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Darcy

kantei time

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Just a bump for a very worthwhile exercise :)

Can't believe so few attempts? I will have a go after the weekend when I have more than 10 minutes at the pc :)

No shame in wrong answers folks, just a chance to learn.

 

Brian

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Well there is not a lot there to go on which may be holding some people back... but that kind of observation in itself is a hint. Quiet and peaceful :-).

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Difficult one and I have been discussing it with John on PM (Congratulation to have been the only one as so far to give a Kantei. :bowdown: :bowdown)

 

IMHO, I disagree with him as to his kantei because I thought it was too much calm to be by one of Masamune Jutetsu.

 

I see in the shinogi-Ji masame, the kitae seems to be ko-itame

The blade is in is fine ko-nie deki leading to an hakikake boshi

I am not certain of High Shinogi from the pictures,

Nevertheless, I am leaning on Yamato school (mainly because of the boshi, at the beginning I have hesitated with Rai school, but Have eliminated it because of the boshi - Hakikake and too much kaeri - and the masame in the shinogi-ji).

Such a fine hada in Yamato leads me to Tegai school, End of Kamakura and taking into account Darcy's excellent swords, it leads me to Kanenaga.

 

Era : Late Kamakura

School : Tegai

Smith : Kanenaga

 

In fact, I have a common kantei point with John, it is the Tegai influence.

 

Let's wait Darcy's answer.

 

I am disappointed that more knowledgeable people as Guido, Reinhard, Jacques, Max, Carlo.. have not tried it...

 

Darcy is giving us some chances to try a kantei from oustanding blades/pictures, it is a duty to answer is challenge - Even if we are deeply mistaking in our kantei as I am probably :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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In fact, I had to be at 8 inches from the screen to be able to see the kitae

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I was thinking; Thinking Yamato, Nanbokucho period, Senjuin...but the absence of a prominent shingi and tha kaeri points me elsewhere.

 

 

Yamashiro tradition, Nanbokucho period, Rai group...possibly Kunimitsu, Kunitoshi or Kuninaga

 

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Hi Ford,

 

Right, I don't see if there is a high Shinogi or not, but the shinogi ji seems to be masame and the boshi hakikake, the kaeri is quite long ===> How does it fit with Rai?

 

In fact, at first glance, I was thinking of Yamashiro, but then after closer inspection and the above mentioned points I redirected my thought to Tegai :

 

Only missing point : High shinogi, not blatant from the pictures

 

Kantei point to Tegai :

 

Masame in Shinogi Ji

Hakikake boshi

Ko itame

Ko nie deki

 

Could be Yamato Shizu due to the slightly undulating Hamon.

 

I incline on Yamato rather than Yamashiro.

 

Let's wait Darcy's answer :) :) :)

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Hi Jean,

 

I don't see the boshi as hakkikake...rather lots of nie. It is admittedly a subtle one to unravel...I am intrigued :dunno:

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I am disappointed that ... Guido ... have not tried it ...
The answer why (besides the fact that I'm not on NMB 24/7) is pretty simple: look at your own post where it says "I am not certain from the pictures" - there isn't enough to go on to make a truly educated guess.

 

No measurements, all I see of the Hamon and Hataraki is the Hadôri, the Hada isn't clearly visible, the only part that's more or less usable for Kantei is the Bôshi and general Sugata.

 

Kantei with blade in hand is difficult enough, but we immediately feel the weight, see the color of the Jitetsu, and the Keijô and Kitae is plain before our eyes. If we hold it into the light correctly, the Hamon and Hataraki become clearly visible.

 

If we do "paper Kantei", we need some information to make up for the lack of visibility of some of the above features. In Japan it's usually done by providing an Oshigata, measurements and some general remarks, e.g. "low Shinogi", "Midare-Utsuri" a.s.o. We need some guidance in order to make it the educational experience it should be. Stumbling around in the dark isn't fun.

