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atrepshin

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  1. The blade is much older than 16th century. This date is there to indicate the last known owner of the sword. Read everything that is available then comment. If it is not worth your time then maybe you should not participate.
  2. Are you seriously telling me that in a modern age, science plays no role? When there are hall institutions that can prove through testing how old is a material, its compound and even what mine it came from. Moreover there are even tests that show how long ago the metal has been heat-treated. There are more than enough swords in the world that have no real age. The market as was mentioned is mostly blades that wore lost by Japan during wars, most of them wore mass produced with a few genuine articles. The early history of Japan is full of internal wars between clans, when lots of schools and masters wore exterminated along with numerous records. Traditional sword experts have their heads filed with commonality because they study thousands of swords that come there whey, they only see real swords or fakes. The authenticity of an article is rooted in them by their experience of going through lots and lots of the same. They forget that once in a while something interesting might come up and without consideration or thought dismiss it offhand as fake without a wish or a spark of interest. I think it must be a boring and degrading job to study so long to do a monotone evaluation of other people’s possessions, it becomes a habit and sets the wrong mind set for a person in this line of work. As for the sword, modern, it is not, uncommon, it is. If as you say it is fake, why would anyone make it to be obviously so by your opinion. I think if a hypothetical forger wanted to make a fake, he has the entire internet, thousands of books to make a sword that would fool anyone on the photograph and most people in person. There is defiantly something wrong about the way sword experts do thing at the moment. Maybe it is too much work to do tests, read history books to research one object, as was clearly shown by persons in question. Maybe it is easer just to look at a picture and say “modern Chinese fake”. Maybe it is a Chinese fake nearly a thousand years old (the blade). I don’t know I am no expert. But the questions this blade poses brings out a spark in me to find out why, how, who… Thanks to those that tried to have a civil discussion on the subject. I see that most here are too far set in their old ways, I can’t change that nor would I want to. I still appreciate Japanese culture and art and think it needs more then it is getting. Will be online on and off and am looking forward to see the developments.
  3. As far as I know the answers and proof is sent to those who request it and its going to be public in the official exhibition the sword is going to be in.
  4. Messege in: Wed, October 03, 2012 9:56 am T.Fujimoto Dear Sir, My name is T.Fujimoto. living in Amsterdam NL as Japanese sword expert. I am very surprised to saw your article for the Tachi belonged to Fukushima Masanori. Because, the sword is not Japanese. it is a cheaply made Chinese copy sword. Is it just simple mistake or there is some other purpose for it ? hope to hear from you soon. Best regards T.Fujimoto Answer: Dear Mr. Fujimoto Thank you for writing to us. We value your opinion. We are more than happy to give you a detailed answer but we need a little more information before connecting you to one of our experts. May you please tell us how you came to your conclusion? With best, Tamoikin Inc. Messege in: Wed, October 03, 2012 2:25 pm Dear Sir, Thank you very much for your quick response. Before I explain about the sword. Let me introduce myself. My Name is Takao Fujimoto, A Japanese. I am living in The Netherlands as a Japanese antique (sword) dealer and expert since 1996. A member of NBTHK Japanese sword museum. Doing Valuation, restoration, and giving lecture. Staying permission EU was recommended by Minister of Culture Department NL, mr.Ken Vos Curator of Japanese section of Rijksmuseum and Japanese sword museum in Tokyo/Japan. I also worked at State Hermitage Museum in St.Peresburg/Russia for research of their Japanese sword collection. When I see your Tachi sword. At First picture, The Shape, Sori (curve) of the blade is completely wrong. for 16th century blade. the curve should be between 1.5cm to 2.5cm, I think this balde is much more. and The Tsuka (Handle or Tang) is looks straight. is also wrong. so, Over all shape is already not right as original Japanese sword... 2nd Photo The Lacquered Saya(scabbard) with Kamon (family crest) is Up side down... And Sliver fittings were started late 19th century till modern. 3rd Photo Nakago (Tang) The shape is not right as original Japanese sword. it is more like copy of ww2(1940'). it looks like, the person who made is item has never seen original Antique sword before. he has seen only ww2 military sword.\ or even only photos. The Signature is un-readable for Japanese. and completely different way of chiseling as well. (any Japanese can recognize that is not done by Japanese person) and Mekugi-ana (hole), the hole is done by machine, in 16th century, they didn't have have Machine to make a hole. the hole was done by chisel. 