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Everything posted by cabowen

  1. Please keep in mind that tanto are made without shingane. That means you can polish them down to a toothpick and not worry about shintetsu showing through. So, if this was to go for a few hundred, and you are willing to gamble on a polish, why not. The rest doesn't look too bad...Or, machi-okuri and remove it.....you'll end up with a small mamori-gatana from the Muromachi period for a few hundred dollars....Can't even buy a decent custom knife for that...
  2. Well, considering Uda worked in Etchu, as did Norishige, which is who Yoshihiro modeled his blades after, you would get a 国入"kuni iri" (same province) at kantei nyusatsu meaning you have the correct province...
  3. As Joe mentions, the blade is signed Kawachi no Kami Fujiwara Kunisuke. This line worked for several generations in Osaka in the 1600's and onward. Many fakes of the first few generations who are well known. The way the signature is positioned towards the end of the nakago makes me wonder if the blade wasn't shortened....It is hard to tell from the photos as none show a full picture of the nakago (tang) nor do you give any measurements. I would take Grey's advice and seeks some informed opinions at the sword show where people can view the sword first hand. If the signature is good, it will most likely be a good sword. If the signature is not good, it will be worth much much less and may or may not be good. You can use google to search for more information and examples of valid signatures to do some comparison...Search 河内守藤原国助
  4. Aki 明 is composed of two radicals: sun on the left 日 and moon 月on the right. The kao is a more literal depiction of the sun, with rays, and the moon, in a crescent phase. Hope that helps...
  5. The papers that are worrisome are generally those that confirm a signature, usually a well known one...Yours, on the other hand, is simply an attribution to a group, Edo Hojoji, not a smith. As an attribution to a group, one is about the same as another. The sword looks like it certainly could be (from what is visible in the photos) Edo Hojoji. I wouldn't worry in this case.
  6. I have had tsuba held up in customs in Japan and told since they were "sword" guards, they needed to be registered, not once, but twice. Sometimes, things get held up simply because government/postal/customs people simply don't know what they are doing....
  7. Most Kaboku mei one comes across are fake. This one looks to be another....
  8. I'm going to go with gimei but again, it wouldn't hurt to submit to shinsa....
  9. cabowen

    Possible Hagire

    Sometimes hagire can be caused by abuse other than impact (bending, twisting, side impact, etc.) and show no sign of edge deformation.
  10. Thanks for the reply. Are you saying that you are mostly self-taught? I know several koshirae builders who are mostly self-taught and I have no issue with that but think it is important to make this clear if asked...Thanks for the clarification. I will be in Japan for a few months this summer. Maybe I will be lucky enough to see some of your work.... Best of luck to you... PS- Who is Paul???
  11. cabowen

    Possible Hagire

    I have seen hagire on one side only....
  12. Hans- Thank you for your reply. Please keep in mind a few things that may explain some of the questions posted concerning this koshirae and your work: 1. There are many people claiming to be "craftsman" who are more or less self-taught and lack the deep knowledge of the craft that is usually only obtained through instruction by a master. While they may be highly dedicated and have great skill, they are unfamiliar with many of the finer points of the craft. When viewed by experts/professionals, these differences stand out. Many people lack the knowledge to determine these nuances themselves and that is where this forum comes in- to help those without this specialized knowledge appreciate the finer points. Most posters do so with tact. Some, not so much... 2. It isn't personal, it is business. Too many people have paid good money to people who act the part but do not have the training and knowledge to perform as they should. Undoubtedly you have heard yourself many tales of shoddy work, broken promises, and even outright criminal behavior from so-called "craftsman". As a result, there is suspicion, which is healthy in my mind, of those who do not make their training and education clear. Would you hire someone for an important job who wouldn't tell you anything about their education? 3. Non-Japanese doing traditional Japanese crafts always seem to have a tough time with acceptance of their work by other non-Japanese. So many times this is because these people do not have the proper training as mentioned above. Other times, they do, but stereotypes and biases tend to create a situation where they have to try harder and perform better just to gain acceptance. The life of a craftsman is never easy. My advise is to make your background, training, and education clear- not to satisfy others, but first to honor your teachers and the craft. Secondly, because it reasonable and right to provide this to those who would pay for your services and entrust their prized possessions to your care. In the end, it is all about trust, and being upfront and honest about yourself is the first step. By the way, I do not understand this sentence: Do you mean 入選 nyusen (chosen for competition) at the NBTHK shinsaku contests? In any case, I hope this helps in some way to explain what is behind many of the posts in this thread and is received in the spirit in which it was intended... Best of luck with your craft- ganbatte!
  13. If well done, it shouldn't be an issue at shinsa. Remember, owners with swords with fake signatures often are advised to have the signatures removed and to resubmit the blade. This requires repatination. It must be well done though or it looks terrible.
  14. They say there is a collector for everything....
  15. cabowen

    Possible Hagire

    That would make me nervous as well...It doesn't show on the opposite side?
  16. That is about as easy as it gets....Please do yourself a favor and try looking. Hint: very common kanji in Seki blades.
  17. Don't assume because the blade is intact that it is traditionally made. It is rare, but not unheard of, for a non-traditionally made, stamped blade to pass registration shinsa and receive a license.
  18. The blade is signed Sukesada. You are off by a few hundred years....
  19. Bishu Osafune ju Sanesada (?) 備州長船住真貞 Nenki might be Bunji 文治3年6月日
  20. What you are seeing as utsuri may in fact be "tsukare utsuri"....
  21. I understand your reasoning in asking for data. My point addressed what to do with the data now that it seems you have enough to see a trend and legitimately ask questions. I suggested contacting the AB for three reasons: first, as the NBTHK representative, it's their responsibility to service their members. If you aren't a member, then that is a moot point. The second reason is the simple fact that they are the ones best positioned do something about it, and third, by going through them, they act as an intermediary, which is always a good thing when dealing with Japanese in these situations. As for questioning the NBTHK, like anything else, it depends on the situation and the approach taken. I have run into people (only in the US) who think the NBTHK is infallible and place them on a pedestal- they are only to be spoken of in a hushed voice, you know... They are very much human and as long as one is respectful and courteous, they are quite approachable. Further, It's important to keep in mind that people who submit items to shinsa are paying customers. In Japan, the saying is "okyakusama wa kamisama desu"(お客様は神様です”) - the customer is god. There is a marked difference in questioning their opinion (which in most cases I would say one would be on thin ice) and questioning their service, which to me, is the real issue here, and very much open to question.
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