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Yama Arashi

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  1. Looking to acquire 2 different catalogues/books from the Sano Museum. The Flowers of Japanese Swords: Master of the Edo Period: Kotetsu and Kiyomaro Kiyomaro: Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth Please PM with any details, thank you.
  2. I am in in the US. I actually haven't needed to have anything sharpened up to this point, but I also have other modern blades that I cut with. Various monosteel, etc. The Kazuyoshi is/was still in original polish and is quite sharp - the original owner was an Iaido practitioner who never used it to cut. As to your specific question, and attempting to be careful knowing the general forum views on cutting with nihonto, and polish work by anyone other than a togishi; based solely on what little firsthand work I have seen from the states, and strictly where only a cutting edge is concerned, I would have no issue with Josiah Boomershine or Walter Seton. (Josiah has edge honed a shinsakuto wakizashi for me as well.) I can't speak to his work with more intensive polishing, but as for myself, I wouldn't be sending a nihonto to anyone outside of the few known Japanese trained polishers for an art polish and such. (and even then, I may just prefer to send it to Japan.) For reference, I'm aware of a sword by Yasuhiro Kobayashi that has been used to cut tatami and bamboo for the past 43 odd years, and has never been sharpened. I started typing a paragraph here about various gendaito/shinsakuto that I have cut with over the years (including a Nagamitsu that may as well have been a spoon, and still would cut tatami-omote and bamboo just fine) and the niku/geometry of a traditional Japanese blade not requiring the kind of paper slicing razor edge that so many are obsessed with in order to cut well (as is seen on a lot of modern competition oriented blades with geometry catering to soft targets, nihonto or otherwise) - but such tangents and/or opinions never seem to bode well for the thread.
  3. Sharing a few examples of my shinsakuto by the swordsmith Hizen (Nakao) Kazuyoshi. It can be a challenge digging up detailed swordsmith information, and often, even moreso with shinsakuto. I have found a few excerpts, and it seems his father and one of his brothers both achieved Mukansa status, but the little info that I've found is mainly from google translated pages and often has to be kind of puzzled together. I stumbled upon this particular smith in my early travels, and I always found his work quite appealing. Thus far, I've ended up with 5 of his katana and 1 tanto. A few other examples have been popping up recently on the usual Japanese sword sites. 176cm Odachi 1972 (this is my main tameshigiri blade, and the only nihonto I have that I actually cut with) 71.4" Nagasa, 7.2mm Motokasane, 3.3cm Motohaba, 2.4cm Sakihaba Next to a Sabatier 1992 Utsushi Kiyomaro 74.1cm Nagasa, 8.5mm Motokasane, 3.6cm Motohaba, 3.1cm Sakihaba 2006 Utsushi Kiyomaro 75cm Nagasa, 8.2mm Motokasane, 3.7cm Motohaba, 3.2cm Sakihaba
  4. I'd say gunome if someone asked me; perhaps gunome-midare.
  5. I've been lurking a lot longer than participating, and it's always enjoyable seeing people extrapolate the steel as it were. People/you guys can be quite impressive with the ability to determine a tight time window based off of specific features. (Hence kantei of course, but most of what I've seen in here far exceeds my own ability with such.) I posted this same sword a number of months back, and have had a few other well learned individuals look at it, including a professional togishi, and anyone that has sounded an opinion has pretty much sourced it to the same school/style and era. I'm not concerned with the value, and it will stay in my collection irrespective of what the consensus is; I'm more curious as to an official answer on quality, era and school , and have been seeking opinions without being blinded by the mei, so to speak. The only question/doubt that has been raised, are whether the mei cut and nakago condition are almost *too good*. So it's heading off to shinsa, for what is hopefully a definitive answer. Frankly, even if the sword is to come back gimei, it won't bother me, as it's a ludicrously great piece in my opinion. I own a small number of fantastic blades, including 3 hozon and 2 tokubetsu hozon, and this particular sword is still my favorite. Here are a few other photos from the original source, better showing the jigane/hamon detail.
