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Posts posted by waljamada

  1. Was hoping someone could help me underststand what this Mihara School attributed blade's hozon paper says.  I believe if it's just attributed as Mihara that means mid-Mihara.  Ko-Mihara is the oldest going back to 1300s and Sue-Mihara going up to the end of muromachi.  Is this just Mihara?  Also does it say when it was issued?


    Side note this blade has a ware flaw and I'm also wondering if anyone sees any potential fukure as well? 






  2. Sorry to ask John, but what does my eye need to be catching? 


    Here's why my eye was tricked:


    This blade has hada/forging/folding evidence, right looking patina for early 20th century (can of course be faked), yasurimei (could be a sign that it's the correct yasurimei  to match the gimei), age looking wear on blade, water quenched hamon (is a bit messy though), real koshirae early type 98 (from what I see and if this is fake too Im even more afraid) shape of nakago doesnt draw immediate questions to me, shape of blade looks Japanese (but a non typical early 20th century shape but also a non typical blade) well fitted (according to seller) to a gunto saya with a 28.5" nagasa which is quite uncommon and would require uncommon saya....it all can make sense as an authentic gimei nihonto...I'm afraid...=|:^(

  3. I'm also hearing it may be a Chinese fake rather than at minimum an authentic Japanese blade which scares me because it hit the authentic nihonto check boxes that I know of.  I'm naturally always suspect of meis so didn't give it much weight but the blade itself appeared at least an early 1900s authentic Japanese blade in what I think is nice authentic (or is it!!??!!) type 98 koshirae.  I didn't buy the sword but almost went hard in on the bidding with the idea that it was most likely gimei to be safe. 

  4. So here is a flamboyant one.


    Is this an authentic Yasunori mei who became a Yasukuni shrine Smith?  Thoughts on the  sword itself?  


    Below are pictures of the sword in question with a large temper/hamon, 28.5" nagasa in early type 98 mounts.  At the end is the mei of this sword and some other examples Yasunori mei examples I've found on some websites.  There is also a photo of the flaws that exist on the blade (few openings and nail catcher knick). 









    • Like 1

  5. Here is another o-kissaki katana with the koto or shin shinto  question.


    I'm gonna say koto but the shape could be shin shinto to to me.  Has one hole that is punched and the patina looks black in the photos.  25 1/4" nagasa and looks to have been shortened and nakago is cut.  These are the only photos I have.







  6. I feel like I had always known about Japan, which is odd for a kid from Wisconsin.  I grew up with my Grandparents living in a Wisconsin town that was also home to a Kikkoman factory. 


    Japanese companies, as they do, keep as much as possible in house.  All management and executives were Japanese with the factory workers being a make up of mostly local Wisconsinites. 


    Due to this Japanese families were provided homes in the area to live during their usually 3 to 5 year stints at this factory.  Furthermore my grandfather had been stationed on the U.S.S Intrepid during WW2 and due to this experience and his desire to move on/heal from the war he took a trip to Japan. 


    He went as a tourist along with his wife (my grandmother) with an open mind and heart.  He absolutely loved his time there and brought back statues of Samurai, geisha, a couple paintings and random bits and bobs decorating the house.


    This brings me to my childhood among the statues, bits and bobs and the Japanese families in the neighborhood.  I met two brothers from Japan whom I became close friends with spending summers playing together. 


    I sampled some of their mothers cooking, saw their cooler than ours transforming robot toys and his father's small collection of Japanese Swords he had purchased here in America.  I noticed them...thought about them...then moved on, but it had parked in the back of my young brain.


    I grew older and discovered I could study abroad.  Japan it was, my University just happened to have a partnership with JoChi University in Tokyo, where I ended up transferring and then graduating. 


    I lived in Tokyo for 7 and a half years during which I visited their museums, went into a few antique and sword shops just browsing.  Still never had a desire to own a katana of my own but I was soaking up the experiences as I went along.


    I moved back to America and another 7 and a half years later, without a single thought of katanas, I saw a WW2 parade sword at an antique mall.  In that single instant an unavoidable desire burst forth in me to own an authentic antique Japanese sword.  One would be mine.


    I have a powerful collector's gene.


    I scoured ebay, did some research and then found a seller with a bunch of swords in a nearby city.  I contacted him and the next day I was at his War Relics shop.  He brought out perhaps 6 or 7 swords and gave me a run down of why they were all in the 2 to 3k range and my hope balloon was slashed by the pricey blades.


