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Lee Bray

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Posts posted by Lee Bray

  1. Looks like it's just half of the 'standard' sageo knot.

    When you have the sageo equally pulled through the kurikata, instead of tying either side of the kurikata with an individual end of the sageo, you need to double up the sageo and tie the knot as normal in the direction of the kojiri.


    I've attached a pic which will hopefully get the point across.

    In case you were wondering, that's not a real saya and sageo, I just have some crazy 'paint' skills.



  2. I believe they were originally fletched with eagle or bird of prey feathers but generally now it's turkey feather.

    3Rivers sell a turkey feather which is cut in the Japanese style - https://www.3riversarchery.com/kyudo-feathers.html

    Doing it yourself is not hard. I shoot regularly with a traditional recurve bow and have to refletch from time to time.

    Fletching jigs are readily available or it can be done by eye and very small spots of superglue to positiion the feathers.


    Never heard of anywhere offering the service for old Japanese arrows but most archery shops offer refletching though I doubt they'd do the whipping.

    • Like 1
  3. Up to three swords can legally be hand carried into Japan at a time. I've done it myself, twice.

    That said, I was with my sword mentor who organised the paperwork so my knowledge of the process is limited.

    Essentially you need an agent in Japan who will be the recipient of the sword for whatever reason, be it restoration or shinsa. From them you need a letter agreeing to receive the sword.

    You declare the sword at customs and they will lead you to the police registration area. A chap comes and measures and inspects your sword and checks that you have somewhere to take the sword(your letter from the receiver). He then gives you the registration paper and away you go.

    I believe you can only do it at Narita airport, not Haneda.


    You mention Roger Robertshaw...find his email and send him photos of your sword. He's happy to give his qualified opinion on whether your sword is genuine or not.

    He is also the mentor that took me through Japan airport with swords so may be able to help with that.

    • Like 4
  4. Daisho, with the shoto being tanto or Wakizashi? Either way that had a daito and the market has soured on second hand shinsakuto in the last 5 years. Did your friend buy at $50k? I’m guessing not, since you said it was a quote. A seller can ask whatever they want for a sword(s) but that doesn’t mean they’ll sell at that price.

    Shoto being wakizashi.

    No polish, no horimono, no habaki, just rough blades.

    I wasn't clear in my original post but the 'seller' was Sadatoshi, ie. that was the price quoted to make a daisho.

    But no, the commission didn't go through so maybe his prices have lowered.

    • Like 1
  5. Sadaroku had a very bold signature and generally produced suguha hamon, though I've seen(on the net) a choji hamon or two by him.

    Your nijimei Sadaroku seems to have the same boldness of style though the Sada kanji is slightly different. Nengo seems to share similar characteristics.

    I'd take the gamble that it is shoshin Sadaroku, for what that's worth.


    This was one I sold for $1800 a couple of years ago. With Gunto koshirae, 'war trophy' papers and habaki. Polish was poor. Fairly long nagasa at 27 1/2".

  6. Always have wondered at their purpose.

    If nata, why not just a nata? A fraction of the cost compared to the silk, lacquer and rayskin clad, horimono adorned blade above.

    Bonsai pruning with something that size? As likely to remove your fingers as you are to make a clean bonsai cut. Shears have been around a long time and much better suited.

    An exclusive head cutter? Just how many heads does one collect in ones Samurai career?

    A Daimyo nata might be the case but their quality never seems to scream Daimyo, although it is a gardening tool so perhaps best not to commission Natsuo to make the fittings.

  7. I just had a thought

    These dubious papers would only involve high value items so it maybe that something less than say $2,000 would not be worth faking



    This is a low value wakizashi that I own.

    Shodai and nidai Shigetaka are worth a fake signature but the sixth is unknown.

    And considering the sixth worked in 1740's and this is dated Kanbun...that's a large 'mistake' for the shinsa to make.


    As I bought this blade, and paid accordingly, based on the sage advice of 'buy papered and in polish', it definitely soured my opinion on kicho papers.

    • Like 2
  8. He means the smaller hole in the seppa-dai next to the kogai slot.

    It's possible that it was used as a hiding place for a small sliver of 'emergency' gold or silver or some sentimental memento. Sandwiched in between seppa, it's not going anywhere, whatever it is.



    • Like 1
  9. I think it's just a deep kashira, probably for a tanto.

    Tanto fittings seem to be more open to differing styles. A quick browse through Aoi art's list of tanto shows several deeper kashira than the standard 'flat' style generally seen on wakizashi and katana.

    The narrower hitsu-ana would suggest a thinner ito which again is normal on tanto.

    • Like 1
  10. Though not used defensively there is still a chance that the tsuba could be struck.

    I've purposely broken a couple of cast tsuba and it's very easy to do with a reasonably gentle hammer tap. I've also broken one when adding copper sekigane to it(pictured). Just the force created by the slight expansion of copper inside the tsuba ana caused the plate to break into several pieces. Makes me think that any force transmitted into your blade from either blade to blade/armour contact or even just a wild swing with the blade could break the tsuba.

    As you can see with my pictured example, such catastrophic failure means the tsuba falls off completely, leaving a large space with loose seppa and habaki.

    With softer materials, I doubt they would break so completely and I think the core, or seppa dai if you will, will remain intact and keep your tsuka tight and useable.



    • Like 2
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