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Everything posted by Bugyotsuji

  1. OK, if we’re going to look at your setup critically, what adjustments could we suggest to improve it? To get the ball rolling, how about hanging the sodé vertically from the shoulders?
  2. Ah 将, thanks. Quick question to anyone. Recently I found a kozuka with a hi in the blade, which I cannot recall having seen before. Is this common?
  3. Since his title was Ōhmi no Kami, is there not a good chance he felt that he guarded the legacy of Azai Nagamasa of Odani Castle above Kunitomo?
  4. Fukuyama Castle in Hiroshima has been gifted with 2,000 steel plates by JFE Steel for the 400th anniversary of the castle's founding. 1619-1622 The north face was considered weak against 'cannon fire', and was originally covered in 鉄板 iron/steel plates, apparently. Unique in Japan. https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/2bbcef8ae572d5fcddec336a75ea660599960206 https://tabetainjya.com/archives/cat_19/post_6604/
  5. Fukushima South NBTHK, 日刀保 "Nit-to-ho" for short. Love it. Just the blade, Dan, or the whole package with the lovely kozuka handle too? That last character looks like 平 ...hira? Do you know what the first Kanji is?
  6. Do we have Sasano's original Japanese? He was good on most things but certainly not infallible.
  7. "So where do we go from here?" I can hear you asking. Well, you could keep it as is, or find someone who can research and rebuild the missing parts. They were all handmade, so it's unlikely you will find a secondhand pan cover/lid will fit exactly. I would suggest printing out the information so far, on a small label for example, and attaching it to the underneath of the stand, etc. (For future generations, or for yourself when your memory fades!) If your husband is interested, you could start collecting the small accoutrements that a samurai gunner would carry, such as a firestarter kit, a Doran accessories waist pouch/box, matchcord, ballbag, ball mold, etc., even some simple armor bits. Live firing is an option in the US, but you'd need to get the bisen screw seal and overall barrel integrity checked first. Oh, the angle on the tape measure now suggests that the bore is over 2 cm, i.e. an O-zutsu big gun. 2.1 cm is 15 Monme' and 2.2 is 20 Monme'. 15 Monme' would mean the weight of the lead ball is 56.25 g, and 20 Monme' 75 g.
  8. Although I have not come across the word Soemei before, it reminds me of Hi and Soebi, a groove in a blade, and a groove with a parallel groove, in other words, an accompanying thing alongside. The dictionary looks back to ancient Greece and Rome, and suggests agnomen and cognomen, second or third names, nicknames, honorary names, etc.
  9. That’s a thread from the dead, but as good as ever! Very nice watchman!
  10. But this design is described as Sangi, as Mal/mecox suggests above.
  11. Well, if you never drop anything in the thanks/donations box, then a version of three strikes and you're out (for a month) might be a workable middle road... Just tossing something into the communal pot here.
  12. Those could be 'rising mist' I guess as they suggest, or even falling rain 'legs' as in 雨脚, 雨足 Ama-ashi. Re Hyoshi, hyoshigi. The best ones are beautifully shaped, fashioned from just the right kind and section of hardwood to produce a clear ring, (depending on where you ping them together). The sound certainly draws the attention, like someone striking a wineglass at dinner. The number of clacks and the frequency with which they are hit, signal different things. I was looking at a ‘music’ notation chart earlier indicating signals for battle movements, for Taiko and Hyoshigi. Personally I find them fascinating and tend to buy up any that come along as they are not highly valued any more here in Japan. Their shapes and sizes seem to vary greatly as to purpose, from rough sets for Hi no Yojin 火の用心 for example to fine smooth black sets for inserting into a priest's kimono sleeve.
  13. A carton of cigarettes!!! I guess they were pretty valuable back then, and each precious cigarette was probably sold on at a profit. Heaviness is a drag, but they were indeed very heavy, and thus massively sturdy. I cannot see the internal diameter clearly from your measure, but it looks like just under 2 cm, which would make it a 'Shizutsu' 10-Monme Samurai gun 士筒 of superior quality. Nice design to the muzzle and front sight too. These guns were more powerful than the regular 5- or 6-Monme battlefield weapon and were capable of destroying light infrastructure. More expensive to make, they were soon a sort of status symbol. Anything above 10-Monme was described as an 'O-zutsu' 大筒. 15,20,30,50,100 Monme etc. were like hand cannons. If you feel energetic, remove the barrel from the stock and see if there is a Mei signature underneath. If there is, take a vertical shot with the breech screw facing towards you. If you feel even more adventurous, see if you can turn and remove the big breech screw itself. PS I will offer you a carton of any brand you care to name!!!
