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Janrudolph

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About Janrudolph

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    Jo Saku

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    Male
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    South Africa
  • Interests
    I have never been a specialist collector, as my interests are very wide. They range from numismatics through military history to edged weapons and firearms.

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    Johan van Zyl

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  1. Janrudolph

    Boys swords

    Dave, I watched James Miller's videos and was fascinated by them. Not too much info on the Boy's sword he showed, most probably I was feeling a bit sullen because my tanto was of inferior quality compared to his! (A good point of my sword is that all fittings seem to be original to the blade. Nothing seems to have been re-fitted.) So what is strange, to me at least, is that a "rare" thing like a Boy's tanto could have been produced in both high & low quality. Differences in quality come to the fore once mass-production is begun, is that not a fair statement? Could a Boy's sword ever have been mass-produced? And another thing I have been wondering about: should a lower-quality Boy's sword like this tanto be expected to be found in Edo times or rather later as in Meiji? Johan
  2. Janrudolph

    Boys swords

    Hi everyone! I have a tanto with an abnormal shape (see pic). Tantos don't come with shinogi like the majority of katanas. This one does. Therefore it cannot be classified as a true tanto. It looks like a miniature katana in tanto length. So I believe this is a boy's sword also. Some folks on the forum have swords much like this, so I'm wondering about the "rarity" of it. Johan
  3. No good changing diets, Jean. Stick with what you have. Your advice you gave earlier: "You can try to prove that if you find a spot where the lacquer has chipped off. Old URUSHI work is thick and has a solid base layer, MEIJI lacquer on tourist items is usually thin." I did that; it seems the lacquer is not thin. Here & there I find some chips, but the wood base does not even show. I think the saya is a good one, but what DOES set me doubting, is the kaeshizuno which is attached to the saya on both ends. See pic. It can't hook the obi like that. I have not found pics to compare this one to, so I don't know if this is normal. Johan
  4. Jean C, my apologies! That's a blunder on my part. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that. I might have read somewhere that a tsuka was made of bamboo, or imagined it. And then the brain malfunction occurred... Of course tsukas are traditionally made from honoki wood (Magnolia spp) or one or two highly debated alternatives. I try to be perfect in all things, but the strange thing is, I don't seem to succeed...!
  5. Brian, thank you. Your comments are once again appreciated. It seems this thread (which might be my last) is drawing to a close, and I thought it would be interesting to the forum members to read my final conclusions concerning my three nihonto swords. This, coming from a novice collector of nihonto like myself, might even then be fraught with misconceptions, but I need to decide what it is that I have uncovered & learnt from my fact-gathering plus contributions of forum members in the threads till now. All this in a very small nutshell! 1) My katana blade, straight hamon, signed by Nobuyoshi 2nd gen and dated 1680 is Edo, blade is tired, there's a chance the signature might be real, high quality fittings are all very recent, with the only exceptions being the bamboo tsuka, sa-me, and tsuba, which are as old as the blade. 2) My wakizashi blade, straight hamon, signed by Yasuhiro (gimei) and undated, is Meiji but not a rebellion sword, blade is tired as well as shortened, might have been in a fire, fittings are as old as the blade, with the exception of the wrapping which is recent. 3) My tanto, unsigned and undated, straight hamon but difficult to see, blade and all fittings original, might have been produced in Meiji times, probably a "boy's sword" because it has the shinogi, all fittings belong to the blade. This is a complete unaltered nihonto, which might count for something. --- All the above my own conclusions, as with antiques just 'educated' guesses ----- Regards to all the forum members. Johan.
  6. Geraint & Jean C, you can be sure I'll take your kind comments under serious consideration, as I always do. Far be it from me to try to justify a poor specimen if such justification is unwarranted. So Edo it is not. I'll easily bite on to the idea that it might be Meiji (and I'm going to study the Meiji history in more detail). I must tell you at this stage that when I procured this wakizashi I pestered the seller for as much background information as he can provide. I could have saved myself the effort. He was not the owner for long, but he gave me a written note that said (and I know it's just hearsay, but still) "This wakizashi is 1800's, connected to a rebellion, according to an expert in Pretoria. It is signed. The expert believed the sword was originally a katana blade." People who read this can make whatever judgements they like, and I realize the statement, as is, does not mean too much. I would have loved to have spoken to the "expert" to hear his motivation for his statements. Anyhow, I though it would make interesting reading to tell you this. I was not able to delve deeper into the background of this sword. The seller was very uncommunicative. The two-kanji signature, if you remember, is Yasuhiro, probably gimei. Friends, if what I have divulged here will stimulate more comments from you, it will be for my education in the nature of my nihonto sword. Please don't keep them back. Gratefully, Johan
  7. I think I must have put the forum members on the wrong track with my last post above. It might look like I have already answered my own questions. In fact please respond only to my very first post above. I'm looking forward to seeing your kind comments and suggestions. Johan
  8. I've looked at the colours of the various creatures in the pics above, and these are the actual shades of red (?) I see on the saya. The octopus is as shown: decidedly brighter and redder than the others. In addition, if you're asking, the saya has a sayajiri, kurigata plus shitodome, as well as a kaeshizuno. The koiguchi is is buffalo horn and there is a pocket for kogatana/kozuka. Johan
  9. Friends, I would like to show you some pics of my wakizashi saya, and I'd like to know what you think. I realize I cannot expect you to tell me in which year the saya was made (!!!); joke aside, would it be possible to say if this is an old saya, perhaps Edo or pre-1800 or something like that? I've also posted pics of the maki-e on the glossy black scabbard. It seems to be raised lacquer, coloured with what I presume to be copper metal powder. The nature of the pics (sea-living organisms) might give a clue? Maybe there is a style to them that could indicate age? I see an octopus, a sole-type flatfish, two molluscs and a conch, and strange little fan-like shapes, of which there are quite a lot scattered over the saya. Any comments will be appreciated! Johan
  10. Fascinating aspects of the broad picture of nihonto! Thanks, Jean & all others who took part in this thread. All your kind comments went into my better understanding of Japan's edged weapons! I'm truly indebted. Johan
  11. Very interesting, Jean! Do I understand it correctly that these "schools" are groups much like guilds? These schools are each founded, if I have read correctly in other threads, by an individual and then they grow as smiths/learner smiths attend. I should think they might also physically work together in a group? I have read about the famous Rai school. Perhaps I need to get more info on these "schools" and how they were conducted. Do you or anyone else perhaps have a good link for me? Johan
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