4th Photo Tsuba, The Signature 鳥居清溝X Torii Kiyomizo which doesn't exist. it is not even Japanese name. and Craftsmanship is not level of Japanese quality. 5th Photo Fuchi (Fitting of handle) and Kissaki (tip of the sword) The Signature of the fitting is 豊春筆、Toyoharu-hitsu. the maker Toyoharu is not existed and 筆(Hitsu) is Signature for calligraphy, not metal work. Japanese goldsmith has never signed 筆(hitsu). and The Kissaki (Tip od the sword). as I wrote above. the shape of the tip is more like a copy of late ww2 military machine blade, The shape of Hi (grave) as well. it is different from original Japanese blade. and we should be able to see (or find) some activity of the steel and hamon(crystallized steel at edge). but, the photo doesn't show any of those signs. from Those reason, I am afraid to say that there is no parts similar or close to not even 16th century, but any of Original Japanese Samurai sword. Please forgive my criticism and my poor English. and Please pass my message to your experts, If they have any question, i am happy to answer. for your company's reputation. Best regards, T.Fujimoto Answer: Dear Mr. Takao, Thank you for a detailed letter. We value your opinion and respect you as a professional Japanese swords expert. We cannot, however, agree with your analysis of our Tachi. In our reply we will be very direct so please do not be offended by our language, as we were not offended by yours. In the first email you sent us you said the following: “The sword is not Japanese. It is a cheaply made Chinese copy sword”. For a professional swords expert, it is inappropriate to make such statements without concrete evidence. You did not personally examine the sword or at the very least examine all additional high definition photographs and documentation that we have available. How were you able to determine, from small amount of photographs, that it is cheaply made sword? Our metal analysis shows that there is substantial amount of gold on the TSUBA, that alone does not make it cheap. Further, the silver on the SAYA is not cheap either and if we are to take into account the fact that the sword was hand-made, regardless where, its overall value under no circumstances can be, as you say, “Cheap”. Furthermore, you indicated that this is a “Chinese Copy”. How did you come to this conclusion? There are many countries where someone can forge a sword, so without either (a) a detailed analysis of all materials or (b) information of other identical copies, no one can for a fact state where the forgery is from. You did not see, or request to see, the detailed metal analysis we have available nor do you have any proof of an identical copy from China. Based on the above arguments we can disprove your two positions: one, that it is cheaply made sword and two that it is from China. What we have left is your allegation that this Tachi sword is a copy. To answer this we shall respond to your second email, first restating what you wrote and then providing our answer to each of your observations. Mr. Takao - observation 1: “First picture, The Shape, Sori (curve) of the blade is completely wrong. For 16th century blade the curve should be between 1.5cm to 2.5cm, I think this blade is much more. The Tsuka (Handle or Tang) looks straight, is also wrong so over all shape is already not right as original Japanese sword...” Our research indicates that the blade of this Tachi can potentially be much older, dating between 11th - 13th centuries A.D., a period when the shape of SORI was much less standardized and heavily influenced by Mongolian, Chinese and Korean swords. The photographs that you have seen do not allow you to estimate the exact depth of SORI and thus make a statement like “the blade is completely wrong”. We admit this sword has a slightly deeper SORI but it does not differ much from KOSHI / BIZEN SORI. Further the deep SORI was very common during Heian and especially Kamakura period. For example, famous swords by Rai School were know to have large SORI. Finally this Tachi was intended specifically for cavalry not infantry and Cavalry Tachi where known to be much longer and with a larger SORI. The fact that this is a Cavalry Tachi also indicates ownership by a high status samurai. SORI of a RAI School Sword [1] SORI on our TACHI Sword Regarding the TSUKA and NAKAGO. Yes they are straight however that does not indicate forgery or wrongness. It does indicate that this sword was made in a different way than most other known swords. Our research indicates that a straight NAKAGO is seen on ancient Japanese swords such as Tsurugi. Since we have metal analysis that proves the authenticity of the blade, what we have is hybrid Tachi, an early experimental version made when the cannons of the Japanese sword-making were just being established. At that time swordsmiths experimented and tested various designs. This Tachi is possibly the only surviving Samurai sword with a straight NAKAGO. This makes it extremely valuable. The above arguments disprove your statement that “the overall shape of the sword is not right”. Your analysis has merit if we were to look at a typical Japanese sword, however since we have clearly shown that our Tachi sword is not typical, your arguments cannot be considered valid. This is a very unusual, authentic, ancient Japanese Tachi. Since, no two authentic Japanese Swords are exactly alike; no complete catalogue of every variation of each sword is published; no complete records of