  6. In the vein of posts by other members, namely Rivkin; I'd like to submit this blade to the forum members for opinions/kantei request-challenge. This sword is heading to shinsa to get a definitive answer - but in the interim, I am curious to see the opinions of members, and what swordsmith/era/school you think it might be attributed to. Specifications: Nagasa - 28.75" / 73cm Motohaba - 1.24" / 3.15cm Sakihaba - 1" / 2.55cm Motokasane - .248" / .63cm Gunome midare, nie-deki, very apparent sunagashi and kinsuji (perhaps inazuma / imozuru) Midare-komi boshi https://streamable.com/2znwpy
  7. Shipping via UPS Worldwide Expedited is included in the price, unless otherwise stated, which is usually in parenthesis next to the price, if so, along with any additional payment fees. (Usually only applicable on very high dollar items.) They will confirm your order via email, and send you an invoice for the amount, which you can pay via credit/debit card without any additional fees. I can't speak to the process with wire transfers or other payment options. In my experience they get the export license at 3 weeks, pretty much on the nose, and ship within 2-3 business days from that time. You will need to provide a tax ID # (I use my social) to UPS Brokerage/International. Keep an eye on the tracking and call them when the status shows that an ID number is required for clearance. After that information has been forwarded, and the package has cleared, you will need to pay any customs/import/UPS brokerage fees. There will be a link in the tracking status result saying COD import fees or some such thing are required. You can click the hyperlink and pay with a credit card, or pay the driver directly when it gets delivered to you. (I've read paying it immediately online speeds up the process.) For antique swords (over 100 years old and around the $4000 range) I've always paid close to $40 dollars total for the brokerage/import fees. For a modern sword (1972, around $4300) I paid almost $160 total, as there is a tariff/tax applied to 'new'/non-antique products, contingent on stated/invoice value.
  8. A pretty good consensus laid out here. Sunagashi, kinsuji, inazuma (and while drastically different, sometimes sudare-ba) absolutely kill me - I'm quite drawn to that detail work. Here's an example of a really intense hamon that I've always considered to be fairly extreme with both sunagashi and kinsuji. (but apparently imozuru can apply as well) I always thought of sunagashi as the pattern (akin to 16k's analogy) where you would drag your fingers through sand, and kinsuji as a stark, darker single streak. (Running parallel in the below example.) Sometimes you can only find the sungashi in the right light, with it being very subtle, and other times it absolutely jumps off the surface - kinsuji tends to always be rather apparent, and can appear dark or light depending on lighting. https://www.aoijapan.com/img/sword/2020/20172-4.jpg And this example has very subtle sungashi that can't really be seen in this photo, but the contrasting single line running in the ha and across the yokote, I consider kinsuji.
  9. No - I didn't even like the fact that the auction house had the blade sitting on an uncovered, sliced up, plastic table! Although, I apparently need to find a new background for natural light photos, as that concern seems to be proposed every time I post a photo. 🙂
  10. Shinsakuto Kazuyoshi utsushi Kiyomaro (2006) .8cm motokasane, 3.65cm motohaba, 3.15cm sakihaba, 75.08cm nagasa Naked blade weight is 1230 grams / 2.71 pounds Massive solid silver habaki Shinsakuto Kazuyoshi (1972) .715cm motokasane, 3.21cm motohaba, 2.3cm sakihaba, 71.5cm nagasa Naked blade weight 865 grams I've been eyeing one of these type of massive o-kissaki blades for a while, but there weren't any available that really spoke to me (available Akamatsu options, etc.) Oddly, I had been considering another Kazuyoshi for a number of months, that has been available at Aoi, when I somehow came across this utsushi Kiyomaro, while peeling through the depths of the internet. It's a bit of an arduous story/process that I won't bother fully relaying, but while getting some inquiries answered, it had been sent off with another lot of swords to a well known auction house (unbeknownst to the person I was communicating with) where I managed to acquire it. It's difficult to find a lot of information on some of the