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Everything posted by kunitaro

  1. Tokusei (special made) is just a kind of adding title but, it is nothing special. Tomotsugu is the name of maker, but it is mass products I think.
  2. 特製 (Tokusei.special made)  友次 (Tomotsugu) http://fishingdirect.jp/category/select/cid/1249/pid/11044/language/ja
  3. Dear Joe san, Thank you for your post. and sorry for slow reaction, I was writing some stories for posting on NMB. I explained about polishing and about how to view the blade in the post. I explained about 5 minutes staring each section (10-15cm) on the blade. Please check and try.... and let me know how you see. Hope you can see different style of polishing on the blades before you sell. If you have further question, please let me know. http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/12772-sword-polishing-service-in-Japan/?p=211970 Best regards, kunitaro
  4. Yes, Steve san is correct ! (藤)原兼永以耐錆鋼作之 (Fuji)wara Kanenaga Taiseiko (wo) motte kore (wo) tsukuru Fujiwara Kanenaga made this from anti-rust-steel ******************************************************************** Japanese military imported chrome-steel from England in 1910. They tried to develop steinless steel products but they didn't succeed. it was too difficult to control hardness. they gave up after years of practice and they requested to Fujiwara Narataro Kanenaga (Kawamura Nagajiro) to continue. Kanenaga bought all stock of imported steinless steel and studied In 1921, Kanenaga succeeded to produce high quality carbon steinless for cutely products which could control hardness/ His Knives and razor blade were exhibited at "Tokyo expo", it became a big news. He continued developing with this material. in 1930", he succeeded to forge traditional Nihonto. Mr.Kawamura Narajiro/Fujiwara Kanenaga is a great contribution to the development of our industry. ********************************************************************** This article was published in "Seki city Journal" in Showa 15 (1940) Some of his works are traditionally made hand forged Nihonto which has Hada and Hamon. The hamon is very different from normal. It looks like Hadaka-nie (nie chrystals without nioi-kuchi) with very fine activities. He is also a great caver. There is a few swords with excellent Horimono in Seki Museum.
  5. NBTHK deleted the column for the name of submitter from the back side of Hozon paper. I think that is since 2011 ? so, we could not know who submitted the paper.
  6. I phoned NTHK today for this issue and spoke with Mr.Oohashi. I explained him the discussion here about the Menuki and Tanto. and asked him how they would handle and solve this mistake. He knew about the menuki. He said that he got a phone call from the dealer(agent) who submitted or handled the menuki. He told the dealer to send them a photo, NTHK will correct and re-issue the Kanteiso. now, he is waiting for respond from the dealer. but not yet contact from them. He also said that the owner of the menuki could contact directly to NTHK as well. they will re-issue correct Kanteisho, (free of charge). He didn't know about the tanto, Mumei den-Bizen Yoshii Yoshinori, He immediately checked their files with the kanteisho number, and found out that Mumei Tanto is number T140258, and they issued the paper with item T0257.... the owner of the sword can contact mr.Chris Bowen or direct to NTHK. They will correct. He would like to express apology for their mistake and NTHK is always welcome for any question or recommendation from anybody. NTHK (att.Oohashi) Oosaki 1-23-1, Shinagawa, Tokyo 141-0021 Japan +81 3 5424 0543 info@hozonkai.jp I think that these are pure stupid mistakes, but not tricky fraud. NTHK accepts their mistake and willing correct them. I can help if needed.
  7. You can call on Tokyo Custom and the sword register office. You can explain that the sword has arrived at Tokyo custom, you can make an appointment for inspection and register the sword. If you are residence of Tokyo, you can bring your ID on the sword register day (Tokyo is 2nd Tuesday of every month) at Tokyo custom. After the inspection of the item, the sword could be registered under your name and get issued Torokusho (6300JPY) and you can do custom declaration by yourself at the custom, and you can bring the sword back home with you same day. I think that Tokyo custom must speak English, and Register office also should be able to... Tokyo Custom : 03-3529-0700 Tokyo-to Kyouikuiinkai Bunkazai-Hogo-kakari Juho-Token rui Toroku Jimu Sword register department : 03-5320-6862
  8. 皇紀二千六百二年星港突入日淬之 koki ni sen roppyaku roku nen, Singapore Totsunyu (no) hi (ni) kore (wo) Niragu. Yakiire has done on the date of Invading Singapore in 1942 (Showa 17/Koki 2602) 星港 ; Singapore 突入:rush into, pluge, 淬 (Niragu) : verb for Yakiire
  9. Before examine the mei, The Yasurime of Nakago, Omote and Ura are different. The condition and patina looks different as well. Furhermore, the Shinogi-line of the side the signature on is less perfect compare to the other side. What do you think ?