 

I'm certainly not trying to tell Darcy how to conduct his Kantei, but OTOH do reserve myself the right to *not* participate if I feel that I have to make wild guesses instead of clear statements.

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Not trying to be a party pooper, here's *what* I see: Suriage, more probably Ô-suriage, late Kamakura. Nie-deki (rather strong Nie with dark Ara-nie) and Kinsuji in the Bôshi that is Ko-maru Kaeri-katai. Chû-suguha based Hamon with slight Notare; tight Itame-Mokume Hada.

 

I thought I saw some Sumigane and Utsuri, but since the Hada isn't Chirimen, and it doesn't have an Aoe-bôshi, I ruled out that school. But that still leaves us with enough common characteristics of both the Yamashiro and Yamato tradition to make it very hard to narrow it down further.

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Were it not for the masame I seem to distinguish in the pictures on the shinogi-ji, My first guess was Sanji Kunitoshi for the Hada, he could made Hakikake Boshi....

 

As was saying Guido, it is very difficult to KANTEI without further pictures or description 5nie utsuri ...

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Well, I'll give my shot in the dark here.

 

 

Based on overal shape, kissaski style, and just the "feel", mid-Kamakura. From what I can see of the hada and hamon and the hada in the shinogi-ji, maybe Rai. Hmmm, I need a bigger and better monitor... Beyond that I have no clue.

 

 

One of those fantastic, well-lit shots at an angle close to the blade would probably help focus things.

 

Just fwiw, for a guy with me with a smaller brain and less experience this is actually a good exercise. Sometimes I get lost in too much detail and get totally overwhelmed. Too much info throws me just as much as too little right now. Sometimes a kantei like this helps me focus on the "big things" which without getting completely lost in the details. It is very helpful indeed for me. I have no doubt that more images would help you guys who are able to do the "oh that's Kunimitsu's third cousin" kantei (and I have nothing but respect for you guys), but I'm not at that level of "resolution" yet and it is helpful for me.

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Were it not for the masame I seem to distinguish in the pictures on the shinogi-ji, My first guess was Sanji Kunitoshi for the Hada, he could made Hakikake Boshi....
That's the main problem: things we don't see, and things we imagine to see for lack of clarity. I really can't make out the typical Rai Hada, and I'm also not convinced we look at Hakikake or Kaen.

 

As you said, let's wait for the answer, since we're getting close to the realm of reading tea leaves ... :(

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Looks like yamato school or Taima. Could be wrong though as it looks quite healthy for late Kamakura. Other factors like lens distortion can alter the shape of the sword, also very difficult to see the jihada on my screen.

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Keith has written :

 

guys who are able to do the "oh that's Kunimitsu's third cousin" kantei (and I have nothing but respect for you guys), but I'm not at that level of "resolution"

 

Neither am I Keith :laughabove: :laughabove: :laughabove:

 

Guido wrote :

 

As you said, let's wait for the answer, since we're getting close to the realm of reading tea leaves ... :(

 

You are more than right, I am beginning to see in these pictures a mix of Masamune/Kiyomaro/Tadayoshi/Kotetsu (not mentionning Jacques' Belzebuth) :crazy: :crazy:

DARCY: HELP PLEASE - THE SOLUTION

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Might as well take a stab at it since I can't sleep... although the details are a bit of a strain on the eyes, I would go for Rai Kunitoshi... ish.

 

Sugata looks mid-late kamakura.

 

Hamon looks quite typical for Kunitoshi, subdued and elegant, I can make out some ko-ashi.

 

The boshi looks ok for Kunitoshi, it's not unusual for Rai school to have stronger nie in the boshi, and Kunitoshi sometimes used a slightly longer kaeri.

 

The hada is probably the key and unfortunately difficult to make out clearly but it is tightly and finely forged with some masame in the shinogi-ji... it's not unusual for Kunitoshi to have some masame hada in his blades and I can't see any masame in the ji or running through the ha so I'm not automatically drawn to yamato... also there appears to be nie utsuri which fits with rai and some patches of hada that COULD be rai hada.

