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Found 311 results

  1. Posted across several threads due to size limits....please see my profile for the rest.... As promised I'm sharing an overview of our small collection of nihonto. We're a small volunteer run museum in NZ. We don't know a ton about this collection and due to many factors much of the paperwork is missing, so we don't know the stories around how they came to be in the museum. At some time in the past the blades were all liberally coated in oil, we think maybe linseed oil. We've gently cleaned it off but as you can see it has stained the blades. They are all very much out of polish, which makes it very hard to see the hamon. We've done our best with the photos, to show the elements which would be useful in terms of ID. Full care for all of these nihonto is unfortunately outside the parameters of our current project, both time wise and budget wise. However, if the community on here identifies anything particularly special, we might be able to organise some special treatment. I hope this doesn't sound harsh. It's just that we are cataloguing and caring for an entire museum on a tiny budget. We really love these nihonto which is why we're sharing them here. So, any ID help is greatly appreciated, or just any general info or discussion at all. Every little bit of knowledge helps. Many thanks friends :-) Catalogue number 2379, previously discussed mismatched saya and blade:
  2. Posted across several threads due to size limits....please see my profile for the rest.... As promised I'm sharing an overview of our small collection of nihonto. We're a small volunteer run museum in NZ. We don't know a ton about this collection and due to many factors much of the paperwork is missing, so we don't know the stories around how they came to be in the museum. At some time in the past the blades were all liberally coated in oil, we think maybe linseed oil. We've gently cleaned it off but as you can see it has stained the blades. They are all very much out of polish, which makes it very hard to see the hamon. We've done our best with the photos, to show the elements which would be useful in terms of ID. Full care for all of these nihonto is unfortunately outside the parameters of our current project, both time wise and budget wise. However, if the community on here identifies anything particularly special, we might be able to organise some special treatment. I hope this doesn't sound harsh. It's just that we are cataloguing and caring for an entire museum on a tiny budget. We really love these nihonto which is why we're sharing them here. So, any ID help is greatly appreciated, or just any general info or discussion at all. Every little bit of knowledge helps. Many thanks friends :-)
  3. I ve gotten into nihonto collecting a couple months ago. my first piece was a wakizashi, a while later i got a Sue Bizen Katana. both of them had Hozon papers. recently i bought a non NBTHK papered Katana/Wakizashi (its 2 mm short of 2 shaku) which supposedly is a kaneharu 3rd generation piece. it had Japanese registration papers (or atleast a copy of them) and apparently some experts in germany had a look over it. since i am fairly new to the game i am not sure who those people are since they only wrote their first names onto the letter of appraisal (Andreas and Marcus). does anybody here know about an Andreas and Marcus from germany who work with nihonto?
  4. Hi Guys can anyone translate what is on this sword. I believe it is WW2 with a seki stamp and was machine made. Other than this I have no clue. Please help thank you
  5. Hey everyone, I'm working at a small museum in New Zealand where we have a collection of Japanese swords. I'm currently cataloguing a katana in its wooden saya that has kanji I'm hoping to get translated; the maker, date and location of manufacture, the class of blade if possible, and any other details noted. We've had some rough translations done by a Japanese local so we've been working off those thus far. I think we've narrowed down the appraisal to the Honami family during the Meiji period (1881 or 1883?) but I can't quite pinpoint which member specifically, possibly Chou Shoku or Kochu? We believe it was sold for 150 pieces of gold and the blade length is around 70.902cm. We also think the maker might have been born in Okayama, possibly the western region, within the Kamakura era (1192-1336), with the manufacture date around the late 1240s? These names came up in the translations but I haven't been able to ascertain who or what they are and how they fit into the blade's history: Kaneyasu Tamefusa Norifusa (this is written on the sticker presumably added by past museum staff) Katayama Norifusa Katayama ichimonji Any help translating/reading the kanji would be appreciated, thank you! Sarah