    He then says, "You know what, there's one in back I was going to sell on ebay.  Might be perfect for you."  He brought out an early type 98 with 27" nagasa, punched tsuba, cat scratch habaki, shinto mumei with some rust on the top portion of the blade.  Besides that bit-o-rust it was beautiful. 


    I could feel the history, it smelled of age and had a whisper of old necessity now outdated.  It felt important but stoic in its relegation to an artifact.  A noble acceptance recognized in age of one well lived who knows its time has passed.  Made me want to love it even more.


    He gave me a good price and I paid in cash to avoid paying tax.  Told myself, "I only need to own one".  That was a lie. 


    I still though think to how that first sword made me feel.  My childhood friends, my grandfather...all the people I met in the US and Tokyo.  This sword was important, this sword meant something and still is and does. Just in a different way. 


    War, battle, old ways...each sword belonged to a someone.  One sword for one human.  Held with intent and by someone who didn't want to lose it; lose their ability to fight, to live.  


    This was important.  This meant something.  Now it means something to me. 


    I want to learn more.

    • Like 6
    • Thanks 1

  7. Richard,


    I started as a gunto guy so I will for sure touch on it as well as showato/non traditional steels.  Have a mantetsu and one showato to use for this.  Will make sure to touch on the different collector type entries you mentioned at different points.


    In terms of koshirae I will mention the markets as I go over the pieces.  "There are tsuba collectors, fuchi, menuki...etc...and prices can be very costly especially for pieces of outstanding quality, historical note and famous makers..exactly like fine art markets of which these are also part.".


    I have one papered sword in shirasaya I will show/use that also has a full tachi koshirae.  Then a papered sword only in full koshirae. 


    Only things I don't actually have for the basic examples are a tanto and a fake Japanese sword for comparison.  


    Jessi, Mark,


    I will give the multiple shorter video idea some thought.  I will see how things go once I get all the footage and see the "flow" of the video.  Its going to take me a bit because I'm shooting footage of swords (which will stergiently fight anyone trying to do it well), me handling swords/koshirae to point out parts/features, will probably have to photoshop some graphics, cite any graphics/photos/video I use by others (if I use any at all) and some footage of a "walk and talk" that ill film for the longer talking segments to make it more interesting.  Edit it (this is where my something attuned to perfectionism can hurt me) and of course work my job, and love my fiancee, three dogs and a cat.  Also hopefully this snowing finally calms down because I also shovel my rental properties.   


    My goal is to keep it under 20 minutes and change things up enough to keep attention.  Also aim to have it finished anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks from today.  Maybe less if life, work and filming/equipment is kind to me

  8. Barry,


    It would take hours and hours to really dive into all this stuff.  A lot of help when I was just starting would have been someone laying out the generals simply and alone.  The in depth study Grey mentions when he says it takes study over the course of years to really understand is what comes next.  I just want to show the entryway.


    I was actually hesitant to do shape beyond briefly showing a bit while going over the era portion because it gets quickly into that "would take hours and hours" category.  Some shape stuff also applies while going over sori etc.. 


    If I found something that showed the broad concepts quickly and names for things in a visual way I could go from there to figure out the specific access points to the further studies quicker.  Plus be better able to identify true nihonto off the bat.  All this info exists but its scattered.  Plus for all I know no one will even watch it, but ill do my best.


    So my goal is just to basically state the doors and the basic terms while using them with video examples.   Ill also try and make it a bit "hip" rather than just classic presentation. 


    Also ill flip the swords to tsuka on the left.  This is a peaceful situation.  Thanks you for pointing that out, I wasn't aware of that.



    I'll make sure to stress the point that the Nihonto path is long, complicated yet rewarding.

  9. Surfson, thank you for that.  Before reading your response I typed this up:


    Here is a brief summary written as I'm eating dinner:


    Intro speech about Nihonto as a history, an art, a hobby and a market.  Advice on how to approach it as a beginner to frame what Im about to go through.


    sword features: hada, hamon, kissaki, nakago, mei, mune, sori, nagasa, bohi, bonji, horimono etc...will demonstrate examples of each on real swords as I explain them. Condition issues: fatal and non fatal flaws, polish state (and expense of polish). Tired and healthy blades and the indentifying features.


    categories of blades: Katana, tachi, wakizashi, tanto. (Keeping it simple)

    Some examples of nakago patina from Koto, muromachi, Kanbun Shinto and ww2 era (what I have).  Why patina is important (never clean a nakago etc..)  Mention size/shape differences.