 

Something that throws me off though is I do believe I see two small patches of sumigane which is more common for Aoe so... it's a tough one.

 

But I'll hazard Rai Kunitoshi, good night.

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Ok, enough to bang my head on the keybord...

 

For what it's worth :

 

 

Can't really see the boshi as hakikake and effectively seems a couple black spots are present.

Anyway my shot is: late Kamakura or even Nanbokucho, Yamashiro, Rai school.

I wonder why Darcy has hidden the whole Nakago, because I think it's Osuriage too. :doubt:

 

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Carli has written

 

I wonder why Darcy has hidden the whole Nakago,

 

Is it signed at the bottom or shumei ....

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Carlo wrote :

 

next step would be the proverbial

Tea leaves that Guido mentioned... :lol:

 

 

I am very Roman/Etrusque (Haruspice), I read/devine in my enemy's guts 8) 8) 8)

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If I am going to be wrong, I may as well be totally wrong :D

I am going to take a stab here and say that this might be a shinsakuto blade copying the mid Kamakura period blades. Condition is very good, and the hada looks very refined and subdued.

I'm ok with being laughed at :D

 

Brian

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Answer follows:

 

I don't provide measurements usually other than a general length because when you provide all of the description and measurements it just becomes a matter of table lookups. Obviously with the sword in hand the whole task becomes much easier but it's too expensive to fedex it around to everyone ;-).

 

In terms of lens distortion, the way I shoot these and the type of lens I use, there is less than 1% distortion on the images due to the approach and equipment I'm using to photograph. People will see different things in terms of the hada though, especially when it is fine, depending on what kind of monitor they are using and how it is calibrated. I have calibration equipment and the photos are all done up calibrated and using Adobe 1998 color space, and set for Gamma 2.2. Both machines on this desk render them clearly and well, but if your monitor is way out of whack (they ship like that from the factory... and some are really bad, like my laptop was before I calibrated it), so some people may literally not be able to see things that others can. Just a comment based on people's stated observations.

 

The high resolution photo does show very clear ko-itame hada, it looks like a fine silk texture, and that should immediately bring about thoughts of Yamashiro or maybe Hizento. The hamon is visible as a lighter tight line running on the top edge of the hadori, and the texture throughout suggests ji nie on all of the blade. There are indeed some gunome ko-ashi on the blade but they are fine and can be missed easily. The tight line of nie in the hamon should lead to Rai or maybe Enju, and this would lead somewhat away from the Hizen smiths. The shape too I think is probably a bit more elegant and old looking than the Hizen works, so I again would lean towards koto rather than shinto, as most people seem to have done.

 

Furthermore, the nakago is hidden to simulate what you would get to see with tsuka on. There is another hint I left in doing this that the hamon continues to run clearly down into the rusted area where the yasurime are. I tend to show this portion on the kantei to provide some clues. What we see with the hamon continuing to run would indicate an o-suriage koto blade, and is more information than you would get with the tsuka on. From looking at the visible yasurime it is also possible to eliminate any Shinto smith that used keisho filemarks. The rough nature of the filemarks also indicate someone with less precision and care than a smith of the Tadayoshi lineage, and does not then harmonize with the hand of the maker of the sword, which leads one to conclude that it's not a high quality Shinto or later period copy and also effectively rules out Hizento.

 

Masame in the shinogi-ji... normally is a knee jerk reaction leading one to Yamato influence and then maybe to a Yamato school or early Mino. The rest of the sword rules out the early Mino which is basically Soshu den with some Yamato mixed in. The blade itself might say look like fine Yukimitsu or Shintogo jihada, but that is when they're working with Yamashiro style and influence... the Yukimitsu swords that get mixed up with Taema have a much coarser hada than this. Generally this level of fine jihada would take one away from Yamato den though there are some standout blades that come close to this. With Yukimitsu and Shintogo I would also be expecting to see many more vivid nie effects in the hamon which are not shown here. The reason that one is seeing only hadori here is actually a hint, it's not because something is obscured, it is just very quiet, and the overall is sprinkled with nie which show up as alternating light and dark throughout the hamon.