  6. Hi everyone, I have another katana and saya with kanji I need translated... I'm pretty sure the saya says 'Kanefusa' but I can't work out the two on the pommel. Any help appreciated! Sarah
  7. Dear All I have a katana that I am trying to translate all of the kanji. It is tachi mei and on the tachi-omote side it has 肥前国住吉次 Hizen Kuni ju Yoshitsugu This seems to be a Hizen smith from the early 1600’s. On the tachi-ura side there are about 36 kanji. Looks to be from the WWII period. Here is what I have so far and at the Chicago show I had some help that is also listed. Any help in finding the correct kanji and translation would be great. Right Hand Side 大 東 亜 戦 争Daitō Sensō (The Greater East Asia War) ?bo 発hotsu, hatsu, patsu ?shin 春haru, syun 入nyū, ju 営ei ?sai space ?sa 賀ga 大tai, dai, oO ?逋ho, ura Left Hand Side ? ? ? ? min民 誠sei 心shin、 ? i ?san, 百hyaku, momo, byaku 八hachi (8) ?ju 余yo 円tan, en ?uku ru 之kore, shi, no space 菖Shō 菖蒲ayame, bu 道michi 三sa ?Bu ro Thanks david from Montana
  8. Have had poor luck finding information on this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  9. I know we have a separate topic of Show Us Your High Class Gunto. But many WW2 swords smiths have made nice traditionally made blades from 1876-1945. With members like "mecox" doing spectacular research on WW2 sword smiths, I think this new topic could throw some light on some sword smiths and their work, and hopefully kindle interest in the blade, not just the Koshirae. You never know, we may find some rare or poorly documented swords and smiths. If your posts could be supported by photos, oshigata, descriptions, and any other relevant information, I think a great reference topic could be established. OK, so here is a contribution to kick things off.... A (Mano) MASAYASU medium-grade grade gendaito, no date no stamps, in early '98 mounts. Mei reads Bishu ju Masayasu. The hada is flowing masame/mokume, with choji gunome midare hamon. I only hope there are better photographers out there! So I would ask the forum administrators to let this thread run, and see where it goes, a lot of time is spent discussing Chinese fakes, and machine made Showa-to, and I am sure this topic will help raise intertest in Gendai. P.S. Hamon looks Suguha in photos, but the Keisho polish disguises the features, easily seen in the hand.
  10. A Gift to Hachiman・or how NOT to conserve a sword “TSURUGAOKA HACHIMANGU ; Famous temple located at Kamakura, dedicated to the god of war-in 1103 Minamoto Yoriyoshi had erected a temple on Yui-ga-Hama, dedicated to Hachiman, the titular god of his family. Yoritomo transported it (1193) to Kamakura and erected it on the Tsurugaoka hill, where it may be seen to the present day. In 1219 the Shogun Sanetomo went there in great pomp to render thanks for his nomination to the dignity of udaijin. After the ceremony, on descending the steps, his nephew, Kugyo, assassinated him. In 1526 Satomi Yoshihiro, the governor of the province Awa plundered the treasures of the temple but Hojo Ujitsuna obliged him to retreat.- The temple of Tsurugaoka is one of the last remnants of the grandeur of Kamakura. Interesting souvenirs of the middle ages are kept in it.” - E. Papinot The layout of Kamakura today is dominated by Wakamiya Oji, the main street in town, which runs dead straight from the beach to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. It was built by the order of Yoritomo, when the Tsurugaoka Hachiman shrine was erected. Moto Hachiman, or the former Hachiman is not far from my house near Zaimokuza beach. There are three Torii that stand over the road to the shrine from Ni no Torii to Ichi no Torii, which stands at the entrance to the shrine grounds; there is a raised path, which is contained within sloping stone walls like a castle. There are cherry trees set all along this path: the Dankazura. It actually tapers down to about a half its width at the shrine end, but due to an engineered optical illusion, it does not appear so. It seems Yoritomo built everything in the town with an eye to warfare; an invading army might charge down this welcoming path four or five across only to find themselves fighting in space wide enough for only two or three. April is the time to don your kimono and stroll the Dankazura enjoying