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Everything posted by cabowen

  1. ...thanks guys for the reminder-I had almost forgotten what I have been missing here! and also for making my point ....Enjoy!....
  2. It would seem a contradiction in claiming I am both soliciting members and handpicking them....First of all, I am not "handpicking" members- I have no control over who applies and have approved everyone who has chosen to join with the exception of one person who apparently couldn't agree to the terms of membership. Secondly, I haven't discussed my opinion of this "board" with you here so you are engaging in nothing more than idle speculation at best by supposing to know what I think. But I will tell you that as someone who has 3 times the post count you have here, and has spent much more of his time here than you have, that the "board" is just fine. Like many others, I just don't have time anymore to deal with the annoying behavior of a few people, case in point, this thread: I post an open and friendly invitation to people with a sincere interest to join a new group to share and exchange information and I get my ankles chewed by people who not only lack the self-restraint and decency to control their petty nastiness, but who also lack the initiative to create anything of substance themselves to contribute to the community at large. So much easier to tear down rather than build. But enough-I won't get sucked any further down into this drain field of negativity...Those interested in a positive experience, please join. Or don't....whatever...
  3. My apologies Pete if I have offended your sense of decorum or your gentle sensibilities by offering yet another avenue for those interested in Japanese swords. I have always felt that the more opportunities for sharing and exchanging knowledge, the better off we all are. I would like to think those truly interested in the field realize it's not a zero sum game and would welcome such news. Guess you can't please everybody.
  4. It's on Facebook, for a start. And it is a closed group, meaning membership is not open to the public-it's for sword people so there won't be any "please translate my Chinese fake" or "how much is my uncle Festus' sword worth?" posts, spam, etc. It's meant to be a bs free environment for those interested in learning, sharing, and serious (well, we'll aim high, anyway!) study.
  5. I've started a new group on Facebook for those looking to learn, share their knowledge of Japanese swords and related themes, and otherwise expand their exposure to things Japanese...I have uploaded a few articles-WWII era sword company logos, early 20th century smiths, some interesting photos of massive shrine blades from an exhibit I attended in Nikko last summer, and many other things... It is a private group to limit the chinese fakes, scams, and other riff raff. If interested, please send a request for membership... group name: 鐵會 Tetsu Kai (on Facebook)
  6. It is all opinion, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. One needs to keep in mind which market the organizations cater to primarily: NBTHK shinsa was set up to accommodate dealers, who are still their primary customer base. NTHK-NPO is geared more towards collectors. If you compare the information contained in their kantei-sho, I think that will be obvious. Personally, I know the judges on the NTHK-NPO shinsa team, and I know their backgrounds and experience. I know their head judge has won more kantei contests than anyone alive and having known or met most of the top experts in Japan over the last 25 or so years, I can't name a single one who I think is clearly more knowledgeable in general than Miyano Sensei. Everyone though has their favorites, their own opinions. As for the NBTHK, I can't name a single person on the NBTHK shinsa teams so I have no way to judge their backgrounds and experience and thus the current value of their opinions. Brand names are very important in Japan, but reputations can and do come and go. A brand can only handle so many scandals; the NBTHK has lost members and its reputation has taken a hit among the collector community in Japan. Of course, Tsuruta and other dealers will and must support them for obvious reasons. Believe me, not everyone shares his opinions and their name/kantei-sho are not everyone's gold standard. Sometimes perceptions and reality can and do differ. What I have told people in the past is this: if you buy swords for investment purposes, or are a dealer, go NBTHK. If you want to learn about your sword, go NTHK-NPO. Of course I reserve the right to change my opinion as future events unfold... That is about as far into the NBTHK vs NTHK-NPO debate I will wade. I hope that at least provides you with another pespective.
