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Tanto54

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Tanto54 last won the day on May 20

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About Tanto54

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    George M

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  1. Dear Bob, in that set, Ford demonstrates a good mastery of many different styles and techniques. If he had bad intentions, he could be a dangerous Fordger....
  2. Dear Bob, With reference to Item #83, Goto Tsujo changed his mei and kao many times over his lifetime. Many of the other Goto kao are very similar. As mentioned before, I've seen daisho tsuba with significantly different signatures, so I don't believe that every small difference makes it gemei. Here's another tsuba that has the same design as yours and the same mei and kao (but your is MUCH higher quality).
  3. Dear Bob, on Item #83, I'm sure that this is supposed to be Goto Tsujo. I understand that Aoi is somewhat famous for clerical errors, and I don't know of a Goto Koju (maybe some of the Goto experts can assist here...) I've attached the Haynes entry for H5483 and you'll see that the kao is nothing alike, so I don't think that applies. Haynes has some other artists who signed Goto Mitsutoshi, but they used different kanji. Goto Tsujo used different names and even different kanji for signing Mitsutoshi, but he also used the ones on your tsuba. Most Japanese sources read that Tsujo kanji combination as "Mitsutoshi" but there is some scholarship that says that the Goto called him "Mitsunobu" instead of "Mitsutoshi" (Haynes does not adopt that reading). I've attached some of the mei and kao from Sesko (who does read it as Mitsunobu). Notice he has the same sosho for "Goto" and the same kanji for "Mitsunobu" (Mitsutoshi) as on your tsuba. Also notice that in one of the actual mei examples (circled), Tsujo omits the lower left Mitsu "leg" just like the mei on your tsuba (that's rare). Finally, your photos are hazy in the area of the kao so it's a little hard to compare, but I think that you will find that one of the circled kao fit your signature. Please let us know what you think in hand. NOT YOURS:
  4. Dear Bob, Item #83 is signed "Goto Mitsutoshi" using the kanji used by Goto Tsujo (perhaps "Koju" is a typo?). He lived 1663-1721 and was the 11th Mainline Master. Some of the kanji and sosho look right. The kakihan is generally the right shape, but does not closely match anything in Wakayama.
  5. Hi Dwain, definitely Japanese made (and with the english hallmark, probably within the past 50 years).
  6. Nice Mark! I think you are on the right track. If either of those themes appeal to you (the Four Gentlemen or Bravery/Peace), then I think that you would have greater choices of tosogu to bring together to form an "authentic" koshirae. Much better (in my opinion...) than simply trying to find tosogu that exactly match your existing tsuba in subject, metal and style. So for example, if you like the bravery/peace theme, you could find other tosogu (in complementary color/style) with that meaning like Idaten - the God of Peace (who is usually depicted as a brave warrior). A well trained Samurai would be able to understand the unified theme and how the parts fit together.
  7. Dear Matt, Moriyama-san and Steve, Thank you all so much for your time and assistance!
  8. Still looking... I may have found the first one = 羅. So 羅保刻? Now, second one doesn't feel correct (but third is correct). Any further assistance on the second kanji?
  9. Dear Steve, Thank you so much for your time and attempt!
  10. Need some assistance please. Looks like 歌保刻 to me, but I don't think that the first two are correct...
  11. Dear Mark, Brian has done an excellent job of collecting links to many free resources. See the link below. While a little dated and not comprehensive, Joly's Legends (the first link in Brian's list) provides a good alphabetical reference for themes related to Japanese/Chinese legends. However, Joly doesn't include themes like the Shikunshi - the Four Gentlemen (i.e., the Orchid on your tsuba) because its not a "legend". I haven't found anything in English that has a more comprehensive list than Joly, but maybe someone else can offer something better.
  12. Dear Bob, Love Item No. 80 - Ford did an excellent job of combining two of my favorite Natsuo designs!
  13. Dear Mark, In building on Steve's comments, it can be very rewarding to study and understand Japanese themes when building your koshirae. For example, I think that your second tsuba is an orchid (I do see how it looks like a Lilly, but in this case, it is the way that Japanese usually depict orchids - see sumie orchid below). Why would a Samurai want an orchid on his tsuba? Was he a florist? Did he just like flowers? Did he just want a “pretty” tsuba? I don’t think so… As you probably know, through much of history, Samurai were not allowed to wear jewelry and their clothing was fairly uniform. In addition, their interaction was very regimented. Therefore, one of the only ways that a Samurai could show his personality was through his koshirae/tosogu (after all, it was their swords that defined them). So why an orchid? The ancient Japanese had a well-know theme called the Four Gentlemen which consisted of orchid, bamboo, plum & chrysanthemum and, when combined, symbolized uprightness, purity, humility, and perseverance against harsh conditions. So perhaps this tsuba was originally intended to be combined with other tosogu that depicted bamboo, plum & chrysanthemum. To me that would be a logical reason for a Samurai to have an orchid on his tsuba… Of course, you can dress up your swords any way that you want, but if you desire to have something more authentic, then you need to study the culture/themes closely and choose something that “speaks” to you. You don’t want your two swords to end up looking like these guys… (who thought they understood the culture they were emulating…)
  14. I don't think it matters because it is generally accepted that he made some of the finest swords during this period, so he knew what he was doing and would have worked with only the best materials...
  15. Tanto54

    Tsuba motif

    Exactly - most depictions of Yamabushi just show the "pillbox" type boshi (hat) but some wear the kind of boshi on your tsuba over that pillbox hat. See photo below - notice second Monk from the left is wearing a "pillbox" hat but also has your kind of hat in his hand (the "pillbox" hat alone doesn't provide much protection...) Also, these Monks have 4 "pom poms" on the front and 2 "pom poms" on the back...) P.S. Just guessing here - not very sure....
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