every single swordsmiths that made swords in Japan is present – it is impossible for any professional expert to state that our Tachi is “not right”. All evidence that we have indicate that it is a unique Japanese Tachi that has no known analogs. Mr. Takao - observation 2 “The Lacquered Saya (scabbard) with Kamon (family crest) is Up side down... And Sliver fittings were started late 19th century till modern.” The KAMON is not upside-down. It is widely known that Tachi swords were worn with the edge down, slung on the side of the body, exactly the opposite of the Katana. Because Tachi is worn edge down the KAMON remains in the proper position. It is nothing unusual and most Japanese swords experts know this. The fittings that hold the sword were added later in an improper way. “Unlike the traditional manner of wearing the katana, the tachi was worn hung from the belt with the cutting-edge down, and was most effective when used by cavalry. “Since Tachi were worn with the cutting edge facing downward the tachi-mei is found on the side that would face away from the body of the wearer.” The Connoisseurs Book of Japanese Swords by Kokan Nagayama, 1997, ISBN 4-7700-2071-6 Also when this Sword is put on a horizontal mounting in the classic for a Tachi, endsdown, position the KAMON is presented in a proper way, once again. This sword must have had very special significance to the owner. For whatever reason the owner, who was clearly wealthy enough to have more than one sword, choose to have this sword only for viewing [a well practiced ceremony in Japan]. This is supported by the fact that the signature on the NAKAGO attributes the sword to a building [presumed to be a temple]. This means the sword was dedicated and stayed in the temple for most of the time. Regarding the Silver Fittings, yes they are likely to be much later modifications. This is not uncommon. Many ancient Japanese swords were modified to much more severe extent. We are lucky this sword survived as it did. Mr. Takao - observation 3 “Nakago (Tang) The shape is not right as original Japanese sword. It is more like copy of ww2 (1940'). It looks like, the person who made is item has never seen original Antique sword before. He has seen only ww2 military sword. Or even only photos.” We already answered this above but we would like to add the following; We looked at countless authentic WWII Japanese Swords and were not able to find any credible photographs of a Tachi or Katana with a straight NAKAGO that is even closely similar to our Tachi sword. Other than on TANTO blades there is little evidence of authentic WWII Japanese Tachi Swords with a straight NAKAGO. If there are no known WWII Tachi swords with a straight NAKAGO then this cannot be a copy of a WWII Japanese Sword. The only plausible explanation that is left, why the maker never seen an antique original sword, is because the maker was a 11th -13th century swordsmith that was making a one of the earliest Japanese swords that came to be. Our Tachi is clearly an early version that was made, before cannons of a traditional Japanese sword where formed. Mr. Takao - observation 4 “The Signature is un-readable for Japanese. And completely different way of chiseling as well (any Japanese can recognize that is not done by Japanese person) and Mekugi-ana (hole), the hole is done by machine. In 16th century, they didn't have Machine to make a hole. The hole was done by chisel.” Your statement concerns us, because we had a Japanese person from Japan, who knew nothing about this Tachi other than the signature on the NAKAGO, independently read this signature. They did not have much difficulty reading the signature with high degree of accuracy. They weren’t able to translate only 2 out of 9 symbols because they did not have the expertise in ancient Japanese. However, experts in Japanese language were able to fully decode these symbols with high accuracy. First two symbols: Type: URA-MEI – signed on the ura (usually the date). Meaning: Purity in the Temple of the Sun - A typical description of a season, in this case: fall or winter. Notes: Symbols are absent in the official Japanese language and can only be read in Ancient, prior to 14th century Chinese [in Japan sometimes called the old Kanji ] which was used in Japan, China and Korea prior to 14th century. Symbols are inscribed differently then the rest with clear tilt to the right. Following seven symbols: Type: OKKAKE MEI - an applied signature by another as a mark of respect. Meaning: -3rd symbol [?] is unidentified -4th symbols [文] means – statement -5th symbols [器] mean – vessel -Symbols 4 and 5 together could also mean Bunroku period (1592 – 1596) -6th symbol means [戈] - weapon -7th symbol [信] means – faith -Symbols 6 and 7 together could means - weapon of faith [but could also be read as temple weapon / weapon for a temple] -8th symbols [ 正] mean – True -9th sumbol [則] mean – Law -Symbols 8 and 9 together [ 正則] could mean – Fukushima - if read in Ryakudzi style of Kanji. Notes: These symbols are inscribed differently then the first two, with minimal tilt. Inscribed in ancient Japanese since combinations of these symbols are not used in any other Asian language. Inscribed in abbreviated (stylized) form since some symbols are missing certain parts. This type of writing is called: Ryakudzi (略字) meaning “abbreviated signs” and is commonly used with versions of Kanji. Kanji is the oldest