  7. Not quite accurate. See here for an explanation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1728933930663768/
  8. I returned home late last evening from Tampa, where it was sunny and 70F, to a virtual whiteout as we drove in a snow storm 1 1/2 hours home from the airport. Averaging quite literally 2 hours of sleep a night for 5 straight nights, I enjoyed 16 uninterrupted hours of the best sleep I can remember...Yes, Arnold's comments were correct, it was an exhausting experience. However, it was also pure enjoyment to see so many friends and to make new ones as well. I am just relieved there isn't a shinsa or show every month....While I saw hundreds of nice swords and kodogu, the best part of my week was the many deep and meaningful conversations with like minded people and all the stories and laughter.... As for the shinsa, lots of nice things came through. The shinsa team said the overall level was higher than what they actually usually receive in Japan every month. They felt like the collectors in the US were gaining in their knowledge and appreciation. There were a dozen or so items that were truly superb- a fine Rai blade, a ko-Bizen blade, a few tsuba that scored 80 and 85 points....and many nice gendai-to, which of course made me happy to see... They did comment on the poor state of polish of many blades, and on the many blades with sub-par amateur polishes. There were a few very nice blades which they felt were done a great disservice by not having them properly restored....Preaching to the choir there.... Miyano sensei did indeed make it, but almost had to cancel again at the last moment. He was under the weather the whole time but hid it well. While everyone else seemed to drag a bit by the end of their usual 10 hour day, he seemed to gain power and become more and more energized as the day went along. He had been in the hospital a few weeks before they were scheduled to come and had to get his doctor's approval just before they left. He promised his doctor it would be a relaxing vacation and was able to get the OK. I knew quickly that he was still hurting but he plowed through it all. I heard many positive comments about his informal, off the cuff talk on Saturday evening and I think his deep passion shown through though I doubt many knew of his poor condition. Whether people realized it or not, what they saw Saturday evening was the grit of a true samurai. I thanked him when they left, telling him how much it meant to me and to all who attended, and that I understood how hard it was for him. He told me he had made a promise to come, so he had no choice but to come...I know that despite the difficulties he had, he was deeply touched by the passion shown by those who attended and by the many who took the time to thank him. I think he fed on the all the excitement and positiveness around him...Several times I had to remind him that we were conducting a shinsa, not a kantei, and could he please try to keep things moving, as he was prone to break into a 10 minute lecture whenever something came through that got him excited... There are so many people who went out of their way to help and so many who extended their kind offers to help- I really can't name them all but first I want to thank all those who submitted to the shinsa, and I want to call out Joe Forcine and his friend Mary who both helped in the shinsa room; Bill Green, who promoted the show; the hotel staff, who went way above and beyond to answer my mostly bizarre requests (Um, can you send down a large bag of rubber bands and some zip lock plastic bags?); and to Bobby B., John T., Steve, Brian T., George G., Mark J. Grey D., Matt, and a few others who best go unnamed, for the laughs, thought provoking comments, and positive energy. Thank you all....
  9. I will be making up the schedule and sending out reservation tickets in one week. Where does the time go???? There are still spaces left so if anyone is planning on submitting to the shinsa, it's time to make your reservations.... Looking forward to meeting many of you in Tampa....
  10. Let me start by thanking all of you for your past support and wish each of you and your families a very merry and joyous holiday season! I am sending out this update regarding the February, 2016 NTHK-NPO Shinsa as both a reminder to those who still have yet to make their reservations, and to let everyone know the current status of the event. Reservations are coming in, though there are still plenty of slots left. We are once again offering a mail in service for those unable to attend and still have openings as well for those who would like to have their items submitted in their absence. I would encourage everyone to get your reservations made sooner rather than later so you don’t get shut out in the event of a sell out. I have spoken with Miyano Teiji Sensei, the head of the NTHK-NPO and chief shinsa judge, and he tells me he is very much looking forward to attending the Shinsa. Ohashi san, in charge of kodogu, as well, is busy preparing. The rest of team is in place and everyone is excited to be making the trip to Tampa. We are in the process of arranging a display of high quality blades which, if all comes together, will be the focus of an informal lecture by Miyano Sensei, on Saturday evening. Additionally, the NTHK-NPO has recently published a new book of excellent items that have passed their Yushu Shinsa over the last several years. This is the NTHK-NPO equivalent to the Juyo ranking. The name of the book is “Yushu To Zuroku”, or “Catalogue of Excellent Swords”. It has an English Table of Contents with brief info on each item, allowing for easy access to the contents, which includes several photos of each blade. The book, in a large format, contains roughly 250 pages and comes with a slip cover. The printing was limited. I have asked them to bring over 10 copies, which will be sold for $150 each on a first come, first serve basis. Those interested should reserve their copy with me asap. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. Again, thank you all for your past support and my best to each of you this New Year. Sincerely, Chris Bowen PO Box 99 Mount Hope, WI 53816 NTHK-NPO 2016 Tampa Shinsa ... Reserve your space now! For details see: http://www.ejapaneseswords.com/Shinsa_Info.html
  11. Thanks Jean...I agree, there is nothing else available in the English language which is as comprehensive as the Yamanaka Newsletters... Last call, marked down once to $325....buy yourself a Christmas present....