    Mei: Will mostly leave it at their existence and for any specifics point to references.  Will mention how old Tachi mei's were on opposite side, mumei and gimei.  Will show the meis on all signed blades I have.  This is where I will mention the NBTHK and NTHK.


    History: age ranges of eras (mostly sticking to Jokoto, koto, shinto, shinshinto, gendaito but will say there are deeper classifications) ubu blades vs shortened and how to tell. Showato type blades.  Brief intro to some schools and features (signature hamons/yasurimei etc..) then point to references for more info.


    Koshirae section- show examples of all the pieces (tsuba, Tsuka, ito, kashira/fuchi-kashira, mekugi, menuki, saya, habaki, seppa etc..) mention which pieces historically may be signed, go over materials used etc...(all brief overviews)


    This is where I will mention useful references.  Books, websites, forums etc...


    Methods of purchasing a blade and advice:  This is where I point out some markets and methods and a bit of a FAQ for new buyers.  What to ask, warning signs etc..


    Finish it with an impassioned speech about how cool this is, how its a winding path fueled by passionate people with friendly strangers you will meet to help guide the way.  It is a deep well but one full of history and splendor in these beautiful objects.  *This will be my braveheart moment yet not nearly as epic*


    Greetings all,


    I'm currently making an "Intro to Nihonto and Beginner's Buying Guide" video.


    This video will be a brief overview of nihonto terminology and aspects.  Basically what you are seeing in a blade, what to look for and everything I wish I knew right off the bat.


    I'd like to ask the community for advice on what they think needs to be mentioned for those beginners looking to purchase their first  swords.  Anything you think is important to know at the start.


    I currently have a completed script and am in the filming phase where I use an actual gimble and macro lenses unlike the little intro video I made just to post here.  


    I will take then update my script to incorporate any advice received here. 

    Thanks for any replies!


  11. 31 minutes ago, Bruce Pennington said:

    Well! I just got an answer from the seller, who claims this blade was “not made for use in the field therefore has no serial number”!  I am sensing a trend here with these blades with wavy Hamon and no serial number.


    I responded that I have never heard of blades made not to be used in the field. And wondered if he had a source for that information.  Awaiting his response.


    The seller mentioned it possibly being made for the 1944 Exhibition.  Wonder if there are entry records on such things.  I think the seller is trying to fit answers for differences.  Could be...and if so that's cool, if not something funny could be afoot.  However, I do think that test blades, experimental pieces, exhibition or example pieces to send around as it was "new" sword tech would all exist.  So there could be room for odd ducks.

    • Like 1

  12. I kind of think Showa22 uses uchiko or something on blades sometimes but ends up making micro scratches across them.  Maybe he gets them that way.


    I think you got a cool sword, I always eye Emuras when I see them.  Emura blades due to the history of his prison and having inmates make blades have that additional interesting factor especially since they can be highly considered.   Emura was one of those makers that had a group of people under him making blades and I'm not quite sure if there is a definitive way to know which ones he truly made himself.  Alot of the higher value in these seem to be in the polish, this also may be because having to polish it would likely cost over what they command on the market.  "Condition condition condition" 


    Love the older punched type 94/98 tsuba & gunto koshirae.


    I always find Nagamitsu and Emura as a kind of maker "grouping" in gunto discussions...but Emura seems to edge slightly ahead in market and "cool" factor.


    Showa22 has another Emura listed now for $2500 OBO and its one that was returned by a previous buyer.  Probably scratches.  Pretty sure I remember the one listed now going for like just under $1500 in the auction before it was returned. 


    Congratulations!  Share more pics when it arrives!

    • Like 1

  13. Howard, that looks very similar to the one I purchased.  Also looks water quenched but doesn't look tamagahane.  Odd that it also doesn't have a stamp on it...wonder whats going on with this maker and not having stamps.  That is a clean looking blade.  The kissaki on mine is also a "fat" one (wide along the mune side).  Kind of like the stainless steel navy swords have.  

  14. If you could, please post pictures of the blade.  Would be curious to see if it looks similar to the one I bought!   Also curious if yours has any stamps on it as mine didn't.  Had perhaps a spot where one could have possibly been thougb.  I can tell mine is non-traditional (not tamagahane) steel but the blade is water quenched and over all is actually quite a beauty.  Also curious what the koshirae is....is it gunto?

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