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Tanto54

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Everything posted by Tanto54

  1. Piers? A tanto is part of a standard bridal trousseau for "Bushi stock", so I don't see why this would be unlikely at all... (in fact, quite commonplace)
  2. Tanto54

    Menuki weight

    I have seen that type of black "tarnish" on old, low karat gold menuki (obviously not the gold corroding, but something else in the alloy). On the other hand, the quality would usually be better with gold... Do any of your friends have a good metal detector? They can give you a good idea of what is in the metal with nondestructive tests, or many coin collectors or pawn shops will have the reagent necessary to test for gold with a small rubbing on the back. Perhaps Ford or one of the others who know more about metals will comment.
  3. 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).
  4. The Menuki are two "wrestling" toads.
  5. 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).
  6. 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...)
  7. Dick, that tobacco pouch is nice! Raijin & Fujin (Thunder and Wind Gods) fixing their equipment - Awesome and very unusual motif.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Tanto54

    Peony and lion dog

    Thanks Malcolm T!
  12. 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).
  13. 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...
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. It is a Shikami instead of an oni - look at the following link where the Great Guido (sorely missed) educated us on the difference:
  18. I agree with Brian and suspect that Gary probably lived in Japan for a while too....
  19. Adam, for what it is worth... The kogai, kozuka and two slots are original to the set. A lot of the roughness is clearly wear - look at the ends of the kozuka and kogai - you can see excessive wear there too (where they have scraped across the slots over the years). Remember to consider the work hardening during the crafting that would make the edges of the kozuka and kogai harder than the slots (even if they are made from the same metal). Finally, I believe that the artist probably originally made the slots somewhat rough (like the "bark" finish of the back of the kozuka and kogai), but it would have had a nicer look before all the years of scraping the kozuka and kogai in and out .
  20. Tanto54

    Saya size

    I think that it is made like that for balance when it is worn. Imagine trying to put it through your obi and wear it like a wakizashi if the saya was only as long as the blade...
  21. Dear John, Nice Shippo! Good quality, carried and well used but also well taken care of - excellent!
  22. Hey Bruce, probably 354. The "Z" like character on the tsuka is Otsu or Kinoto (lots of meanings but probably something like "second" is intended from the Heavenly Stems method of classification). Yo may not be correct....
  23. Tanto54

    Strange menuki theme.

    Adam, this forum is not only for you, and information and responses in your threads are beneficial to all members. Your threads do not belong to you - they belong to everyone. You don't seem to understand that. I post information for everyone's benefit - even if I am posting on your thread. As mentioned above, over the past two months, I posted about whether three of your items were sets. In the first case, I actually proved for you that your fuchigashira were a matched set (even though you were not sure). In the second case I did not believe that they were a set, In that case, you argued and accused me just like you are doing here, but you eventually agreed that the second set of fuchigashira were not a matched set (and you listed them for sale/trade admitting they were not a matched set here on NMB). In that second case before your admission, you kept refusing to post a picture of the kashira. Who posts a picture of a fuchi on multiple occasions but does not include the kashira? (I suspect that you knew that they were not really a matched set, so you didn't want to show them together). With this third set (menuki), you kept refusing to post a picture of the backs of the menuki - why? I suspect once again that you felt that they weren't a matched set but were preparing to sell them here (I've also noticed that you tend to ask questions about your items here and then later put them up for sale...) Finally, my PM to you of several weeks ago simply asked you to behave better on this forum because I believe that your behavior is ruining it for many of us.
  24. Tanto54

    Strange menuki theme.

    Adam, I've been here far longer than you and I have been a helpful member of this community. I have every right to voice my opinion, so if you do not want me to comment on your things, then don't post here.
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