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Everything posted by SteveM

  1. Yes, for sure its Tsuguhiro. And the tsuba is 長州住 正定 (Chōshū-jū Masasada), but the catalogue mistakenly speculates that it says Bushū-jū Masa-something). These feel like amateur mistakes that shouldn't be happening at an auction house "with a reputation based on honesty, expertise, reliability, scholarship".
  2. Doesn't look much like the authenticated versions, so I'm a bit suspicious.
  3. Looks like 次廣 (Tsuguhiro), although the 廣 (hiro) is a bit funky.
  4. Hello Alton, 1. Yes, you can ask the togishi if they will polish just the boshi. But, bear in mind it may be hard to find one who will be interested in doing a small job. With the backlog that most US-based togishi are facing, I think they may not be keen on taking on a job like this. Fortunately, it doesn't cost anything to ask them. If the blade has the promise of being something really unique and prestigious, you might have some luck. 2. I haven't heard of a window being especially vulnerable to damage when the rest of the blade is polished. 3. With regard to how funky the blade will look with just a window opened on it, that is something you'll have to imagine for yourself. Usually the window would help you determine if the blade is worth investing in a full polish (and, papering to hozon and higher). If the window reveals the blade isn't worth any further action, the looks of the thing are kind of irrelevant. I can understand the wish to keep it presentable even if its not "worthy" of hozon, but really, there are so many swords out there you would be wasting time and energy worrying about the presentability of a low quality sword.
  5. Check out the thread below where this smith is discussed.
  6. At first glance, it looks like a nice, old kotō sword, from sometime before the mid 1500s. Originally it would have been slightly longer than it is now, and it was shortened (from the tang end) to its current lenth. This is common, especially in older swords. One sign of this is the abrupt, horizontal cut-off on the tang. Another is the extra hole added to the tang (so that the new handle would fit properly on the newly-shortened sword). I say "at first glance" because there was a revival of old sword styles beginning in the late 1700s or early 1800s, whereby smiths deliberately copied old sword styles. Your sword could be one of these revival styles. Forget about the fittings for a moment, as these are almost certainly later additions/creations, and while they are valuable on their own, and valuable to the ensemble, they aren't necessarily contemporary to when the sword was first made. In fact, they look to me like they were made/assembled in the 1800s. Its not a good, or bad judgment. Its just a way of saying that in this case the sword is the thing to focus on. (The little metal bits in the handle - "menuki" - are in the shape of folded fans). As above, there are some nasty fingerprints on the sword, which will hopefully come off with a very gentle wipe of a soft cloth. As Pietro says, microfiber (Microdear) is the best. There is a nasty weld opening in the sword which usually means the sword wasn't made by a grand master swordsmith, but don't freak out about this now, and definitely do not try any polishing on this sword no matter how tempted you are. Limit your restoration efforts to the wiping with the microfiber cloth. The next step would be to either show it in hand to someone knowledgeable about swords, or send pictures to a properly trained polisher to find out more about professional restoration. Your sword is much older than WW2. Age doesn't always equal value as there are a million variables that determine value, but so far it looks interesting.
  7. This is almost assuredly a Katō Zennosuke "Jumyō", as others have said. It is not an heirloom sword. Katō Zennnosuke was born in 1893. The 16 on this sword would have to be the 16th year of the Shōwa era. While the dates usually include the era name, this one just says which year without mentioning the era. However, considering his birth date, and considering the WW2 fittings, and the way the inscription is carved into the blade, this can only mean "16 Shōwa" (1941). For another example of his work (with the same, thick, horizontal file marks) see the sword below. https://www.nipponto.co.jp/swords6/KY331954.htm
  8. 浅井良云魚拓名人也良寛門人江戸四谷住 Something about this one (拓) one doesn't feel right. 彫 was a possibility I was considering, but I think it needs to be kane-hen. And the far left line? I think I can get it, but I'm not 100% confident.
  9. 季✕ 秊〇 时 I'm never sure if he is deliberately using this kanji, or if he is using 時 in a highly calligraphic style - but he uses it all the time. I know he tends to reach for the obscure words/kanji when it suits him. Anyway, this is a highly specialized translation job: a mixture of kanbun, sword jargon, and weird kanji...and you absolutely nailed it. Very impressive.
  10. Yes, not certified by any organization, just by Tokuno-san himself. At least, that's what it looks like. But he is using a format that is similar to other organizations.
  11. Hi Matt, I was/am critical of the date engraved on the tang, and critical of the sales pitch used on the site, but the sword itself is an authentic, typical WW2 sword, so if that is what you were after I think you did well. I disagree with Bruce regarding any added value the date may impart. I think this date is so bad that it is likely a later addition. Could have even been made by some western person not used to writing kanji. But it doesn't change the fact that the sword looks to be a genuine WW2 sword.
  12. Outstanding. I think the sentence should be split as below, but its a minor thing and doesn't change the overall meaning too much. 中直刃ヲ焼キ、刃ニ近ク直映ガ立ツナド And the length and date? Only mildly tricky.
  13. 藝州住源綱慶作 Geishū-jū Minamoto Tsunayoshi saku 藝=芸 Two versions of the same kanji. Geishū is the old province name for the area around Hiroshima. (You can tell there was a lot of consensus on Matt's translation because there were a few of us agreeing with him - note the "like" icon at the bottom of Matt's post).
  14. I also took a sword bag to a dry cleaner in Japan. They took care of it with no problem. (But they are kind-of used to silk brocade items).
  15. Hello Tom, The inscription is 福本兼家 (Fukumoto Kaneie). It is the name of a WW2 smith, and you can see the Seki arsenal stamp (関) near the top of the handle part (aka the nakago, in Japanese sword jargon)
  16. Wikipedia says they never resumed production after the August 7th raid. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/豊川海軍工廠 No cross-reference for this factoid, so take it for what its worth.
  17. 明治六癸酉五月 (I'm assuming its Meiji, although only the "ji" is legible)
  18. Wakizashi saya in red lacquer with stone-finish, etc..etc... Its a real certificate. These old, green certificates are well out of favor with sword enthusiasts. I don't think their reputation is as bad for tōsōgu, but bear in mind they all carry some stigma due to some fraudulent certificates being issued during this time (early 70s).
  19. Its a name: 一柳大里 Ichiyanagi Ōzato (not 100% sure of the reading). Late Edo smith. Edit: Maybe Hitoyanagi Ōzato/Ōsato
  20. Is this ubu? Or is it shortened? (It looks ubu, but can't quite tell).
  21. Yes, standard WW2. Not so much a "samurai" blade as it is an arsenal blade.
  22. Looks like the smith's name is Kanesada (兼定). The last character looks a bit funny. (This is a way of saying, "If I am wrong, I blame the bad handwriting of the swordsmith"). The other side shows the date. Shōwa 18 (1943) June. 昭和十八年六月
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