written alphabet in Japan. It is a collection of Chinese characters that are still in use in modern Japanese. There are tens of thousands of characters that are used in everyday communications. Further, it is widely know that early Japanese language was influenced by Korean and Chinese languages. Majority of Japanese historians and experts recognize the ancient 12 -16th century blades were forged by Japanese swordsmiths who had roots from Korea, China and other Asian regions. Therefore their signatures had elements of foreign language that did not match the “typical” Japanese that was strongly enforced in mid 17th century. The signature on our Tachi only proves that this sword was likely made in early 11th – 13th century. Regarding the MEKUGI-ANA (hole). It was unprofessional for you to jump to a conclusion without requesting further details. As part of the metal analysis of this Tachi, independent, government recognized, lab took a 400x photograph of the MEKUGI-ANA and undeniably confirmed that it was hand-made. Thus, our above arguments disprove your statements that our Tachi was a WWII copy and that the MEKUGI-ANA was machine made. Mr. Takao - observation 5. “Tsuba. The Signature 鳥居清溝X Torii Kiyomizo which doesn't exist. It is not even Japanese name. And Craftsmanship is not level of Japanese quality.” With all due respect, we have to dismiss your ability to judge any specifics, especially quality, from photographs as we have shown that you were wrong in your judgments before [ex. Assumption that MEKUGI-ANA was machine made]. As for the signature : “Torii Kiyomitsu (鳥居清満, 1735 - May 11, 1785) was a painter and printmaker of the Torii school of Japanese ukiyo-e art… Signature of Torii Kiyomitsu] reading “Torii Kiyomitsu ga” (鳥居清満画). // http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Torii_Kiyomitsu” Very strange that you, a Japanese and a recognized swords expert, were not able to read accurately and identify a well known 18th century Japanese painter. Even stranger is that you stated that it is not even a Japanese name, when it clearly is. We admit that the TSUBA is from the 18th century. Regarding Torii Kiyomitsu’s name on the TSUBA: Hypothesis 1: Torii Kiyomitsu was the artist who drew the design of the TSUBA while the hallmark opposite to his make is the mark of the actual Maker. Because this sword was of great importance Torii Kiyomitsu, a famous Japanese artist, was most likely asked to draw the TSUBA design. Because Torii Kiyomitsu himself was famous he asked to have this signature be placed on the TSUBA as well. This is unusual but is the most feasible explanation. Hypothesis 2: Torii Kiyomitsu, known for Samurai drawings, expanded his talents into the art of TSUBA making. [2] Mr. Takao - observation 6. “The Signature of the fitting is 豊春筆、Toyoharu-hitsu. The maker Toyoharu is not existed and 筆(Hitsu) is Signature for calligraphy, not metal work. Japanese goldsmith has never signed 筆(hitsu).” We admit, at the moment we do not know why this signature is present on the fitting. We believe it is the signature of a Japanese artist Toyohara Kunichika. “Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周, June 30, 1835 – July 1, 1900) was a Japanese woodblock print artist. Talented as a child, at about thirteen he became a student of Tokyo's then-leading print maker, Utagawa Kunisada. // http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Toyohara_Kunichika” Mr. Takao - observation 7. “And The Kissaki (Tip od the sword). As I wrote above. The shape of the tip is more like a copy of late ww2 military machine blade, The shape of Hi (grave) as well. It is different from original Japanese blade. And we should be able to see (or find) some activity of the steel and hamon (crystallized steel at edge). But, the photo doesn't show any of those signs.” IKUBI-KISSAKI was a typical shape of Tachi blades in 13th century. After looking at multiple authentic Japanese swords from 12th to 17th century we found no major deviations in the KISSAKI on our Tachi sword. It is difficult for us to understand how you see it differently. The HI is the primary reason we believe you are attributing this Tachi sword to WWII period. Our research shows that the HI was in fact added later [exact date is unknown] Because sword went through both WWI and WWII it is likely this modification happened at that time, however it does not indicate that the sword is of that period. Regarding the HAMON, Mr. Takao, you out of all people should know that if an ancient sword is not polished over a long time, the HAMON will not be visible. Although this blade is structurally intact and has not been shortened, we admit it was not cared for as it would have if it remained in Japan. It was not polished for a very long time and unfortunately there is evidence that it has been improperly sharpened. This evidence of improper sharpening left signs that are mistaken for machining. Also we admit that the improper sharpening may have slightly altered the shape of KISSAKI. Since the HAMON is not visible, there are sings of improper sharpening and together with the HI we clearly see how this combination may have misled you to your conclusions. That said, from data gathered through scientific testing we know and can prove that the HAMON is there, the metal on the sword is ancient and the HI was added much later. IKUBI-KISSAKI - typical [3] IKUBI-KISSAKI - on our Tachi