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Everything posted by SteveM

  1. I wouldn't draw this conclusion based on the condition of the shingane alone, especially given the amateur polish the sword was apparently given. The shape, the date, and the smith are all pointing in the same direction, and all support one another. I think I would be cautiously optimistic about the mei. I don't know recall if there was much discussion about the hamon or the tip, but those are also necessary to understand and appreciate. Ideally, you would have other swords from this smith to make a comparison. Or photos of swords from this smith and his contemporaries. That would be my next step, although with obscure smiths there are often no examples available, so it can be difficult.
  2. You got the salient bits correct. And with a bit of practice and intuition you would have got the other bits as well. 濃州関住人兼光作之 Nōshū seki jū-nin Kanemitsu saku kore Seki (関) almost invariably follows Nōshū, as the town of Seki was the center of sword production, and it was (and still is) something of a well-known brand for swords and other blades. The seki on your sword is slightly unusual and doesn't look like the glyph that is most-commonly used, but it has the central part (关) which identifies it as seki. Your shō stamp looks OK to me. 昭 inside of a cherry blossom. (Struck at a slightly crooked angle, but otherwise OK).
  3. 於越前囗 (maybe a repitition of 前?) 囗無布施経(經) I don't see wo motte in the first line. The final character looks kind of like 前, but it is written differently from the first one, which might be due to calligraphic rules (a repeated character should be written differently) . The other side says something Fusenaikyō, which is both a type of tameshigiri cut, and the name of a sword by Sanenaga (made famous by a duel wherein that kind of cut was made against an opponent). Also the name of a kyōgen play.
  4. Hmm, we need to see the beginning of those reminiscences to find out what he's using this ferro-vanadium for. (My guess is railway cars or tanks). This section is still mid-way through his remembrances.
  5. You don't have the previous page from where this came? That should give the context you are looking for.
  6. You got the gist of it. You are missing the length and the date. Length should be fairly easy. Date is  時在丁酉仲呂 
  7. Noshū Seki-jū Kanekage looks right. That last kanji is pretty badly worn down so it is hard to say definitively what it is. Anyway, Kanekage is a strong possibility. Yes it could be from late 1500s. Nice sanbon-sugi hamon. Pretty scratched up - you might consider giving it a professional polish if you don't mind the expense. In the meantime, keep it off the ground, avoid touching the blade with bare hands, don't try to polish it yourself, etc...
  8. Polisher's name is Nagao Kiroku (長尾喜六)
  9. It mentions several tens of "ryō" were able to be manufactured. Typically "ryō" would mean railway cars, or in this case it could possibly mean some kind of armored tank, truck, etc... It should be clear from the context. It wouldn't mean swords.
  10. Are you sure this is a koto blade? It looks like 法成寺源貞廣 (Hōjōji Minamoto Sadahiro), a smith from late 1600s to early 1700s.
  11. Yes - a ton of Kanemoto smiths. A ton of Kanemoto forgeries. If possible, forget about the signature for now, and concentrate on your sword: shape, hamon, steel, etc...
  12. Mekugi: 3 You are talking about the hole, right (mekugi-ana)? Not the actual peg. I can only see two holes on the nakago, is there a third hole? I, too, think this is not suguba. The photos show some choji midare...almost tobiyaki. I'm talking about the bit below. Photos can be deceptive, and the polish is very hazy, but I think it shows something more flamboyant than suguba.
  13. Hello Larry - you are correct. Kanemoto 兼元. Beware of forgeries. Kanemoto is known as one of the most forged signatures among all smiths.
  14. Leave it as it is. No need to get any more aggressive with cleaning. The translation meaning will not change much. You have the location, the name of the smith (well, at least a partial name), and you know the rest of the inscription is a dedication to the person/family who comissioned the sword and their location, as well as the date of the manufacture (1842). That is really much more than many people know about their own swords. Regarding the partial name, we know it is Takenaka Kuni-somebody from Fuchū in Bingō province. As Kyle shows, there is a record of a Takenaka Kunihiko from Fuchū in Bingō working around the same time your sword is dated. He also used a few other aliases, including Kunisaki and Kunitora. This is almost certainly your guy. For some reason the last kanji of the name on your sword is not really corresponding with the known names he used. Plus, it is hard to make out, and doesn't really look like the kanji for hiko, tora, or saki. So, we have to decide if that last kanji is just a super fanciful way of writing one of his known names, or if it is a kanji representing a name that has gone unrecorded (that we can't yet decipher). In any event, knowing that last kanji of the name will not change the appraisal of your sword. And trying to clean up that last bit carries the risk of damaging your sword for absolutely no appreciable gain. As always, the sword itself is the thing that gives it its value, and that value will not change no matter if that last kanji turns out to be tora, saki, or hiko.
  15. Wakayama lists him as Yamamoto Toshinobu of Matsuyama. A contemporary (and sometimes collaborator) of Hirata Narimasa (c. 1850).
  16. Hello Gary, I'm looking at this, and it doesn't say ryōkuruma (両車). It says something different, but I can't make it out.
  17. This is actually fairly recognizable: 山本大佐 Yamamoto Daisuke (a very common-sounding name. Kind of like "John Smith".) 元治二年 Genji 2 (1865) However, your point is still well-made: the characters are indeed funkily chiseled. Amateurish, poorly executed, spaced on the nakago in an unusual size and arrangement. People should recognize the arrangement as unusual even if they cannot read the kanji. It is plausible that this could actually be the owner's name, but a horrible sword with an owner's name cut into it is still a horrible sword.
  18. I think you have two choices: google translate, or pay a translator. You have a picture ot the index? Or, do you already know which section you need translated?
  19. The name is Kondō Kiyoshi (近藤精), living at what looks like Seto-kō #3518, in Setozaki-mura. As I say, this city was rolled up into Imabari city, and so the old addresses don't exist anymore. But the location would be somewhere around here https://www.google.com/maps/place/日本、〒794-1404+愛媛県今治市上浦町瀬戸2198/@34.22584,133.0463853,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x355048b4fd728ec9:0xcdee38840ee8a22!2z5pel5pys44CB44CSNzk0LTE0MDQg5oSb5aqb55yM5LuK5rK75biC5LiK5rWm55S654Cs5oi4!3b1!8m2!3d34.2250669!4d133.0437752!3m4!1s0x35504f302809c823:0x3b4f4750bdd1ba15!8m2!3d34.2258356!4d133.048574
  20. Yes, flatten out that tag and give us a good shot of it. I can make out part of an address in Ochi-gun, Setozaki-mura (a place in Ehime Prefecture). The rest of the tag will have the name of the original owner, and maybe pinpoint the address. Edit: I can pick out part of the name. 囗藤精   The 藤 character can be read either as tō or fuji. It depends on what the preceding character is. So that means the family name will be something like 左藤, 斎藤, 伊東 (Satō, Saitō, Itō) or something like that. Or, it could also be 山藤, 高藤, (Yamafuji, Takafuji). The first name is probably is Kiyoshi, but there are multiple possible readings for the 精 kanji when it is used as a name.
  21. It says 二条堀川住 - Nijō Horikawa-jū 顕珠作 - Kenju saku It means Kenju of Nijō Horikawa (a section of the city of Kyōto) made this. It actually looks like it was cast from a mold, rather than hammered and carved. Cast replicas of real tsuba are very common.
  22. And, if you already haven't checked it out, Ohmura's site is good for killing an hour or two (if you are into WW2 swords). A bit about Seki (in English) if you scroll down. http://ohmura-study.net/211.html
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