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  1. The first couple (3) of the characters on this MASAMITSU have got me stumped. Help would be much appreciated.
  2. 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.
  3. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Has 10 stamped on habaki.
  4. Could I get some help with these two characters, please.
  5. So an oddball passed through my hands. At first glance the shape looks like a Kamakura tachi, having marked koshi sori and taper, but the guy selling it thought it was kanbun. Whatever it is I fully understand that Kamakura is highly improbable and frankly, it doesn’t look as “nice” as my koto sword -although that might be from it being in a bad state of polish- so I figured a Kamakura utsuhimono is what I’m looking at. I don’t know if it’s possible for people more practiced than I to Kantei this blade? It is about 71cm suriage with a lot of taper, the geometry is noticeably different from my osuriage Yamato tachi in that this sword has a low shinogi, more taper, and the blade overall feels a bit thin. The hamon appears to be a gunome midare with large amounts of Nie and a lot of hataraki, I honestly like the hamon and it helped push me to get it. There doesn’t appear to be any straight yakidashi but perhaps a suriage would have eliminated one. The bad state of polish makes it hard to be totally certain about the hada but it seems to have good amounts of nie and be mostly some type of itame/mokume, with some masame that is accompanied by nie and found closer to the ha, the shinogi’s hada seems to be almost exclusively some type of mokume/itame I know that’s often a koto trait but I figure an utsuhi would do that too. One of the oddest traits are what look like yubashiri over wide parts of the blade, the polish isn’t great but there seems to be nie inside those white cloudy parts and when I hold the sword to a light source to illuminate the nioiguchi those parts glow, but unlike other examples of yubashiri I have seen they are more widespread, some in the monouchi’s shinogi. One trait that does clash with the probable outcome that this is a Shinshinto utsuhi is the thick nagako patina, which doesn’t look very different from my koto examples, also while the hada doesn’t have ware, there are a few small kitaeware on the ha, which makes me think they might be from over polishing. Thankfully though the appleseed geometry of the blade is intact, along with the hamon so it doesn’t look like it’s suffered any truly major harm. Anyways I’m pretty confused by this blade so if people with a more trained eye than I have any thoughts I would be grateful.
  6. Hi all, found this old blade in GUNTO WW2 mounts. It looks cut down, and some MEI missing. Help would be appreciated. Neil.
  7. I can read UJIFUSA, but I am struggling with the rest of the mei. Could someone be kind enough to translate the full mei.
  8. I have observed quite a large number of non-traditionally made, oil tempered Showa-To, having very a regular SANBON-SUJI Hamon. Being war time knockouts, I wonder why this regular style of Hamon keeps occurring. I would assume it takes longer to prepare to make it. Is there some significance in its ownership/performance/aesthetics/salability? I would be interested if anyone out there has information as to how and why it keeps popping up on otherwise basic swords.
  9. I thought this blade might be of some interest to collectors of Gunto and Showato. It is a 43" (Nagasa!) O-tachi by Hikosaburo Akihide. It must be among his first swords made when he was only 18 years old. He made it to comerate his brothers safe return from the war. Akihide was a pivotal figure in the Japanese Sword world leading up to and including the war years. He trained many smiths, and facilitated the production of many of the swords we have in our collections. Anyway, this beast is now in the capable hands of Mr. Benson (It should give him a good workout). If possible I'll bring it to Chicago and /or post photos when I get it back. Jim M.
  10. It is heartening to find a sword where the painted assembly number on the nakago matches all the numbers on the fittings. Ohmura describes these swords as a "last stage type" and not a "normalized form". He explains how mixed fittings were used late in the war due to shortages. Some fittings are plain pressed metal, or from a parts bin of left overs. Even the ray skin "same" is replaced by a painted adhesive tape. This example is a 1944 NORINAGA. Due to years of wear and tear, the tzuka was re-wrapped in the original colour in Ohmura's Study. These swords are not as beautiful as the 98 or normalized RS, but are non the less interesting as a much needed WW2 sword for an officer at the front, added to this is their relative rarity.