  10. Ofcause, Anybody who mastered sword making, he can produce the sword anywhere.So does a polisher, he could polish the sword anywhere in the world. However, It depend on how much the student observed the technique and knowledge from his master. The minimum condition is that the master must give 100% and the student observe 100% to keep the quality of the products. Maybe it become "tradition". that is why people care who is the teacher(master) and schools. Someone who studied under great master and if he observe only 80% from his master, and become independent, He has to develop his work from there, and when start to teach someone. How much can he pass its tradition or secret technique ? or some students observe(mastered) 100% from his master, then develop from there to 110% to next generation. and goes on. so, I think that it really depend on each craftsman(polisher) and his master and its school... in fact, the most of craftsmen are keep trying to develop their work (since beginning), still today. The point is 守破離 (Shu Ha Ri) Description of Shu,Ha,Ri in Wikipedia in English said "Shuhari (Kanji: 守破離 Hiragana: しゅはり) is a Japanese martial art concept" Japanese description said "the concept of Chado(tea ceremony), Budo and art". It is very important that the student master the basic (守/Shu) and finding a right master. It may be the most important part, It really depend on whom you study from and how. However, the responsibility of the quality of work is on owner/receiver/customer's side. If the owner of the sword can not recognize high quality polish, there will be no polisher who does the level. It is easy to degrade its quality and tradition. The collectors also need to learn 守破離 Shu Ha Ri. I believe that the level of workman ship is depend on collector/owner's demand.
  11. Yes, it is said that the sword was made with Hakozaki Hachimangu's sacred water (for Yakiire). The Chikuzen smiths were often forging swords in Hakozaki Jinja. they had Kajiba(a smith) in shrine site. We have no written reference about it, but, local craftsmen and collectors know that when they dig the ground of north side of main house near west gate, they can find a lot of black iron oxide. that is the evidence of smith. also, there are more Chikuzen blades which has same mei since mid Edo period. I think that they were doing it since Koto period. Yoshimasa is one of very good Chikuzen smith in Shinshinto period and he is a master of Horimono and also Tsuba making. There are a few master pieces made by Yoshimasa in Fukuoka, they have excellent dragon Horimono, and he is Suguha master. Many of Mumei tsuba master pieces which are attributed as "Umetada" were made by Chikuzen smith include Yoshimasa. said our master polisher Mr.Eto. Our workshop is located in Fukuoka/Chikuzen and Mr.Eto is the authority of Chikuzen smith, Hakozaki Hachimangu/Fukuoka http://www.hakozakigu.or.jp/pdf/english.pdf
  12. Thank you for posting photos Derek san, I am happy to see them because, I haven't seen the blade after polished. The balance of Mune, Shinogi and Ha lines are very good. I think that the first impression of the blade (the sugata) has changed before and after. It became not only sharper lines but, looks healthier. because of the sugata remains an original shape. The Mune line with very fine Funbari with Funbari of Nakago. The Shinogi line from Mitsugashira till Nakago-hiri. and The Ha line. The balance of those three lines were perfect when the sword was made. the job of the polisher is to remain the original shape without taking material off. Mr.Eto says that it is not possible to polish back to the original shape. it is just control those lines to trick eyes that looks perfect. and I can see Ji-hada only small part of photo is focused, It looks fine. rougher parts became tighter. and we can not see real activities of Hamon by photo... Mr.Eto used Hazuya Jizuya , Old Narutaki stone from Edo period. I think that almost nobody has such kind of stone anymore. This kind of old natural stones bring Ha and Ji brighter especially koto blade. When you see activities with candle light in dark room (like Edo period), you can see 3D. Be alone in dark room with one candle. be quiet, deep breath. empty your mind, ready to face the sword. After examine the sugata, stare at one area for at least 5 min, you start to see all kind of activities in different dimension. When you move the blade, the activities move 3D. That is what Samurai and Kantei-ka were seeing in Samurai period. We can see exactly what they were seeing under same condition. then we can start to communicate with the sword maker, polisher and the Samurais. I think that it is very important part of appreciating the art of work and to understand Samurai culture. We can have a lot of information and high quality photos and scanner image on Internet today, It is big progress and it is very good. however, It is still limited compare to studying swords in hand with traditional method. Our workshop has problem taking photos. nobody in our workshop can take photo,,,
  13. Thank you for your comment Jussi san, and sorry for slow reply. NBTHK is recommending to bring actual sword and paper into NBTHK to confirm. It is meaning that the papers (and swords) are not recognizable by looking. They need to be checked by NBTHK register,,,, A reconciliation with our register might be done by phone but for an actual authentication of an appraisal, the item and the appraisal in question have to be brought in. Have anybody seen any (well done) FAKE Hozon, TH papers ? I think that answer is NO. I have never seen such a papers either, Because, they are not recognizable.... And we have never heard a news that found or arrested perpetrator.... If someone could make such a perfect fake(fraud) paper and swords, and they know that they will not get cut, Why did they make only a few ? It is normal to imagine that they are keep doing it. Plus, when NBTHK found fraud papers, they are returning to the owners without marking or reporting.... Only the person who did confirm could know if it is fraud or not. If he keeps his mouse shut, nobody would know.... so, fraud items are keep coming back to the market. Since when has it been happening ?
