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    tom w

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  1. I have heard of that but I know of no one who has experienced a sword being destroyed. Knowing the Japanese, I would think it would be returned but ? Not sure who checks the incoming swords but they cannot know much about quality or value as many good swords are sent for polish and/or shinsa and for customs purposes have a very low value. Back about 25 yrs ago Tanobesan told me I could bring in 3 swords and if customs gave me any problem I could call the NBTHK and resolve it. On checking thru customs I told them I had 3 katana in the tube and immediately was escorted to the Airport police office - I made the phone call to the NBTHK but NO answer !! Police told me because I was staying in a Hotel I could not physically have the swords in my possession. Next day got old Sugiyama(not sure if that was his name but Benson became his predecessor). Paid for Sugiyama to ride out to Narita + gave him a bottle of good whiskey - Sugiyama showed the Police his name card - they gave him the swords and the minute we left the building Sugiyama gave me the swords and I took them to my hotel room and next day went to confer with Tanobesan. Never tried taking swords into Japan since then. Have sent swords to Fukuoka and the customs there is less stringent than in Tokyo as seems the polisher can pick up the swords rather quickly. It's their game and we have no choice - so like I said - stay tuned and we'll some day know the outcome of this presentation Minatogawa.
  2. Well, sorry fellas , but sold the sword and it will go to Japan and be polished and papered or not - will be a while but will definitely let u know the outcome of the shinsa. In the mean time I'm gonna go for a PHD in metallurgy so I can understand the difference between tamahagane and common ol mill steel and how the yasurime is so easy to clue one on the difference. I can't get a good photo of the hada or hamon but did compare this sword to the other Minatogawa I had and also a Yasukuni-to and the hada looks the same on all 3- very tight very fine itame IMO not muji but the hada on all 3 blades just is so tight and this presentation Minatogawa-to hamon resembled the Yasukuni-to hamon more than the Masatada Minatogawa-to. Anyway, stay tuned and maybe next year we will know the results of Ol Haruto's presentation Minatogawa Jinja katana.
  3. Having read thru Tom Kishida's THE YASUKUNI SWORDS I find that Kudo Haruto was kinda in the good graces of the Japanese Military /Industrial complex and probably had a few cups of sake with the upper echelon of the Imperial Japanese Army/Navy. And my money is yes, this Minatogawa sword was made with steel from Yasuki but it was "tamahagane" which is the same steel produced by Yasuki Corp for the Yasukuni tatara. I find it hard to believe supplying the Yasukuni tatara with tamahagane for years and then using common mill steel for a presentation sword forged at the Minatogawa tatara.. Anyway, Haruto was according to Kishida's book knowledgeable of swords and of course steel and beat out his only competitor Tabesan to get the contract for the Yasukuni tatara. And I believe we can assume Haruto also supplied the Minatogawa tatara with the same "tamahagane" and this sword was forged from same. 5G bet is still on. May have it sold with absolute GUARANTEE IT IS REAL!
  4. This is a update and from a Japanese fellow of the sword: " Kintei (謹呈) Presentation Kudô Haruto hakase gosô (工藤治人博士御左右) Ordered by Dr. Kudô Haruto (It can be read Haru hito. But he was Haruto) This is a very interesting sword. I could find information of both Kudo Haruto and Murakami Michimasa. Kudo Haruto (1878 - 1963)He made a big step to modernize Tatara, the Japanese unique iron manufacture. He invented some unique materials to make weapons for Japan Imperial Military (this is repeated from Steve's msg).And He was the president of Nissan Automobile, one of the biggest car-manufacturing company. " and this references the Minatogawa kikusui mon background with English translation and there's more but u need to brush up on your kanji http://ohmura-study.net/732.html also , this is the photo of my former Masatada sword that I sold few years ago - kikusui with open sui and also on nakago But: wondering ? Was the first sword forged at the shrine w/both habaki and nakago marked with the kikusui mon ? or maybe just put on the habaki and then "let's put it on habaki and nakago " How we ever gonna know positively ? All I know is this sword did come from a collector who had it for a long time before any phony crap came out of China or Japan and I doubt this former owner even knew what he had but not even positive about that statement. tom W
