress). Once you've seen the "best in existence", its a lot easier to get a feeling for how far down from that ideal you are willing to go/can live with in your collection. The scary thing about papers is that they are only an opinion, and opinions change/can be "wrong", etc. not a big deal in a lot of cases, but you're gonna be crying in your beer if you pay the big bux for say, something "papered" to Goto Yujo that gets reclassified as a copy later... On the other hand, if you're just buying it to study for a while or just because it "talks to you", I get that too - I buy a surprising number of pieces with the intent to just use them for photo testing or to just study some aspect of and then move along (I love Curran's term for this - "catch and release", and I've actually got a big stack of tsuba sitting next to me in the office here that are ready to be deaccessioned, but I digress again). I also have a lot of "cheep and cheerful" tsuba - pieces that will never sell for much because they are far down from the "ideal" but I like 'em or they grew on me (see the head bag tsuba above or these: ) D*mn, its bad to have a morning off - I think I got too preachy. My apologies... Best, rkg (Richard George)
  15. ROFL!!! rkg (Richard George)
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