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Pic Request - battle damage on blades


Drago
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So you want to see more pictures because the article on Usagiya's site has intrigued you?

 

Any particular reason you want to see battle scars? Will you or other members learn something from it?

 

Do you want to be able to tell a battle-scar from a flaw? This is easy to do. Too many idiots ruining swords by hacking bushes, cardboard, PET bottles etc. :crazy:

 

OK, these are not exactly battle scars, but hard to distinguish from such. You get:

 

hagire

bent blade (shinae when straightened)

broken blade

hakobore

kirikomi (I wonder how easy one can produce fake scars)

 

But watch out - a blade can break even if the samurai was trying to hit a dog with the mune of his sword (http://www.nihontocraft.com/Suishinshi_Masahide.html) So don't go into raptures if you find a flawed sword. It might not be a battle scar, after all... :rotfl:

 

What else do you want to know?

 

BTW - I am overawed by the "bullet" pics shown by Thomas. How romantic. This must have been a very considerate bullet - it has left the patina intact.

Sorry to be sarcastic, Thomas, but the patina on your nakago looks strange.

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That explains everything. The bullet wound is interesting, nevertheless.

 

I am just a bit wary of the romantic notion of battle scars. That is why I think that this thread has a rather low educational value.

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the romantic notion of battle scars

 

Haha, well, to a degree it might be romanticism.

 

But on the other hand there is still an educational value, at least in sword-fight scars: damage that was caused by attacking, by blocking, by cutting, by mineuchi. Those who know a bit about swordfighing can (to a certain degree) recognize it and every scar tells a story.

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Here is one on Andy's site that has a kirikomi with a piece of the sword left in the defenders blade.

 

 

You got to have hawk eyes to see the piece of the attacker's sword still in the defender's blade. Now, this is part of the sales pitch, an unnecessary part for this kind of sword, anyway....

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You got to have hawk eyes to see the piece of the attacker's sword still in the defender's blade. Now, this is part of the sales pitch, an unnecessary part for this kind of sword, anyway....

Mariusz,

Don't be such a cynic :D

That one is well documented I believe, and in hand is clearly exactly what they say it is. Romanticism...maybe. But unique too. And a reminder of what these swords were used for.

 

Brian

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This from the original post Quote Unfortunately, there are some thin scratches on the upper part of the blade. It came from play of cutting cardboard boxes by the previous owner. Please never play with such masterpieces, even if you are so rich.Unquote. Now where else have I seen that advice quite recently? :shame:

 

Denis.

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Don't be such a cynic :D

That comes with age, Brian :rotfl:

 

Anyway, the sword is so good, it does not need that touchy-feely story, I think. A purchase based on romanticism and not on quality will turn out bad, unless it is a sword with provenance (for which you pay a premium).

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Bullet again , but stuck in tsuba and made damage to the seppas, lockclip and fuchi

 

If real, that is a wonderful proof that soft metal tsuba can take some serious abuse ;-) There still are some people here and there who deem soft metal as unsuitable to make a useful tsuba.

 

Lovely pic. But...Is it real? People do stuff to sell stuff....

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If real, that is a wonderful proof that soft metal tsuba can take some serious abuse ;-) There still are some people here and there who deem soft metal as unsuitable to make a useful tsuba.

 

Lovely pic. But...Is it real? People do stuff to sell stuff....

 

but everybody know that sword can cut bullets, so a sword can also cut a tsuba :laughabove: :laughabove:

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Anyway, the sword is so good, it does not need that touchy-feely story, I think. A purchase based on romanticism and not on quality will turn out bad, unless it is a sword with provenance (for which you pay a premium).

 

 

I agree, though I think there is a caveat here. If the seller makes no attempt to bring up the sword's (possible) history then the kirikomi or other (possible) battle damage might get polished out. For some people that's fine as they seem to be of the opinion that there are no extant examples of swords with genuine battle damage (or think they're extremely rare). I would argue that polishing these things out if you DON'T know for a fact that it came from misuse and playing is a bad thing to do.

 

My reasons being:

 

1. If it IS genuine battle damage, however unlikely you think it to be, you'd be taking away a part of that sword's history. Remember that nihonto aren't just art objects but historical objects, weapons, and also religious objects!

2. Being convinced that something is a "play mark" and wanting to get it polished might result in an unnecessary polish.

 

Like you said, though... a sword should be purchased for its quality first and foremost.

