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Fs: Nbthk Hozon Takada Wakizashi

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A NBTHK Hozon Wakizashi sword from personal collection for sale. This sword comes with its official NBTHK judgement paper. Mumei but the NBTHK attributes the blade to Bungo TAKADA (豊後高田) smiths, from late Muromachi period (c. 1558 - 1570) I believe.

This sword is in good polish and overall health blade condition. The blade remains in good shape, and its suguha hamon and steel grains are clearly visible. There are only a couple of minor kizu (one small fukure, few light oxidation spots, and few surface scratches) detectable, but the blade is of course free of hagire or any major flaws (see attached pics).

This sword comes with its own Shirasaya mountings. Nagasa is 52.7cm (20.76 inches). Total length while in shirasaya is 79.5cm (31.5). The blade weighs 750g (1.65 lbs).

 

Asking price $2,500 USD or best offer. You may make your offer via my ebay listing page: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Authentic-Japanese-sword-w-NBTHK-judgement-paper-Bungo-Takada-wakizashi/272629139341

Or email me at: kuw148@psu.edu

 

(Sword pics taken with my cellphone camera, please forgave my lackluster photography skill)

 

01-2alz2gx.jpg

 

Front side of the blade:

Side-A-1cwd7rd.jpg

 

Backside:

Side-B-tawurf.jpg

 

Kissaki region, front and back:

Kissaki-side-B-1yajrdx.jpg

Kissaki-side-A-2fy34qa.jpg

 

Nakago:

Nagako-side-A-17rtczi.jpg

Nakago-side-B-2ds71or.jpg

Mune-2k9aeor.jpg

 

NBTHK judgement paper (held against window light to show its watermark security feature):

20170411_184556-2jcw3s5.jpg

 

Blade in shirasaya:

20170411_185527-wm1yh2.jpg

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Pretty darn good photos for a phone, especially the closeups! I do have a question on what a "restorationist" does with Nihonto?

 

Ken

 

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Pretty darn good photos for a phone, especially the closeups! I do have a question on what a "restorationist" does with Nihonto?

 

Ken

 

I work with a Japanese collegue who recovers neglected heirloom blades from Japan. I perform mostly mounting reatoration works, e.g. making habaki, replacement seppa and shirasaya for those old blades w/o viable koshirae. I also perform traditional urushi lacquering jobs occasionally. 

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You sound like a useful person to know, Keren. Do you take commissions to do similar work besides for your colleague?

 

Ken

 

Yes of course, if it is within my ability range and time allows. :)

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Hello Keren,

 

Is it possible to view additional images of your work?

 

Custom fittings boxes?

 

Thank you.

 

I did not perform any restoration work on the wakizashi listed above, this sword is still in the same condition as when it first received NBTHK paper.

 

Or do you mean you want to see images of my other restoration projects?

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I did not perform any restoration work on the wakizashi listed above, this sword is still in the same condition as when it first received NBTHK paper.

 

Or do you mean you want to see images of my other restoration projects?

 

Hello,

 

Yes, please,  ''images of my other restoration projects'', thank you.

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Hello,

 

Yes, please,  ''images of my other restoration projects'', thank you.

 

Now you mention it I realized I didn't take much photos of my past projects since I'm not running a commercial operation, but here are some pics of my current WIP projects I just took:

 

Habaki for my Minamoto Masanao katana blade:

habaki2-1cfu94n-e1493607064540.jpg

 

WIP Saya for the Masanao blade, currently in red oxide urushi underlayers:

habaki-saya-1372zod.jpg

 

Finished habaki for a wakizashi blade:

habaki4-2devaf4-e1493607630665.jpg

 

Work-in-progress shirasaya:

shirasaya-WIP2-1z2g643.jpg

 

WIP shirasaya for Naikai Taro Masataka katana blade:

shirasaya-WIP3-1vkcfdi.jpg

 

Self-made urushi brush from friend's donated hair:

urushi-kobo-szqzm4.jpg

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Wow great! I love that red saya.

