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Bruno

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  1. in the USA only Jimmy Hayashi is traditionally trained otherwise you can contact Chris Bowen for advices
  2. Also from Chris: The book is titled: Shizuoka Ken no Gendai Tosho to sono Saku To ni Tsuite (Shizuoka Prefecture's Modern Sword smiths and the Swords They Made) published in Showa 44 by Kawaguchi Hiroshi, a university professor and resident of Shizuoka Prefecture. An oshigata of one of Mizukoshi tosho's swords which was made in Showa 19; compare the workmanship to the Kunimori blades. Also, a photo of text which lists Miyaguchi's 3 mei: Toshihiro (used for top class, special order blades), Yasuhiro (2nd class blades), and Kunimori (used for blades made of Western steel).
  3. "the Kunimori tachi shows no nie" to Chris so oil quenched, western steel.
  4. I was discussing recently about Ikkansai Kunimori with Chris Bowen. Here is what he believes: "Well, here is my take on this matter... 1. It is well known that Miyaguchi's Kunimori signed blades are made of Western steel. This is noted in period literature such as in Fujishiro's Shinto Hen, a long respected reference. 2. I have been told directly by Miyaguchi's son, who became a respected smith, that Mizukoshi Mitsuhiro, a former student of Miyaguchi, produced these Kunimori (Protect the Country) blades as part of a business venture to meet the demand for swords at the time as well as a way to help his student establish himself financially. The son was explict- Mizukoshi made the blades, Miyaguchi received them in bundles and he signed them one after another while his son held them down, as is customary. You can't get more compelling evidence. 3. As for the NBTHK, their focus has always been on older swords. They would rarely if ever paper WWII era blades until rather recently. When I first moved to Japan, I would ask them all sorts of questions about WWII smiths and sword making and they almost always referred me elsewhere because they did not know the answers to my questions. I have spoken with several NBTHK shinsa team members over the years and they freely admitted that these swords are, in their words, a "blind spot". People who haven't been behind the curtain live with this fantasy that the NBTHK is some sort of sword omniscient monolith that knows everything and is never in error. The truth is it's just a group of people doing their jobs as best they can as in any quasi-governmental agency. They don't know everything and they are not always right. In the later years before I left Japan, when WWII swords started to become a thing, they would actually refer questions about WWII swords to me! 4. As always, refer to the blades themselves. I have seen dozens of the these Kunimori mei blades. Well made they are, but they have all looked oil quenched. Many years ago I stated that star stamped blades were traditionally made. People who have never been to Japan, can't speak or read the language, have never spent as much as a single minute talking with WWII smiths and people with direct first hand knowledge, who wouldn't know an oil quenched blade from one quenched in water, came out and challenged my statements. Oh, the NBTHK would never paper a stamped blade, regardless they claimed, until l submitted a star stamped blade and it passed as Hozon. They wouldn't accept the WWII army documents, the literature citing, etc. This looks and smells like the same thing: people with little to no knowledge who have done zero real research blindly claiming that if the NBTHK papered something, it must be the real deal. This is what is known as an "appeal to authority" (argumentum ad verecundiam), It's a fallacious argument used to support an opinion when one has no real evidence. Bruno, I have done my homework, I am very comfortable with the results of the thousands of hours I have spent with WWII smiths, period Japanese literature, etc. I really don't put any stock at all in what people with nothing but blind faith believe. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and you can't always convince everyone. There are still people who believe the Earth is flat, after all.... Edit : mistake corrected - the smith who made these blades was Mizukoshi Hiromitsu. I typed it backwards. Maybe you can edit your post. These blades were made by Mizukoshi, not at the Okura Tanrenjo, but in Mishima, Shizuoka, were I lived for 13 years! They are, at best, daisaku regardless of construction and for that reason alone aren't considered on the same level as Miyaguchi's own work. Western steel is normally not water hardening- it cracks too easily. When quenched in oil, it does not produce significant, if any, nie. This is usually the giveaway. If forged/folded, they can certainly have hada, and oil quenching produces a nioiguchi specifically. These are not dis qualifiers in any sense! Western steel was used because it was easier to get than tamahagane, cheaper, and easier to work with. It was quenched in oil which results in less cracking than tamahagane in water. It allowed smiths to make swords faster, easier, and more cheaply. Exactly what the war effort demanded. And by the way, one shouldn't take the term "Western steel" literally- it simply means steel made using western, not traditional Japanese (tatara) methods.
  5. Yes Bruce I think other blades forged to be sold for civilian only, have no stamp (not only those signed Ikkansai Kunimori). Among them there were gendaito and showato, issued without any stamp in both cases. Seeing that even the NBTHK does not seem to know what they are talking about regarding WW2 era swords, I might be quite hard to spot others non traditionally made showa-to made in the same purpose. What leads me to think that all high end WW2 era swords will be considered by default as gendaito when having no stamp. Which is a problem of course. Interesting...
  6. These swords were not made in Gifu and were not issued through Seki. They were not issued by thr military either. That explains at least why those particular stamps are not found on Ikkansai Kunimori's signed blades although they are non-traditionally made. Private production = no stamp
  7. Thanks Bruce. I thought to that but measuring the sori of the outer shell is not easy due to the koi guchi and kojiri which you cannot remove.
  8. Thanks Barry, that seems pretty clever. You mean I draw the outline of the blade on a long paper and send it by letter to the owner of the scabbard?
  9. Hi all, So here is the problem. I need a Type 3 scabbard for my RJT naked blade. I may have found a potential scabbard that is on the other side of the pond (I live in France), so I cannot try and check if they fit together or not. I know the odds are tiny that they could fit anyway. If one of you guys have a trick that could help to have a better idea if they will fit or not, please share. I would really appreciate it even if it will still be a gamble eventually. Thanks for your help.
  10. Wow that is a very nice exemplary Neil, and the asked price was more than fair! The yellow color new ito was the same than the original ito color?
  11. Still looking for one, pm me if you have something. Thanks
  12. Not too long ago I lost an auction on a naked RJT Seki smith blade on Ebay. The seller told me the winner was SHOWA22 (he knew him). One week later, the RJT blade was totally refited in Type 98 koshirae, nakago cleaned, blade acid cleaned and up for sale at SHOWA 22 Ebay's store. I was double pissed off for having lost the auction and to see what he did with the nice blade after.
  13. He is Chris B himself who told me these infos about Mizukoshi.
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