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I don't think that removing damage from actual battle removing history. It is the normal course of things; that would be done traditionally and does nothing to enhance the sword left alone. The newly polished blade shows all the beauty of the sword that has suffered in its battle against time. It is an odd notion to me that most western blades are left to rust away or preserved in a rusted stasis with blades incomprehensible when (and only if) they could be polished to reveal so much. In fact you can get reproductions made that mimic this distressed look some desire so much. The only time kirikomi should be left alone to me is when to remove it would detrimentally grossly reduce the life of the sword which has a terminal lifespan anyway, although much longer than any of ours. John

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This illustrates the "hole" in the "artifact" argument. If you believe that a sword should not be altered because it is messing with the history of the item, then you wouldn't polish or restore any damage.

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I'm not saying a sword should't ever be polished if it has a kirikomi. I'm saying that polishing a sword just to get rid of kirikomi is a bit overkill. Not disclosing that a kirikomi may or may not be "battle damage" and part of the sword's history may lead people to see it as little more than a defect akin to a fukure or kita-ware and want to get a perfectly acceptable sword polished. It is my personal opinion that one or two kirikomi on a blade don't really detract any beauty from it nor do they make it hard to study the piece and thus don't warrant a polish in and of themselves. If something is covered in rust and pitting, however...

 

To quite a tidbit from sho-shin.com:

 

"It is perhaps a partial statement, but none the less not far-fetched, to say that the sword appraisal agencies and sword clubs in modern Japan have made up and created a mind set for today's collectors; and have set them like sheep for the polished, papered "Packaged" sword products. - Little notice has been taken that the real Samurai swords, the actual swords of the Samurai - are being wholly altered, ground up by polishing and re-constructed, essentially ending their specific histories."

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To quite a tidbit from sho-shin.com:

 

"It is perhaps a partial statement, but none the less not far-fetched, to say that the sword appraisal agencies and sword clubs in modern Japan have made up and created a mind set for today's collectors; and have set them like sheep for the polished, papered "Packaged" sword products. - Little notice has been taken that the real Samurai swords, the actual swords of the Samurai - are being wholly altered, ground up by polishing and re-constructed, essentially ending their specific histories."

 

I would say it is actually far fetched, inaccurate, alarmist, and indicative of a lack of understanding of the care and preservation of the sword through history.

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I am with Chris here. The quote shows this romantic attitude, which would have us, against Japanese tradition, admire a rusted and pitted sword. Japanese have enjoyed polished swords for centuries.

 

However, the decision to have a sword polished brings a responsibility - that of preservation.

 

At the end of the day, it all boils down to the skills and determination of the polisher to preserve the sword. Rust must go, niku (or meat) must be preserved as far as possible. No responsible polisher will remove kizu (incl. battle scars) if it is not absolutely necessary for the preservation of the sword.

 

Please note - I am referring to competent and honest polishers.

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  • 8 years later...

This is a pretty ancient thread - not sure if I posted this or not

Here is a fine old Tachi with what I am convinced is battle damage. If you understand the three "zones" of a sword blade; Attack, Controi and Defense - then you'll understand when I say this is exactly where I would have my sword over my forehead when blocking a cut to my men/hachi. All supposition I know but I believe that this sword took this hard blow, did not fail and thus saved someones life. That person then dutifully put it in storage and preserved it in deference to the fact that it saved myself or my ancestors life and thus it is in such fine condition today...

-t

 

morisuke.jpg

Morisuke2.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

A sword I recently acquired has damage to the ha, muni and ji.  Most of the damage is from the middle of the blade increasing out to the kissaki.  Of these, a straight cut in the ji with a very steep V cross section is the most intriguing.  I don't think this is the result of bushwhacking.  The maximum depth were it terminates at the shinogi is ~0.3 mm.  It's maximum width at the shinogi is ~0.4 mm.  It's length is 6 mm.  A distinctive splatter pattern of fine rust on both sides of the blade radiates from the ji.  

 

As a complete beginner, I am trying to learn the names of the sword elements so please forgive me if I have mislabeled anything.

 

ji-cut.thumb.jpg.e61e953969a01d32fd986d2409641e42.jpgparry-cut.thumb.jpg.cfbb1f18b554b1b8a5f7c245a9443010.jpgsplatter.thumb.jpg.dcfa305225017a07c787e509ac235b47.jpg

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