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Jussi Ekholm

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Everything posted by Jussi Ekholm

  1. I believe the smith is Okimitsu and date 1943 - 隠岐国住沖光作 / 昭和十八年二月日
  2. I would guess like Nobody above. Is there a signature of a Bizen smith on the other side?
  3. Adam I think you could ask Aoi for the picture, I would think Tsuruta would be happy to send the picture for you, if you explain your reasoning like you did above.
  4. I am still missing Dmitrys book, so I cannot read his theories. What are the qualities that would make this a Sadamune blade? Would it be possible to see the old reference oshigata for Sadamune? I personally see the Hiromitsu attribution as very reasonable one. I just compared the existing Hiromitsu signatures with 相模国住人 and many of the seem very similar to this tachi. I have access to c. 20 Hiromitsu signatures with this longer signature style (of course only in books ). As there are no Sadamune signatures remaining it would be very difficult to judge partial one as Sadamune especially if it would be missing the Sadamune part. And as the Hiromitsu signature style is very similar and this date would also be in his working period. I feel the same way as Michael for "to mei ga aru" that there is a signature (that will need further research). I think for many it might be a red flag. I wouldn't personally owning such blade, well I am totally fine with "Kuni fumei" blades of unknown province which many shun upon. As for how much time is spent per item, I cannot say for sure but NBTHK is (most likely have to be) pretty open with their financial etc. info. I dug some numbers from their magazine few years ago. 2019 Hozon Tōken – 7,106 submitted – 4,749 passed Hozon Tōsō – 333 submitted – 186 passed Hozon Tōsōgu – 3,764 submitted – 2,401 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōken – 3,317 submitted – 2,259 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsō – 154 submitted – 102 passed Tokubetsu Hozon Tōsōgu – 1,062 submitted – 841 passed Jūyō 65 Tōken – 997 submitted – 101 passed Jūyō 65 Tōsō – 45 submitted – 8 passed Jūyō 65 Tōsōgu – 287 submitted – 29 passed As for the shinsa cost, you could say that Jūyō pass is roughly 10x more costly than Hozon. For sword 220,000 yen vs. 25,000 yen. I think NBTHK is running 4 Hozon/TH sword focused shinsa per year so with those numbers it would be roughly c. 2,500+ swords per one shinsa. I don't know how long the shinsa session lasts but even if you run the numbers that one sword would get looked for merely 3 minutes, then it would mean 20 swords get processed within an hour (of course some swords take longer than others, and even Japanese professionals need to take breaks). Looking at swords closely is for me very exhausting and I am not sure how long at one sitting the professional team but for very easy math lets say working 10 hours a day, it would be 13 working days to go through that amount of swords, without breaks swords coming in and out like from a machine. With 10 minutes spent per sword, they could only process 6 swords per hour, working the same time with machine accuracy and effectiviness without breaks it would be 42 working days to process through those swords. Even though that above about time spent with items (the submission numbers are real from NBTHK) is just purely speculation which Jacques hates , I think it shows why NBTHK shinsa teams are professionals, and you can see the amount of various swords they get to see in every shinsa session. It is kinda mindblowing when you add other sword studies etc. in the mix too. Unfortunately my post is totally off the opening topic but I felt the discussion has evolved into very interesting one.
  5. My guess is that this blade tries to be a 2nd generation Hōjōji Kunimitsu work and the signature 但州住隼人 - Tanshū jū Hayata... (probably should continue with "no Suke Kunimitsu"). I believe there is one blade with this type of long signature dated to 1428 but unfortunately I have not seen that. Likewise I have not seen any long signatures of this type by Hōjōji Kunimitsu smiths.
  6. Can't say anything definitive based on those pictures but to me it would be worth 750$'s. In the current market you cannot get a lot for 750, so I think this is a very decent find.
  7. I would second Rays opinion for sending it for shinsa to be sure. I think I would lean towards it being genuine, as Hamfish said there are lots of these late Muromachi Bizen blades. Late friend of mine used to have Eiroku period tanto by Kiyomitsu.
  8. Congratulations Christoph, and thank you for posting your entry as well as an explanation for it.
  9. Steve has great eyes and skill in reading. I am only confident on 2nd character being Shige (重) can't see first one clearly.