modern smiths, including this particular smith, Hizen Koku Ju (Nakao) Kazuyoshi. He's won quite a few awards, has forged a few odachi from what I have been able to dig up, and seems to have spent a lot of time perfecting utsushi blades in the styles of Ichimonji, Kiyomaro, Samonji, Tadayoshi, Sukehiro, etc., and only produced 60 blades during a 12-year portion of his career, while attempting to perfect such. His father was Nakao Tadatsugu, student of Horii Toshihide, and he also has a brother who achieved Mukansa. The second Kazuyoshi is still en route, and at the moment, I plan to use it for light tatami tameshigiri. (I'm aware of the general perception on this board with using a nihonto for such, when not absolutely necessary, and I also have a modern monosteel blade for heavier use with bamboo and such) Tsuruta-san says it is extremely sharp, and still has ubu-ba. I have had my eye on it for a while with that intention, as it isn't necessarily my favorite hamon style, but all of the specs are otherwise perfect for me, along with a great shakudo river crab/bamboo koshirae motif. I acquired a magnificent blade earlier this year that I had intended to use for such (suspected gimei Minamoto Masao) but after having it in hand, and a kantei from a noted togishi, I have decided to keep it in koshirae and have it sent to shinsa. _
  11. My collection is rounding out nicely, with the addition of 3 blades, and my first Hozon paper. First is a stout wakizashi by Hirotsuna/Nagatsuna (deaf Tadatsuna student) from the Edo period/Enho era (1673-1681) 0.75cm motokasane, 3.41cm motohaba, 2.63cm sakihaba Naked blade weight 645 grams
  12. Certainly a point of contention it seems, as noted in the forward on the Yuhindo link: "The meikan records list another smith of the Tadatsuna school who signed "tsunbo", namely Hirotsuna (広綱). Either the 1st generation Tadatsuna had started a kind of campaign to support deaf young men and train them to become swordsmiths, or it was as others assume that Nagatsuna and Hirotsuna were the same person. However, Hirotsuna is listed as a Kishū-Ishidō smith with Kii as his main production place (i.e. not Ōsaka)." Prior to purchasing, I did attempt to dig up as many examples as possible, to compare signatures, nakago shapes, etc. Which in part, is why I've been so dogged about figuring out what exactly was going on with the "cut shortened" reply and so on. The jiri is definitely different from any examples I was able to find (so it has been altered to whatever extent as aforementioned) although, I wasn't able to find any other photos of a "Hirotsuna" example, prior to the supposed same person signing as "Nagatsuna" while under Tadatsuna. I'd love to see your Nagatsuna blade if you have photos available. The Aoi description held this: Wakizashi in Shirasaya (NBTHK Hozon Paper) Signature: Awataguchi Minamoto Hirotsuna Saku (Dojin Sesshu Ju Fujiawara Nagatsuna) Motte Nanbantetsu Zo Kore Special feature: Tsunahiro is old name of Nagatsuna. He was Tadatsuna’s student and he was deaf. The width of this sword 3.41 and this is very wide, also thick and healthy. There is no flaw. From Aoi Art: This Wakizashi is not so long but it is vey wide and thick so it has 645 grams. Before long Tsunahiro made this sword, he changes his name to Nagatsuna and became a student of Tadatsuna. He was deaf so he engraved Shu(deaf)-Nagatsuna in some of his swords. 銘: 粟田口源広綱作 (摂州住藤原長綱 同人) 以南蛮鉄造之 新刀:上作:業物:摂津 当社では刀工の出来によって最上作、上々作、上作、普通作を記載しております 本作の出来は 粟田口源広綱作としては上々作にランクされる作品です。 特徴:広綱はのちに長綱と称し、 忠綱の門人となり聾であった為に聾長綱と自ら称した。 葵美術より一言:まず驚かされるのは肉置きの良い がっしりとした体配で重量が645グラムと健全な作品といえます。 広綱はその後長綱と名前を変えて やがて忠綱の門人となり有名な刀工として活躍をする。 聾であった為に聾長綱と称し茎にもその事を記す作品もある。 本作は彼が精魂を込めて制作した痕跡が窺える無疵、 無欠点の佳作です。是非お勧めしたい作品です。 保存刀剣鑑定書
  13. Thank you for the replies. Although the machi area/hamon etc., appears correct to me, I also assumed he meant machiokuri, especially considering a new item posted yesterday specifically states in the description that the blade is "machiokuri (cut shortened)" I was able to get further clarification from Mr. Tsuruta: "We mean the Nakago seems was cut a little bit to arrange a shape, not a Suriage. So it is almost Ubu-Nakago." So how much shortened/shaped, who knows. It's a very stout blade (18.3" nagasa, 3.41cm at the hamachi, 645 gram blade weight) so I wasn't sure if the proportion appeared slightly off due to that influence. Export license in progress whatever the case!