  11. High Quality Japanese Nishijin Weave Brocade Katana/ Tachi / Uchigatana/ Shin Gunto/ Kaigunto Bukuro and Fusahimo (Synthetic Fibre) from Kyoto . Classic Design of Shimmering Stylised Clouds in Bright Gold upon a Subtle Pale Sienna Background and Rich Pale Bronze Lining. 109cm x 16.5cm (approx) Rich Cream Fusahimo 13cm x 3cm Fusa 232 cm Himo (approx) £115 Free Postage within U.K.
  12. On Gendai blades, there is a flaring towards the kisaki. What is the Japanese term for this characteristic?
  13. Well, I never had. When this one came up at that recent auction in Texas, I went scrambling to find out what I could about them and then decided to sell my car to buy it (not literally, but one should know that my car, which I just traded in for a newer used car a couple of months ago) was only worth $1000 on trade in, considerably less than this sword cost. Anyway, according to Markus' Encyclopedia (one of the most useful sword books ever!), these swords were worn by the imperial family or by kuge, court aristocrats. Based on his further detailed description, and the fact that this one has mother of pearl inlay in a nashiji ground, it would have been owned by the highest level of kuge but not by a member of the imperial family. There are six or seven lower ranks of kuge that can be discerned by the types of koshirae on their kazari-tachi. I thought I would share a few of the photos. I am also debating about what to do with it in terms of restoration and papers, so feel free to share your views (other than it's worthless and that I should send it to you right away!). Cheers, Bob
  14. Fake blade, etched pattern The post is edited to discuss the koshirae only. Dear All, Greetings from Canada! I am new and all my limited information about Nihonto are from internet. Please share your thoughts , knowledge and comment. The koshirae looks elegant and concise. All fittings have a lot of Chinese characteristics. Red colored rayskin scabbard with 9 bats means "hong fu shou qi tian" ,"洪福壽齊天"in Chinese. The bat is not a simple bat, it has a longevity head, and a hidden monkey face, combines auspicious meanings. The tusba has a "Lou han" who tames the tiger without a fight. Maybe the highest honor for a warrior. Please note the philosophy here. Both ends use horn material. The handle end has a white though line, means the blade is a sharp one,you can cut through your enemy.The scabbard end has a short white line, means the opponent can not cut you through. There are willow strips decorated on the outside of the handle and the scabbard, which are rare to me. The menuki on the handle also has a nice meaning: triple dragon courage,"三聯龍膽" in Chinese. So, the blade is fake, the red rayskin koshirae seems pretty good, but a real koshirae can not protect a fake blade. Again, please share your thoughts , knowledge and comment. Thanks in advance.
  15. Hello everyone, I came into possession of this blade recently and would greatly appreciate input from more experienced collectors. I’m not sure how feasible it is to do so, but if the sword could be identified to a general time period and region/style of make that would be ideal. I’m already aware of the bad quality ato-bori and the ware cracks and suspect this is why it was cheap. To my inexperienced eyes, the hamachi seems worn, and the nagkago has heavy patina, which makes me think that it’s fairly old and been polished several times. The Hamon looks like suguha and the Hada seems to have masme and some type of wood (komokume?) characteristics, but as I said I’m inexperienced and could be completely wrong about all of this. Also it might be due to general inexperience but it seems as if the angle and type of incident light affects how prominent the different Hada patterns are. I had read that Yamato style blades were produced in large numbers as arsenal weapons during the sengoku period and most were unsigned. Is it at all possible that I’m looking at one such example? Thank you again for everyone’s help,
  16. Dear all, I am looking for a Japanese sword in good condition (with its original dimensions, thus not over polished) from the Bakumatsu period along with its original koshirae. I need a textbook example, that is to say that the nakago must be quite long (well over 20 cm) and the nagasa must be over 75 cm. The sword must be signed and dated between 1854 and 1864. I am not looking for a specific or well known swordsmith, just an average to good one. The sword I am looking for must have been made for real combat. Usually, those swords are found with a shallow sori can be quite heavy and rather clumsy to yield, nevertheless, some are quite elegant (both type welcomed). If you have one for sale, please contact me by PM.