Mr. Takao - observation 7. “From Those reason, I am afraid to say that there is no parts similar or close to not even 16th century, but any of Original Japanese Samurai sword.” Mr. Takao, with the evidence presented above, we clearly show that this is an authentic original and very ancient Tachi sword. Granted, it is not a typical Tachi and it was modified over the years. We believe it is these modifications, like the latter added HI, that mislead you to believe that it was a WWII sword. However we hope that you now see that it is an ancient sword with great historical significance. We believe it is a rare experimental 11th-13th century Tachi that was influenced by the Tsurugi sword. If you are not satisfied with our reply, we invite you to Lithuania [time and date would have to be scheduled in advance] to personally examine this word, all documents that we have available. Regarding our project, we trust that you understand what we are trying to accomplish. If you looked at our advertisement campaign and studied our websites you must understand, that our main goal is to capture attention of the public and show them how magnificent, important and valuable all ancient Japanese swords are. This is what we are trying to accomplish. Never before a Japanese Sword was placed on two full pages in Forbes Magazine. Never before a Japanese Sword was valued at over 80 million US dollars. Never before an entire professionally made website was dedicated to a single Japanese Sword. We, and a group of powerful and very passionate individuals are doing this as we speak. We wish to put a stop to the global artificial undervaluation of authentic Japanese swords and trough this project, though this sale, bring the worldwide attention to Japan and all Japanese swords. Above that we already publicly stated that we are pledging to donate a significant amount of revenue to charities in Japan. We hope that you understand our position and goals - and become a supporter of this project. Sincerely, Professor Mikhail Tamoikin PhD. Vice-Precedent of Tamoikin Inc. (Canada) Co-owner of Tamoikins Museum Director of Science Research Institute for Standardization & Attestation of Cultural Property (Kiev, Ukraine) Licensed Art Appraiser and Authenticator
  5. Messege in: Wed, October 03, 2012 5:19 am Chris Bowen You do realize that this is a modern Chinese fake and worth about $200US? Answer: Wed, October 03, 2012 Dear Mr. Bowen Thank you for a quick reply. We are more than happy to give you a detailed answer on how this sword was authenticated but we need a little more information to properly connect you to one of our experts. May you please tell us your list of facts that made you come to your conclusion. Sincerely, Tamoikin Inc. Support Team Messege in: Date: Wed, October 03, 2012 1:44 pm Hello- Thank you for your reply. I have been collecting Japanese swords for over 30 years, 15 of which were spent in Japan studying the best of the art under the guidance of experts. I am a director of the NTHK (Nihon Token Hozon Kai), the oldest sword association in Japan. I can promise you that this is a modern Chinese fake. I could give you a list of things that identify it as such but it is both obvious and incontrovertible to anyone familiar with authentic Japanese swords. Try sending photos to an online Japanese sword collectors forum, such as the one below, for opinions from experts around the world. I guarantee you this is a Chinese fake. http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/-- :D Sincerely, Chris Bowen Answer: Dear Mr. Bowen, Once again, your quick reply is appreciated. We will forward your reply to our experts and provide you with a detailed answer. With best, Tamoikin Inc. Support team Messege in: Date: Wed, October 03, 2012 2:21 pm Hello- As I said, it is obvious to anyone with expertise in the field. Here are a few things you can check: 1. Look at the point of the blade. It is shaped wrong. Most Chinese fakes have a chisel-like, straight edge in the point. A real Japanese sword has a rounded edge in the point. 2. The nakago (tang) is crudely shaped with odd Chinese characters that make no sense. 3. The lacquer on the saya (scabbard) is upside down. I have no doubt you have had messages from others telling you this is a fake as well. I have to wonder if this is simply an honest mistake or if you are intentionally trying to defraud. -- Sincerely, Chris Bowen Answer: Dear Mr. Bowen, October 16, 2012 Thank you for your email. An NTHK Director’s opinion is always valuable to us. Your credentials clearly show that you are highly respected in the Japanese swords community. We cannot, however, agree with your analysis of our Tachi. In our reply we will be very direct so please do not be offended by our language, as we were not offended by yours. Mr. Bowen, although we value your opinion, we find it unprofessional for a man in your position to make statements like: “This is a modern Chinese fake and worth about $200US” “I can promise you that this is a modern Chinese fake.” “I could give you a list of things that identify it as such but it is both obvious and incontrovertible to anyone familiar with authentic Japanese swords” “Try sending photos to an online Japanese sword collectors forum, such as the one below, for opinions from experts around the world.” It is especially inappropriate to make these statements without concrete evidence. You did not personally