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Mikevorn

Help with a tsuka

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I recently was given a tsuka and was hoping someone could help me with a guess to age or any other information on the fittings. I am pretty limited in my knowledge of tosogu and what very little I do know is about iron tsubas which doesn't help.

 

The fittings don't strike me as very old. They could even be modern, although I think slightly older Meji maybe? I think the f/k has goldfish on it but I might be mistaken.

 

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

Thanks,

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Hi Mike.

Is the ana in the fuchi/tsuka unusually thin?

I ask because I have seen a 'tanto' koshirae that was a replica and utilised pressed/stamped fittings. It housed a tsunagi of thin metal in the very rough shape of a tanto but with no heat treatment or really any effort to be a real blade.

A collector friend of mine uses it as an armour embellishment - tucked into the sash on a suit of armour it looks the part.

It's been a while since I've taken any note of it but I swear the menuki are a match for yours.

I don't think it is intended to deceive but is meant as a prop or ornament.

From your pic, the ana looks thin and that is what prompted my memory and this post.

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The fuchi ana on yours looks regular but the hole in the tsuka itself is similar to what I was talking about.

Both the tsuka and fuchi have thin holes on my friends replica.

Is it from an actual mount?

If not, try inserting something that will measure the length of the hole and see if suitable for mounting.

The depth of the recess in my friends tanto would not allow a genuine blade to be mounted.

 

If I get over to my friends soon, or can coerce him into taking pics, I'll post them to this thread.

I could just be talking nonsense if Mike's ana is regular size... ;)

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Lee,

 

You are are brilliant! What you are describing matches almost exactly with what I am dealing with here. The "tanto" that was in the mounting had a paper thin nakago. There is no way a regular sized nakago would fit in the tsuka. The "tanto's" blade was correctly shaped all be it a little on the thin side, but there was no tempering on it. I had originally thought it may have been a project someone Frankensteined together but now I wonder if maybe it is supposed to go with an boys day display or something. I wonder when these were made as there seems to be more in existence and what the purpose was?

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Mike, Lee

The one I have is not mounted. The recess is 7cm. deep and at a glance would suggest a very delicate nakago on the "blade" it once held. Certainly not functional.

Mick

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Lee,

You are are brilliant!

 

I think no more needs to be said.

;)

 

Interesting to see these two tsuka as my friend's is the only one I've seen like it.

Although not great quality, they are still well made, as the little reinforcing strip soldered inside the fuchi seam on Mike's shows. It is the same with my example.

I get the impression Mick's is in the same league but has utilised a 'proper' fuchi and kashira. Certainly doesn't look like a real blade could be mounted in that tsuka.

 

I get the impression they are movie props which would hold up to reasonably close camera shots for period correct costumes.

Or possible re-enactment activities...anything where a proper blade or koshirae wouldn't be allowed or wouldn't make sense to use in case of damage.

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My friend came through with the pictures so adding them here for reference.

As I remembered, the menuki are exactly the same as Mike's.

You can't see how thin the ana is in the tsuka and fuchi but the ana of the seppa shows it well enough.

As can be seen, the 'blade' is not functional and merely holds the koshirae together.

 

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Yep those are the exact same menuki. I am amazed there are more of these props out there, and even more surprised that they have similar designed fittings.

 

I wonder if they were made as movie Noh or Kabuki prop, and if it was one company or group producing them.

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Yet another sighting of Elvis: the "doctor's sword".

 

Some scholars – among them Robert Fleischel, the owner of Sagemonoya in Tōkyō - spent considerable time and effort to research those bokutō. He admits that we still have no reliable evidence about exactly how and why bokutō were used, although some show nicks and dents that are conclusive with them having played a role as self-defense items. There are some paintings that show porters and attendants carrying dagger-like objects that seem to be bokutō.

 

However, there's irrefutable evidence that doctors of samurai status of course were allowed to carry real swords, and indeed did. Non-samurai, including doctors, were not allowed, and might have carried a bokutō. But we don't call a Rolex a "dentist's watch", just because some dentists wear them.

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and yet, there is something called a "railroad watch" because of its origins and use, it following a sort of standard set by its typical user....

 

but perhaps this type of tsuka held a jitte vs some sort of modified bokuto, or maybe a teppo.  most bokuto examples seem to be only koshirae.

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