  14. I was surprised seeing so different reaction between Japan and the west over the NBTHK's announcement of false papers. The gap of main reason is that the lack of information in the west. and it mainly comes from lack of understanding language as all we know. but, it causes multiple problems that make this subjects complicate. I jointed NMB in 2012 to tell the truth and share my experience and knowledge with members here. So, I would like to propose some subjects one by one to discuss with everybody. The announcement in Tokenbijutsu Keijiban NBTHK was, "Fake appraisals have been discovered and this does not only concern shiteisho and ninteisho but also hozon and tokubetsu-hozon papers. A reconciliation with our register might be done by phone but for an actual authentication of an appraisal, the item and the appraisal in question have to be brought in. For this, please inform in advance our management division and visit our Tokyo office." I have some questions, How many copies (Tokenbijutsu) are delivering to US and EU ? How many people read it ? and Did somebody contact NBTHK to confirm their papers (let's say in last 2 years) ?
  15. This "Kurashiki-sword museum" is the name of the showroom of the sword shop. Mr.Sato is a middle class Japanese main stream sword dealer in Japan. When you open the Museum website, there is menu that for sale, and buy and all of exhibit items are for sale. haha, The Kanteisho certificate has Shop owner's signature which is just like a shop guarantee paper. same like Aoi art is issuing Kanteiho with Shop owner's signature. and Token-Sato (Kurashiki museum) is guarantee the price (money), they say that they will buy their item back anytime with 90% of the price what they sold. This kind of sales policy attracts people who are investing mind more than sword collector's mind. but, the business could be a bit tricky and real collector's items are not around those circle.
  16. I just found this thread ! wow !! Dear Randy san, Please add me to your sharing list. If I can help, I will do.
  17. Kuro-urushi Kuri-tsubu nuri Saya, Uchigatana (Handachi) Koshirae with Tatsuta-gawa (Kyoto) autumn Landscape design Issaku Tachi fittings made by Sasayama Okutoki (Otsuki school) Order by Nakai Mitsushige in the end of Edo/Bakumatsu period. (18th Tokubetsu-Juyo Toso) Nakai family is a famous merchant in Oumi (Shiga) province since early Edo period. Mistushige (Bamukatsu - Meiji period) made/ordered many highest class fittings and Koshirae(s). He was the person who ordered the faous "Shoju Raiko no zu, Daisho kanagu" made by Goto Ichijo (Juyo Bunkazai).
  18. Thank you very much for advices. Wrote "Japanese Antique Nihonto", succeed sending out.
  19. One of our client tried to send a sword to Japan for polish. He went to post office and declared the item as "Antique Japanese sword", the post office said he cannot mail weapons to Japan with out prior notice. http://pe.usps.com/text/Imm/il_010.htm Could someone advice how to ship the sword or how to describe times by USPS ?
