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Markus last won the day on May 6 2021

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About Markus

  • Birthday 06/23/1977

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    Markus Sesko

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  1. Thank you all for your support! Unless there were some mean posts that were deleted in the meantime, we can leave this thread open as I would like to give people a quick and easy opportunity to opt out of this project. Grey is proofreading the next chapters of the Tosogu Classroom as we speak, so this is very much alive and going forward (yes, slowly, and I apologize for that).
  2. Thank you very much Bob @Surfson and Volker @Volker62 ! I will get in touch with you directly. I fully understand the frustration and am happy to refund everyone who wants to opt out. It is not that we are talking about a brief delay, it has been years now, which is embarrassing.
  3. @Surfson Thank you Bob! Checked my records and you did not pay in, so your offer is greatly appreciated!
  4. @Brian You did (can let you know the amount if you want), and thank you very much for leaving it in!
  5. @Stephen Please forward me your PayPal to markus.sesko@gmail.com. Thx!
  6. I was made aware of that thread as I hardly check NMB as of lately. I am happy to refund any backer if desired, but would appreciate if that does not happen all at once. Still working on it, however, but can not give an estimate about when finished as I will make it part of my Legacy ProjectTM that will deal with all the schools of sword making via individual volumes. Therefore, I fully understand if you prefer a refund and I will follow through with that as quickly as possible whenever a request come in. Best regards, Markus
  7. You are very welcome, JT. Maybe others can chime in as I am afraid, I am no longer allowed to give any monetary evaluations or make comments on such (museum policy).
  8. Thank you Jussi! Now I went through some papered Ujishige examples and learned that the NBTHK does tend to add Shodai (初代), First Generation, in parenthesis when they are referring to the "first first" generation that was active in the mid-1600s (see attached pic). Upon reversion, the lack of that not being mention on the paper does speak for the blade being a work by Ujishige III (氏重) / Ujishige I (氏繁). Also, the first two generations Ujishige (氏重) usually signed the SHIGE character very close to the UJI character, which is not the case with the blade in question either, what further suggests Ujishige III (氏重) / Ujishige I (氏繁). The Ujishige lineage goes as follows, with their years of death stated and their main active periods according to the meikan: Ujishige I (氏重, ?–1691) – Manji (万治, 1658–1661) Ujishige II (氏重, ?–1718) – Genroku (元禄, 1688–1704) Ujishige III (氏重, ?–1755) = Ujishige I (氏繁) – Genbun (元文, 1736–1741) Ujishige II (氏繁, ?–1783) – Meiwa (明和, 1764–1772) Ujishige III (氏繁, ?–1790) – Tenmei (天明, 1781–1789) Ujishige IV (氏繁, ?–1790) = Masashige (正繁, 1760–1830) – Kansei (寛政, 1789–1801) Ujishige V (氏繁, ?–?) – Bunka (文化, 1804–1818) When it comes to the existing body of work of this lineage, it mostly goes back to Masashige (正繁) and to Ujishige I (氏重, ?–1691). Reason for that is the sword boom of the 1660s and the patronage of Masashige. Ujishige III (氏繁, ?–1790) died early and Ujishige V (氏繁) was overshadowed by his predecessor Masashige. The others were active when the demand for swords had decreased significantly. Regarding your question whether later shintō or shinshintō, you are correct, the blade falls into the former category. Shinshintō is usually linked to the work of Suishinshi Masahide (水心子正秀, 1750–1825), or to be precise, to his attempt of reviving kotō sword making roughly starting in the 1780s.
  9. Saw Steve replied at the same time, sharing the same sentiment about the translation. @JT: Thank you for getting my encyclopedia! If you get a reply from them with the paper, please post it here so we can take a look.
  10. The English listing of that sword is so carelessly done (google translated) that it actually becomes misleading. First the smith. His correct reading is UJISHIGE, not FUJISHIGE (which is correctly quoted, however, further down the listing). Now according to the description, the blade is a work of the first generation Ujishige (氏重). Ujishige (氏重, ?–1755) was actually the third generation of his lineage, but changed the writing of his name later in his career to (氏繁) and that is when the counting of generations was so to speak reset. i.e., Ujishige III (氏重) becomes Ujishige I (氏繁). This lineage continued for four more generations until Ujishige V (氏繁) who was active in the early 1800s. To be sure which Ujishige it is, I would ask them to provide a picture of the Tokubetsu Hozon paper as the NBTHK may clarify in parenthesis the generation. Now Aoi Art brings Shinsengumi Captain Nagakura Shinpachi into play who did wear an Ujishige (氏繁) sword, although it is unspecified which generation, and the description is worded in a way that could mislead someone believing that it was actually the sword for sale, which it is not. But they always do that, like listing a 550 Spyder and saying: "Did you know, also James Dean was driving a 550 Spyder?" As for the cutting test, as it was performed in Kansei twelve (1800), it was obviously not done when Ujishige III (氏重) / Ujishige I (氏繁) made the blade as he died 45 years prior. Unfortunately, the two characters above the character for "body" have come partially off. The first appears to be (間), but I can't make out the one below. So at this point, the cutting test can only be translated as: "[This blade] cut in the fourth month of Kansei twelve (1800), year of the monkey, through a body at the height of ?"
  11. Chiming in. The pic below is actually what is left of pure translation work, and that is for all the remaining volumes. All I need, and it sounds so stupid, is to find a good slot to get through everything with Grey and Barry and then finalize the layout and we are all set. Have planned to forward the next installments to Grey and Barry coming week (just cleared another project last week I was working on for two years).
  12. I am assuming the name of the smith is written on the other side of the hilt in the sense of quoting the mei just like the smith distributes it over both sides of the tang. Or in other words, I think the ura side of the tang is signed "Bizen no Kuni Osafune-jū."
  13. This is what I wrote: I think it is actually three characters: Sōyo horu (宗世刀), i.e., “carved by Sōyo.”
  14. I have been in touch with the owner, Georg, and discussed the paper with him, but just wanted to add a few clarifying things here as they might be of interest for those who are following this great success story. So as shown, the NBTHK papers the blade Tokubetsu Hozon and adds in parenthesis that it was made around Tenpō ten (天保, 1839), a detail that is based on the workmanship and signature style. Also, the NBTHK verifies the authenticity of the cutting test and states explicitly that it was added by the smith himself, although at a later point in time (obviously). This is pointed out via the expression jishin kiritsuke-mei (自身切付銘). That is, kiritsuke-mei refers to any inscription added after a blade was made, and jishin means "personally," i.e., by the smith himself. As a reminder, if an inscription can not be authenticated and is just acknowledged that it is there, this would be stated so via the suffix to mei ga aru (と銘がある).
  15. https://photos.app.goo.gl/Hw3sjbKPiYX6m9id6

    The blade I mentioned on the gendaito book thread.

    Hada is masame with periodic ovals along the hamon (I presume from drilling the blank and then hammering it flat again, then drawing out into the blade, making them ovals).  Very fancy for WWII.   Tassle is diplomatic, though of course it could be moved.   Obtained from Lou Kanarek in 1995(?)ish.   70 pts from Yoshikawa at the Long Island shinsa.


    I have a partial oshigata of the monouchi and drawing of the hada

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