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Everything posted by Austus

  1. Still working on photos. This is a first attempt
  2. My heart skipped a beat over the first photo. That profile is very similar; but this is a Kanezane, not a Sukesada. Sure wish it were! This crest is the old four diamonds of history. I've never seen that mon; but it sure is beautiful. There is very little on our internet about Prince Takeda except Wikipedia. That's why I turned to this Forum for answers; and it looks like you have provided the answer I needed. It dashes my hopes; but I wanted the truth. Thank You! It must be nice to be at the Source, and be able to see the very finest blades anytime, every day. What a collection you must have! A while back, I mused that it would nice to have "the" #1 stamped fittings instead of my #45 and #95. Then this sword came to me. It's called The Law of Attraction. Everyone should get familiar with this philosophy. It's amazing what the Universe can provide if you just ask. So I added a rule: Dream Big... but Be Specific. Thanks again, Steve.
  3. Let me say that I do agree with you that a traditionally forged yasuki steel blade is a Nihonto. But you will get argument from many if not most traditionalists about that. Please check out the string I mentioned... it's very interesting. Yes, you're also right about "gunto." ( gun=military, and to=sword.) I was mostly being facetious about their attitude, which I don't share. Truth and Facts can get lost in politics. According to Fuller and Gregory's "Japanese Military and Civil Swords and Dirks", possibly less than 10% of shin guntos have old ancestral blades. Sounds like you have quite a collection. I think I'm jealous. Also in that book is a mention that the tang inscription can add value if it mentions "manufacturing method and type of steel", among other things (page 230). Type of steel? Why mention that if the steel is tamahagane? Maybe that Yasuki steel is a good thing! By the way, it's dark in color, like tamahagane. But this hamon is not that bright. Hmmm.
  4. I appreciate that sentiment! And I'd like to agree; but you'll get plenty of argument from the traditionalists. There's a spirited thread within this forum about Yasuki and the other steels; and the consensus is that anything other than bona fide tamahagane is a gunto. (They treat "gunto" like a cussword.) They weren't considering Yasuki to be tamahagane, even though it is definitely Japanese iron sand. And even if the blade is forged traditionally, they and many other traditionalists don't consider a Yasuki steel blade to be a Nihonto. I think that might excessively exclusionary. But don't try and argue with them. It won/t work.
  5. Thanks for the emphatic answer. I was thinking that a family mon was a matter of Honor, and hoping that Takeda was restricted. Wasn't really betting on it. I did know about the assembly angle on the fittings; but thought that #1 was odd, considering they had been issuing shin guntos for years already. Still, the "no chance" determination might be a bit harsh. No doubt the Prince had many swords. A shin gunto is part of the uniform; so maybe he had one or more. And why not have one from a multi- Gold Medal winner at the time? (Yes, I'm reaching.) There's an excellent book called "Gold Warriors" by Sterling Seagrave, which I highly recommend, that describes a sword belonging to the Prince. It was given to him by Emperor Meiji, and did not sound like a shin gunto. The Prince reportedly gave this valuable sword to a young Filipino man he had befriended in the Philippines, along with a tunic (not uniform). The sword was later destroyed by being used to cut sugar cane. After the war, Prince Takeda became a "compliance officer" where he could have set the example and given up a sword or two. (Okay, now I'm really reaching.) But can you really say "No chance"?
  6. That's the prettiest mon I've seen. Bet that's a great blade. So are you thinking that the Prince had a unique one? That would pretty much dash my hopes. If it's not his I'm gonna clean it up a bit. Will try and post some pictures tomorrow. Thanks
  7. I'll try to take some good photos. Would love to learn as much as possible about this sword. It really is a beauty. Austus is my real name.
  8. Thanks. That's one of the main things I wanted to know. But not what I wanted to hear. I heard that Takeda is a common name in Japan; but the original family was mostly wiped out by 1600; and Prince Takeda's father had brought back the line. I don't now about the mon and who could use it. Which leads me back to the number 1 on the furniture. Did Kanezane number all his swords #1; or was it a nod to the Prince? I don't really think this is his sword... but it sure would be nice!
  9. Thanks, I think. I had to look that one up. Still don't quite understand the suggestion. My assumptions are based on research and logic. But I don't have clear answers. That's why I am putting this out there. I don't have anything to gain except knowledge. Got any?
  10. After re-reading this forum, I didn't see any swords that weren't showa. The only way this blade could be showa is if it were one of the forgeries near the start of WW2 that got some smiths jailed; which might be why the mei has been filed away; but I think that was done 400 years ago. When I checked for Takehisa blades, I didn't see anything resembling the outrageous hamon on this blade: and he would definitely have signed this beauty. Plus this is a tachi, not the robust katanas that Taehisa made. Each branch of service had to inspect blades before issue or re-mounting. I'm still holding out on this being a JAG officer's sword because it has never seen combat or even bad weather. If it truly is Shinto, it should shake up the "W" discussion.
  11. Well... okay. I don't take the best pictures; but could try. I figured it would be a "Hell, No" with just that info. Thought maybe somebody could tell me if their Kanezane was also numbered One. Thinking that someone would take issue with the Yasuki steel; or maybe know of a connection to the mill or shortage of tamahagane. Assuming the information is correct, can the possibility exist or am I kidding myself? If pictures will make a difference, I'll take some.
  12. Thanks for the reply. Don't understand "metal proof." Once again, Dawson's book said artillery and JAG... is that part of the army? And are you saying the stamp is not a inspector's mark? There are no other marks.
  13. Addendum to previous: The tsuba is pierced, not solid. Sorry. And something I left out: the mei includes that it is made from Yasuki steel. Wondering why that would be the case.
  14. I have a shin gunto made and sgned by Asano Kanesane in 1940. It has a silvered habaki but solid tsuba: and the matching numbers are 1. (Number One??) There is a silver mon; and it is Takeda. When I searched the net for "Japanese officer Takeda," what came up was the Prince. Should I be excited?
  15. First of all, I'd like to point to page 152 of Jim Dawson's Swords of Imperial Japan, Cyclopedia Edition. This photo shows an officer holding a shin gunto; and the caption mentions the service badge over his pocket that looks just like the stamp on my sword... except that it's "upside down." the badge is explained as an artillery officer or a JAG officer. I have shin gunto #45, matching numbers, unpierced tsuba, with a stunning tachi blade. The tsuka is so clean, that JAG thing makes good sense. Its tang has one stamp only. However, the signature was filed off long before WW2, I believe, leaving behind what looks like traces of gold leaf. Even if I'm not correct that this is a Shinto-era period forgery: this ain't no gunto. After much research plus that photo, I had surmised that the stamp is indeed an inspector's mark. That jives with what I'm reading in this fascinating forum. It would also explain why the stamp appears on different types and sources of blades; and leaves room for everybody to be right. Except for that upside down thing. Got one question: Is there any historical precedent for a complete nakago to be covered with gold leaf? Kinda looks like this one was.
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