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RichardP

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Everything posted by RichardP

  1. Hi All— So I think the second kanji is “Hisa”, but I’m stumped as to the first. Mune? Tada? (Dunno what the story is with the shirasaya, it looks like someone made it in their garage.) Thanks! Richard
  2. This leads me to wonder, how does one go about getting a non-art sword sharpened? (I am assuming that togishi who polish art swords don’t spend their time putting fresh edges on Chinese-made shinken...?)Thanks, Richard
  3. Hello All- Just stumbled over this interesting podcast, don’t see that it’s been mentioned here before http://samuraipodcast.com Of particular interest was Episodes 43 and 44, “Samurai Armor: An Interview with Trevor Absolon”: http://samuraipodcast.com/ep43-samurai-armor-an-interview-with-trevor-absolon-part-1 He reappears for Episodes 51 and 52, “Shady Ethics in the Japanese Antique Armor Trade”: http://samuraipodcast.com/ep51-shady-ethics-in-the-Japanese-antique-armor-trade-p1 Regards, Richard
  4. Hello All, This just popped up on my local Craigslist—never seen gunto mounts with a tsunagi and I wonder where the blade is living now? Anyway, the leather looks good to me but I am very ignorant of all things gunto. Is this a Type 98? Is it an example worthy of scooping up ($200), or would you all give it a pass? I’ve been looking for similar examples online, but have had a hard time finding gunto koshirae that doesn’t include a blade as well... Thank you! Richard
  5. Yes!! Thank you Raymond, don’t know why I wasn’t finding it a moment ago... Like Mr. Sesko’s others, a fascinating article. But I’m still curious as to what rhyme or reason, if any, lay behind assigning smiths honorariums that didn’t correspond with the regions they worked in.
  6. Hello All- Thanks for this great site! Would someone be kind enough to share their knowledge of how the process of assigning titles to swordsmiths worked? From the threads here, and some great articles over at Mr. Sesko’s site, my understanding is that the process began early in the Shinto period and consisted of a Kyoto bureaucracy that awarded titles to smiths upon request, provided the smith was suitably accomplished (and paid a fee). Is the above generally correct? Were the names just plucked out of the air by whichever official was in charge at the time? (For instance, why would a Hizen smith be awarded the title of “Ise Daijo”, when Ise wasn’t even on the same island? Were distant areas chosen intentionally—something akin to “his name is known as far away as Ise Province?) I got the impression from one article—my apologies, I haven’t been able to find it to link to it—that the process became more cynical and corrupted as time went on, and that titles eventually came to signify little other than a smith’s marketing acumen...? Thanks again!
  7. Thank you all for the guidance! The article was thought-provoking as well—I had never really thought about all the different ways we go about collecting, and to what end...
  8. Hello, my name is Richard and this is my first post here, though I’ve been a long-time lurker. I would be very grateful for any opinions members could offer regarding this wakizashi: https://www.touken-matsumoto.jp/eng/product_details_e.php?prod_no=WA-0271 I am puzzled by the attribution to Fujiwara Yoshihiro. Elsewhere I have found several blades by “Hizen no Kuni-ju Ise no Daijo Fujiwara Yoshihiro”, for example: https://www.aoijapan.net/katana-hizen-kuni-ju-ise-daijo-fujiwara-yoshihiro/ The mei on the blade I am looking at, however, seems to show the kanji for Fujiwara Yoshihiro, but lacks the honorarium prefix I find on all his other catalogued work. Is this a blade from early in his career, before he acquired the honorarium? Or are these different smiths within the same school? That was my first guess, but in the item description (and in seller’s response to my question) this blade is being held out as the work of the Tadayoshi disciple who held the title of Ise Daijo. There is a parenthetical in the mei section of the NBTHK paperwork that I cannot figure out—does the pi-symbol-looking kanji refer to first/second generation? Does the certificate clear up my issue? Also, the hamon strikes me as startlingly large. I think it looks fantastic, but I’ve also read that large hamons are often found on re-hardened blades—any cause for concern here? If all else passes muster, what are your thoughts on this wakizashi? Is it a good example of the Hizen school? By way of introduction, I’m a beginner looking for a blade with interesting hada and a dramatic hamon. With a mei and papers and old, so you have that feeling like you’re at the museum, but you get to handle the artifacts... Ideally a blade/smith with a rich historical context—not famous, necessarily (my budget is about $2,500), but something that can be traced to a specific timeframe, school and smith would be ideal. I am not interested in koshirae at this point, and would rather concentrate my investment on the blade itself. I’ve been watching the auctions and vendors that see traffic from NMB members—seems safer than e-Bay, anyway. Thanks again for any assistance, and I really appreciate any guidance you can give me as to whether this is a suitable beginner’s sword.
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