  12. Just came across a long forgotten but mint extra set of Yamanaka's Newsletters, spiral bound. These are probably the most compete and comprehensive English language source of information on all schools and most mainstream smiths from Koto through the Bakumatsu period. They were published in the late 1960's/early 1970's. There are 5 volumes and well over 1000 pages of text. Albert Yamanaka was a student of Honami Koson and his Newsletters are full of insights and information not available elsewhere. These are rare and hard to come by...$400 OBO, shipping not included. Email me at swords@ejapaneseswords.com rather than PM...Thanks.
  13. Another reminder that the Tampa show and NTHK-NPO Shinsa are right around the corner. Reservations are coming in at a good clip now so I would encourage anyone contemplating submitting something to the Shinsa to get your reservation made asap. Please be advised that we are also offering a mail in service for those who wish to submit but can not attend. We are currently making efforts to put together a display of high quality blades accompanied by a possible lecture by Miyano Teiji Sensei, the head of the NTHK-NPO and chief Shinsa judge. Bill Green has other interesting things in the works as well. Should be an excellent event!
  14. 1. Parts saya http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Samurai-Sword-Scabbard-/171991941029?hash=item280b84bfa5:g:EXcAAOSwu-BWPmPy 2. Gunto Sword Koshirae http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-WWII-Officers-Samurai-Sword-Mounting-Fittings-/171991939148?hash=item280b84b84c:g:jP 3. Gunto Sword Koshirae http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-WWII-Officer-Samurai-Sword-Mounting-Fittings-/171991937396?hash=item280b84b174:g:ZF8AAOSwo6lWPmH7 4. Gunto Sword Koshirae http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Samurai-Sword-WWII-Army-Gunto-Mounting-Fittings-/171991935688?hash=item280b84aac8:g:NZoAAOSwT5tWPmDV 5. Osaka Shinto Wakizashi Project http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Samurai-Sword-Signed-/171991909413?hash=item280b844425:g:OFkAAOSw7hRWPlUp 6. Osaka Shinto Wakizashi Project http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Samurai-Sword-Signed-/171991903565?hash=item280b842d4d:g:gqQAAOSwo0JWPlIe
  15. Update Yoshihara Kuniie and Tsukamoto Masakazu have both sold. Thank you...
  16. Just a reminder to those contemplating submitting to the NTHK-NPO Shinsa in Tampa in February to get your slot reservations in to me sooner rather than later as the pace has started to pick up as of late. Please keep in mind that it is first come, first reserved.... Looking forward to seeing many of you in Tampa....Thanks again for the support and participation.
  17. Update Horii Hideaki/Toshihide tanto has sold. Others are still available. Thank you.
  18. Back from polish in Japan: 1. Yokoyama Sukekane, shodai, shinshinto, 29 1/4", o-gunome, flawless, shirasaya, NTHK-NPO papers. $12,000US. 2. Tamahide, shodai, shinshinto, large hira-zukiri wakizashi in the Soshu style. midare-ba. Flawless, with nice koshirae, shirasaya, tsunagi. NTHK-NPO papers. $6000US. 3. Horii Hideaki (Toshihide) special order mamori-gatana (tanto), hira-zukuri, sugu-ba, mitsu-mune. Flawless, shirasaya. $3250US. The following are in older polish: 4. Tsutsui Kiyokane, gendaito, 27 1/2", ko-Bizen copy with choji and tachi sugata. With gunto koshirae. Flawless. Polish about 95% with some light scuffs and scratches. $4000US. 5. Tsukamoto Masakazu gendaito, (Tsukamoto Okimasa's brother), in shirasaya. Choji-midare. Flawless. Polish about 95% with some light scuffs and scratches. Very rare. $3750US. 6. Yoshihara Kuniie, gendaito, shodai. In shirasaya, older NBTHK paper (signature guaranteed), sosho mei. Choji-midare with some utsuri. Flawless. Polish about 95%. $6500US. Prices are negotiable to a point but realize these are quality, collectible swords priced at market and I have no need to give them away. Please don't waste your time and mine with ridiculous offers. Those with a serious interest can contact me at: swords at ejapaneseswords.com (no PM's please) for further details, pictures, etc.