  17. Ok, I admit I get caught up with the variety found in gunto fittings. But I have seen dozens of types of sarute. Even the clasped hand design has so many variations, from just rudimentary fingers, to a full on pre-corona virus hand shake. Here are a few.
  18. Japanese Antique Edo Han tachi Koshirae samurai sword Busho yoroi kabuto 龍 Description: Very rare Japanese antique Han tachi koshirae of the late Muromachi or early Edo era. Used by only high rank busho or samurai. Period: Late Muromachi, Early Edo era Dimensions: Full length: 99.06 cm (39 in) Saya length: 75.57 cm (29.75 in) Tsuka length: 23.50 cm (9.25 in) Sori/Warp: 1.9 cm Weight: 312 grams Price: 800 USD. Payment via paypal or bank wire.
  19. Update to my previous For Sale post titled '65 Tsuba from Collection FOR SALE'--please now take 25% off the prices in that post. (You can view the tsuba photos, descriptions, and prices in that post by scrolling the posts in this 'For Sale' section here on the Nihonto Message Board). Note that tsuba T2, T3, T5, T23, & T65 have sold. Thank you. --Matthew Brice www.StCroixBlades.com
  20. Hello, I would like to know whether this tachi was made during WWII or during another period. When I bought this sword it has mounting from WWII and problem is that it has new hilt which I can’t open. But I think that this sword is of very high quality. Hamon is not visible except for some parts. And for me is very intresting gold write on the blade. Thank you for your feedback.
  21. So i grew up with this sword. Even named it kotetsu which apparently means iron.... Any way can some help translate this, I think it's a 45' but there's a small 38 on the spine of the tang and a long signature.
  22. Hello everyone! I thought I would introduce myself. My name is Octavian and I'm from Canada. I'm new to this community! I have an interest in learning about anything from the Japanese culture. One of my interests over the last few years has been collecting and learning about nihonto Japanese blades such as the Katana and the Tachi. I have a very nice example for sale! I love this nihonto but I'm selling it to feed my other hobby, Japanese anime, original production anime celluloids. I look forward to learning new things and sharing this hobby with you as part of this community! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Den Dewa Ko-Gassan Gold inlay Nihonto Katana, Muromachi Era: 600 yrs (NTHK-NPO Kanteisho papered certificate) Price: SOLD Serious Offers considered payment: paypal (with buyer protection) Certification: Certificate No. 319248, Tokyo (photocopy included: original kept in Japan) Judgement Paper: NTHK-NPO Kanteisho (authentic swords paper) This is the second highest and more commonly seen origami certificate from the NTHK-NPO that offers a generous amount of information on the sword’s characteristics. The certificate will be issued for swords of considerable quality in which the mei (signature) is authentic OR in the case that if sword is mumei(unsigned), the judges will offer their opinion on who the smith or school was that forged the blade. Blade: Mumei signature: Gold inlay: Gassan Age: Mid- Muromachi era: ca. 1400 Length: about 95cm Blade length: about 66.7cm warp: about 1.9cm first nail hole: one original width: about 26.9mm Motoshige: about 6.5mm destination width: about 18.5mm Sakikasane: about 5.1mm blade weight: about 604g Shape : It is wide and thick long size katana. It has deep curve. Jitetsu : Ayasugi hada well grained with jinie attached. The ayasugi hada is well seen. Hamon : Nie plate suguha Edo Katana Koshirae Fittings: Fuchi: Higo Deito Iron fittings (dragonfly & floral pattern gold inlay) Tsuba: High quality round shape iron tsuba with carved partterns, Edo period Saya: Red lacquered saya (sheath) Edo Period: 400 years old Accessories: Silk Bag, NTHK certificate, Shirasaya (wood housing) included, wood blade included Description: This piece is quite old Ko-Gassan. In the koto times, most Gassan smiths signed with the school name only and so the names of individual smiths are mostly lost to time. This katana matches the features of the late 1400 period and early 1500 period, and bears the hallmarks of ayasugi hada and narrow sugu samishii hamon well. It is signed in gold inlay with the