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Everything posted by SteveM

  1. As Robert says, smith and date is 荘司次郎太郎直勝 Sōshi Jirō Tarō Naokatsu 天保十一年庚子八月日 Tempo 11 (year of rat) August 柳本越智敬隆所持 Owned by Yanagimoto Ochi Tadataka Cutting test inscription 同年十一月十三日於武州千住小塚原 両車土壇払山田五三郎様 Same year November 13th, at Kozukappara, Senjū, Bushū (Tōkyō) Two-body cut performed by Yamada Gosaburō
  2. The sword is a family heirloom, rather than a newly-made arsenal sword. The bearer had military mounts made for his family sword. There are many such short swords repurposed for military use. They are often erroneously referred to as "pilot's swords", with the assumption being that pilots would use shorter swords, but I think this site has disproven that claim fairly comprehensively. The inscription (the ones in blue are written by the cutting tester) 乳割土壇払 Chichi-wari dotanbarai 天保十年二月日於江府作 Tenpō jūnen nigatsujitsu oite Kōfu saku 会津住元興 Aizu-jū Moto-oki 同年十月二日於千住神谷清治試之 Dōnen jūgatsu futsuka, oite Senjū Kamiya Kiyoharu tamesu kore Cut across the chest Made in Tenpō 10 (1839) February, Kōfu Moto-oki from Aizu province/city Cutting test performed in the same year, October 2nd, at Senjū, by tester Kamiya Kiyohara So the swordsmith Moto-oki made this sword in February of 1839, and someone had it tested by cutting it across the chest of a cadaver (probably) in October of 1839. I didn't find this tester's name in Guido's list of famous testers, or anywhere else on the internet, so it looks like the tester is someone lost to history. It also looks like the tester didn't have room to write everything on one side, so he continued on the other side, which is slightly unusual. The longer sword is a typical military/arsenal blade.
  3. Seki sword. Looks broken and then given a quick and dirty repair job. Mei is subject of some disagreement on the internet. Smith name is Yoshiomi, but the second kanji of the family name is...debatable. Looks to me like 武正義臣作 (Takemasa Yoshiomi saku) However some sites claim it is 武山義臣作 (Takeyama Yoshiomi saku) Maybe someone out there has more info. Takemasa https://www.togishi-touken.jp/研磨料金表/お受け出来ない御刀見本/ Takeyama
  4. Here's a page of them (and similar things) https://www.amazon.co.jp/ETSUMI-クリーニングクロス-マイクロファイバーM-300mm角-5128/dp/B002L6HN24
  5. Maybe a job for Kelly Schmidt at @Japan auctions
  6. For the second one I was thinking 南陽, or, looking at the stamp, the second kanji might be 龧 (a variation of 曙) For the subject, it must be Yoshitsune. But various searches didn't turn up anything useful. I agree with 玉栄, but maybe pronounced Gyokuei (as in 狩野玉栄). Possible to get closer pictures of the red stamps/seals?
  7. SteveM