  5. A star stamped "tachi-mei" gendaito for sale ! URA signed; 宗利 (MUNETOSHI) OMOTE signed; 昭和十八年五月 nakago tip - 松 1082 SHOWA 18 NEN 5 GATSU (May 1943) MATSU (in circle) 1082 (note sure of the matsu designation) Blade is 65.2cm or 25 11/16" motohaba 32mm or 1 5/16" kasane 6mm or 1/4"+ yokote 22mm or 7/8"+ Blade is in good condition with some staining and very shallow oxidation but overall yes, you could polish it but all activity is very visible under the correct lighting. I apologize as my amateur photographe is lacking. Hamon is gunome in niedeki with ashi , yubashiri. Hada is very tight itame. Medium kissaki and small turn-back boshi in a slight gunome. Good copper habaki. Nice OD lacquered JIA saya and has the small surrender tag attached. Tsuka has some issues but still holding in there after being liberated over 75 yrs ago. The tsuba is #'d 51 but all seppa, fuchi and locking button #'d 133. The tip of locking button is missing. These star stamped blades are known to be well made gendaito. According to Fuller& Gregory "Japanese Military and Civil Swords and Dirks" page 225; The "star" stamp is believed to be added by an Army gendai swordsmith inspector appointed by the Army to buy good quality blades from individual swordsmiths. A nice original WW2 Japanese Army Officer's Samurai sword. $2100 obo - I'll leave it on the forum for a week or 2 then put it on eBay tom W The surrender tag has these kanji: 富田村 TOMIDA-MURA (TOMIDA VILLAGE) 高沺 TAKA? 梅村 幹治 UMEMURA MIKIHARU (OWNER'S NAME)
  6. Agreed, we'll never know the circumstance of the habaki but all this discussion would lead some to think it reflects on the sword as a whole but best to get or NOT get papers to confirm the authenticity of this blade. We can theorize forever about the habaki but doubt we'll ever know the true fact/s. Have a couple folks in Japan who seem to have no problem with this getting papers so guess I"ll send it and if I don't croak before next year I will msg the results.
  7. Well, Neil, you might have something with the Yasuki steel - I sure as hell can't tell ya what kind of steel this blade is made of. It does have a nice hamon w/profuse nie but guess that can be done with other than tamahagane -the hada is very tight almost muji as I see it. But, the 2 examples you show state the kanji for the Yasuki hagane - if this being a presentation to Kudosan and made of steel from his company I would think that kanji might also be added to the inscription. How about : maybe Kudosan had this blade made at the shrine from tamahagane to compare with a sword made from his Yasuki hagane ? Guess just have to submit it and get this problem solved one way or the other. Good God, if ever one of these swords could talk - sure wish this one would blabber on about it's life ! tired, gonna watch a old Western and ZZZZ.
  8. Brian, ain't mad just stunned I guess as there is just no doubt in my mind that this blade is right . I can understand it being in army mts would be out of the ordinary but the habaki itself is as well made as they normally come and maybe the kikusui is a slight variation but looks to me like Neils 2 habaki are not exactly identical ? Now, Neil says he was being diplomatic about the habaki remark and maybe down under that's the way they read it but to this ol man " Gee, that must be old. Made even before they learned how to make a proper Habaki, with proper Kikusui mon. A 1942 and 1943 for comparison" this statement insinuates this is a trumped up wannabe shrine sword or at least the habaki - maybe I'm not educated enough to understand but that's how I read it. Guess, Neil , being a shrine sword expert, has seen every shrine sword ever made and every engraved kikusui and mine is a bummer I'll still stick by that ol Missouri vet's quote : " until u've seen it all ya don't know it all " and none of us know it all - just varying degrees of experience/knowledge. Neil, you may have been offered "fake" Masa this and Masa that but I didn't offer this to anyone on this forum - my main purpose was to show it and find out if a earlier blade is known. Well, maybe I'm wrong and it's gimei all the way , maybe the 80 yr old who died and left