  20. Dear Thomas san, Nihon Tosogu Bijutsukan was private museum, had many superior master pieces.It had short life, but/because, they had too many really high class master pieces of swords and fittings. Mr.Ikeda Suematsu (on the paper) was one of three big name Kanteika after ww2, Sato Kanzan, Honma Junji and Ikeda Suematsu. and Fukunaga Suiken, Murakami Kosuke, Tokuno Kazuo, etc,.. All of them are passed.... He published "Kano Natsuo Meihin-shu""Kajihei Oshigata 1,2""Somin to sono Ichimon" etc,. He is the father of a famous modern polisher Ikeda Nagamasa. NTB was giving reasonable Kantei. The ken-maki-ryu Horimono of your sword is a typical Sue-Soshu Dragon. You can find same Dragon on page 511 Soshu Hiromasa Fujishiro Toko-jiten. Horimono of Sue-Soshu school is one of the best Horimono and they established their style in late Muromachi period. The most of Horimonos on the blade of this school in this period looks very similar and fine quality. It makes us wonder that Horimono has done not by the sword smith but Hori-shi (metal sculpture). The condition of the blade is not like a brand new but it is middle to late 16th century, 450-500 years old. and polished out Horimono and lowered hamon are matched, so, the horimono is original. (If it was brand new condition, it could be Juyo-token.) The polish is not good, the Nioi-kuchi is too white and too tight, it is not suppose to be like this. When the blade is a bit tired condition, the hamon become weaker and Nioi-kuchi became less tight. (* I am not advising re-polish, because, it is not good to do over polish, and the cost will not cover highering its value in the market today.) However, we must know that these kind of swords, Koto Soshu signed and with Horimono were made for high ranking Samurais in Sengoku-jidai and heritages by only high rank Samurai families through Edo period. Ordinary/low rank Samurais could never own such kind of sword.
  21. Using acid for polishing Japanese sword is not good for preservation as we know. You can not really see it (especially with good polish) but, it will damage the steel in a long term. But, In fact, it is very popular today. we can find a lot of discussion about modern polishing techniques in Japanese article and forum sites. some are very hard discussion (include some of master polisher's names...). some said the acid and machine polish is the main stream in modern polish. it is not only cheap polish, high ranking (or mukansa) polishers are also doing it. We can see some Japanese polisher complains on "Facebook Time line" page or own website about (acid) rust/polish. Our polishing workshop also often receive such blades as well. They looks like normal rust, but the rust (mainly dot shape) by acid is very deep that could not polish off. sometime we had to return without polish. and our master polisher Mr.Eto said that he sees more stronger acid treated blades in the market today, he doesn't know what.... The history of Acid polish (modern sashikomi?) was established in WW2 time. They were doing Kanahada nugui to make Ji dark and use acid to make Ha white. that is why we used to call such polish "Gunto-togi". mr.Eto is still calling them "Gunto-togi". He is saying that many swords will not survive next 100 years. in middle of 1980', Mr.Eto was requested sending a polisher to France. He sent one of his student and he lived in Paris for 3-4 years. When he start to live and polishing swords in France, he told his master Mr.Eto that the most of clients were ordering acid (Gunto) polish. Mr.Eto told him not to do it. but, If he doesn't do it, he has no job, so he was doing it. When people in the west start to see and collect Japanese swords was after WW2 and 60'. so, those polishing style became kind of standard of Japanese sword polishing said mr.Eto. When I came to the Netherlands and jointed NL Tokenkai in 1995. I saw many acid polished blades in their collection. I understand why it is so popular, because, you can see clearly activities of Hamon and damascus style of Ji-hada that make looks wild and fancy. but, those are not what we should see. you will miss real actives and beauty of old steel. Modern Polish with Kanahada-nugui and Hadori polish is called "Kesho-togi" after Hon-ami Ringa established in Meiji period. the name "Kesho" is meaning of "(cosmetically) make up", so, some people says "I don't like too much make up on lady's face. so are swords. but, we don't want to see acid on lady's face... I had some NMB member who were asking Modern sashikomi polish, so, I tried to explain the fact, but, he didn't want to listen or think about it. Every time I try to tell him, he keep changing subject or run away from the conversation. and he sent me a copy of some book of Japanese sword polishing. "Because it wont state they use acid in the book" and "I am curious about the polishing process but i have nothing to win or lose regardless of what methods the polishers use. Just interesting information." said him. That was the last word I hear from him. Mr.Eto told me that it doesn't help if I try to tell people. If I(we) don't do acid polish, people will go to someone who does it. and the polisher doesn't need to tell their clients how they do polish, they don't need to tell their secrets. the craftsmen does work how their clients wants. They have to earn money to live.... Many swords won't survive next 100 years. When the level of collector's eyes/demand goes down, the quality of craftsman's work also goes down. If the owner of the sword wish high quality work and if he has eyes, the craftsman must work with his level, unless he doesn't get a job. Judging/choosing by own liking without knowledge and understanding or just following market principle are very dangerous. This kind of mentality will destroy Japanese sword in the future. Putting tomato ketchup on Italian dishes or mayonnaise in sushi and say "Because I like it" is fine. but, acid on sword is not okay. I can not explain too much details on public, because it might harm someone's business, but, I am trying to explain to our clients with private mail. The sword has long life but it is only with proper care by people.