  14. UPS never contacted me first for any information, but I was staying on top of the tracking and called them as soon as I saw the ID# information status pop up. If this happens, you need to call their International shipments department, which is at 1-800-782-7892. I provided my social (although I assume there are other ID# options) and they were fairly quick to get the info to the appropriate people. I think the "fish and wildlife hold" with these types of items may be automatic with UPS when going through Kentucky, as it is one of their main import hubs for international shipments, in conjunction with the fish and game department. There are plenty of black market/illegal item imports that try to get in under the guise of antiques/swords and so on. The UPS status that says: "Import C.O.D. charges are due for this package. Select Pay Now." has a live/clickable link where you can pay the fee with a credit card (mine was approx. $35) I also know of items being sent as "replicas" numerous times from Japan via FedEx, to get around the weapons category stipulation. I can't speak to any risks/issues this could possibly bring up, but FedEx in the United States doesn't have the same weapons restrictions as FedEx Japan does. This particular instance was extremely fast and straight-forward compared to what I'm familiar with, with UPS, and did not require any fees. FedEx - delivery location redacted; timeline out of order due to country time difference. Wednesday , 10/21/2020 9:47 am Delivered 8:41 am On FedEx vehicle for delivery 8:26 am At local FedEx facility 4:53 am SENNAN-SHI JP In transit 4:35 am SENNAN-SHI JP In transit 4:34 am At destination sort facility 2:42 am OAKLAND, CA Departed FedEx location 12:03 am OAKLAND, CA International shipment release - Import Tuesday , 10/20/2020 9:54 pm NARITA-SHI JP In transit 9:42 pm OAKLAND, CA Arrived at FedEx location 6:30 pm KAWAGUCHI-SHI JP Left FedEx origin facility 12:32 pm KAWAGUCHI-SHI JP Picked up Monday , 10/19/2020 3:29 am Shipment information sent to FedEx
  15. His reply: "The Nakagi is slightly cut shortened almost Ubu nakago." So perhaps an opinion/learned guess? I assume just a bit taken off the end, if anything.
  16. For what it's worth, I had to go through this same process with UPS, including the ID #, which was my social. There was a fish and wildlife hold (although the blade was only in shirasaya) and I believe the fee UPS charges is for their handling of the customs process. 09/16/2020 3:52 A.M. Louisville, KY, United States Departed from Facility 09/16/2020 1:12 A.M. Louisville, KY, United States Import Scan Past Event Cleared Customs 09/15/2020 10:42 P.M. - Your package was released by the customs agency. 09/15/2020 2:19 P.M. - Import C.O.D. (ICOD) charges have been paid or billed. 09/15/2020 2:09 P.M. - Import C.O.D. charges are due for this package. Select Pay Now. 09/15/2020 2:09 P.M. - Duties or taxes are due on this package. 09/15/2020 2:56 P.M. - A valid ID # (tax, personal, deferment) required for clearance is missing. We're working to obtain this information. / Brokerage released the package. It will be processed through a clearing agency before final release to UPS. 09/15/2020 11:26 A.M. - A valid ID # (tax, personal, deferment) required for clearance is missing. We're working to obtain this information. 09/15/2020 11:26 A.M. - Your package has been delayed due to a Fish and Wildlife Agency hold. / Brokerage released the package. It will be processed through a clearing agency before final release to UPS. 09/15/2020 11:10 A.M. Louisville, KY, United States Warehouse Scan 09/15/2020 10:30 A.M. Louisville, KY, United States Import Scan 09/12/2020 7:39 P.M. - Your package has been delayed due to a Fish and Wildlife Agency hold. 09/12/2020 12:24 A.M. Louisville, KY, United States Arrived at Facility 09/11/2020 2:41 P.M. Anchorage, AK, United States Departed from Facility 09/11/2020 11:08 A.M. Anchorage, AK, United States Arrived at Facility 09/11/2020 9:50 P.M. Narita, Japan Departed from Facility 09/11/2020 7:59 A.M. - The package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release. 09/11/2020 7:55 P.M. Tokyo, Japan Departed from Facility 09/11/2020 6:39 P.M. Tokyo, Japan Origin Scan
  17. Never any offense. 😉 Fortunately, I started fairly young and spent time as a deshi - I was only 19 at the time of those videos.
  18. I've sent an inquiry into him via email. He generally references cut shortened or suriage in his descriptions, but there is no mention of it on either the English or Japanese site. It just appeared slightly short to me perhaps (although the blade isn't all that lengthy, but quite wide/stout) along with the mei running all the way to the end - was curious if anyone here might have a more learned opinion just from seeing it, were that possible.
  19. Looking into acquiring this wakizashi - Hirotsuna/Nagatsuna (the deaf swordsmith) To those with more experience and a better eye than I - do you think this nakago is ubu, or perhaps cut-shortened/suriage to some extent? Thank you kindly.
