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SteveM last won the day on March 31

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    Translation of sword-related ephemera.

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  1. Shōwa 9 (1934) Moved to Tōkyō and apprenticed under Kasama Ikkansai Shigetsugu. Accompanied Shigetsugu to the Japan Tanren Denshusho where he learned the basics of swordsmithing. First mei used was Kazunori (和則) in 1937, then Kazuyuki (和行) in 1938. Shōwa 14 (1939) Became independent and established a sword forge in Tōkyō's Setagaya ward. Took the name Okimasa which incorporates the characters "arise" (oki) and "correct" (masa) from the phrase "To rise up correctly"
  2. Other side is 以南蠻鐵於武州  Motte nanban tetsu oite Bushū Made with nanban steel in Bushū province
  3. I don't know if its the maker's name. The 塗 above the name (塗 = paint) makes me think its the person that lacquered it, or somehow was involved in the finishing of it. But it's the first time for me to see this kind of marking, so I'm not sure what it means. The only thing for certain is the location of Kyōto.
  4. A lot of these terms sit at the intersection of linguistics, metallurgy, and history, and dealers aren't always faithful linguists or metallurgists. It doesn't help that there are multiple, often confusing, ways of naming metals. I'm sure Ford and Markus have already spent many hours unravelling these linguistic knots. I think the tsuba in this thread was probably described reasonably accurately as yamagane (山銅), or unrefined copper. I can't imagine it being unrefined gold unless it comes with a hefty price tag. It could have been treated with something to make the color pop. Sentoku (宣徳) and shinchū (真鍮) both refer to brass. Sentoku is a kind of brass that was imported from China into Japan during China's "Sentoku Era" (1426-1435). The era name was stamped on brass bowls and such, so the Japanese started referring to all imported brass as "sentoku". The word "shinchū" starts showing up in the 1500s, again from Chinese imports. Shinchū was a brighter, more refined brass, with a higher zinc content. Looking at a few websites though, you find there is little consensus on the exact amount of zinc used in shinchū. It seems to refer to anything over 20% zinc, but there are dissenting opinions on this. Anyway, I leave some Japanese references here for yamagane, shinchū, and sentoku in case anyone wants to dive deeper. Or, if anyone has any contradicting info, I would be interested in that as well. Might be interesting to start a thread for Japanese metallurgic terms, if there already isn't one. All of these terms can drive a translator nuts. all in Japanese https://mitsu-ri.net/articles/brass (overview) https://www.dandorie.com/c10110103/39_cont_shintyuu.html (very readable account) https://kaken.nii.ac.jp/ja/grant/KAKENHI-PROJECT-18H03591/ (current academic research) https://sot-web.com/column/brass/ (another overview)
  5. The last two are a name in cursive (grass) script. Maybe 家知 (Ietomo).
  6. I think its あきら (Akira), a man's name. I think the ら is made difficult to read by indents in the habaki which are unrelated to the engraved name. So the whole thing is a name: Motosato Akira (could also be Motozato).
  7. The paper itself is from December 2021, so my gut feeling is that this repair job was done before it got papered. There would be no need, and no financial incentive to do this after it had gotten papered. So presumably it got TH despite these blemishes, which, considering its age I don't think is out of the question. But that is as high as its going to go.
  8. This is doing the rounds on Japanese twitter also. Consensus there seems to be that it is some sort of modern repair job.
  9. No need to do that Michael, I don't think your set would be valued any differently than the one I linked to above.
  10. OK - Yahoo Auction in Japan has the same set, and it looks like the complete set sold for 223,000 yen in May (2022). https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/e1051112815
  11. Here is the second one https://museumcollection.tokyo/en/works/6249389/ Its hard to value these without knowing more about them and viewing them. As woodblock prints, they are, by nature, produced in volume. They look like recently reproduced prints, so their value is more sentimental than collectible. But as a set, it may be interesting to a collector, especially if it is in good condition.
  12. Your first one https://bunka.nii.ac.jp/heritages/detail/174914
  13. The number on the tang looks to be 258 (二五八). If the seppa or tsuba have the same number on them, it could be a selling point as it indicates these parts were originally assembled together.
  14. This sword is Tomonari 58th 備陽長船住  Biyō Osafune jū 友成五十八代囗囗 Tomonari gojūhachi dai 囗囗 Can't quite make out the last two, but the meaning will be the same as "generation" "descendent"
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