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CarSnob

New To This, Looking For A Little Help.

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Hi all. I've had a sword floating around the house for a while and the other day I decided to try and do some research on it.  According to a member on another forum (Reddit), it's an antique Japanese tanto from the shinshinto period. I took it apart to take some pictures of the tang, and there were quite a few markings on the tsuba that I was hoping you guys might be able to help decode. There were no markings on the tang, so I'm hoping that the tsuba might be able to tell me a little more about the history of the sword. I know that the fittings were changed pretty often, but this would at least give me a jumping off point. I only have a few pictures of it, but they should be clear enough to read the writing and see the design. I can provide more pictures if needed. Thanks in advance for your help.

 

Since one of my pictures is more than halfway to the file size limit, here's a link to an album I made with a bunch of pictures of the sword. http://imgur.com/a/WzV2m

post-3358-0-08761000-1439182843_thumb.jpg

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cool tsuba, pic of the nakago will help in telling more about the OTanto, does the bohi ,grove, go to end of nakago? 

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Here are some pics of the nakago. I probably should have just included them last night but I wasn't sure if they would be relevant. http://imgur.com/a/T9Dbm

 

Edit: Also, looking at these pictures has reminded me how dirty this thing is. Is there a recommended method for cleaning this stuff? Maybe a toothbrush with some soap and water or an ultrasonic bath? Again, thanks in advance.

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you can S@W the tsuba with soft toothbrush,  be sure to dry well, using hot as you can stand water it will dry its self when wiping with soft cloth, id just oil the blade, some say you can oil the tsuba others not, I do.

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Oiling a tsuba?

 

Oiling produces an artificial sheen and can contribute to a deterioration of the steel surface over time. That's what I have read and that's what I believe to be true.

 

Surely there's no division of thought on this amongst the cognoscenti ?

 

Oiling of blades is also  anathema to me. Why apply an oil which will distort  and  interfere with  the visual appearance? After all, appreciation of  nihonto is  purely a visual  thing since one should not touch them. They are not tactile objects like netsuke, for example.

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Mark,

 

Try to live in Japan or Indonesia and I can assure you that if you don't oil your blades, the only thing you will be able to appreciate after 6 months is the rust quality developped under theses climates :)

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Point taken. I live in South Australia. The so-called driest state in the driest continent. What is preferable; to oil one's tsuba and blades or to care for them so that rust doesn't form?

 

It's a big responsibility to own swords or tsuba as we are custodians of them for future owners custodians.

 

Oiling carries its own perils. Clean and dry demands careful attention but carries few risks.

 

What to do for the best?

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Trust me...when/if I come across a tsuba with active and prolific rust on it...I am using oil.

You can always wash it off later. But you need to address the rust and prevent further deterioration first. Iron tsuba of course...and nothing in the masterpiece league..

 

- B -

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I went back and took another look at the tsuba with a loupe and it seems like those are the correct characters. Thanks for the lead Mauro, and thanks to Ian for mentioning Tetsugendo earlier. I flipped through the pictures and didn't see a connection but I didn't realize you were reading the characters off the piece. The signaure on the piece shown in wikipedia looks extremely similar as well. Thanks again everyone.

 

Also, not to start the debate back up again, but there is some rust on the tsuba that I'd like to get rid of. So what's the final word? Oil or no oil?

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You were already given the answer. Neutralize the active rust or at least oil it until you have a clue. Brian is the owner of this board and he gave you the answer already.

Jim

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Ah Ian, you sly dog, you know this 70 yer old has to be hit over the head,,,,doh...thought you were talking about Mikes web site, duh.

 

soap and water will do wonders ..oops already said that

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You cryptic bunny, you! :laughing:

Jimmy, I may be the owner of this site, but that doesn't even make me right half the time. ;-)

But yeah..soap and very hot water like Stephen said, then check out if it needs boning to remove rust (ivory or bone chips) and then some oil to prevent further rust, and then just fussing over it for a long time. Keep any fussing and rubbing away from any inlay and gold work.

 

Brian

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