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Jussi Ekholm

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Posts posted by Jussi Ekholm

  1. Here are two tanto both Tokubetsu Hozon by NBTHK:





    Then there are lots of his combination work with other smiths that do not have Ukyō no Suke in mei.


    I know there is a Katana in Jūyō 66 that has mei 備州長船勝光 / 文明十二二年八月日 so it is dated to 1482 but I have not seen info on it yet. I do have info 2 katana by Katsumitsu both dated to 1493 but I am not certain if they are late work by Ukyō no Suke or early work by Jirōzaemon.



  2. I think you have given solid advice Franco. I just wanted that Tony would not feel too negative about the sword if it would happen to have a flaw or two. As he has mentioned several times he has been collecting just few years so far.


    I have a sword that has severe problems with boshi and I am perfectly ok with it. I do agree with your thoughts Franco that it is an important thing to consider as it will affect many things when collecting is considered. :thumbsup:

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  3. I agree with Doug and Stephen above, don't be too stressed about small things. You have very interesting item and will be taking good route with UK folks giving you guidance along the way.


    Even though collectors often are focused on intact temper lines etc. The sword I posted above made into a prestigeous exhibition held by Sano Art Museum, Osaka Museum of History and Ichinoseki City Museum. I think there is commonly bit of divide between art vs. history. I am in the history crowd and I think your sword will be nice historical example even if it would have flaws. So I would agree with Doug that I would rather see impressive sword like this restored than lot of "average" stuff. Of course like Doug said there is always the financial factor.

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  4. I was thinking that Darcy had wrote about this a while ago. So instead of creating a new topic I thought I'd post this here after reading the monthly NBTHK magazine there was important note by Hinohara Dai after explanining the Shijo Kantei item.



    At this time, I would like to talk about how to use oil on the nakago.


    Looking at some Japanese sword introductory books discussing nakago maintenance, there are statements that if you use a cloth with oil to maintain the blade, the oil remaining on your fingers, will be sufficient to rub on the nakago. At the same time, some books state that too much oil on the nakago could have adverse effects.


    Of course, I did not have to experiment to be sure about this. In the past, I have often seen too much oil left on a nakago which changed the rust color from an old, calm black rust to a red rust. Still, I think some oil on a nakago is a good idea. 


    Even aged, rusted nakago during a national convention, or in a small convention, are handled by dozens or hundreds of people, so besides putting oil on the blade, it would be a good idea to use an oil saturated flannel cloth, and apply oil to the nakago surface. In this case, as above, not too much oil should be put on the nakago.   


    In the case of gendaito, where the nakago are a new and an unrusted color, it would be a good idea after handling them to carefully use an oil cloth.  


    In the past sometimes I have seen and heard that some people lend gendaito to be examined for kanteito, and after many people handle the sword, people put it away without any maintenance. Then at a later time, when the blade is examined again, many areas on the nakago which have been heavily handled can become rusty and discolored.

    I wish people would pay attention to the maintenance and condition of the sword’s nakago as well as of the sword.


    Explanation by Hinohara Dai 


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  5. I think it is very interesting sword, congratulations on getting it with such limited information in overall.


    I would agree with Kirill that I think this would be genuine Gassan work from Muromachi period. I am going for conservative estimate with Muromachi as the Gassan swords signed on this side tend to be pointed towards Muromachi period (with the exception of 1 that is attributed as a Kamakura period work tachi and possibly oldest Gassan work I am aware of). Pre-Muromachi attribution to signed Gassan is very rare, and they are few in number like Kirill said above.


    I am attaching here a sword by Gassan smith Toshiyoshi as a reference, it is described being from 15th century but also put towards to late Muromachi in the description. I feel it has bit of the same wibe with very strong curvature and quite long blade in overall. Notice how this also has very small kissaki (tip) as your sword has. However that brings it toward the next question/point. I am hoping your sword still has boshi (hardening at the tip area). In this reference sword the hamon runs off the kissaki and is very faint near the upper blade portion. It cannot really be seen in the picture I posted but there is an oshigata in the book that shows it better.


    Token GB route is a good one as they have great members with huge knowledge. :)


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  6. This is highly speculative as the signature is very faint but I would guess it could be 月山作 - Gassan saku. You can see reference signature here: 15099-2.jpg Gassan with saku added after seems to be much rarer way of signing than just Gassan based on the small data I have on Gassan signatures. Gassan smiths often worked in style that is quite easy to pinpoint. Unfortunately the sword is currently out of polish so it makes identifying features bit difficult.

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  7. I think for Bunkazai level stuff that has current government/state designation the process of acquiring them would be much more difficult as I believe the ownership needs to be known (yes there are some Bunkazai that current whereabouts are not known). I remember few years ago I accidentally stubmled upon the list that had recent changes of ownership for Bunkazai yearly and for many the monetary amount was listed too. I believe due to Japanese laws it might be that these are made public so that those interested can see. I do agree with Michael that these top tier items might be steering the thread bit off track as in general Kokuhō, JuBu and JuBi are kinda unobtainable for the majority.


