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Johnno last won the day on January 2 2016

Johnno had the most liked content!


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  1. I don't know about everyone else here but I know for me I am not an expert on Nihonto and that I will always have something to learn. I find Karl's theories and research interesting - and its a bit like any field of knowledge - that field of knowledge will never change or increase or expand *without* researchers - without people coming up with theories and hypotheses and stirring the pot a little bit at least In a perfect world I would have translations of every significant Nihonto work there is - in English - and probably quite an extensive collection also - and therefore a much better knowledge base than I have right now - but sadly finances preclude me from having either of these things at this time... But I have to admit it, research like Karl's does get me thinking - and at my age that is not a bad thing
  2. Very cool Karl... One thing I do know about the Japanese is that they do tend to have a very specific way of doing things and once its established they tend to not like to change it. Definitely printing this one out for my ''sword file''
  3. Guys - this is something from Karl that I found MOST interesting indeed... Thoughts ?
  4. Well Darcy - this one sword has definitely caused me to catch ''the bug'' again - so that is not a bad thing Now I just have to wait till I have some money before I start thinking about sword number two
  5. Darcy - what can I say? Thanks so much for your in-depth post above - you've given me a lot to think about and at the end of the day (if anything) I guess you have brought me back to where I was at the beginning when I bought the sword in the first place (or in my case traded for my old katana and 2 tanto). I'd be lying if I said that the mei means ''nothing'' to me - but in reality I bought this sword the same way I bought every other sword in the past - because of the sword herself - the overall look and ''feel'' of the sword - she ''spoke to me''. I would not claim that she is a ''masterwork'' but to me she is definitely a fine sword. Would I like it if she had already been through shinsa and had passed it and had some papers ? Of course I would. But in reality if I do send her for shinsa in the future my expectation is that she will not pass and that the signature will be found ''gimei''. In a sense that is not even my focus - because I believe she was made by a better than average smith for the time so I guess my curiosity here is, more than anything else, to know who actually DID make her. I've read a few things about the Hizen School and the early work of the Shodai and of course - not unlike your pictorial comparison above - I recognize that there are features of the work in my sword that is the sort of thing the Shodai himself did in his early years. Does this *make* my sword the work of the shodai? No, not necessarily. But of course, as you have said already, this is where the ''hope thing'' comes in. I do not ''definitely'' know anything about my sword - all I can say is that I have ideas - I believe she was made in the early 1600s, I believe she was made by a better than average smith and is a fine sword - I know she is longer than the average katana for the time (77cm nagasa) and that looking at her in sunlight you can see more activity in that hamon than many. There is great sunagashi and kinsuji all over the place and she is a most enjoyable sword to sit with and study and to have. Wonderful jigane, wonderful hamon, great activity. Beyond that, she is a mystery - but for me (as a small time collector who seldom has the money to ''own'' more than one or two swords anyway at any given point in time) she is a wonderful sword and one that has given me immense pleasure to study and get to know so far. What can I say? Food for thought - my journey continues
  6. Thanks for that Jussi - in a perfect world I would like to be able to look at and compare signatures and also look at works like this more closely: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22380/lot/3217/ (Not saying this is an identical match but there are similarities that make it interesting...)
  7. Thanks for the suggestion Paul - I might have a look and see how much that would set me back - a reference like that would probably be worth having. I guess that with all the travelling I have done I'm the sort who nowadays wants to get everything in electronic format (pdf or whatever) but I guess that in the world of Nihonto that is not so do-able...
  8. Guys - in my attempts at online research I've been trying to find the best examples of Shodai Tadayoshi's work from around the time he changed to using ''Tadahiro'' in about 1624. Does anyone know where I might be able to find better pics of this sword in particular: http://www.samuraisword.com/nihontodisplay/CUTTING_TEST/gold_inlay/Tadayoshi/(its a long shot but I thought I would ask). Thanks, John.
  9. Thanks for the feedback so far guys... I have to admit it - the idea of sending for shinsa in the US at some point would probably be the way I *would* go Brian... Why? Because in that way I get to have my cake and eat it too... I can get the opinion of a shinsa team without automatically having to go for mei removal - but if based on the judgment of the shinsa team they say you have ''x'' or ''y'' - and it sounds like its worth it - well, then I would be able to consider that option still (for papering etc.)
  10. (Correct me if I am wrong here Karl and in advance apologies for the wrong term - I am sure there is a more correct term than daisaku mei if we are talking nephew/uncle rather than father/son... At any rate - this is *great* stuff - just wish I had more electronic references to hand...)
  11. I think Karl's idea here is that the sword could be daisaku mei but tadakuni/hironori FOR Tadayoshi/Tadahiro - something along the lines of this: http://www.aoijapan.com/katana-izumi-kami-fujiwara-kunisada-inoue-shinkai-daimei
  12. Thanks for that Darcy I was wondering, have you been able to see any of the Sukehiro Yamashiro-den work up close and personal (?) I might be off the mark here - I can't remember WHERE I even read about this - but apparently he DID Yamashiro-den work (katana especially) that were so good that at the time there were dealers who passed them off as the works of famous koto masters - I *hope* I've got it right there but I think it was specifically Soboro himself they were talking about... Wonderful pic btw (the one above) - it certainly gives you a sense of the quality of the guy's work...
  13. Thanks for that Karl I just wish I had more books here lol Having said that - everything I have read and looked at online so far doesn't rule out Sukehiro - in fact it confirms the fact that he did work like my sword demonstrates - and did make the longer blades also (in my case a 77cm nagasa) - the only thing that didn't seem to fit perfectly was nakago-jiri... I have a feeling it was Paul or Darcy who mentioned the idea that if you were going to put a signature like Tadayoshi/Tadahiro on a blade you would make sure it was a damn GOOD blade or else you wouldn't get away with it... And the idea that such a blade would then command a higher price (''market forces'') also works... All I can say so far is that this sword is definitely one of the better blades I have handled or owned - and as you know I lived and worked in Japan and got to study some nice stuff up close and personal when I was there... I am no ''expert'' but I believe I have a ''good eye'' for a quality blade when I see one - and she is definitely that - quality Who knows - maybe one of these days I will send her for shinsa - but I'll be honest, I don't know I would want to go through the mei removal process and re-submitting just to ''get her papered'' because for me the signature in this sword now is also a part of the sword and her history... Call me strange - but I really do believe that what they say is true - we never ''own'' a sword - we are just its temporary custodians... In the case of the one sword that IS my ''collection'' now - she is not my ''possession'' - I am just her custodian until such time as I die or its time for her to ''move on''... My ''job'' then is to look after her as she is - keep her in the perfection condition (fresh polish) that she is in - and learn everything I can from her - and feel honoured that she has chosen me as her custodian - for now Just my 2 cents
  14. Thanks Randy - wonderful I'm keen to get my hands on as much electronic reference material as I can
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