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Another day another fuchi


KORSH
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Hello everyone,

 

just received a very nice new fuchi.

 

Would be really grateful for any information you can give me on this one.

Could be from end 16th century - beginning 17th century.

 

 

P.S.

Yes, I know it is a fuchi ! :D

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I suspect that Alex’s fuchi is yet another version of the Chikurin shichi Kenjin (the Seven Sages in the Bamboo Grove). It is a not particularly good, Sōten style depiction of the theme, and probably dates from the early C19.

 

Several previous threads in the NMB have dealt fairly comprehensively with Sōtenesque work.

 

John L.

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just received a very nice new fuchi.

 

There appears to be extensive wear on this piece, and when combined with judging the lower quality of nanako, which usually is also an indication of the quality of material used, a piece like this is never likely to repatinate properly, and then you still have the worn flat nanako to deal with. Which raises the question of trying to make a set out of this piece, even if you could find matching work. Condition is always a key point when collecting. One more part of nihonto collecting is learning and understanding what can be properly restored, and worth the cost of restoring as well.

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Hello Franco,

 

in this case it is not about "worth/costs of restoring". And yes I will undertake a proper restoration, but in this case our definition of "proper" is slightly different. I see it this way: this fuchi was mounted on a blade that I received some time ago together with the original Habaki, Tsuka and Saya. The last owner of this sword was a Japanese officer who took this family sword to war. After him dieing in battle, the sword was taken by a veteran and kept away for the last 60 years. Now, after all these years, this sword is being restored and I wish to mount it as original as possible to the state in which it was, when the last owner took it in to his last battle.

 

This is also exactly why signs of wear are in this case welcome, as they show that this sword was exactly what it was supposed to be - a used weapon.

 

Still, I also understand your view as a collector. But I hope you will agree that my point of view is valid as well.

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Hi Alex,

 

I fully understand and agree.

 

One issue I'm not clear on here is, are you saying the officer took the sword including this fuchi mounted on his sword to war or just the sword? I stand to be corrected, but if I heard a second hand story of a Japanese Officer taking a civilian mounted sword to war (WWII), I would hold considerable doubt about the story being anything more than a story. I believe the Japanese military would have had a problem with an officer carrying a civilian mounted sword. But, I could be wrong. Perhaps the military collectors or those knowledgable regarding this subject could chime in here?

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This was exactly my thoughts, when I heard it the first time. As I have no knowledge of this, I asked a friend of mine in Japan (a senior Japanese collector) and he told me that some (important) family blades were actually carried partially in original mountings (for example Fuchi and Tsuba).

 

This is all I know on this point. But on my own military experience I could imagine that it really depended on your own military rank and the unit you were in. But would also like to here, if anyone has more info also on this topic.

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Hi Everyone,

 

I once had a Onin tsuba I was told was taken off a destroyed World War 2 sword. The tsuba is no longer in my collection and is for sale on Grey's website. I don't have any proof of the story but the person telling me the had no reason to lie.

 

 

 

Yours truly,

David Stiles

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They aren't that uncommon, I've seen plenty of old blades (Koto up to Shinshinto) in samurai nounts including the original saya conerted for use by an officer, they'd just put a leather cover over the saya. A suspension ring was usually added under the cover, the kurikata was either removed or had a hole cut out for it. I think the Fuller and Gregory books have a few examples of civillian/samurai swords being used this way.

Quality varies, the one posted below is a nicer than usual example of what you might come across.

 

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=9312

 

Regards,

Lance

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