    Also on thing that I have realized in recent years is that market is evolving constantly, so sometimes looking at the old prices might not be the best thing. What something was worth 10 years ago might not be the same today, as it can be higher or lower than it was. Of course things depend on multiple factors. Sellers can ask various prices even with very short timelapse.


    For example the mumei sword with attiribution to den Rai Kunimitsu (伝来国光) at Jūyō 25 was quite recently sold by 2 Japanese dealers. Aoi Art had it for 4,5M yen, then shortly after it appeared on Samurai Nippon for 6,3M yen and it is sold. Did Aoi price it below the market price? For how much it actually sold? Could it appear for sale again shortly or is it now gone for good? I would agree with Kirill that on higher tier items in general we only see the stuff that comes up to the websites.




    I think this is one of the swords I have seen at most dealer sites. For the last 10 years I have recorded this at 5 different dealers. It could of course have been sold or listed even more times than this. In 2010 summer it appeared at Iida Koendo for 1,8M asking price. I remember I have marked that they lowered it to 1,6M eventually. Then on 2011 autumn it was listed at Meirin Sangyo but they didn't have price for it online as it needed to be asked. In 2014 autumn it passed the NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon shinsa, and in 2015 it appeared at Aoi Art and it had 2,1M asking price. Then in 2018 fall it appeared for sale at Japanese Sword Society of Canada, with now suddenly there was a tachi koshirae for it. JSSC do not list prices for items as I believe they need to be asked. It seems to be still listed at their site but in 2020 it appeared on Katana Hanbai, which I believe is site for Ginza Maruhide. It had now again lost the recently added on tachi koshirae and was soon listed as sold so I do not have price for it.








    To show my earlier point with price fluctuation through times I can show it with same item and same seller. Iida Koendo has had this den Shizu (伝志津) sword from Jūyō 9 with koshirae for sale few times with different asking prices. In early 2011 it was listed for 7,5M yen. Then in the late 2012 it had been lowered to 5,5M yen asking price and it sold shortly after that. And now recently it came up for sale again, this time with 8,8M yen asking price. Now Iida being one of the premium and top Japanese dealers sure knows his stuff and what he can ask for an item.






    Here is one last one for this time. I actually thought this was extremely interesting deal, unfortunately I didn't have 1,5M yen of free money or I might have asked about it. I do not personally like the lower horimono on this but as items like this are super rare you often cannot get everything to your liking especially when considering the price. This is a naginata-naoshi wakizashi by Yoshioka Ichimonji smith Sukemitsu and it is dated to 1334. This was quite recently (2020) listed at Katana Hanbai for 1,5M yen, and I thought it was an amazing deal. Something I would love to own if only it had been possible. Then it got sold and it is now listed by Eirakudo at 3,5M yen. So unfortunately it is out of my personal reach now. Eirakudo seems to market it as a Jūyō candidate and due to the rarity I think it might have the potential.





    Lot of this is just speculative and quite puzzling stuff in my opinion. Unfortunately I don't have as much detailed info on more affordable stuff. I am definately not shopping in this market so I am not sure how prices have changed for Shizu etc. recently.

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  8. I agree with Michael that this is very interesting and at the same time extremely complex topic. Personally I am not good at finacial / business mindset and even though I have been following the market for items that I find personally interesting for multiple years, I get very often puzzled by item pricing. I do consider myself as historical collector first and not an art collector, therefore I might value some things differently than those aiming for top end historical art swords. However I think that art collecting and historically focused collecting are definately not excluding each other as very often the same item would be held in high regard in both mindsets.


    I took Yasumitsu as an example as I knew I had great variation that I could find easily but I think similar thing can be seen in work by any smith (excluding the super top / extremely rare). And you can look into how great gap between high vs. low tier some mumei attributions have, and that is one very complex field to step into. I think at one end of the scope are the items of which only few comparable items are remaining in the world, pricing of those can be extremely difficult (some can be priced very highly while some can seem to be priced much lower than one might expect). Of course I think dealers are the ones who would have the best grasp on the current market. They are pricing the items to the prices they see potential for the items.


    Personally for me collecting is about emotions. Not the most logical or financially best way but I feel I must be emotionally attached to the item. Therefore I would be willing to potentially pay above market prices on the items I really like, while I might not go for higher quality item that would be financially and logically a better deal.

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  9. Seems like the Hokke escaped the auction without any bids and is now on the regular list. As a fun fact it was previously listed at Yahoo JP for much higher asking price.


    Mihara one was an interesting item too but I wasn't expecting such a bidding war on it, it seems to be at 750k now with several bidders in the game.