this military collection engraved the damn thing himself or WHO did engrave these habaki's ? the habaki maker , the smith ? some josan hired in at the forge? But, I feel $5000 strong that the blade is right and if the doubters know they are right - let's bet ! Easy money ! I'll paypal the cash to Brian or Mark Jones or don't know if I can trust Peter Bleed LOL sorry Peter ! and I'll send it to Japan for shinsa ! As for Dave in Idaho - Left Illinois 5pm Friday and reached the auction site Sat morn 7am - hit the tail end of the hurricane while driving at night on I-80 thru PA - "NIGHTMARE" pouring down rain and going 10-30 mph. That 2018 Nissan did good and NO Geritol needed , just some juice and trail mix but had a 53 yr old buddy share the drive and he brought a few non-Japanese swords home. and Yes it was under $2000 way under ! just glad there were no competitors present. Most expensive sword sold was a Nazi Luftwaffe at $1250. And the biggest incentive for going that far was the auction company would take NO out of state cks and NO credit card payments - figured I had a chance. As for BABA - bought in 2014 IPO at 86 and some more avg'g 110$ but the Trumpster (who I don't like but will vote for as the alternative is way worse) wants to "delist " the Chinese stocks and I sat for a week thinking about it and pulled the trigger - if I had woke one morning and BABA was delisted I would have been a sick puppy - sick old puppy ! and don't expect to get 15G's for this blade but one of a kind work of art and price is what one is willing to sell for and one is willing to buy for. - and shine swords are hot ! pics of tsuka and marked seppa and fuchi and that problematic HABAKI ! Neil , if I said the tsuka was rare - my mistake - just common but I've had 10-12 WW2 era blades in the army lacquered mts and they tend to be gendaito or real nice showato. I solid copper and magnet doesn't adhere - maybe I'll ship the SOB to Japan and submit it - the guys from Sotheby's were here and didn't like my SA YUKIHIDE that Kurokawa wanted to buy back in 98' so sent it for papers but declined Juyo as same shinsa 2 80cm + SA blades were submitted and mine is under 70cm but fine blade and fine koshirae and surrender tag from Saitama outside of Tokyo.
  9. 1ST THINGS 1ST: #1 Hamish ; NO I am not admitting that I am selling a fake /gimei nihonto ! I was being sarcastic - I listed this Minatogawa Jinja katana on this forum to show everyone and also to maybe find out if this could be the very first blade forged at the shrine forge. Never I repeat Never did I think the "experts" would suspect it gimei but WRONG !! #2 Steve, don't know you but thank you for the info on the fellow Haruto Kudo who was presented this sword. But, wondering if he served as the mounts are Army. My Nihongo is lacking but I thought the 御左右 was pronounced osayu /gosayu but gosou - could this be translated as "Michimasa was given the order/command to make this presentation kikusui forge sword for Haruto Kudo " ? Anyway , seems a fairly important blade and having driven 12hrs to bid I was kinda proud of this 77 yr old body holding up as when I sold my 1st minatogawa blade last year I figured I'd never find another but it happened ! thanks again Steve, for that info. and looks like Haruto and I have something in common - I'm on my 3rd Nissan Frontier pickup ! #3 Shogun, Not sure if you understood what I said about the ol vet but I did not mean that I knew it all - and I sure as hell ain't seen it all - even though the internet has opened a lot of unknown info to me. I will definitely send it to shinsa if you or any other doubting thomas wants to put up 5G's . One does not need papers to sell a good sword as I did with my Masayuki (kiyomaru) back in 84 BUT I'm not comparing this shrine sword to my Masayuki by NO means. Of course to this day I regret selling that treasure but I never had to sell another good blade since and fast forward 36 yrs and I'm at the age where my collection has got to go or needs to go. I will sell this shrine sword with a 101% guarantee of it's authenticity. If you truly believe someone would go to this much trouble and making it a presentation, no less, to a man who I doubt any foreigner and/or Japanese outside of Steve and maybe a few others would have any knowledge of - well- you keep your 50ft shrine pole sheathed and stay away from it but I guarantee there are a lot of collectors who would gladly hold this blade and admire the work.