school name only, Gassan as was the tradition of the school. This katana makes it a nice representative piece of the Gassan school for a collector to own. It is also accompanied by very nice koshirae of late Edo period. This blade is a long 95cm total length which (per the accompanying NTHK certificate) dates to the mid Muromachi period. This katana is a beautiful example of a Gassan smith from the muramachi era. Japanese swords are made from folded steel. These lines are visible and known in Japan as a katana Hada. These lines will depend on how many times the blade was folded. Masame hada is produced when the steel billet is repeatedly folded over in the same direction with the sides of the billet being used to form the face of the blade. The lines seen in the grain therefore represent the 'stack' of layers formed during the forging process. Ayasugi hada is basically masame hada which has been distorted by systematically varying the strength of the hammer blows along the blade during forging. The Ayasugi hada is brilliant and a standout on this sword which comes fully mounted and adds to the value of this blade. The hada is a rich looking ayasugi that has some coarseness as in many koto gassan blades. History: The Gassan school derives, as its name suggests, from Mt. Gassan in the old province of Dewa (present-day Yamagata prefecture), and is characterized by a wavy grain called ayasugi hada. According to tradition, it was founded by a smith named Kiomaru (or Kishin Dayu, as he was also known), who lived in the sacred grounds of Mt. Gassan back in the 12th century. Ever since, swordsmiths have flourished at the foot of Mt. Gassan, and a number of masters have appeared, in a long succession. From the Kamakura period through the Muromachi period, swords inscribed with the Gassan signature were famous all over the country for their practical usefulness and the beauty of their ayasugi hada, but when the Warring States period ended at the end of the 16th century, the number of blacksmiths dwindled. From the start, Mt. Gassan was a site of mountain worship, and the blacksmiths who lived there were peculiar people who secluded themselves among the mountains to purify themselves before forging swords. They were ascetics, similar to Shugendo practitioners. Gassan was the name of the object of worship, and inscribing such a name on a sword would normally be inexcusable. Probably Gassan swords were originally intended for funeral rites, rather than as weapons. They were not meant for killing people, but were associated with the faith, I believe. The Gassan school’s ayasugi hada layer appeared when steel with different carbon contents were mixed and combined at a certain point, but the formula was kept secret. At the end of the Edo period, Gassan Sadayoshi, who was the successor to the Gassan smiths, moved to Osaka. I believe he wanted to show the world the Gassan spirit one more time. The Gassan school origins remains to this day one of the most prestigious and successful lines of sword forging. The roots of Gassan extend far back into the Kamakura period (1185-1333 AD), and it is suspected perhaps even as early as Heian period (794-1185 AD). The home of Gassan was in Dewa province in the northern region of Honshu where they were the only indigenous school to Dewa. The name “Gassan” actually refers to one of three sacred mountains of Dewa, or “Dewa Sanzan”, the other two being Mt. Haguro and Mt. Yudono. It is a very mountainous and remote region, and was even more so in the earliest days of the school. From the very earliest works of the Gassan school, they exhibit a type of hada called “Ayasugi” which is comprised of long evenly undulating stacked wave pattern. Interestingly enough this pattern of the same name is carved in the interior walls of the body of the Shamisen (a guitar like musical instrument) to improve the tone. This pattern eventually became the hallmark of Gassan works and is often referred to as “Gassan Hada” as it continued to be refined and perfected by the Gassan smiths up until the current Gassan head and Living National Treasure smith, Gassan Sadatoshi. The Gassan school faded from view around the beginning of the 17th century, and then was revived with Gassan Sadayoshi who was born in 