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Jussi Ekholm

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Everything posted by Jussi Ekholm

  1. I am visiting my parents at the moment so I don't have access to my references for proper translation. However here is a quick listing of sword items (I skipped fittings and armor pieces as I would maybe make some errors there) 2. Naotsugu 3. Mitsutada 4. Kotetsu 7. Tadayoshi 8. Sa Kunihiro 9. Ichi (Fukuoka Ichimonji) 10. Kotetsu 11. Sukenao 12. Norinaga 13. Kunimitsu 14. Kanesada 15. Masakatsu 16. Mumei Kikuchi yari 17. Masahiro 18. Yasutsugu 19. Nagamitsu 20. Jubi attributed to Mihara Masaie 21. Hikobei Sukesada 22. Tadayoshi 23. Masao 27. Hankei 28. Motoshige 29. Suishinshi Masatsugu 30. Kanemitsu 32. Nanki Shigekuni 33. Yosozaemon Sukesada 34. Taikei Naotane 35. Tadamitsu 36. Ujifusa 37. Sukehiro 38. Masayuki 39. Sukenao 40. Naoe Shizu 41. Sa Kunihiro 42. Kanesada 44. Kunitomo 45. Unsho 50. Naganori 51. Yasutsugu 52. Nanki Shigekuni 53. Hankei 54. Motohira 55. Masayuki 56. den Naritaka 57. Taima 59. Masayoshi 60. Motohira 61. Taikei Naotane 66. Sa Hiroyasu 67. Taikei Naotane 68. Yasuyoshi 69. den Chogi 70. Rai Kuniyuki 71. Muramasa 72. Tairyusai Soukan 73. Tairyusai Soukan 74. Tadamitsu 75. Left: Heianjo Nagayoshi Right:Nobuhide 76. Sadatoshi 77. den Rai Kunitoshi 78. Aoe 79. Tadatsuna 80. den Ichimonji 81. Nobufusa (Ko-Ichimonji) 82. Yoshifusa (Fukuoka Ichimonji) 83. Nobuhide 84. Norishige 85. Shinjuro Sukesada 86. Yasutsugu 93. Kanesada 94. Aoe 95. Shigeyuki (Owari) 97. Gassan Sadatoshi 98. Yasutsugu 99. Kunimura (Enju) 100. Rai Kunitoshi 101. Kunitsugu
  2. Thank you for posting Kyle, there seem to be many interesting items in there.
  3. It seems to be attributed to Saneyuki 実行, NBTHK often puts the character inside the square when it is not clear to see. Unfortunately I have packed all of my reference books for move (I would have a good book on Bungo swords), so I can't yet give good insight. I'd think 1400's could be a reasonable guess. There are several generations of this smith lineage.
  4. It has been really nice to read what people look and think about the items. I am not in buying position but I just looked at few of the items and was bit surprised to see how high the items went for. Perhaps as a small collector and with quite narrow focus I might not see the big picture. I feel that koshirae on some of the items might have been valuable but unfortunately that is not my field and I don't know enough about them. 3 Norimitsu Tachi, I was pretty stunned it rose up to 24,000€+ now granted as I only looked at the blade seems like there were Ishiguro fittings on koshirae, and they most likely outvalue the blade in buyers mindset. 10 Tadamitsu Tachi, again totally surprised this topped 10,000€, can't really figure out why, auction craze? 19 Kunishige Wakizashi, I liked the wide shape this has but I am baffled by how old it is. Can't really put my finger on it how I feel about it, late Muromachi - early Edo? 22 Mumei Katana, like Robert I thought this could have been a Nanbokuchō sword. However with it going 10,000€+ I would be too cautious for gambles like that. Again of course this is in koshirae and I don't really understand the valuation of those. However at Samurai Art Expo I am remembering Patrice Sabbah had a nice (very potential Nanbokuchō) sword in great polish for 8,000€ in shirasaya, if I remember the price correctly. Unfortunately I couldn't afford that one and might not have still dared but I felt it was a good sword. Also to be noted on the auction sword if they have measured this correctly at 60,1 cm it is actually only 1 shaku 9 sun 8 bu, which in turn hurts the value... I agree with Luis that it is very fun to discuss items
  5. Thank you for posting Kyle, I hope the event goes well. I would appreciate the list of items for display as I have bit of a thing for very old Bungo stuff. Would be nice to see what items were selected.