  10. SOLD MORE ON EBAY AND CRAIG'S LIST THEN HERE - TOO MANY "EXPERTS" - CAN'T FOOL THESE FORUM WISE ONES . "BUT" THE BET IS STILL ON AT 5G'S IF YA THINK THIS MICHIMASA IS PHONY ! tell ya another story - back around 85 I sent a oshigata to Tanobe of my signed and dated SADAKAZU and received BAD news that it was a gimei as the date was too early for any known. Stubborn ol 'me' kept the sword and around 2000 sent it to Bob Benson to submit and last year sold my tokubetsu hozon Sadakazu for more than it was estimated at that Frigginn Sotheby's auction (it was 1 of 2 blades that didn't sell). By no means am I saying I am anywhere close to a "expert" - I consider myself a student and if I lived 3 life times I doubt I'd ever change my status. But that Sadakazu looked so good in person that I just had to have the NBTHK also see it in person and felt real good when it went tokuhozon. As for this forum, have never seen so many who can look at photos of a mumei, signed or koto blades and give a opinion as to who/what /where/when !!! AMAZING TRULY AMAZING. have a nice day - I know I am ! tom W
  11. yea, it's phony, just ck'ing to see how many experts out there would catch it - made the habaki myself couple days ago and the sword too ! but screwed up as I forgot the Minatogawa jinja blades were strictly for Naval personal. And back in the 70's when I was trying to explain to a vet that his Japanese belt buckle was broken he told me something I've never forgotten "UNTIL YOU'VE SEEN IT ALL YOU DON'T KNOW IT ALL ! just my thoughts - This blade is absolutely CORRECT and habaki too ! - IF SOMEONE OUT THERE WANTS TO LAY $1000 BET I'LL SEND IT TO Japan FOR SHINSA AND WE'LL FIND OUT - MONEY TALKS AND BS WALKS ! MATTER OF FACT LET'S MAKE IT $5000 - I JUST SOLD MY ALIBABA STOCK AND HAVE A LITTLE SPARE CASH. $5000 AND THE MONEY GOES TO A MUTUAL ACQUAINTANCE WE BOTH KNOW AND TRUST !! tom W
  12. 26 1/4" or 67.7cm it's the earliest dated blade I have found but ? where the heck is my listing ? I do not see it although I was able to find this post ????
  13. Just bought this at a estate auction of a guy who collected militaria. Took a chance and drove 12hrs/800 miles and paid off. Was hoping for NO competition and the locals thought it a common gunto. Anyway, as you can see the blade is dated May 1941 and has to be one of the earliest if not THE earliest sword known forged by Michimasa at the shrine forge. If anyone has seen or knows of a earlier dated blade let me know. Below is the or "my" translation but the family name (Kudo?) may be wrong as am not familiar with this name. Obviously this blade was made for this Haruhito and he probably was a Army Ofc as it comes in Army mounts w/matt rust colored lacquered saya. This is MASATADA's original name and has to be the first or one of the first blades made at the forge. I found a similar shrine sword by Michimasa that rec'd Hozon papers and it is dated July 1941. Neither that sword nor mine have the kikusui on the nakago but kikusui emblem is engraved on both sides of the habaki. Blade is in decent polish with no nicks no problems other than few minor scratches and blems which would easily polish out but I'm too f'n old and not sending this to Japan for polish - too easy to pass it on w/o a new polish. Let me know if a earlier dated blade is known - thanks. hamon is a kind of lazy gunome with profuse nie and short ashi. blade length is 26 1/4 " or 67.7cm tom w OMOTE; 昭和 十六年五月吉日 SHOWA 16 NEN 5 GATSU KICHIJITSU (MAY 1941 AUSPICIOUS DAY) 於 湊川 神社 村上道政作 OITE MINATOGAWA JINJA MURAKAMI MICHIMASA SAKU "MICHIMASA MURAKAMI MADE THIS AT THE MINATOGAWA SHRINE" URA; 謹呈 エ藤 治人博士 御左右 菊水 鍛刀會 KINTEI KUDO?,HARUHITO HAKASE GOSOU KIKUSUI TANTOKAI (PRESENTATION TO THE HONORABLE MR HARUHITO KUDO KIKUSUI ORDERED SWORD FORGING ASSOCIATION ) tsuba , all 6 seppa and fuchi marked; ー目
  14. #1 good old authentic 16th 17th C HINENO-ZUNARI style kabuto. don't know a whole lot about it - bought at estate auction here in the Midwest back in the 80's. Silk thread has deteriorated so neckguards are loose but complete- heavy 8 lbs. this is a real samurai head gear - either died from the sword or bow/arrow or a broken neck ! According to booklet by Louis & Kei Chappelear " The Evolution of the Samurai Helmet" old Ieyasu Tokugawa in his youth wore this type kabuto BUT his was a brilliant golden color. asking 850$ #2 32 plate helmet believed to be early-mid Edo period. Again the neckguards are loose as the silk threads have deteriorated. This helmet is also fairly heavy just under 7 lbs. Has the mons on the fukigaeshi. Most all lacquer is gone and light overall oxidation but definitely can be restored or leave it as I have for over 30 yrs. This is what happens when a metal item sits in a Midwest barn with NO humidity control. asking $850 #3 or $1550 for both ! probably list them on ebay tom w
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