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Tanto54

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Tanto54 last won the day on June 24

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    George M

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  1. Hi Moley, for at least 800 years since the initial publication of the Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga (鳥獣人物戯画, literally "Animal-person Caricatures”) four comic scrolls, the Japanese have been using anthropomorphic Toads, Mice, Rabbits, etc. illustrated in human activities (like wrestling) for humor. On Adam’s menuki, I think that I can see the Sumo Referee’s (a 3rd Toad’s) Gunbai (wooden war-fan used by the referee to signal the winner) in this case a leaf (I’ve circled the leaf on Adam’s menuki and the one in the famous Woodblock Print of Sumo Wrestling Toads below).
  2. Nice Detective work Pietro! So he is just jerking our chain again. I guess now that he has been exposed in this and the previous thread, he has lost all his dignity and there will be no graceful exit for the "Bear" (Babu).
  3. Hey Brian, You said that you could take out the wood core. If so, you should be able to see the inside of the metal (with a Bore Light?). That should let you know whether it is Uchidashi, thin pressed brass or cast. I would bet on Uchidashi.... If it is thin pressed brass then the interior contours should almost exactly match the exterior ones. If it is cast, then that should be obvious and the inside contours (if any) would just very slightly follow the outside contours. If Uchidashi, the interior contours will be just like a menuki (following the outside contours generally, but leaving the detailed carving or shaping to the outside. Let us know what you see. BTW - Kaiken only need to be large enough to cut or pierce the Jugular Vein and some are carried in tiny pockets in the Kimono Sleeve (so are very small...)
  4. Dick, that tobacco pouch is nice! Raijin & Fujin (Thunder and Wind Gods) fixing their equipment - Awesome and very unusual motif.
  5. Hi Brian, nice pickup! Nothing Chinese here - definitely Japanese motifs and construction. Kiku (Chrysanthemums), Shishi and Tatsu (Dragon) with three toes (remember the discussion a while back about Chinese fakes often mistakenly make their dragons with 4 or 5 toes and this is a good, possible indicator of a fake - yours has the appropriate number - 3 toes). As you mentioned, many think that these were mostly tourist fare, but I have a different theory. As you probably know, this is a Kaiken, and Samurai Wives were expected to carry a Kaiken on their person. The Kaiken was often given to them as part of her trousseau or dowery; therefore, there would have been hundreds of thousands of these in all quality levels (depending upon the finances of the Samurai family). What do you think happened to all those Kaiken? I suspect that they were rounded up and sold to tourists around the same time that the swords were taken away from the Samurai. Of course, many may have still been made for the tourists, but surely many must have been true original Kaiken that were carried by Samurai Wives.
  6. Tanto54

    Peony and lion dog

    Hi Stephen, Malcolm shared a link to write up about the Shishi "worms" that might support the story about why Shishi are often seen with Peony.
  7. Tanto54

    Strange menuki theme.

    Adam, you are amazing! This doesn't prove that your menuki are a set. The item in your menuki is a flower not a hossu (fly whisk)... You have some serious Cognitive Dissonance or integrity issues.
  8. Tanto54

    Peony and lion dog

    Thanks Malcolm T!
  9. Tanto54

    Peony and lion dog

    No problem, there is a story that I heard, but I've never been able to find any scholarly references to back this up (so it may be total BS...) The Shishi is all powerful except that one small insect that lives in its fur can burrow in and eventually kill it. Supposedly the nectar of the Peony carried by the dew kills the bug. There is a Buddhist saying "Shishi shinchu no mushi" that basically means it's the little things inside of us that will destroy us instead of the things outside. With that understanding, the pairing of the Shishi and Botan (Peony) would mean overcoming our inner doubts and fears (but again, I have no scholarly reference to back up this interpretation).
  10. Tanto54

    Peony and lion dog

    Hi Stephen, the pairing symbolizes Regal Power - the Shishi is the King of beasts and the Botan (Peony) is the King of Flowers. Semper Fi...
  11. Jean, with all due respect, people other than Ford know some things. Trust me, this is not cast. I've done small casting work. But if you really have to hear it from Ford, look up a couple of his videos on Youtube about Uchidashi and you'll see why the backs are smooth.
  12. Thanks for the clarification Jean - now I understand what you were saying. This is definitely not cast. When making these or menuki, the backs are often domed out with hard wood pegs or other methods that leave the back quite smooth like this. The definitive sign that it is not cast is the two places where the edges of the once-flat plate pinch together as the piece was hammered into a dome shape (see the two circled areas in the photo below). In this case, you can see the interface between the two edges and even a reopening of the gap towards the end. You will often see this effect on menuki where they come to a long, tapered point.
  13. Cast? Doesn't look cast to me... Jean, what do you mean "so not a single item" and why do you think it is cast?
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