  6. Congratulations Brian, that is an interesting find, and the background story makes it even more special. I can imagine there are not too many Japanese items stashed away in South Africa. Unfortunately I have already packed all of my book for my upcoming move so I cannot check my resources too well. There is a smith Sadamichi (定道) who had the title Echizen no Kami (越前守) working in the late 1600's. He has been listed as an Owari province smith who came originally from Mino. He is also listed chūjō-saku in Fujishiro. Unfortunately all of the mei examples I have found from him feature Minamoto (源) in mei. Here are two online references I could found quickly. https://www.kanetoyo.com/sell-katana-19.html https://www.seiyudo.com/ka-098119.htm (This has NTHK papers and maybe seems bit different in character form than others)
  7. As Kirill said above there are lot of very unknown smiths that are attributed belonging to Senjūin group. One factor I believe could also be with known smiths in the lineages (this is purely personal speculation). However as you check lineages of other Yamato schools there is kind of pattern which I feel makes sense. Taima seems to be quite small lineage with few well known smiths listed, so it would be relatively difficult to fit an unknown smith to it. When you look at Tegai, it is somewhat filled with KaneX (包X) smiths. Then for Hōshō the worksmanship is usually separating them from others, and the smiths would be SadaX (貞X). For Shikkake I think only Norinaga is very famous, other smiths fall long behind but there are some that usually have either Nori (則) or Suke (助) in their name. Then for Senjūin you'll get so many various smiths attributed towards I cannot give any logic like I feel like had for all of the other 4 groups. There are lots and lots of Senjūin smiths from whom I have so far found only single signed item after several years of searching. And other maybe not widely known fact is that Senjūin school spans from late Heian to Nanbokuchō. It can be quite tricky with mumei (or even signed as they are often rare and unknown) items. For example sometimes NBTHK has specified in Jūyō setsumei for mumei Senjūin item that it would be Early Kamakura, Late Kamakura, Nanbokuchō etc. However they do not always do that, so it can be in that case difficult to understand what they feel is the correct age estimate for that item. Unfortunately this is the only item I have so far seen by this Yoshimasa (吉正) smith.
  8. The signature of the sword is in my opinion (加州) 藤原家次作 - (Kashū) Fujiwara Ietsugu saku. I put the first portion in brackets as it is very faded (possibly made on purpose). You can see similar NBTHK authenticated mei here: https://www.juwelier-strebel.de/asienkunst/Japan/691w-tanto Unfortunately I have packed all my books for upcoming move so I cannot check my references.
  9. I would think it is this one by Sukemitsu: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/163213 The description of the koshirae matches and as Michael and Kirill said above it seems to be Muromachi Bizen.
  10. That display shows nice taste, I like your study space a lot
  11. I think most important thing is that people need to enjoy it. I find it as a fun thing to do, so I am doing it and want to do it in the future too. I might be old school but I even found certain fun in the old way trying to write kanji on the card and sending it through the post to Japan. Of course now that they upgraded to electronic submission form I have been taking part regularily. I would encourage everyone to participate in the kantei threads in this forum too. I personally find them fun too. Yes the information is often quite limited and pictures might not show the details too well etc. etc. I think one problem is making a call out in public, as it takes courage to post an opinion out to public as there is a good chance you could be totally wrong. I think videos of swords and other things that Chris mentioned would be very fun but I would feel it would need to be done for the love towards the hobby and not thinking about business side.