Nice work.

 

Regards

Chris

 

Thanks! I originally planned to finish this saya in black with red urushi undercoats, but now you've mentioned it I think I'll just finish the saya in vermilion instead.  :)

BTW I just finished making the tsuka for the Masanao blade, so here are some updated  photos for my WIP koshirae project:

20170507_204830-146lm0p-e1494282041128.j

 

20170507_204930-1t55kqh-e1494282057105.j

 

20170507_205136-2fc4b08-e1494282139196.j

 

20170507_205310-22u16bm-e1494282160697.j

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where did you get your vermillion urushi? I have a kotatsu top project im starting on, red black black 3 layers, and its my first attempt at using urushi. any tips?

 

Are you using Cashew lacquer or traditional urushi (from Chinese lacquer tree)? Traditional urushi by default only comes in two varietals: ki-urushi ("raw" unprocessed lacquer) and suki-urushi ("clear" processed lacquer), and you get all the other colors by mixing pigments with suki-urushi at the time of painting in order to avoid oxidation. There are only very few pigments mix well with traditional urushi, and vermilion is obtained by mixing cinnabar pigment powder first with de-gummed turpentine, and then with suki-urushi.

 

(Cinnabar is mercury sulfide powder and can be toxic, extreme caution is advised. If you're brave enough to use it, I'd recommend you get the high-quality Zhu sha (朱砂)cinnabar powder from traditional Chinese medicine supplier)

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Links?

I was looking at using traditional urushi sourced from https://www.mejiro-Japan.com

 

I'd recommend Meijiro's "Shu-no-moto (朱の元)" urushi, it's very close to the traditional vermilion color, and I believe it doesn't contain the toxic mercury sulfide. Meijiro sell their pre-mixed urushi in small tubes, so it avoids the oxidation problem.

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About how many 100g tubes of lacquer do you think i would need for 1 coat of red and 2 coats of black for a 30x30x1 tabletop?

 

It really depends... I wish I could give you a straightforward estimation but working with traditional urushi is really anything but straightforward.

In order to determine how much lacquer you might need, you must first consider the fact that urushi is actually not a "paint" per se -- it's a plant resin with properties much more similar to mixed epoxy rather than ordinary paint. Urushi doesn't "dry" like normal paint, it slowly cures via an oxidation process with H2O molecules in the air (at 80% humidity level, 78F stable condition). This also means that urushi is quite transparent, even when mixed with pigments. For each urushi layer, you must dilute the lacquer with turpentine at a desirable ratio. Experienced urushi craftsmen often work with "thicker" urushi, typically equal part of lacquer and turp. This reduces the total layers required, but thickly-mixed urushi is much more difficult to work with, requires specialized brushes and exceptional control, and may not cure properly w/o specially constructed muro (curing room). Less-experienced users typically start with thinly diluted urushi, at least 1 part urushi 2 parts turp, but this would require many more coat in order to achieve a solid colored finish. Based on my experience with traditional urushi, you would not be able to achieve solid color finish with "1 coat of red and 2 coats of black", the result would be quasi-transparent, and after the third coat you would still see the red undercoat and even wood grains underneath. If you're fine with that, then three 100g tubes should be enough. But if you want to achieve solid-color finish, you would need at least 10+ coats  (traditional saya finish contains approx. 20+ coats of urushi), and that would make your project quite expensive...

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Would it help to get a smooth finish by first finishing the surface with a coat of tung oil?

 

Tung oil is not a paint coat, it doesn't smooth the surface but merely cleans it up for subsequent lacquering. The main challenge with 3 coats of urushi isn't smoothness of the finish per se, but rather the solidness of the finishing color. As I said, three coats of urushi would still appear quasi-transparent.

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Guys, please start a new topic about lacquer techniques. This is still a for sale post.

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