the cherries in bloom. Yoritomo built the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in fulfillment of a promise he made at the Moto-Hachiman, “should I be successful in my campaign against the Taira, I will build the biggest Hachiman shrine Japan has ever seen right here in Kamakura”. As we all know, the first Shogun’s prayers were answered, and thereafter many people high and low made offerings in thanks for the favors bestowed upon them by the spirits of this beautiful place. For some four hundred years, the storehouse of the shrine collected treasure until in 1526, during the13th battle of Kamakura,・the aforementioned Satomi Yoshihiro caused the destruction of the temple. What wonderful things were lost, we might never know, but there are as yet interesting souvenirs of the middle ages kept here. Kobizen Masatsune tachi, Kokuho Bizen Nagamitsu tachi, Juyo Bunkazai Kuniyoshi tachi, Juyo Bunkazai Soshu Tsunahiro tachi, Kanagawa ken Juyo Bunkazai Tsunaie tachi, Kanagawa ken Juyo Bunkazai Hirokuni tachi, Kanagawa ken Juyo Bunkazai Kunimura, Senjuin, Chikuzen Nobukuni, and Muramasa, all number among the one hundred or so swords that are still in the storehouse of Hachimangu. Hojo Ujitsuna, the 8th, 9th, and 10th Tokugawa Shoguns and the Meiji Emperor are some of the more notable persons making offerings here. It is the ultimate in presumption to consider myself among their number, but the fact remains that late last year I, too determined to present a sword to the shrine. Last year, I retired my Iai-to and though I felt it didn’t need a polish, I decided to do my bit for the Japanese economy and have it polished and put it in a fresh shirasaya. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, the kawagane proved too thin and the shingane was exposed during polish, to be expected perhaps with a Kamakura period tachi but the mark of death for a shinshinto blade which mine happened to be. I now had a considerable investment in a sword which had cost me too much already and there was certainly no way for me to recover any of the money spent. I resolved therefore to lovingly preserve it as it had near been a very part of my body daily for close to ten years. In the event of my passing on, on some long distant future day, it could be treasured in my family as an heirloom. Reflecting upon the loose hold my family now has on reality and the sheer lack of interest in things Japanese they exhibit, I began to have my doubts about future generations the more I thought about it. How then to conserve this blade in a way I could be reasonably assured it would not be mistreated in the future. As you must have guessed, I hit upon the brilliant idea of donating the sword to the Hachiman shrine. Owing to the poor condition of the blade, I felt it would surely be rejected by the priests. To my surprise Hon’Ami Koji Sensei, my iai teacher, a sword polisher and conservator of the Hachiman shrine sword collection was delighted with my idea. In fact he sat down and immediately started working on a schedule for the presentation. April, 2001 was determined to be the best time so we set things in motion to carry out our Ho-no-shiki or offertory ceremony. What sword you ask is worth all this. It is not at all special, I assure you. Signed OHIRA TO YUKISADA, Dated MANEN GANNEN HACHIGATSU HI. It is a 2 shaku 5 sun 8 bu katana with chu kissaki, shallow koshizori, tight tight itame hada and a rather wide choji midare hamon. The nakago is 27cm long with kurijiri and kattesagari yasurime with kesho yasuri. The gojimei is located in the shinogiji, midway between the mekugi-ana and the habaki moto. There are 2 mekugi-ana, one of which is a shinobi-ana, which was a popular addition in the Bakumatsu era. Ohira Yukisada or Yukikazu is listed as a Musashi area smith who worked around the time of the Meiji restoration or a little before. He styled himself Yu no shin・or bird of progress・ The To (藤) in the signature is also read Fuji・as in Fujiwara so this is an abbreviation. The year 1860, Manen gannen, started out with the assassination of the great elder II Naosuke, by a group of Mito ronin, angered by his policies of placating the foreign powers and punishing those who opposed him including the lord of Mito. The country was taking sides for a battle many were certain was soon to come, one has to wonder which side of the conflict this blade was destined for. This sword was originally purchased at the Great Western Gun Show, at the San Francisco Cow Palace sometime before 1983 for $700. At that time it was