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Bizen Kagemitsu Tanto


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I am with Ray on this one.

One just needs to look at the $90k for the Juyo Kagemitsu tanto on Fred’s website or even the recent posts about Gassan Sadayoshi and the price of his tanto to put into perspective this.

 

Now, whether it is Kagemitsu himself or one of the numerous talented students and disciples that he inherited from Nagamitsu and also coalesced around himself, is another issue altogether - especially as it is unsigned. However, I do not see the “Den” designation and Tanobe Sensei has written an extensive sayagaki - both of these are positives.

I agree it is a very good package. Tempting....

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I think it is safe to say this is not a Juyo candidate. It is mumei, suriage, and quite tired. Darcy’s blade (plus koshirae) was in a different league entirely.

 

My perspective is that if one can resist the urge to buy a blade like the one at the top of this thread 3-5 times, you’ll eventually find yourself with a Juyo sized bankroll. It may take awhile, but it is much better in the long run.

 

Patience is rewarded like almost nothing else in this strange hobby.

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Thanks, Jean, I have ogled lustfully at Darcy’s gorgeous Kagemitsu package :)) It has silky hada and outstanding koshirae but believe now has been sold.

 

But if one is in the market looking for Kagemitsu, it does not take a major stretch from Darcy’s price to get to a daito blade ballpark. This is particularly true of Fred’s blade - gorgeous as both are.

 

It all depends on what people look for - whether they are after the premium Juyo certificate or Hozon will suffice as “guarantee”’loosely speaking, and whether a mei is a must or not.

 

The point about tiredness is an interesting one. Actually there are several factors here:

 

A) Flat-on black and white scans tend to exaggerate kitae lines in jihada by virtue of how light gets reflected. That is why one needs photos in neutral, dispersed light and preferably to a slight angle

 

B) Have you noticed that what we Westerners deem tired actually seems to often pass with flying colours by the NBTHK when we speak of Kamakura grandmaster blades. The NBTHK seems to consider the boshi and hamon more than the hada. They seem to look for bright and rich and well defined nioiguchi and hamon. Here the hamon is rich and seems fairly good.

 

C) the Japanese text says Tokubetsu Hozon certificate and the English text next to it says Hozon. I am not surprised this is ToHo given the master smith. However, it probably stops here, as mentioned by a fellow poster, as it is not signed and is suriage. Juyo level Kagemitsu tanto will probably have to be signed. I wonder if it was sunnobi tanto which was shortened ....

 

Anyway, I stick by my view that was a very good package

 

In fact, clearly someone else thought that as it is already sold.

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Jean there is Tsuruginoya's explanation here:

説明

 長船景光は光忠-長光と続く長船の嫡流三代目にあたり、現存する製作年紀は鎌倉末期の嘉元から建武まであり、その間30余年にわたっている。景光の作風は父:長光ほどに丁子が目立たず、互の目を主調とした小模様の乱れを焼き、刃幅が概ね一定したもので、刃文の華麗さでは父に及ばないものの、鍛えはよく錬れて約み、その精緻なるは父に優るほどである。また特色ある片落ち互の目を完成したことも特筆されるが、刃文全体が整然たる片落ち互の目で構成されたものは短刀で、太刀は一部分にこれを交えるのが通例である。

 本作は、第四目釘孔が生ぶ孔と推察され、約5cmの磨上げとなっており、生ぶの長さに戻せば9寸(約27.6cm)ほどの短刀と思量される。磨上げながら、やや細身の身幅に内反りつき、棟は三ッ棟の中筋が広くなるなど整った短刀姿を示している。地鉄は、小板目肌がよくつみ、精美にして、杢交じり、部分的にわずかに柾がかり、地沸つき、地景入り、淡く直ぐ状の映りがたつ。刃文は片落ち互の目を主調に、小互の目、足入り、匂勝ちにわずかに小沸つき、金筋入り、砂流しかる。無銘ながら長船景光の極めのついた優品で、精良なる地鉄、片落ち互の目の刃文といった景光の特色があらわされている。

 

And Tanobe's description here. (Both say Suriage, above it says 5cm)

「備前国長船景光 長七寸七歩半 時在丙申陽月

少シク磨上無銘也 片落ち互乃目主調ノ乱ヲ焼キ直グ映リヲ現スナド同工ノ特色ヲ顕現スル所作也」

 

You'd like a precis of the former?

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Michael,

 

I was just discussing the price.

 

880 000 ¥ is a ridiculous price for a TH Kagemitsu, Japanese dealers are no fools. Price is interesting even if ware as there are Kanteisho and Tanobe sayagaki attesting the maker, it is an historical blade.

 

I posted Darcy’s blade to show that there is a huge difference in price between his Kagemitsu and Fred’s one

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Agree, Jean, we are aligned here :)))

This tanto was a very sweat deal.

 

I did a quick amateur translation with Google and indeed not sandai Kagemitsu (but also the kanji for sandai are not there). One can also infer it from the period of forging specified by the dealer on the website which clear means THE Kagemitsu (Nagamitsu’s son).

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No, not a less famous "sandai" Kagemitsu. They are referring to Kagemitsu being the third generation of the Osafune mainline after Mitsutada and Nagamitsu.

 

 

In this case they should say Osafune sandai instead Kagemitsu sandai. In fact there were three generations of Kagemitsu.

We know the arguments used by sellers to enhance the value of their stuff.  

 

Of course i can be wrong but i'm skeptical as always.

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In this case they should say Osafune sandai instead Kagemitsu sandai.

But that's exactly what they are saying. As Ray already pointed out, their website states

 

長船景光は光忠-長光と続く長船の嫡流三代目にあたり、...

 

Osafune Kagemitsu is the third in the Osafune lineage, following Mitsutada and Nagamitsu …

 

Reading your posts is like following Trump on Twitter ... :bang:
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I think like Ray on this one. I think it was a great opportunity for someone and judging on how fast it sold plenty of others thought that way too. Yes it might not be the most desirable Kagemitsu but it was for pennies compared to more desirable swords by him. Sword like this would indeed be a very rare opportunity for a low tier collector like myself to own a grand piece. While I might personally go for lesser smith in the same price point to find a blade more suitable for my own collecting desires.

 

While I perfectly agree on Michaels view that for the price of 3-5 swords like this you can have 1 juyo class blade, I think I would personally rather own 3-5 Hozon/TH swords than a single Juyo. A sword like this is most likely one that top dogs don't pay too much attention. Of course when you see blades by very good makers at low price point it is given that those swords are not masterpieces but they offer little guys a chance to own something we never could afford otherwise.

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It's mumei status exerts a surprisingly sharp drop in value on this koto tanto compared to what I would expect on koto work. We're in the ballbark of ~5x discount. Do I just have a biased sample in mind or is it indeed unusually steeply discounted? It doesn't look exceedingly tired, either. And this dealer knows what he's doing. 

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