  12. Jussi Ekholm


    I think there are at least 6 signed tachi by Sueyuki. I have 5 on record and I know about the 6th one in Jūyō session 39 but unfortunately I don't have that book yet. There is long one (83,2 cm) at Itsukushima Jinja, the Jūyō 58 one is 80,4 cm and I know 3 signed tachi (77 - 71 cm) with Tokubetsu Hozon papers. For Sadayoshi I have only found 1 signed tachi that is in the collection of Tokyo National Museum. However needless to say they are extremely rare as those are the ones I have found after years of searching. For comparison I have 27 signed pieces for Sadatoshi.
  13. That Hōju tanto is interesting to me but at the same time it might be bit overpriced as the dealer has had it for long time. I remember it appeared years ago with Hozon papers. They ran it through Tokubetsu Hozon in 2019, yet it is still for sale. Sometimes NBTHK adds on extra information in the brackets after attribution. For example here is my Naminohira tachi, which has approximate dating added. 時代室町前期 - Early Muromachi Period, I am not totally sure what qualifies as Early Muromachi by NBTHK standards but I do personally think it would be somewhere around Ōei to Eikyō c. 1394 - 1441. You can often encounter Nanbokuchō Period / 時代南北朝 in brackets for example in Hokke (法華) school katana, here is an example http://www.shouzando.com/k-hokke210728.html Here is a signed Hōju tachi with interesting info: https://toyuukai.com/2015/10/太刀宝寿/ In brackets there is 時代南北朝末期乃至応永 - Period - Late Nanbokuchō to Ōei. This is a tachi by Mitsushige: https://www.kusanaginosya.com/SHOP/371.html NBTHK did not state which Mitsushige made it as it has Kuni Fumei (Unknown province) 国不明 but they state Late Kamakura Period for this 時代鎌倉末期 in sayagaki this has been appointed as work of Rai Mitsushige.
  14. I would think 286 might be signed Tsuguhiro - 次広 (old form of hiro kanji 廣) even though it says it is unsigned. I think 292 would be my personal favorite but I won't be bidding anything.
  15. I think Kamakura is often used as marketing gimmick, and I believe for several of these items the transition from late Kamakura to Nanbokuchō is plausible. Giving very specific dates on shortened mumei items of old age is quite tricky. And I do think dealers often use all the tricks in the book to make them more marketable. There are some Early to Mid Kamakura period blades being sold too but they are quite rare to encounter compared to late Kamakura stuff. In your examples the first one that is attributed to Wake, kinda points towards the end of Kamakura period. I have three date signatures for Shigesuke 1326, 1328 & 1328. And Shigenori was active around the same time but I have no dated signatures by him. The second one Yoshimitsu (義光) I would actually think as a Nanbokuchō smith. In Seskos Index it reads that he has dated work from 1322 to 1375, most likely spread through 2 generations first ending around 1356-1361. I have personally found dated signatures from 1337 to 1358. I think as Aoi is mentioning this work reminding Kagemitsu, which would possibly indicate an earlier work by Yoshimitsu. I think Ko-Naminohira has very long time frame, there are even few late Heian / early Kamakura pieces, going until end of Nanbokuchō. I believe attribution wise the ko-prefix is dropped when we enter Ōei (this is just my personal opinion). In my opinion dealers love to list Ko-Mihara items as late Kamakura, however I believe many of them are from Nanbokuchō period. I know that Masaie the founder of Mihara school was working at the end of Kamakura period into Nanbokuchō. However so far I have not yet found a Kamakura dated blade from Mihara school. Date ranges I have for Ko-Mihara items so far is 1353 to 1394. I know there are few signed tachi of Mihara school that are thought to be late Kamakura work. But I do believe that the majority of Ko-Mihara is Nanbokuchō period stuff. And just by looking at the shape of this particular item I might personally lean more towards that on this item too. I personally like Hōju stuff a lot. Unfortunately they also span through long time period. Earliest work being from early Kamakura and continuing onto Muromachi. I cannot identify if this particular item is thought to be late Kamakura or Nanbokuchō item. As it is mumei and Tokubetsu Hozon it cannot really be later than that. And lastly I think Tegai is also spanning through quite lot of time. I think the earliest work by Kanenaga is thought to be made around Middle of Kamakura but Tegai attribution can run all the way into early Muromachi (at least in my personal opinion). Late Muromachi Tegai work is identified with Sue-prefix. Also to be noted that shirasaya has attribution towards Tegai Kanekiyo (包清), I know there is one tanto dated 1329 by 1st gen Kanekiyo but when looking signed of attributed work other than that one item, it is pretty much towards late Nanbokuchō to early Muromachi for Tegai Kanekiyo. Of course NBTHK attributed this as den Tegai instead of Kanekiyo though. Beats me if it is Kamakura or Nanbokuchō work. All of the above is just a personal opinion, I think this is interesting topic that will be fun to discuss.