in shirasaya with late Edo/Meiji period copper habaki, iron tsuba, iron fuchikashira, a blue linen wrapped tsuka with white same and menuki which had been stripped by the owner prior to me. I bought it in 1987 in this condition. There is perhaps some justice in this sword finding peace back in Japan after the abuse it suffered in America. I immediately sanded down the shirasaya and painted it with green auto-lacquer. Then began the years of swinging, whacking and cutting. Over time I had a new saya made and rebuilt and rewrapped the handle. Now it has a new silver habaki, shirasaya and proper Japanese polish. On a gorgeous Saturday in April some thirty members of the Kamakura Iaido Kyokai and guests gathered at the Hachimangu Shrine. Dressed in formal montsuki and hakama We collected in the maeden, on the same stage that Shizuka Gozen stood upon as she plead for Yoshitsune’s life in song. We bowed before the priest where receiving his blessing we presented for all the gods and buddhas to see, the faithful sword which had seen me through three thousand days of determined practice. Following this, myself and two others had their new swords blessed in a ceremony known as Nyu-kon-shiki and here upon the stage practiced for the first time with those swords. The swords used in the ceremony to be invested with the true spirit of a samurai sword were tied with mizuhiki cord, after each was blessed an attendant handed the swords to Hon’Ami Sensei who then drew his Umetada Myoju tanto and cut the cord. After which each of us presented five kata or forms to the gods of the shrine. As I took the stage to perform my forms, in each corner sat a friend acting as guard against evil, the Shitenno. In the Northeast sat Iwamura Nobuhiro, who some of you have met, 6th dan Muso Jiki Den Eishin Ryu. To the Southeast from Brazil; Candido Roberto Nunez Sequiera, 3rd dan Toyama Ryu Batto-jutsu. To the Northwest from Sri Lanka, Siri Herath, 2nd dan Toyama Ryu Batto-jutsu and in the Southwest from France, Evelyne Sentenac, Shodan Muso Shinden Ryu. Thus all the parts of the globe were represented as I drew my sword and symbolically cut down evil with my newly christened blade.  Following the ceremony there was a luncheon, where I was presented with a certificate acknowledging my gift and where I was asked to give a little speech. I thanked everyone and expressed my hope that the sword would reside within the shrine as a symbol of amity between San Francisco and Kamakura, between the U.S. and Japan and persons everywhere. So now this vet pick-up old beater iaito with Mike Virgadamo saya, Russ Axt handle and wrap, Fred Lohmen menuki, Cary Condell oshigata and lacquer job by yours truly, will join the other swords in the treasure house of the great Tsurugaoka Hachimangu where it will be lovingly cared for, for perhaps another 800 years carrying with it a tale of woe all too many swords know today, along with my sincere thanks for the life changing lessons it taught me during our brief journey together and of course the dear friends it has brought me to. @Kamakura in Japan, Thomas C Helm
  11. Greetings, I think this Type 3 is a Kinoshita Yoshitada made Katana. Traditional made? Is it San Mai? Worth polishing? Ito in very good condition. Possible value? I have more pix but to many k at one time.
  12. Greetings, I and my son James have been seriously bitten and infected with Japanese Martial history and very enamored with the blades, smiths, styles, customs etc. My Daddy had a Kai Gunto bring back which he sold without my knowledge in the 60's while I was in the Army in Vietnam Republic of. (Go figure eh} I recently set out to replace it with a Katana for my son to inherit. I got bit with the bug and soon my son followed suit. Suffice to say one by one I have purchased 2 Type 3 & One Type 2. All signed and one I found in Sloughs book (Kinoshita} Yoshitada I will show second. Any help with this first 22.5" blade Type 2 with Mitsutomoe Mon attached to end and surrender tag greatly appreciated. The Tsuka is 9.5" to the Tsuba. The Saya is 26.5" long. Little long for such a short blade. Both decidedly shorter than standard Gunto? Short Katana or long Wakizashi? It appears to be shortened? The thickness at the mune area is .230". Width of blade just above the Habaki is 1.039". If you can read the Nagana Sig who made it and opinion of his rank as a Gendaito/smith. The Nagana is cut straight just below where pic ends. This Katana is so pretty I like it just for that. I've only been at this about 5 months. Lots to learn yet.