  14. Ian, that story illustrates an earlier comment of yours that there are still plenty of 'finds' to be had, even in the UK alone. But then again, you have the eye, which gives you a serious advantage. What you have found sounds amazing from every angle and serves as an example of how high we can aim. The only thing I can find 'in common' is that we both bought on impulse, perhaps trusting a deeper instinct, and knowing that at this age it doesn't matter if we get it wrong occasionally! The only criticism I can find with your total package (not that any is necessary) is that there seems to be no record of the Japanese officer's name. It would have been a nice addition. Would love to see photos of anything and everything, whenever you feel comfortable. よろしく!
  15. I don’t know this particular background story but the famous Azai family (infamously wiped out by Oda Nobunaga) were 浅井氏 Azai Uji. Uji means of noble birth, of high family, and also works as an honorific, like The Lord Azai, but may also mean the larger family including descendants.
  16. 刀子 Bruce, see post in previous page about ‘Tōsu’, or traditional handy knife. Whadja reckon? PS Good luck, and keep us updated. I’d soak that in a mixture of white spirit and boiled linseed oil for a while before starting. Much of the red rust will then just mop off, and it will love the touch of your deer antler.
  17. アホ造 would be unthinkable, so... that first kana could be the remains of 才 or 了 or something else. (?)
  18. Tsuba are like crunchy cookies or fine biscuits, you can never have too many. (Great thread, but my likes belt is out of ammo again. What time of day does the powder monkey come round, I wonder?)
  19. Bruce. You can't leave it like that. It will only get worse. No choice now! You are the custodian, so roll up those sleeves. Gently does it...
  20. Ok, the question popped up, so I just dug it out of the salt barrel for another look in the sunlight. Old Mr Light has been playing his tricks again. The marks are not black but green! Copper corrosion. (The Mon is blackened silver as above). Photos supplied upon request. PS Lovely example, John. Thanks.
  21. From those photographs quite a lot of the story can be told, Christine. Firstly, it's a good solid, quality Samurai gun, above the run-of-the-mill footsoldier's long gun. We cannot see the bore size in those shots, but it must be around 1.8 cm, making it a hefty 10 Monme, I would guess. Nicely-shaped matchcord serpentine too. Secondly, it shows evidence of a particular gunnery school, the Ogino-Ryu which had that long elephant-trunk butt. Sadly, it is missing the pan lid and pin, but those can be made without too much bother. The Mon is a little indistinct but it could be the crossed feathers of the Ako 47 retainers Asano family. The letters cut along the top of the barrel say that it was registered in the great weapons roundup of early Meiji (1872) in Okayama Prefecture. The gun was probably made in the mid 1800s period, correct. You are not looking to sell, but at auction in Japan today that would fetch probably US 2,500 ~ 3,000. Further shots would tell us more, but in the meantime, congratulations to you both.
  22. Haha, yes Brian, that would be nice. As to the arrowhead idea, Alex, this has to be a candidate. The dealer said he didn't know what it was, but I bought it anyway. I was discussing it nearby with two friends when I heard the dealer shouting, "It's a pole weapon for soldiers in an old Hina Ningyo set!" "What, like a Naginata?" I asked. "Yes" he said. Surprised, I asked him why he had said he didn't know. "It's a dealer's trick to make a sale", he said. You look at the customer and decide what to say or what not to say." Some trick. Pretty pointless, if you ask me. But I cannot imagine a retainer holding a naked steel shaft like that. It would have to have a miniature haft, surely. This led me to the arrowhead thought, that perhaps the point of an old arrowhead, back when such things were still cheap, had been hammered out to make a rough representation of a nagamaki/naginata. (?) Many did have long nakago like this. And on that note, it's time to hit the sack once more.
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