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About MasahigeDen

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    Chu Saku

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  • Location:
    Victoria, Canada
  • Interests
    East Asian History, Medievalism, Japanese Militaria 1868-1945

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  • Name
    Aaron S.

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  1. Hi Ken, yes, I own many of the recommended english-language books and the two-volume softcover Hawley editions. I don't lack for reading on the subject, but I have not yet had a chance to examine very many good quality blades directly. Hopefully as the dreaded plague eases up I will be able to follow up some of my contacts in the local sword societies and attend some shows. As many people have pointed out, there is clearly no substitute for practicing and learning to make judgements in person.
  2. Hello all, In case anyone was still concerned, I will certainly not be purchasing this blade. I will continue to save my extra income and keep an eye out for a good "next-step-up" blade of the sort I want. A warm thanks to everyone here who advised me on this matter.
  3. This is, of course, a problem in all fields of collecting and antiquities and all other subsets of the broad 'art world.' Something I have recently had experience with, and which rides the line of fakery, is misrepresentation of pieces that are not themselves fakes but which are not what they are purported to be. For example, so-called kantei experts issuing fancy certificates dating swords to more desirable periods than they clearly are, or over-valuing pieces significantly. In a certain sense, this type of misrepresentation frustrates me more than outright fakes and copies of authentic items, because it is often far easier to identify an item as a reproduction than as a genuine item being misrepresented. I share your philosophical approach in some ways. As a historian-in-training, I am always considering different perspectives on historical collectibles of any rarity or grade. Personal valuation is difficult. For example, there are many gendai and showato swords which are of little interest to serious nihonto specialists and which would not make NBTHK papering, but which I would like to own as a Japanese militaria collector in the full knowledge of what they are. Often, arguably all of the time, the meaning of an artifact depends on the context from which meaning is derived. At the end of the day, if you have the knowledge of what a thing is, it is up to you to decide what that sort of item means to you. Just so long as you don't overpay for it!
  4. Thanks Kirill, that follows my growing suspicion that this is a later Muromachi sword. In any case, I have been disabused of the notion that any appraisal papers from Mr. Fimio are worth the paper they're printed on. Clearly, there are sharks in every ocean some bigger and more deceiving than others.
  5. Hello again all, Thank you so much to everyone for your responses thus far. I will be getting into contact with @b.hennick ASAP to discuss this. I may have done a poor job of explaining the sword's appearance properly. I have been doing this only five years. In any case, I now have pictures that will be worth much more than my clumsy attempts for the senior members here. I will use an exterior link, as the file size is too large. NOTE: These are not ideally lit, but they should allow them members to judge for themselves and especially for @Rivkin to confirm that this is the sword he is familiar with. I do not have a picture of the Nakago, but having examined it very carefully in person, I can confirm that the old nakago picture I provide here is exactly the same in terms of nakagojiri, the shape of the Yukimitsu signature, the placement of the mekugi-ana, and the overall shape. I await with gratitude the considerations of those here more knowledgeable than I. https://imgur.com/a/C67h1oP
  6. As I say in my first post, the sword has already been appraised by the NTHK's official Canada representative, Fred Fimio, who is certified by them as a Kantei expert. It isn't "available for $3.5k," that is merely the insurance value that his JSSC appraisal document assigns to it. I still have to make an offer. I have handled and disassembled the sword and seen the mei and the official appraisal documents. Jussi, that example you link is very close in profile to this one. As to the dating and most everything else, I am only repeating what was included in the signed documentation by an NTHK kantei expert Of course, as you say, without pictures one can only speculate. I'll most likely have pictures to add to this thread tomorrow.
  7. Hello all, I was looking for some knowledgable general advice regarding a potential purchase I'm honing in on. I have first dibs for a couple of days on a sword going up for sale. Sadly, I have no pictures to offer right now (I inspected the sword in person today) but I will get a few shortly. I fully realize advice without pictures is a tricky gambit, but I thought I'd see what some more experienced people can say based on my information. The sword has been appraised by Kantei Master Fred Fimio, head of the Japanese Sword Society of Canada and Canadian Director NTHK. It is of the Kaga Fujishima School, made by the first Yukimitsu (Katana Mei "行光"), second son of Tomoshige and student of Sanekaga (Hawley ID YUK252) c. 1340-1369. Sugata is 71cm, shinogi zukuri with strong toriizori, chu-kamasu kissaki, hada masame dominant with ko-itame. Hamon is chu-suguha and ko-midare. Nakago is perfect ubu with the distinctive pointed kashu nakagojiri. Hada and hamon obvious and bright, no pitting or rusting whatsoever. However, the sword does have several non-fatal kizu, including a ~4mm fukure patch near the base on the ura-mei side and a few surface striations, as well as a small but noticeable chip on either side just south of yokote. Recent auction sales and estimates of similar or later Yukimitsu school and Sanekage blades suggest that they tend to go in the $5-10K CAD range when in better condition than this example. The insurance value stamped for this one by Fred Fimio is $3,500 CAD, which seems to add up in my mind. I will hopefully have some good pictures tomorrow, but for now, I am most curious if anyone has any thoughts. I am quite interested in this sword, as I have a particular thing for Nambokucho swords, but my budget is not terribly high for now. Most significantly, I would like to know whether anyone has any thoughts on estimating an offer value, considering that the appraised value is primarily for insurance purposes and that the seller, whom I have bought from in the past, is certainly open to negotiation and fond of me.
  8. It occurred to me that the 'Ho' could indicate Kokura as it did on official inspections. Do you think it is likely a Kokura production then? I was hesitant, as the mysterious 'bamboo-hatted smiley face' (That will remain stuck in my head by the way, Bruce! ) would seem to throw a small wrench into that, but I really have no idea what it means, of course.
  9. Thanks Bruce, glad to know I wasn't missing anything obvious! It does seem to be a mystery maker then. Thanks so much, Trystan! I expect you're right about the abbreviation 'Rikugun' there. I wonder whether 'chu' and 'riku' might be maker indicators that the tsuka was medium-size stock and intended for finishing as an Army mounting.
  10. Much appreciated! I gather the early Ikkanshi Tadatsuna made some excellent blades, that focus seems to have been on a more mercantile clientele later in the Edo period, and that the brand still makes kitchen knives today. Do you know if there is a good way of dating a kozuka like this to a particular generation of the name?
  11. Hello all, I am a longtime reader of the site but a first-time poster in this section, so please excuse me if this is not the correct section for this matter. I have a typical Type 94 mounting set with a tsuka fitted to a Nihonto (a Fujiwara Saneyuki, Hawley ID SAN 572 if you're curious) and I would like help in identifying the producer of this particular set. It does not have any of the well-known private maker or arsenal marks on the tsuba or any other component. As you can see, there is a circled 'chu' character above another I can't quite make out on the tsuka as well as a kanji repetition of the stamped assembly number '49' pencilled in. On several of the seppa (left side in picture) there appears to be a very small symbol resembling a triangle over a letter 'u', which bears a vague resemblance to the Nakano Shoten logo. Any insight is greatly appreciated.
  12. Hello all, longtime reader, first time poster! I have here a kozuka I recently acquired with some shinshinto koshirae accompanying a pair of tanto. I am inexperienced with kozuka/kogatana, and any insight and/or translation assistance for this one would be greatly appreciated.
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