  13. Sansei

    Legacy Needs Help

    My Nisei dad and mom received this gift from her father when they were married in Japan after WW2. My grandfather was sensei and had his own kendo dojo. We lived in Japan for 2 years in the early 1960’s when my dad was stationed in Korea with the 25th infantry division. I was in junior high school at that time. We visited my grandfather during the summers and he came to visit us in Tokyo several times. The katana was kept at my uncle’s home in Hawaii down in their garage. What you see in the pictures is it’s condition after my dad retrieved it in the 1980’s. Termites destroyed the wood Saya and the Tsuka is what’s left. My mom is now 92 and we are thinking about what to do with the katana. I think we would like to try and bring it back to the condition it was; when it was gifted. We would like to find out how to do this and what it would cost. I believe we will keep the legacy in the family. Comments and any other thoughts would be appreciated. I am not well informed on these matters. We have two other katana. One that my dad won in a kendo tournament in Hawaii when he was in high school. Another that my dad brought back from the Philippines. He was stationed there in MIS under General MacArthur during WW2. These are still in excellent condition as they were always kept here. Thanks. - RayM
  14. Beautiful piece acquired from the United States. Appraised by Unique Japan. Original papers come with. Dense hada, clear signature, single mekugi ana, original habaki, no hi, beautiful hamon, original shirasaya mountings. In good polish for age, not messed with condition. Paypal, cash or cards accepted. £2700 shipped.
  15. Hello all, acquired a few pieces over the past year's mix of COVID lock-downs and while eagerly waiting for the latest to arrive thought I would start a few threads to share the blades with fellow members and provide some more searchable examples of these smiths for the NMB. Also maybe start some discussion if anyone sees anything interesting. The first is a papered NBTHK TH to Ko-Mihara with a sayagaki from Tanobe Sensei. Photos are courtesy of @Ray Singer and will get an in-hand update/photos once it arrives hopefully this week… delayed due to an issue at the DPO transit point . Without a full translation yet but looks like Tanobe-sensei commented that it a representative example of the sword, dates to Nanbokucho jidai, is osuriage mumei, and yuhin (exceptional work). I had been on the lookout for a blade in this style with some helpful advice and comments on other pieces from @paulb . nagasa: 66.3cm moto-haba: 28mm saki-haba: 18mm kasane: 6.5mm The next two pieces to be posted await post-COVID shinsa but have other attributions that might spur some debate.
  16. I am returning to the hobby after about 20 years of very light reading only. I was more involved at the time where the knowledge and pricing of gendaito was rapidly increasing, and have been considering adding a more modern sword to my collection since the late 90's. For a couple weeks I have been intrigued by a Yasutake katana on Aoi Art - although there a few things that raise some red flags I can not resolve myself. https://www.aoijapan.com/katana-yaguwa-yasutake-saku/?_sfm_era=昭和刀(大正〜戦時中)&_sfm_price=100000+5000000 - The sword is inscribed Showa 4, before his working period - Papers seem to indicate an attribution to Showa 47, if I am understanding the notation... big leap for me on that - The signature and finishing on the nakago seem different from the few references I see on line, old Aoi arts postings, postings on this forum (thank you) and the yasukuni book I have. Although quite showy, the work in the blade seems more like his post war work. If legit, I am 100% ok with that I like the blade for what it is artistically, but don't want to get into something problematic... A purchase of this level is not a regular event for me, and I want to get it right. Not worried about resale, just a fair deal. I would love to hear any opinions on this offering. Thanks! Michael S
  17. Hello all, looking for Generals Grade shin gunto, ideally with Tassel. Background and provenance even better. Best regards John
  18. As promised the second addition, this one for the Bizen crowd. This sword is o-suriage mumei with gonome choji-ba hamon, ko-nie, and utsuri. The better photos are again courtesy of @Ray Singer (that may be a trend with these) with some of my own thrown in... I know I need a darker background. Happy to provide any photos of specific areas if my skills allow. nagasa 69.9cm moto-haba 3.2cm kasane 6mm There is varying opinion on attribution: The NTHK attributed the blade to Hidekage, Eikyō era; there is a remnant of an old kinpunmei (see photo) that might be mitsu 光; and a previous owner was told it could be Nanbokucho Omiya. Attributions all in the same general style but vary from Nanbokucho to early Muromachi. In hand it has a lot of heft to it. I do plan to send to NBTHK shinsa once global shipping is more reliable and will update the thread then. The blade has a lot of heft and a lot of activity to see in hand that I am not good at describing quite yet. This was a forum purchase so some of you may have seen glimpses of it before. (The black line in the boshi is a relfection, not a ware)