  10. I believe your second book would be 掌中新刀銘盡大全. Unfortunately I am not sure of proper romanization for the title. You can see for reference the book sold in Japan: https://www.jauce.com/auction/e451479965 I think this book is focused on Shintō (新刀) period swords. Based on what Japanese sites write in description I think the book might be from 1867 (慶応三).
  11. NTHK has their magazine 刀剣と歴史 Tōken to Rekishi. Unfortunately I don't have these magazines and this is not accessible online at NDL but the 611 issue is 3rd number in 1996. Articles are listed at NDL and the article in question is - 山城守国重百国入道系譜 / 森義隆/p25~30 You can see magazine articles in here: https://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/7901305?tocOpened=1
  12. I believe the book you have is a copy of Shūko Jisshu (集古十種) and yours is the sword portion of the book set.
  13. Thank you Georg, that was very interesting, and fun to see how much of the details came visible after the polish. Now that the attribution is revealed I do think it does fit when looking at Hokke & Hokke Ichijō swords. One of my 3 swords has an old attribution to Hokke Ichijō (I am not sure if it would be Hokke) and I am intending to send it to NBTHK some day to see how they see it now.
  14. I am quite curious what theory Dmitry suggests in the book?
  15. Unfortunately I haven't been able to look the dozens and dozens examples in hand that I have in books but I have come to realize I might have some unpopular opinions. For example I personally am often more drawn to Naoe Shizu attributed mumei swords than mumei swords attributed to Shizu. I think one factor of it is that Naoe Shizu swords often have more imposing size than those that go towards Shizu.
  16. I think it is interesting that it is attributed towards Iesuke. That is bit rarer attribution from NBTHK, so they must see some quality features on that sword. As much more common would be more general attribution to Kozori etc. I do think NBTHK would put this towards late Nanbokuchō - early Muromachi Iesuke as Michael said above, and due to fact they elevated it to Tokubetsu Hozon and they have certain criteria for mumei blades (related to age). The thing is that there are hundreds of similarish swords available for purchase so if you are after late Nanbokuchō to Early Muromachi Bizen you will have lots and lots of signed and even more unsigned options available.
  17. Jussi Ekholm


    Very interesting item I was totally clueless even with the hints given later on. I must admit I didn't think of Nanki Shigekuni but rather was looking into various smiths that were suggested on the first page.
  18. I was going to go for bit different guess at first but as you said attributed to particular name I might guess.
  19. I think the signature is 備陽長船住人 - Biyō Osafune jūnin. It is kind of rare form that was used by Yokoyama Bizen smiths. Looks like an interesting find
  20. Well I guess I can say I have healthy obsession with Kotō swords and researching them. I just got my latest book package from Japan and I am really hyped. Just finished going through all items in Jūyō 43 session today. I think some items are just so amazing it is very easy to realize when you just turn the page and see the oshigata of the item in the book. I am having hard time putting it into words but as I have gone through thousands and thousands of Jūyō items in the books, there are some that immidiately hit me when seeing them in the book, and these can be shortened mumei pieces too. For example there was a mumei Norishige that wowed me and absolutely amazing mumei Chōgi in Jūyō 43 session. When I actually researched those swords both had achived Tokubetsu Jūyō later on. I can only imagine how amazing the swords are in real life as they have this wow-effect even seen in book. Now on the other hand there are some items from the same session that have achieved Tokubetsu Jūyō that I am not immidiately understanding. Sometimes appreciation is very complicated matter. Also I think most sword lovers know Jūyō Bunkazai but I am not sure if people are aware that there are lower level Bunkazai as well. I am not too well versed in Japanese cultural heritage preservation so Japanese members can correct if I write something wrong. There are nation level Bunkazai (国) These are Jūyō Bunkazai, second tier is prefecture level Bunkazai (県) and third tier are city level Bunkazai (市). I have pretty much gone through and picked items of my interest out of all of the nation and prefecture Bunkazai, and I am about 200 cities deep at city level but Japan has lots of cities... There are actually only quite few swords in the prefecture and city designated Bunkazai as Japan has rich history of other culturally important aspects too. It has been bit boring side project of mine when I run out of other research material as info on these is often lacking online, being just one line about the item. This just came to my mind to put this out there as there was Hōju tachi in Jūyō 41 that I previously knew only as Ichinoseki City Bunkazai and owned by Ichinoseki City Museum. And today I found very stunning tachi by quite unknown Ōei era Bizen smith Sadaie at Jūyō 43, that I previously only had as Morioka City Bunkazai. While both of these smiths would be far away from classical top tier smith rankings to me personally they are much more important than just another regular mumei Rai Kunitoshi or Shizu etc.
