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Bugyotsuji last won the day on December 19 2020

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    Japanese history, Tanegashima, Nihonto, Netsuke, Katchu, fast cars, J-E-J translation

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    Piers D

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  1. Yes, Leo, I believe that thin lead sheet would be good as it would pack down. Tightly wound strands of flax, hemp etc. would also tighten things up. There comes a point however, where the screw is not performing its true function, and if you fired a gun like that it would blow out the back. There was a trade in fixing tired guns, and a new Bisen would have been on the menu. Either that, or retirement. The general rule is that many bright decorations were added to increase sales values, yes, but some inlay was tastefully done and may be original. Proper Mon on the top of a gun tended to be smaller than that, but other than that I could not say from a photo. My Iyo gun had a dragon in lacquer along the barrel. I removed it! Iyo guns are so slim and simple, though, that a bit of colour is maybe not a bad thing. Personally I like the clean simple shape as it is. In the western marketplace such a decoration, be it for the original tourist trade, will still generally add value to a gun. Even in Japan many dealers look for the decoration, for customers both at home and abroad. Horses for courses. Purists will say that a gun should not have any decoration, especially along the top of the barrel where you take aim. Some elite schools of gunnery though took pride in silver inlaying a single or double Kanji expressing exhortation to valour etc., on the top of the barrel.
  2. Thanks for the dimensions. They make sense. A 2 Monme' gun like mine. The barrel of mine was blocked, and it turned out to be a mixture of lead shot and fine straw. Perhaps its last use had been for shooting bird? Down at the bottom left of the barrel underneath is a very small 伊 mark, indicating 'made for Iyo', I guess. (Iyo is 伊予, or the province of I-Shu, 伊州) One easy fix for a loose bisen is to wrap it in a small section of cloth or something like kitchen paper towel, maybe 6 cm x 3 cm. There are stories of gunners leaving the accumulated grunge in place for a tighter fit.
  3. Also check out the terms Gin-nagashi and Sawari.
  4. I am sure others will be able to tell you more about this gun, but it looks like an Iyo gun from Shikoku, and the signature says that it was made by the famous Inoue Sekiuemon of Settsu (Osaka), where Iyo often placed their orders. I have a similar one. Can you give us some measurements, for example overall length, length of barrel, bore/caliber, (inner diameter of barrel), etc. in cm if poss? The wire in the serpentine pinch flap needs removing, and the foresight looks to have been changed. I would keep the rear sight just like that. Most guns have lost that little feature, if they ever had one, so they are somewhat rare.
  5. If you are going to create a nicely lined window in the ukebari, like the one in Luc's example, you have to know where the Mei is first, i.e. at the front, or at the back. Two of my kabuto have no Tehen no Ana, so I will have to consider how to see inside without creating unnecessary damage. (Naturally if there is no Mei, I will not want to have left a large hole.) In the old days, ukebari were considered expendables, like the tsuka ito on a sword handle, perishable, and fairly easily changed whenever necessary. Today there are few who can do this work, so it is not so easy to have it done. I guess it depends whether one sees an old ukebari as a valuable and instructive antique in its own right.
  6. You can read half the article in Japanese but eventually you will hit a pay wall anyway. The bit about ‘stick enemies’ was a poor translation. In the original J it says that rapiers were designed for thrusting and puncturing.
  7. Agreed. There's a variety here: https://www.google.com/search?q=寿草書体&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjHqufHrJvuAhUIfd4KHRqwALwQ_AUoAXoECBUQAw&biw=1366&bih=625
  8. It would be interesting to attempt a classification of the various fakers and forgers of Mei out there. For example, to get the ball rolling, Unscrupulous merchants who work with untalented forgers who reckon that the presence of a Mei is better than none at all. Unscrupulous forgers, who have no scruples, even if they have talent in choosing a suitable blade, and cutting a Mei in the correct style. Scrupulous forgers who deliberately make one stroke 'wrong', to warn the wary but fool the unwary.
  9. The Mei suggests that they were made as a pair, and the menuki posts have been ground off, but perhaps they were later destined for a different fate like a Mae-kanagu, as John says above, but it would surely be a shame to separate them.
  10. Apart from the maths of 9x15, I am envious. You have kept your aim high. Some years ago I was going for quantity rather than quality, and took pleasure in counting them. Nuts. One day my Sensei had a quick flip through them. "Instead of buying ten @¥10,000 apiece, aim more to buy one decent tsuba for ¥100,000." he said.
  11. Sounds as if you have the bug, twines. Glad you are happy and excited. Can you remind us of the *caliber again? Did you use the word ‘elite’, or is it their word? Difficult to advise without knowing your budget and without taking it in hand, but ... uh.. maybe you should make an offer in the $1,500 range and see if they look insulted. Of course, they might be reading this thread. Point out the work you will have undertake to make this gun ‘right’ and let them see that you will treasure it. Adjust offer upwards slightly if necessary. 😱 * in cm if poss. Adjust offer price down with smaller bore.
  12. Here again, showing that the rope is no longer needed and they can co-exist in peace and harmony.
  13. https://www.touken-world.jp/search-habaki/art0003680-2/ What I saw was a single piece Habaki, Guido, not a Daitsuki. Here they seem to describe it 'Osaka Ju Gassan Sadakatsu...................' which might account for any interchangeability, but I need to follow this up further. Apologies for thread drift.
  14. The other day I learned about the existence of an 'Osaka' habaki, also known as a 'Gassan' habaki, with an angled edge like that on the base of a pyramid, but the photos above are not clear enough to see if they fit that definition.
  15. Just agreeing with the above. This must be the 'other' Kato family.
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