  20. Thank you for the replies and compliments. Thank you, these are my first privately owned Japanese swords. I have handled and cut with quite a few fantastic blades, but never my own. Assuming the tsuka maker thinks the aforementioned fuchi-kashira and tsuba are ok, I may go with those anyway, plus they'll go with the habaki nicely. I'm constantly vacillating, and I had intended to do some light tameshigiri with the "Masao", but at this point I don't think I will. Irrespective of whether or not it is gimei, it's a fantastically crafted blade with a great polish. (Attached further below.) So hopefully the antiques will be large enough. They're actually quite comparable in the width measurement to some larger modern sets that I also have. (A bamboo themed set from Fred Lohman, and a yasurime style set from seido shop, although these sets are blackened and/or silver, so I would have a new habaki made to match.) I also have a local knifemaker working up a modern steel blade from 80CrV2, so I'm still up in the air on whether or not I may use the katana from this daisho set to cut tatami. If the mono-steel sword works out, that may be solely relegated to heavy cutting with tatami and bamboo. Here's some garbage quality VHS footage of myself demonstrating tameshigiri with a Yasuhiro Kobayashi blade in the late 90's. https://streamable.com/u0x2fr https://streamable.com/va5fc4
  21. As a follow-up to my mei/gimei post in regard to a blade signed Minamoto Masao. These arrived from Japan yesterday - a shinsakuto daisho set by the swordsmith Iyo Matsuyama Ju Seiken, from 1988. Fantastically healthy and stout blades. Even with fairly deep bo-hi, the katana is 900gr, with a 29 inch nagasa, and the waki is 620gr, with a 20.7 inch nagasa. Beautiful shape and hamon with great nie activity. I think the katana has perhaps been used for tameshigiri before, although if so, it has since been polished. There appeared to be a slight bend/warp down the spine, but it was pressed/bent back out easily enough, although it still needs a little more work. No wrinkles on the surface or any damage, and quite sharp. I've also acquired some antique fuchi-kashira signed Soten, and menuki. I was intending to use them for the aforementioned "Masao" blade, but I think they will be too small. The hamachi is 3.2cm, but the fuchi is not quite 38mm on the outside diameter/length.
  22. Thank you for the replies. And to clarify @Brian - I don't think I've noticed that attitude here as far as I recall, but most of my conversation about it to this point has been online elsewhere, and it seemed to have received more of an 'upturned nose' attitude as it were.
  23. Hello, I am a newly registered member here, although I have browsed for a couple of years, gleaning valuable information thanks to many outstanding members. I have been studying swordsmanship since 1995, and have been fortunate to have handled many amazing swords, including the opportunity to perform tameshigiri with katana and wakizashi from the likes of Yasuhiro Kobayashi - although, I have never actually owned an authentically made Japanese katana prior to last month. I am excited to show my first/recent acquisitions, along with the following reservations. I have read and researched many forum offerings in regard to gimei swords, and the general attitude toward them, as well as toward "green papers", and of course rightly so. My question is mainly in regard to the following sword, which I acquired recently, knowing full well it is probably (definitely?) gimei - and of course even more questionable when the signature is of a highly valued smith. Although it was sold by a reputable shop, it was not presented as outright gimei, though was plainly stated that the signature posed doubts/questions, and was being sold as "not guaranteed", yet still a fantastic work. ("Jyo-Jyo Saku/jounin piece", excellent polish) Also highlighted by the fact that the price was nowhere near what a papered example would be. There are always many questions as to why a sword may not have any sort of paper trail, but I am more curious as to the general attitudes toward gimei swords from experienced collectors. Are they generally just tossed aside as junk in a sense, or is it possible to have a quality/fantastic blade, albeit gimei? I of course do not intend any disrespect posing this question, but "expert guesswork" in some sense makes me curious to certain caveats, as I've heard of green papers being trashed, signatures being removed, possible mis-attributions to certain smiths, and so on. Please view this particular sword in question; Do very high quality examples of gimei swords exist, or are they usually discounted as junk because they are considered gimei, have not passed shina, or have not even been submitted to shinsa? I have also acquired a shinsakuto/daisho set that I am very happy about, by Iyo Matsuyama Ju Seiken (1988) but I have not been able to find very much information about this particular smith, save a couple sold examples from recent years, and being listed as a gendai NBTHK/NTHK papered swordsmith. Thank you kindly for your opinions/views. Signature as Minamoto Masao Saku Ansei 5 Nen 6 Gatsu Hi Iyo Matsuyama Ju Seiken
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