  22. A bit of off topic... This tanto looks like a little Machiokuri. Because of Mekugi-ana (maybe the lowest hole is the original) and Hamon doesn't started from Hamachi. It looks the Hamachi was moved about 1sun (3cm) ? What do you think ? If it is Machi-okuri, then the horimono are done later. They don't fit on Ubu(original) Sugata. The horimono is done after Machiokuri. Furthermore, there is some part of Gomabashi/Futasuji-hi that is touching with Hamon, which is done with modern high carbon steel chisel. The horimono is attractive however, the original horimono and later horimono are completely different meaning. I consider the nakago and those horimono more than the ware in this case. PS: Ofcause, it all depend on the price. If it is reasonable price, the blade has no serious flaw. It is good looking 450 years old blade.
  23. I was re-recognised that judging sword with photo/scan are very tricky, by reading the thread of the thread "Yokote ugly" http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/18036-yokote-ugly/?hl=yokote Even examine in hand could be difficult because of condition of the sword itself and condition of polish. Especially mumei blade, it could be different attribution with different polish (as we know). Photos and Scanners, Sugata can be very tricky depend on the angle how you take photo. and Scanner could take exact shape, IF all of swords are same polish condition and same image process, we will be able to see the differences by comparing images. However, official kantei-ka are viewing the swords in hand under good light, So, it would be difficult to match the judgment by viewing different material between scan image and viewing the sword in hand with light. Furthermore, we started "C14 radiocarbon dating test" joint research with the Center for chronological research, Nagoya university. We started with signed and dated undoubtable material to test the AMS system. Some people did it in the past with mumei blades. I have seen some report of the result, an osuriage-mumei katana attributed Bizen Kagemitsu TH paper, result of AMS test, is about 400 years old (+-50) that is Azuchimomoyama to early Edo period. and the second osuriage mumei blade attributed Kane-something, Sue-Seki, Hozon paper, AMS result said that about 700years old. late Kamakura. another one was, they couldn't have result because, material (carbon) was not enough to get result, they took the material (steel) from Nakago, and only one blade didn't have enough carbon from same amount of steel. This is meaning is that the Nakago is Ubu,,, not osuriage. so, the blade is Ubu, but, remodeled,made it looks like an osuriage blade. It is too early to conclude or jump into this study, because, there is a lot of subject to consider, such as Nanbantetsu, smith made a sword from old broken material, about re-tempered blades, etc, so, it is long way to study, but I think that it is interesting study for 21th century. However, this is for only the age of the sword, not area/province or school. so, it still need traditional method.
  24. You need a registered address in Japan, or need someone who is residence in Japan to register the sword. When I bring swords back to Japan by myself, arriving at Narita or any international airport in Japan. I have to declare the sword at custom. then the custom take me (and sword) to office, and they call Police. and Police examine the swords (They can not recognize if it is original or fake etc,.),however, if it is looks like a Japanese sword, they take size (Nagasa, sori, motohaba, etc,.) and confirm my ADDRESS in Japan, because, Sword register (Torokusho) is issued by owner's local Kyoiku-Iinkai (department of education) When they can confirm the address in Japan, Police issues a paper called "Hikiwasashi-sho" (Provisional delivery?), and they contact local department where the address on the paper. as other posted answers. I need to bring the sword and this paper to Local register office at the date of examine and register sword, it is one day every month in Tokyo, or one day every two month in Fukuoka. You need your ID and the paper from police to register the sword and issue Torokusho. and you need Torokusho to do Kantei or any restoration work in Japan. so, If you don't have registered address in Japan, Airport police can not issue the paper. so, you can not take the sword out of airport custom, Even for myself, shipping/sending by EMS is easier than taking them with me on flight. As I am doing restoration service in Japan, I am shipping swords to Japan and receiving from Japan after restoration, I still have to do all these import register, Torokusho work and applying export license every time after restoration work. They don't have any exception or temporary register system for restoration. I would like to offer or propose such temporally sword registration system for restoration or Kantei. but, I don't think it will happening near future..... so, you need someone (restorer or an agent) in Japan for them to be temporary owner of the sword to register them in Japan. and he/she has to apply export license to export the sword.
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