examine the sword or at the very least examine all additional high definition photographs and documentation that we have available. Further referencing us to blogs and forums is very unprofessional as they, although informative, are not credible sources of information. When it comes to such high-end projects the only credible language is - science. Since every expert is prone to mistakes all presented statements must be supported by scientific facts. In your first email you said: “This is a modern Chinese fake and worth about $200US” How were you able to determine, from small amount of data, that it is worth “about $200US”? Why not “about $100”, “about $300” or “about $1000”? Our metal analysis shows that there is substantial amount of gold on the TSUBA, that gold alone costs more that $200 US. The silver on the SAYA is not cheap either and if we are to take into account the fact that the sword was hand made, regardless where, it’s overall value under no circumstances can be, as you say, “about $200” dollars. Above that, to officially speak of art, antiques and collectibles value, one must be at the very least knowledgeable in art appraisal. Are you an art appraiser? If so who accredited you and what appraisal system did you use to determine the value of this Tachi? We believe that only a scientific, transparent and auditable system can be used to appraise collectible items. We know for a fact that you did not use such a system, simply because you did not have enough data to do so. Thus your statement of value is no more than a speculative guesswork. Once again this is unacceptable for a director of NTHK. We apologize for being so direct but this is because we are one of the most respected accredited art appraisal organization with multiple patents and publications in this field. We take issue with unsupported values stated by people who are not qualified to do so. Further, you indicated that this is a “Chinese fake”. How did you come to this conclusion? There are many countries where someone can forge a sword, so without either (a) a detailed analysis of all materials or (b) information of other identical copies, no one can for a fact state where the forgery is from. You did not see, or request to see, the detailed metal analysis we have available, nor do you have any proof of an identical copy from China. Based on the above arguments we can disprove your two positions: one, that it is “$200” dollar sword and two that it is from China. What we have left is your allegation that this Tachi sword is a fake. Since, no two authentic Japanese Swords are exactly alike; no complete catalogues of every variation of each sword is published; no complete records of every single swordsmiths that made swords in Japan is present – it is impossible for any professional expert to state that our Tachi is “Fake”. All evidence that we have indicated that it is a unique Japanese Tachi that has no known analogs. To give you specifics we shall respond to your 4th email, where you outlined your three observations about this Tachi. Mr. Bowen - observation 1: “Look at the point of the blade. It is shaped wrong. Most Chinese fakes have a chisel-like, straight edge in the point. A real Japanese sword has a rounded edge in the point.” IKUBI-KISSAKI was a typical shape of Tachi blades in 13th century. After looking at multiple authentic Japanese swords from 12th to 17th century we found no major deviations in the KISSAKI on our Tachi sword. It is difficult for us to understand how you see it differently. Although this blade is structurally intact and has not been shortened, we admit it was not cared for as it would have if it remained in Japan. It was not polished for a very long time and unfortunately there is evidence that it has been improperly sharpened. This evidence of improper sharpening left signs that are mistaken for machining. Also we admit that the improper sharpening may have slightly altered the shape of KISSAKI. Since the HAMON is not visible and there are sings of improper sharpening we clearly see how this combination may have misled you to your conclusions. IKUBI-KISSAKI – typical photo sharing IKUBI-KISSAKI - on our Tachi image ru Mr. Bowen - observation 2: “The nakago (tang) is crudely shaped with odd Chinese characters that make no sense.” Our research indicates that the blade of this Tachi can potentially be much older, dating between 11th - 13th centuries A.D. Japanese swords at that time were much less standardized and heavily influenced by Mongolian, Chinese and Korean swords. Even though the NAKAGO on this sword is crude, that does not indicate forgery. In fact it is a clear indicator that this sword is very old and was made in a different way than most other known swords, all of which are evidence of authenticity. Since we have metal analysis that proves the authenticity of the blade, you argument is not valid. Regarding the “odd Chinese characters” Your statement concerns us, especially since you spent 15 years in Japan. We had a Japanese person from Japan, who knew nothing about this Tachi other than the signature on the NAKAGO, independently read this signature. They did not have much difficulty reading the signature with high degree of accuracy. They weren’t able to translate only 2 out of 9 symbols because they did not have the expertise in ancient Japanese. However, experts in Japanese language were able to fully decode these