  21. Unlike many who focus on highest quality etc. for me that is not too important. My list in the 1st page was pretty much what would general belief in Japan be (with signature requirement added on as personal twist). I am mostly fixed on shape and size, I feel that is my thing in sword appreciation and has been for quite a while now. Of course I can see beauty in some features too but more often I would choose bigger/signed/ubu/more imposing item instead of nicer looking one. As if you combine amazing quality to pieces that I like they are pretty much forever out of my personal reach. Here are two quite interesting items that I have seen and are in European collections. 1st Is in the collection of Samurai Museum Berlin. Now I did ramble about not seeking for quality and yet this one is spectacular quality. The wide shape of this is what initially got me to like this but when looking this in hand it was easy to appreciate the fine craftsmanship and hada etc. When in original form this must have been beast of a sword. Now here is where the shape and size do it for me. This is appointed to Rai Kunimitsu and is a top tier item. However even if the craftsmanship would not be at this level, I would like it almost equally if it was lower quality and appraised as Nakajima Rai, or even pretty much the lowest Rai-related Echizen Rai. 2nd This is in an European private colletion. In order to understand the rarity of this you need to know how many works of Fukuoka Ichimonji smith Yoshimune are out there. So far I have only found 3 signed tachi and 1 gakumei wakizashi. 1 tachi is Jūyō Bunkazai at Tsukubasan Jinja, then there is this TJ tachi and 1 Jūyō tachi. Now of course the item is another top tier item of wonderful quality but even with severe pitting/flaws etc. signed & verified item such as this would be historically very important (perhaps I can someday find badly flawed signed Ichimonji ). There are also other Yoshimune smiths in Bizen. Here is extremely spectacular signed 94,3 cm ōdachi by Yoshimune, it was thought at Jūyō shinsa to be the work of Yoshioka Ichimonji Yoshimune (Late Kamakura - Early Nanbokuchō smith), however it got rolled to be work of much earlier Ko-Bizen Yoshimune (Late Heian period) at Tokubetsu Jūyō evaluation. Even owning a single item like this would be a dream collection, sword like that is to me the holy grail. https://web.archive.org/web/20161107181756/https:/www.kusanaginosya.com/SHOP/368.html
  22. Unfortunately I do not yet have Dmitrys book but I hope to get it in the future. Of course dated items of this era are pretty rare outside Bizen. Here are items of these smiths that I have personal references for. - Norishige e.1314 l.1320 (there is one dated 1321 but it appears the Norishige signature on it is gimei but date is genuine) - Kunimitsu e.1294 l.1324 - Yukimitsu 0 dated ones (BUT there is older Sagami smith named Yukimitsu. Tokyo Fuji Museum has a tachi dated 1271. They refer him as 藤源次行光, perhaps he is the Yukimitsu for which "the Kotō Mei Zukushi Taizen says that he was born in the first year of Shōji (正治, 1199) and that he died in Kōan three (弘安, 1280) at the age of 83 but this would make him 50 years older than his master and it would also mean that he died before Kunimitsu had even matured his studies and brought forth what became later the Sōshū tradition" [quote from Seskos Index] - for Sa I only have 1339 dated ones - It gets bit tricky in Mino, as only dated Kaneuji items I have are signed with (包氏) and I would think it connects to Yamato e.date is unclear but from 1356-1361 l.1362, for Kinjū I only have 1369 dated item. However there is Mino smith Kanetsugu (兼次) from whom there is 1350 dated item surviving. - Hiromitsu e.1352 l.1364 - Akihiro e.1357 l.1392 - Nobukuni e.1358 can't really say latest as several generations - Hasebe Kunishige e.1349 l.1368 - For Takagi Sadamune I have 0 dated ones. Here are numbers I currently have for signed Ichimonji long swords (I counted quickly so there might be a naginata or 2 in the mix). 298 signed with smith name - 90 signed with just Ichi (when I some day get all the Jūyō books those numbers should go to 354 and 105 just from Jūyō items I still currently miss). This is very fun discussion even though it must be boring for some.
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