  19. I absolutely, unequivocally, guarantee the mei on both of these swords as genuine. The Kiyokane, as noted in the description, has some glue residue on the nakago which might be what looks a bit odd. Thanks Mark for the kind words. Any further questions, please email me.
  20. http://www.ebay.com/itm/WWII-Japanese-Sword-Gendaito-Tsukamoto-Masakazu-Rare-/171916570064?hash=item280706add0 http://www.ebay.com/itm/WWII-Japanese-Sword-Gendaito-Signed-Famous-Smith-/171916542592?hash=item2807064280
  21. Please find the relevent info below. Let me know if you have any further questions. Also, I won't be checking messages on this site with any frequency so please contact me directly at swords@ejapaneseswords.com rather than sending any pm's...thanks. With great pleasure I would like to announce the return of the NTHK-NPO Shinsa Team to the US. Hosted by Mr. Bill Green of the Southeast Shows and Auctions, the NTHK-NPO will be conducting a shinsa (appraisal) of Japanese sword blades and fittings on February 25-28, 2016. The team will be headed by Mr. Miyano Teiji, who told me personally while I met with him in Tokyo this past July that he would be attending, baring any relapses in his health. Miyano Sensei is one of the top sword appraisers in Japan. Miyano Sensei is getting up there in years and this may well be his last shinsa in the US. For those unable to attend the event, we will once again offer a mail-in service. Space is limited to please make your reservations early. Costs will be as follows: Submission/reservation fee (mailed to me by check to hold your reservation for sword or fitting): $100 per item If the item passes (due at the show in CASH): $175 per item Mail in Service fee (sent to me with your initial registration fee): $100 per item Please contact me at swords@ejapaneseswords.com for further information, questions, and/or reservations. Checks should be made out to C&M Partners and sent to me at my PO box address below. Details can be found online at: http://ejapaneseswords.com/Shinsa_Info.html For info on the show and to reserve a room in Tampa, please contact Mr. Bill Green at: WILLIAM (BILL) GREEN 113A King Street, Saint Augustine FL, 32084 Office: 904.808.0662 Mobile: 904.347.3144 Email: SouthEastShows@hotmail.com Put it on your calendar- this one should not be missed! Hope to see you there... -- Sincerely, Chris Bowen PO Box 99 Mt. Hope, WI 53816 swords@ejapaneseswords.com
  22. So my comment isnt misconstrued, and to clarify, the Japanese phrase is, i believe, 骨董窃盗如 kotto, setto, goto, which translates as antiques, stealing, same as,...meaning those who deal in antiques are (often) thieves....a Japanese "buyer beware"...perhaps a bit different than what you had intended Peter....
  23. You claimed: There is no reason to argue with your sources as they made no claims or expressed no opinions about this blade. Again, the Kunisuke group is considered a "school", so when you say: when referring to a possible Kunisuke blade, it is taken as a comment on the Kunisuke school, not as a comment on the Horikawa group. Thus from my original comment: "Never heard of this group liking to make copies of Sadamune and Shizu, but they are famous for their choji." It should have been clear from the "choji" comment that I wasn't talking about the Horikawa school, but the Osaka Shinto Kunisuke school. Your monograph showing the Soshu influence on the Horikawa group was superfluous since no one was, or would, argue otherwise. The Kunisuke school however did not like to copy Shizu and Sadamune. Some of the shodai's work shows Soshu influence, but one smith is not a "school". The OP asked "What do I have?" If we are to believe your comment that the signature is ok, and the inference from your statement that "this (meaning Horikawa) school liked to copy Shizu and Sadamune", it can only mean you are saying it is a genuine blade by the Shodai Kunisuke. Luckily, I have many Kunisuke signatures from several generations on hand because someone asked me to appraise their Kunisuke blade recently. Comparing the signature to valid shodai signatures, I don't think so. Please post your comparisons that allowed you to reach that conclusion. No doubt it would be very educational. If you weren't thinking of the Shodai, then the whole Shizu/Sadamune monologue was a red herring but perhaps you can show comparisons for the generation you were implying when you said "I think the signature is ok"... No personal beef, just respect for the truth. I would assume that is what the OP is after... As I have said before, if you don't like having to defend your opinions and find it "tedious" to have your statements challenged, then the obvious thing to do is to not post them.
  24. Yes, it would be a mistake. The poor quality/style of the mei usually indicates showa-to. Post pictures of the blade and maybe, if the photos are clear and the blade is a reasonable state, we can tell for sure but my bet is it is a showa-to.
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