symbols with high accuracy. First two symbols: Type: URA-MEI – signed on the ura (usually the date). Meaning: Purity in the Temple of the Sun - A typical description of a season, in this case: fall or winter. Notes: Symbols are absent in the official Japanese language and can only be read in Ancient, prior to 14th century Chinese [in Japan sometimes called the old Kanji ] which was used in Japan, China and Korea prior to 14th century. Symbols are inscribed differently than the rest with clear tilt to the right. Following seven symbols: Type: OKKAKE MEI - an applied signature by another as a mark of respect. Meaning: -3rd symbol [?] is unidentified -4th symbols [文] means – statement -5th symbols [器] mean – vessel -Symbols 4 and 5 together could also mean Bunroku period (1592 – 1596) -6th symbol means [戈] - weapon -7th symbol [信] means – faith -Symbols 6 and 7 together could means - weapon of faith [but could also be read as temple weapon / weapon for a temple] -8th symbols [ 正] mean – True -9th sumbol [則] mean – Law -Symbols 8 and 9 together [ 正則] could mean - Fukushima - if read in Ryakudzi style of Kanji. Notes: These symbols are inscribed differently then the first two, with minimal tilt. Inscribed in ancient Japanese since combinations of these symbols are not used in any other Asian language. Inscribed in abbreviated (stylized) form since some symbols are missing certain parts. This type of writing is called: Ryakudzi (略字) meaning “abbreviated signs” and is commonly used with versions of Kanji. Kanji is the oldest written alphabet in Japan. It is a collection of Chinese characters that are still in use in modern Japanese. There are tens of thousands of characters that are used in everyday communications. Further, it is widely know that early Japanese language was influenced by Korean and Chinese languages. Majority of Japanese historians and experts recognize the ancient 12 -16th century blades were forged by Japanese swordsmiths who had roots from Korea, China and other Asian regions. Therefore their signatures had elements of foreign language that did not match the “typical” Japanese that was strongly enforced in mid 17th century. The signature on our Tachi only proves that this sword was likely made in early 11th – 13th century. Mr. Bowen - observation 3 “The lacquer on the saya (scabbard) is upside down.” Neither the lacquer, the SAYA nor the KAMON is upside-down. It is widely known that Tachi swords were worn with the edge down, slung on the side of the body, exactly the opposite of the Katana. Because Tachi is worn edge down the KAMON remains in the proper position. It is nothing unusual and most Japanese swords experts know this. The fittings that hold the sword were added later in an improper way. “Unlike the traditional manner of wearing the katana, the tachi was worn hung from the belt with the cutting-edge down, and was most effective when used by cavalry." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachi “Since Tachi were worn with the cutting edge facing downward the tachi-mei is found on the side that would face away from the body of the wearer.” The Connoisseurs Book of Japanese Swords by Kokan Nagayama, 1997, ISBN 4-7700-2071-6 Also when this Sword is put on a horizontal mounting in the classic for a Tachi, endsdown, position the KAMON is presented in a proper way, once again. This sword must have had very special significance to the owner. For whatever reason the owner, who was clearly wealthy enough to have more than one sword, choose to have this swords only for viewing [a well practiced ceremony in Japan]. This is supported by the fact that the signature on the NAKAGO attributes the sword to a building [presumed to be a temple]. This means the sword was dedicated and stayed in the temple for most of the time. Regarding the Silver Fittings, yes they are likely to be much later modifications. This is not uncommon. Many ancient Japanese swords were modified to much more severe extent. We are lucky this sword survived as it did. Mr. Bowen, with the evidence presented above, we clearly show that this is an authentic original and very ancient Tachi sword. Granted, it is not a typical Tachi and it was modified over the years. We believe it is these modifications, mislead you to believe that this Tachi was not authentic. However we hope that you now see that it is an ancient sword with great historical significance. We believe it is a rare experimental 11th-13th century Tachi that was influenced by the Tsurugi sword. Regarding our project, we trust that you understand what we are trying to accomplish. If you looked at our advertisement campaign and studied our websites you must understand, that our main goal is to capture attention of the public and show them how magnificent, important and valuable all ancient Japanese swords are. This is what we are trying to accomplish. Never before a Japanese Sword was placed on two full pages in Forbes Magazine. Never before a Japanese Sword was valued at over 80 million US dollars. Never before an entire professionally made website was dedicated to a single Japanese Sword. We, and a group of powerful and very passionate individuals are doing this as we speak. We wish to put a stop to the global artificial undervaluation of authentic Japanese swords and trough this project, though this sale, bring the worldwide attention to Japan and all Japanese swords. Everything that we are doing will benefit you, your business, Japanese swords and culture. Above that we already publicly stated that we are pledging to donate a significant amount of revenue to charities in Japan. We hope that you understand our position and goals - and become a supporter of this project. Sincerely, Professor Mikhail Tamoikin PhD. Vice-Precedent of Tamoikin Inc. (Canada) Co-owner of Tamoikins Museum Director of Science Research Institute for Standardization & Attestation of Cultural Property (Kiev, Ukraine) Licensed Art Appraiser and Authenticator
