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    California, USA
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    Fly-fishing, acoustic guitar, photography
    Koto tanto, Shimizu Jingo tsuba

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  1. Self, J and Hirose, N: Japanese Art Signatures. Bamboo Publishing Ltd., London, 1987. This little book seems not to be very well known, but it's my go-to for translating mei. It doesn't deal with stroke count, instead teaches image-recognition based on radicals, and is focused specifically and exclusively on signatures, so it deals with a (somewhat) restricted range of kanji. In addition to the actual artnames, it has very helpful sections on how to analyze a signature, and on how to read numbers, dates, places, ages, family/clan names, and titles. Most of the content is relevant to swords, though it does pay attention also to metal workers, lacquer artists, and netsuke carvers. It was OOP for a long time, and hard to find, but it was reprinted in softcover in 2006. Not dirt cheap, but recommended if, like me, you are image-oriented and mainly want to learn about reading signatures. https://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Art-Signatures-Handbook-Practical/dp/1891640097
  2. I have to gently disagree with Tom. Many people did hear the word. The exhibition room was packed, I doubt it could have accommodated many more. People lined up 5 and 6 deep in front of each item to see these wonderful fittings up close, and to hold Juyo swords in hand for study. What better for the NBTHK-AB to be doing than to promote this extraordinary educational activity equal to or superior to what one can see in Japan? Yes, it is necessary to get up and go to something like this, but how many comparable opportunities will there be? No one should believe they can sit at home and expect an experience of this extraordinary value to be delivered by DoorDash. All of us who attended are deeply grateful to those who offered their treasures for display. Les PS: And, for Peter: There was at least one fine Sendai katana offered in the sale room.
  3. When mounted on a tachi -- as its ancestors were intended to do -- won't the gorinto(?) be upside down?
  4. Assume you've seen this https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/35543-for-sale-soshu-den-meisaku-shu-by-junji-homma/
  5. I was taught that toppei koshirae like this were a 19th-century development to allow swords to be worn with (Western-style) trousers. I rather like this particular somewhat flashy example.
  6. I dislike being in the position of "piling on," and I too appreciate all that Markus has done to bring nihonto information to those of us who cannot read Japanese, but there is also an issue with "Tosogu Classroom" -- ostensibly a five-volume direct translation project, of which two have been published and three more promised to those of us who paid for the full series. An update would be much appreciated.
  7. For high-end swords, Jimmy Hayashi in San Francisco is fully Japanese-trained and certified. Possibly the only one in NA.
  8. I think that when Japanese collectors or dealers submit swords for Hozon shinsa, it is often to validate the signature. Hozon suffices.
  9. Just came across this reawakened old thread. Can I be the first to have noticed that the signature on the blade and on the disputed green paper are different?
  10. Is anyone willing to share their experience of doing business with Japan online seller Giheiya? The principal is Atsuo Imazu. Thanks. Les
  11. Anyone near Detroit, MI, USA, who might be interested to look at a found sword just out of the woodwork? Signed Munemitsu, that's all I know about it. Give me your contact info, I'll forward it to the owner. PM ok.
  12. Forgive my ignorance, but what is the theme of this tsuba?
  13. Has anyone done business with this Japanese online seller Taiseido? He's one of the NMB commercial links. Les
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