  16. I checked it when it appeared on the site few days ago. I like the size & shape and of course the treasure hunter mentality peaked and I was toying with the possibility if it could be bit older. However I would think the Late Muromachi and Mino is sounding like a very reasonable origin, I do not have the knowledge of picking individual smiths. Interesting feature to me is that when you look at the sword both sides side by side the 4 peak portions kinda mirror each other. I could not find reference examples by this Kanesada (兼貞) quickly so I don't know if it is a trait seen in his work.
  17. Jussi Ekholm


    I think you were bit too fast to pull the trigger Kirill. As we are spread among multiple time zones and countries it is different for others. I was actually just looking into this when you posted the answer. I can't claim that I would have guessed it. I would have guessed Senjuin. Based on my limited info I could gather from the OP. However as you posted the example by school founder that made my guess kinda impossible. I looked into Tanobes Yamashiro book and there is oshigata of Jūyō blade by Sadatoshi that has quite similar looking upper portion as your hint there. Ayanokōji is fascinating and not too commonly known school, I am puzzled how Sadatoshi is appreciated very highly but rest of the school almost falls into obscurity.
  18. Unfortunately it is much too difficult to read for me to get fully. Here is part of the start of which I am thinking I got correctly but there are few blanks as I am not sure if I was correct on those. 備前国長船則光 文明九年製囗囗五郎左衛門尉囗囗囗同工七十二歳同六祐光囗囗応永備前囗囗末備前
  19. Very nice Austin, well done. I didn't want write too much to not influence other guesses. To me I thought the shape and size would fit into Ōei-Bizen and as it was suguha I went for Yasumitsu. Unfortunately I lack the skill & knowledge to do accurate identification and guessing based on fine details. Thanks for posting this up Eric, it was really fun guessing game. I am always hoping more people would participate in these, of course it is usually very tricky and as you need to enter the guess out in public it might put some people off. Big thumbs up for everyone who made a guess
  20. I think the mei might be starting with - 関善定 - Seki Zenjō...
  21. I used to have a collecting goal of having c. 10 different tachi from Kamakura / Nanbokuchō periods from various parts of Japan from North to South. However realities hit me and I had to tone down that a lot. Now my priorities are getting rare books about Japanese swords and travelling to Japan to see stuff in museums etc. Of course I am open to items if something pops up that interests me and would be possible to purchase, however unfortunately my taste in swords and my finances don't walk hand in hand... so I am not stressing about items.
  22. I think the Kunimune in the opening post might have the bottom kanji for Uda (宇多) showing above Kunimune, with first one missing. Still not a genuine Uda Kunimune signature either in my opinion.
  23. Also I think the paper is neutral in that sense as it just states there is shumei with attribution, so it does not confirm the shumei attribution but instead goes against it and attribution in paper is as described before. The wakizashi looks quite nice to my eye from the little that can be seen in the few bottom pics.
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