  6. I have been a member for a while, used your website for research and personal knowledge-rising on the subject of Samurai Swords. My family owns a number of antiques, some of them Japanese not all of them swords. I have published some pictures of a particular piece that has been in my family since before I was born. At the time I was interested in reading of the MEI, to make the long story short I got the answer something like “most defiantly fake” after that I left my research until recently. Recently I have attended a lecture on art and antiques appraisal by Professor Mikhail Tamoikin, one of the subjects that were being discussed was the unreliability of appraisal by photos and the rush conclusions of world’s best experts based on them, with career ruining consequences. He gave examples of such cases, one was about some Solovki Iconostasis that was pronounced fake, by two, now ex Russian Ministers of Culture Shvydkoi (Швыдкой, Михаил Ефимович) and Sokolov (Соколов, Александр Сергеевич) it ternd out to be genuine and worth a crazy amount of money. The other example was and here I was totally perplexed when I saw my family’s sword on the overhead... It turns out that my Father knows Mr. Tamoikin from whey-back and they have recently found each other after a long period of separation. Mr. Tamoikin lives in Canada my father in Ukraine. (It is one crazy world out there) Apparently when I gave up on the sword, my Dad didn’t and when Mr. Tamoikin visited our estate, my Dad mentioned during the viewing of our antiques collection the situation with the sword. Mr. Tamoikin is the founder of the world’s first and only antiques, arts and cultural items Appraising System “TES” as it was in his competence, he agreed to do some tests and see what came of it. The sword was appraised for $80,000,000US and apparently made lots of Japanese Sword experts nervous. About at this time I come in to the picture by visiting Mr. Tamoikins lecture and seeing our sword, obviously I wanted to be in on the action. By this day the sword has been published in Forbes Magazine (America, Europe and Asia) also an exhibition is being organized in the Trakai History Museum Lithuania. As I understand there has been a tremendous amount of work invested in to the sword, lots of tests have been done and authenticity proven. All the documentation is available and the sword is going to be exhibited very soon, open for study to any experts who wish it. To the point, we have two (it has to be some cursed number) highly pleased, extremely ignorant experts of NTHK (Nihon Token Hozon Kai), who without studying any of the material or documents on the sword, just by looking at some photos on the internet (no HD photos or detailed photos of parts of the sword ether) claim that the sword if fake. I am not even mentioning seeing it live with their-own eyes. So I have decided to bring this issue up. Because in my opinion people should think before flapping there mouth, especially if they have the weight of an organization behind them and a reputation to uphold, not only personal but the reputation of the organization from whose behalf they are making unthought-of public or other statements. Further in this post I will be posting the exact statements these people have been making and the replies they have been getting. I just want to know if it is normal for experts with years and years of experience to act so childishly without though. Any comments and discussions are welcome and no offence taken or given.
  7. This is some more of the hall thing. And just the blade.
  8. Sorry I was wrong before this writing is on the sword handle. 2 pix
  9. This are not that clear and wore taken at least 4 years ago, I plan to make better ones soon. We worked out one thing about the first couple of curators they are in very old Japanese, from the time when the Chinese righting was still used in Japan. It might also interest you that the last owner was a museum in Ukraine, the sward was in there archives for over 60 years before my Father found it and bought it out.
  10. I have been using your website for a long time out of general interest. As it happens my father came across a sword and bought it a while back with no papers and for couple of years it’s been around the house. It looks very old and has all the marks of a genuine japans work of art even though the blade is in bad shape. We have done tests on the blade and the core is not damaged and we wore tolled it can be polished but by a very good sword smith. The problem is we still wore not able to indemnify the exact craftsmen who made the sword. I have made etchings if the tang and wondered if anyone could help out to decipher them. If you could pleas reference the tang to Meibutsu-cho any input is welcome. [attachment=0]Tangpic.jpg[/attachment]
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