  19. Hello, Was maintaining a Type 0 (Type 3) and noticed some scratches on the face of the fuchi. On closer inspection it looks very much like kanji? Strange place to have writing unless some IJA Officer decided to put his own mark or message on the face of the fuchi (unlikely ?) More likely to be something I am just not aware of yet. One particular long line (scratch ?) seems to go from the 'kanji' right around the top of the fuchi and then finish with an arrow head. Really no idea but they just seem too deliberate to be scratches, thus my post. Two angles tk try and get the 'message' across. Any ideas would be appreciated.....and no hurry, I will have it for some time :-) thanks Rob
  20. I was happy to study this fine Japanese long sword (katana 刀) which is the oldest such sword I have been able examine in detail. Based upon an analysis of the workmanship details I think it dates from the late Kamakura Period circa the Showa Era (1312-1317 CE) and a product of the Ko-Mihara (古三原) School of Yamato Tradition (Yamato-den 大和伝). This does not preclude the possibility that the sword is an (utsushi 写し) made during the early Muromachi Period about 1336-1400 CE. Basically, a utsushi is a faithful copy made of an earlier style out of reverence for the original. This is a common thing when it comes to Japanese fine art and sometimes makes accurate dating difficult. This fine Japanese art sword with NBTHK appraisal is for sale check out the website link below for more information about how to purchase. The asking price is $4,000 USD, but I am open to reasonable offers from NMB members and feel to politely discuss. Upon sale I can provide an English translation of the NBTHK appraisal paper if required. Enjoy and thanks for reading my topic. Long Sword (Katana) Attributed to the Mihara School | Rain Dragon Fine Art (raindragonfineartandantiques.com) SOLD!
  21. The sword is said to be made in the meiji era and supposedly a military police sword but I'm unable to find any information on this. The sword has a real hamon and hada. There are engravings on the top of the handle, they seem to have been done by hand. The screw on the handle is stuck and I am unable to remove it. The habaki has some kanji engraved on it. I'm trying to figure out for who it was issued but any information on the sword is welcome.
  22. Has 10 marked on habaki. Very curious on this one. Story goes this has sat behind a door for 80 or so years. Maybe a WW2 bring back. This is my first post so any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I am here to learn. I am currently looking/saving for my first Nihonto! thanks in advance Regards, Silverback.
  23. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Has 10 stamped on habaki.
  24. Having recently purchased this Kunikane blade with as i believed a mumei signature, upon receiving it i was not so sure please advise . having read previous Nihonto discussions on false Kunikane signatures the Kuni seem to be late for the rest of the signature
  25. Hello Again, I grabbed this sword because I thought the old Koshirae handsome, the blade was mostly in polish and didn’t have many kizu, and it was at a good price. The downside is its lost its signature due to O-suriage and while I’m sure I’m looking at a Kanbun sugata, I’m not finding it all that easy to pin it down to a school/region. Very little curvature for sure (8mm), even compared to the sword Mr. Benson said was Bizen Muromachi which was not terribly curved. What curvature it has seems to start early, although I’m not sure just how much losing close to 10cm in length might have affected the shape. Nagasa length is still 66.2cm despite having been shortened to lose of much of the original nagako. As far as hada goes it looks like it starts with komokume and then further up the blade are large structures I think are some type of itame with small grain inside, often bordered by dark nie grains. I’m not sure but it looks a bit like the description of Echizen or Musashi hada from Connoisseur’s. Also the Shinogi has some roundish wood grain. The Hamon I can’t tell if it suguha or komidare, it’s straightish but wobbles a bit, might have hotsure. The kisaki looks like a chukisaki with a hakikake boshi. Nagako has katte sagari that seem to disappear above the first hole. So I guess my questions are: Am I correct in assuming this is a Kanbun Shinto? Would the sword having been produced near Edo be a reasonable guess? And is there any point in taking this to a shinsa once they return to America?
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