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John A Stuart

Hanami and Swords, Heaven

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Hi All, After a day of heavy rain today turned out beautiful. Clear blue skies and sunshine. Hanami is in full swing and for those francophone's should be called 'bon ami'. After losing all my film of the cherry blossom festival two years ago I have plenty night and day. Here is I think my best. To keep this sword related, I got to see 1) tachi, Gotoba, yakiotoshi, chojiba 2) tachi, Norikuni, suguba 3) tanto, Kunihiro, dated- Genko 4 (1324), suguba 4) tachi, Yoshinori, suguba based choji 5) katana, Kiriha Sadamune, katakiriba- amazing 6) tachi, Yoshifusa, ko-choji (I've seen 4 of his so far) 7) katana, Kanemoto, in hadori polish, my favourite of course being a Mino fan 8) wakizashi, Tsunahiro, dated-1573, big notareba, huge kaeri with spots of temper on the mune 9) tanto, Umetada Myoju, dated Keicho 13 (1608), suguba, sword was competent but what was spectacular on this sword was the carvingof, I think, Fudo Myoo with a bonji 10) katana, Shigekuni, suguba 11) katana, Kunikane, dated- Kanie 8 (1631), suguba with slight notare, utsuri (surprise!!) 12) katana, Kaneshige, dated- Kanbun 8 (1668), o-choji/ large notare. Lots of nice fittings, Goto, Somin etc. Anyway I hope you enjoy the pic as much as I enjoyed taking it. John

Ueno-Hanima.gif

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Sorry to hear about the snow. A blizzard almost prevented my trip. I learned a lot today when visiting Sasaki san's house where he does his polishing and has students training under him. Actual live-in deshi. One of our NMB members Andrew Ickeringill from Oz is in fact one of the deshi. Lucky fellow, although I do not envy the work. We looked at a number of swords and some fittings. This is why I envy Andrew so much. The swords that pass through and the knowledge gained thereby. After coffee and sweets the swords came out. I do not know if you fellows are really interested but I shall list them. Katana; 1) Nagamitsu, this sword had a ko-choji hamon based on suguba but had midare utsuri with a patch of jifu utsuri; I don't know how it was done but it was striking even though in for shiage 2) Yoshifusa, I don't know why I am seeing so many, this was the sixth, although the first in hand 3) Amada Akitsugu, a shinsakuto by a Ningen Kokuho smith, ko-itame hada, o-choji hamon 4) Koyama Munetsugu, this sword is thought to be meito, his masterpiece, a relly heavy sword and very nice 5) Kanesada (Nosada), of course seeing this sword was great, all the characteristics were there masame above the shinogi, itame/ mokume jihada, rounded tane, I love Minoto Ko-wakizashi 1) Masahiro, this is a Soshu smith and it was very similar to my wak except for the hi, Tokubetsu. Koshirae; 1) Funada Ikkin, very nice and Tokubetsu Tousogu 1) F/K, Mito kinko by Kiryuken (sp?) Masami, Tokubetsu and many more. We discussed many things, like uchiko and the itame/ mokume question among some. Andrew then gave us a tour and explained some of the methods of polishing. I learned much all in all. Imagine what you could learn in ten years. Paul Martin did the introductions and I am much appreciative. John

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Damn John, you are setting us all very high levels to follow when we return there next. :)

I hope Paul is also prepared for this, having shown what he can organise. :lol:

Amazing stuff. Also wanted to mention that the pic of the cherry blossom above is picture perfect! Beautiful photo.

 

Brian

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Yes, truly everything is working out great. Here's a pic of Sasaki sensei and Andrew. I think this is just after coughing out a lung after a drag from an old style tobacco pipe. Big joke on me. :roll: :lol: John

Sasaki-Workshop-006.gif

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envy. envy. envy.

 

Stuck to a desk here and wishing I was there. I would like to have seen the Nagamitsu. I've seen a few over the years, and some (not all) have enchanted me. The variable utsuri on some can be fascinating.

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nice post john, im glad you enjoyed your visit to senseis house, good to hear you learnt a lot from it.

 

hope you and duncan enjoy the rest of your Japan experience!!

 

ps for some reason i am rarely caught smiling in a photo so you did well with that one.

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I am in Matsuyama now, but was at Yasukuni-jinja yesterday where a sumo tournement was being held and thought some of the Yasukunito fans might enjoy some pics of where their swords were forged. Keep on smiling Andrew, I know the work must be hard. John

Yasukuni-Shrine-and-Sumo-004.gif

Yasukuni-Shrine-and-Sumo-015.gif

Yasukuni-Shrine-and-Sumo-018.gif

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