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  10. Friend from UK sent me some very old issues of Tōken Bijutsu for my collection and while going through them I found something very interesting for this thread in magazine number 101.


    Naginata by Echizen smith Sadakuni was featured as one of the kantei session items. It has very similar horimono to the one in this thread. Unfortunately my Japanese language knowledge is not up to par yet but I think the final sentence / 梅の彫も越前物である would mean that this type of plum horimono was made in Echizen.


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  11. I think the original question might be bit too large, and pricing can be very variable as different people can even price the same item quite differently.


    Here are 10 different items from Early Muromachi Bizen smith Yasumitsu, at 10 different price points. I will put price in yen as that is to me most logical as they are/were in Japan. I just chose Yasumitsu by random as there was some discussion about wakizashi by him and Morimitsu a while ago. You could make similar thing for any smith and see that there can be large gap between the high tier vs. low tier.


    Tachi (signed) - 6,7M - https://www.touken-sakata.com/刀剣一覧/太刀-銘-備州長船康光-古刀-上作-業物/

    Wakizashi (signed and dated) - 5,0M - https://katananokura.jp/SHOP/2012-W01.html

    Tachi (signed and dated) - 2,5M - https://web.archive.org/web/20130711003641/http:/www.seiyudo.com:80/ka-060313.htm

    Tachi (signed) - 1,8M - https://www.aoijapan.net/katana-yasumitsuosafune/

    Wakizashi (signed and dated) - 1,3M - https://www.nipponto.co.jp/swords5/WK328357.htm

    Wakizashi (signed and dated) - 1,1M - https://www.aoijapan.net/wakizashi-bishu-osafune-yasumitsu/

    Katana (mumei) - 1,0M - https://www.aoijapan.net/katana-ubu-mumei-osafune-yasumitsu/

    Wakizashi (signed and dated) - 600k - https://www.aoijapan.com/wakizashi-bishu-osafune-yasumitsu-3rd-generation/

    Wakizashi (signed and dated) - 500k - https://www.e-sword.jp/sale/2009/0910_2041syousai.htm

    Wakizashi (mumei) - 300k - https://www.aoijapan.net/wakizashi-mumei-osafune-yasumitsu/


    High price does not necessarily always correlate to high quality but I think it usually does when working with reputable dealers. People can ask whatever they want. However I do think in Japanese market the dealers are very aware about the prices and ask accordingly. Of course sometimes it is only logical to test the waters.

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  12. Koyama Munetsugu is highly regarded smith and the item in question is very nice. However there are lots of very good blades made by him available at the market currently and recently in Japan. So you can choose the one that is to your liking.


    The shop that has the item is a very good shop, they usually gear towards higher end items. I have never bought from them but I have visited their shop and a friend has bought from them with very good experience.

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  13. In my personal opinion the Yasumitsu at Aoi is ok, while I think the Morimitsu at Seikodo is very good.


    In general I am not of fan of price discussions even though I have tracked them for years. :laughing: I feel people can have very different ideas on what something is worth (clearly can be seen in some of the recent western auctions). There are lot of Morimitsu and Yasumitsu wakizashi around and some items not for sale now will eventually pop up for sale. There is also huge gap in market prices between the low tier vs. high tier items. For Morimitsu wakizashi I've seen 380k - 5,5M and for Yasumitsu wakizashi I've seen 300k - 5M for public online listings. Often the better quality items fall into the inventory of sellers with great reputation (who can most likely squeeze the most out of the item).


    Here are some comparison items to give you idea what is out there.

    Morimitsu (was listed for 1,8M) https://ginza.choshuya.co.jp/sale/gj/8301/10/02.htm

    Morimitsu (was listed for 2M) https://web.archive.org/web/20160725194051/http:/iidakoendo.com:80/4101

    Morimitsu (was listed for 2,2M) https://www.sanmei.com/contents/media/T125975_W8053_PUP_E.html

    Yasumitsu (was listed for 1,5M) https://web.archive.org/web/20131027234208/http:/samurai-nippon.net/V-1059/index.html

    Yasumitsu (was listed for 1,3M) https://www.nipponto.co.jp/swords5/WK328357.htm

    Yasumitsu (was listed for 1,1M) https://www.aoijapan.net/wakizashi-bishu-osafune-yasumitsu/

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  14. At least for me, for the first item you linked lot 55 shows actually wrong pictures. It shows the pictures of lot 57 katana attributed to Kashū Kagemitsu (which in my opinion has an unrealistic estimate based on the info I can see, like several swords in this auction seem to have).


    I do not know much about armor but I do think there are several really nice armors in this auction. As for swords to me this seems like a weak auction lot in general, although there are few interesting swords too.


    Another Francis asked about it this thread? I didn't know the sword was auctioned. I do think your original asking price is very reasonable for signed and verified tachi, you made very good auction buy in my opinion :thumbsup:

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  16. 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


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  17. 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.

  18. 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 :)

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