    Museum help

    I think the stick and the rope point to the street entertainment (monkey-handling, or sarumawashi in Japanese), as Chris said. 猿回し図 https://blog.goo.ne.jp/tsuba_001/e/d0e1b51ac75d9d584546e17f8ad129eb https://blog.goo.ne.jp/tsuba_001/m/201301/1
  8. Looks like a very nice sword. Here are the other bits of the sayagaki 刃長貮尺壱寸参分有之 Length 2 shaku, 1 sun, 3 bun 昭和卅六年初夏吉日 Showa 36, auspicious day in early summer 寒山誌 Kanzan The sword has nearly the same cutting date test and tester as this other Tadakuni. They were tested just a few months apart. https://www.yamasiroya.com/katana/katana/post_14.html
  9. 越前国為継 Echizen no kuni Tametsugu 大磨上無銘也雄勁ナル延文貞治型ノ姿形ヲ呈シ精妙ナル板目肌合ニ大湾与互乃目交ジリノ刃文ヲ悠々ト焼キ沸匂深厚而 Ōsuriage mumei nari yūkei naru Enbun-Jōji katachi no sugata wo teishi, seimyō naru itamehada-ai ni ōnotare gun-no-me majiri no hamon wo yūyū to yaki, nienioi shinkōshi 更ニ砂流・金筋・湯走・飛焼ノ景色ガ加ハルナド同工ノ特色ガ把握サレル優品也後ノ應安頃二農州二移住シ美濃傳ノ源流ノ一人トナレり Sarani sunagashi, kinsuji, yubashiri, tobiyaki, no keishiki ga kuwaerunado, dōkō no tokushoku ga haaku sareru yūhin nari. Nochi no Ōan-koro ni Nōshū ni ijūshi, Minō-den no genryuu no hitori to nareri. 長貮尺二寸七分探山識 Nagasa nishaku nisun, nanabun. Tanzan-shikisu 于时庚子高秋 Tokini Kanoe-ne koshu Echizen no kuni, Tametsugu Osuriage mumei. A powerful sword presenting a typical "Enbun-Jōji" shape, calmly forged with exquisite itame hada, and with a hamon of large notare mixed with gunome, and deep nie and nioi. Additionally, the sword includes sunagashi, kinsuji, yubashiri, and tobiyaki, making this one of this smith's masterpieces. He relocated to Nōshū in the latter part of Ōan, and there he became one of the founders of the Mino school. 2 shaku, 2 sun, 7 bun. Tanzan 2020, Autumn Year could also be 1960. It feels early for there to already be a sword on the market that has a Tanzan sayagaki saying "autumn 2020", but the only other choice would be 1960, but I think 1960 is a bit before Tanzan's sayagaki-writing began. In any event, it is an impressive sword.
  10. Possible to take a couple more photos of the mei at another angle?
  11. Are you looking for a private service? Or are you looking for a commercial-level of service? For the random sayagaki or kanteisho, you can just post on this site and we'll give you a translation.
  12. I don't think there is a law that limits tosho to making 2 swords per month. I think the ministry of culture "suggests" it should take two weeks for a proper, licensed swordsmith to make a sword, and from that people have misinterpreted this as being a legal limit on sword production. From what I have read, there is no legal limit.
  13. 無銘廣宗? Mumei Hiromune? Hiromune (according to Wakayama) was a metalworker in late Edo. Offered without confidence as Hiromune seems a minor smith for someone to be attributing a work to. If feels as though a mumei work ought to be attributed to someone less obscure. Other possibility, 廣乗 (Hironori), but this smith is even more obscure.
  14. I think the chances are very, very slim. Enjoy it as it is.
  15. Had some spare time to kill: Copper tsuba with hammered pattern, slightly descending towards the rim, carved with an image of Jūrōjin with his whiskers and his elongated head, reading a sutra. Above his head we see a branch of a karamatsu pine, and on the reverse side there is a carving of the trunk of the pine. The sutra is unrolled, and a twisted pine branch extends below it, with bits of gold inlay here and there. and colored brass for Jūrōjin's hood. Encompassing the nakago-ana and the hitsu-ana, there is a deliberately executed blackish circular area made by hammer strikes, giving that area a texture of silk-crepe, but it is unknown what effect the artist was striving for. It could be the moon or an attempt to show Jūrōjin reading the sutra by moonlight. Jūrōjin as well as Fukurokujū are included among the Seven Lucky Gods, but they are almost one and the same, with cranes typically accompanying Fukurokujū, and deer accompanying Jūrōjin. However they are often interchanged and it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. This tsuba is an unsigned work of the Nara school, weighty, with desirable design and coloration. Late Edo.
  16. There was official discrimination against and prohibition of left-handedness, at least at the government level. The article below mentions how lefties were forcibly corrected. I cannot verify the accuracy of the article. It also notes that the stories of Miyamoto Musashi and other luminaries being left-handed, are mostly without documentary basis. https://www.touken-world.jp/tips/25526/
  17. There were rules that discouraged left-handedness. I don't know if it was law or not, but in feudal Japan I don't know if there was much distinction. I will post on Adam's other thread regarding this so as not to derail this one too much.
  18. 肥前國住忠清 Hizen kuni jū Tadakiyo As always, there is no guarantee this signature is genuine.
  19. Yes its important to remember that kamon are used by multiple families, and unless you have the provenance of the item its quite difficult (impossible in most cases) to state definitively which family this came from. Crossed eagle feathers is one of the most common family crests. I think most reference books and websites list the most prominent or representative name, but those references are not exhaustive. There are about 300,000 different Japanese last names, yet only about 20,000 different variations of kamon.
  20. That's the wrong Seki. That one is in Mie prefecture.
  21. 法成寺国照 Hōjōji Kuniteru (← smith's name) 切付銘 三つ胴重截断云々 Additional inscription: Three-body cut
  22. Bumping this one up to see if any of our native Japanese speakers (or anyone) can assist.
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