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About MJS

  • Birthday 10/31/1895

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    Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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  1. Hi Georg! Apologies for the late reply, was on vacation in bad-internet-land. Thank you for your feedback! I will definitely have a good look at proper white balance. The color temp of the tube lights that I use is adjustable, and I have so far not paid much attention to it. I also agree on your remarks regarding the border between object and background. That will be a more difficult experiment, because even the smallest dust particles are lit up like lightbulbs in the current setup. I digitally removed them, but maybe I should just try to get a cleaner baseline picture . Or get better at postprocessing (maybe more "feather" along the edges)! Best, Mark
  2. Hi all, I am trying to find a good setup to make acceptable photographs of nihonto. I'm now using an acrylic table, lying on top of a darkened (sword-sized) box. Still experimenting with the ideal angles for lighting. My "model" is a jumonji yari, as it is relatively small and light. I found that it is particularly challenging to get the lighting right for these, especially when the goal is to capture the entire blade including nakago. I made this image by merging two separate photographs, one with the lighting from the sides and one with lighting from the front and back. It is quite a bit of work to make the merge work, so I would prefer a solution where the lighting captures the details of the yari from all directions. But the more lights I use, the higher the risk of unwanted glare or overexposure on particular areas. Work in progress I guess! I'm looking for feedback on the style of photography, and for ideas to bring out the best from a piece with such a complicated shape. Technical tips and tricks are welcome too, of course! I feel something is "missing" but can't quite figure out what is it is. Mark
  3. MJS

    Katsura Eiju

    Really beautiful. Watching that scene makes me feel happy!
  4. I am offering for sale a unique antique Edo period war fan (gunsen). Black lacquered wood spokes, it has the image of the sun. Especially the front has a very interesting silver/black background pattern. Front side: The front is in excellent shape, but there is some damage on the back. Given the materials and the age, the overall condition is very good. This is a great piece and a unique addition to any collection. Back side: . Folded: My asking price is EUR 1250. Best regards, Mark *) On the images with the black background, I did not unfold the gunsen completely. The sun is, however, exactly in the middle.
  5. Thank you, interesting. Tourist junk from long ago. Fortunately I did not actually purchase this thing. I was just having trouble figuring out what it was. I rarely look on ebay and friends, but I’ve not yet seen this kind of fitting.
  6. Hi, yes I did :-) Needless to see I could not find anything on this one. Weird thing was that I think the seller thought the shirasaya was of most interest and not the blade, the pics of tang and ‘detail’ of boshi were not even in the original ad. Thanks everyone.
  7. Hi all, Not sure if a question like this even belongs here but while dreaming of well polished swords I saw this absolute rust bucket somewhere. I've got no experience whatsoever with neglected nihonto, so hopefully someone with more experience can help me out here. The shirasaya (is it??) looks very iffy, I've never seen it done like this. What is this? A 'fake' or something very unusual? The blade itself I also have no idea about. It might be genuine but it is in absolutely pitiful state. So even if this one were the real deal, would it even be possible to bring this back to a state where people would want to look at it? These pictures are unfortunately all I have. Best, Mark
  8. Thanks everyone! I had not expected so many replies in such a short time. There are several good ideas (though I'll skip the aquarium for now), so hopefully I'll be more successful tomorrow.
  9. Thanks Ted. This afternoon I saw the use of an atekizuchi in a video by Moses Becerra. He uses it while holding the tsuka in a vertical position, but putting the naginata on a bed is a great idea! Now I'm off to find myself a suitable wooden hammer.
  10. Hi all, Today I tried to remove a naginata blade from its tsuka for maintenance, but it is quite stuck. I am very reluctant to use any force. The blade is sharp on both sides (see the image, is this called otoshi zukuri? What kind?). We've had an extended dry period here in The Netherlands, with a bit of rain only the last few days. Is it possible that the dryness is causing this problem? If so, what is the safest way to add enough humidity so that the blade can be removed again? Thanks, Mark
  11. For Holland: I am a newbie, so I called Customs. They said I would have to pay regular BTW (19%? Strange, we'll see!), no import duties and that I should mention code 9706.0000.90. I'll let you know how it goes and ::edit:: the post! Mark
  12. Hello everyone, My name is Mark Stoutjesdijk, I live in The Netherlands with my wife and two young sons. I'm a few months shy of 40 years old. I developed an interest in nihonto in a rather indirect way, so let me try to explain in a few words. I've been practicing martial arts on and off for about two decades. During the late 90's and for the last year, I've been studying the bujinkan of soke Masaaki Hatsumi. Through an interest in the history of ninjutsu and its place in the Japanese society of days long past, I inevitably came to read about the samurai and their way of life. The subject of their famous blades was of course just a small step further. As I am sure the members of this Board will understand, I was immediately hooked on the incredible beauty, historical value and powerful presence of these weapons. At this moment, my collection consists of only one tsuba (but a beautiful one, for sure -- thanks Martin, it arrived today ). I'm interested mostly in weapons (and fittings!) that have a relation to the Bujinkan, which unfortunately is pretty much anything. I will have to find a way to narrow it down a bit, but have no doubt that time will show me the way. I'm very happy to have found this board, and am very impressed by the knowledge and friendliness that is found all over! Cheers, Mark
  13. Thank you Henry and Paul. I have been looking into local meetings etc, and so far I have found the Dutch society which is mentioned in the links section of this great message board. It looks like I just missed their last meeting. Mark
  14. Hello everyone, I've just started to read up on Japanese swords and other weapons. It's a fascinating subject to read about. So many beautiful pictures, and so many interesting histories. One of the more difficult things for me to understand is the large volume of fittings that are traded. I get a feeling that during the life span of many a blade, some or all of the fittings were changed once or even more times. I would like to understand what that means from a collector's point of view. Could someone point me in the right direction? How does a change of tsuba affect the value (in the broadest sense of the word) of a blade, for example? Or, if I would acquire just a blade, what to look for next? Could I choose any shirasaya from about the same time period that I like, or.... So many questions! :? Thanks! Mark
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