1780. Sadayoshi traveled from Dewa to the forge of Suishinshi Masahide, who was striving to rediscover the techniques of Koto masters. Masahide was a proliferate teacher, and is said to have had over 200 students. Sadayoshi became one such student and later settled in Osaka to open his own forge. The line was re-established with him and his adopted son, Gassan Sadakazu became the heir to the line entering very difficult times for swordsmiths; the Meiji Restoration. The Samurai class was effectively abolished and swords were no longer a weapon that could either be worn, nor were they in much demand as Japan Westernized, so swordsmiths were relegated to finding work in other trades. Many turned to tool making, blacksmithing, or other related trades. However Gassan Sadakazu contined on with sword making and found a market making copies of famous swords for influential and affluent clientele, as he was quite gifted in making swords in the Bizen, Soshu, and Yamato traditions. He became a Teishitsu Gigeiin or “Artist under the Imperial Household” and thus was called upon by the Imperial Family to make swords that would be worn, or bestowed as gifts by the Imperial Family. He survived the times and his son, Gassan Sadakatsu, would become the luminary smith of the 20th century, and also receive the dedicated patronage of the Imperial Family. If you take a look at the blade first of all the forging structure catches the eye. It appears as continuous waves from the base to the tip whereas the valleys show some mokume areas. The jihada stands out and the steel is blackish. So all in all we have the typical characteristics of the Gassan school and an ayasugi-hada is therefore also called Gassan–hada. The hamon bases on gunome/notare/sugu-ha midare but the waves of the jihada force it into a notare-like appearance. The nioiguchi is subdued and the entire jiba lacks clarity and brightness. Thus this is a typically rustic work of that school and all and all typical Gassan.The koshirae is en suite and of dragon motif. There is a deep rich brown sageo and tsuka-ito to match. The rayskin ( same ) is black as well as the lacquer finish of the saya. Japanese dragons and the koshirai (日本の竜 Nihon no ryū) are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese mythology and folklore. Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and India. The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Like these other Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet. The modern Japanese language has numerous “dragon” words, including indigenous tatsu from Old Japanese ta-tu, Sino-Japanese ryū or ryō 竜 from Chinese lóng 龍, nāga ナーガ from Sanskrit nāga, and doragon ドラゴン from English “dragon” (the latter being used almost exclusively to refer to the European dragon and derived fictional creatures).
  23. Hey all! I am in the process of obtaining two tachi blades made by the same smith purportedly. Can anyone give me a translation of the following kanji found on one of the blades? Thanks and have a Merry Christmas! ~Chris
  24. Saw this sword recently on Aoi’s website. https://www.aoijapan.com/katana-ko-bizen-nobufusa-saku-63rd-nbthk-juyo-paper/ Not commenting on the price (no comments needed there), but wanted to point out the tight and well forged jihada and hamon. There were some other threads about KoBizen vs Yamashiro hada and hamon and I would like to draw arrention to the similarities between the two in this blade here. As observed elsewhere on the board, back at the end of Heian and beginning of Kamakura there were a lot of similarities between Awataguchi, Sanjo, KoBizen. The hack is very well preserved despite the age. The Nobufusa name is known among smiths working in the Ko-Bizen and Ko-Ichimonji groups since very early times. According to the historical book Kokon Meizukushi Taizen, the two kanji signature Nobufusa is from the Ko-Bizen school, and the three kanji mei Nobufusa saku is from the Ko-Ichimonji school. But the argument continues still as to which signature belongs to which period. Regardless, that nakago and mei are ancient and precious. Finally, Aoi has started to venture more in the top end of the market, beyond its mid market mainstay.... interesting....
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