 

Since we are poking around at this point, ideally with a Yamashiro koto theory, the overall quality seems very good, and the style is quiet, so maybe we are looking to Awataguchi, Rai and Enju. Awataguchi maybe can come out, first if we're confused between this and Rai, the works of Rai are much more common so we can play the odds somewhat... but secondly, Awataguchi is generally earlier and the shape will be seen in the sugata, either appearing early Kamakura or middle Kamakura. Given the choice between early Kamakura Awataguchi and late Kamakura Rai, at my own level of learning I would be going with the odds and saying while it is a classical looking piece it doesn't seem to go right back to the beginning of Kamakura based on sugata (very slender, ko-kissaki) and construction. Middle kamakura would be a bulkier blade with less taper and ideally ikubi kissaki though you don't always see that. Also you'd look at the cross section and look for a more clamshell niku. Enju, normally would be looking for some nijuba in the boshi or in the upper monouchi to lead us that way, and overall give a feeling like we're looking at a Rai sword but maybe just not quite as good.

 

So in fiddling with the Yamashiro theory, consulting Nagayama is very useful.

 

If one turns to page 139 of Nagayama under the jihada tag, last sentence, "Masame hada is also sometimes seen, and is especially noticeable in the work of Rai Kunitoshi and Ryokai." So suddenly the Masame red herring turns into something very useful.

 

I'd be arguing that the sword is higher quality than what comes from Ryokai, and the above answers the masame question and also brings one a determining step towards Rai Kunitoshi instead of Rai Kunimitsu.

 

The nie in the boshi, I think this is old man's beard, I might be wrong, I have to go and look it up again, but this is something that is seen on Shintogo as well as Rai Kunitoshi. Nagayama again notes "abundant nie" in the boshi, as seen here, and the last sentence refers to a slightly longer turnback possible and seen on Rai Kunitoshi, Rai Kunimitsu, and Rai Kuninaga. No mention of Ryokai which further pushes us to the intersection of the features being Rai Kunitoshi.

 

Usually Rai Kunimitsu is given an atari for Rai Kunitoshi, which given that he was the principal student and at least an equal talent, is understandable. If you want to sort between the two, one way is considering that Rai Kunimitsu made a more powerful looking sword that starts into Nanbokucho... while Rai Kunitoshi exhibits elegance. The feeling I kind of get is say of a very noble family, one an elderly king still in his power and one a prince at the peak of his physical prowress. Clearly father and son, cut of the same noble cloth, one a bit more dovish and gentle and the other more hawkish and proud. This is without technical details and is something that comes through I've felt when looking at work from the two smiths.

 

So that hopefully leads us right into Rai Kunitoshi only going on what is visible in the pictures. Once again the board shows some surprising skill, this is one of the answers with the greatest percentage of atari. The sword is Juyo Token Rai Kunitoshi and I photographed it in Chicago.

 

In the lack of Rai Hada, knowing that it is a result of polishing swords which are thin skinned, it has to be looked at more as an includer than an excluder. The Rai Kunimitsu that I shot in Chicago is pristine and perfect without a single defect in it to my memory, for instance, and it's also Tokubetsu Juyo and the state of health as well as the quality is one of the big reasons. So if not seeing Rai Hada, keep in mind it just might be a really healthy one. And this in particular is very healthy as Tanobe sensei remarked in the sayagaki.

 

On individual answers, Andrew deserves special mention for his excellent and thorough response which hits all of the above, as well as spotting the ko-ashi (I'm shocked), and arriving at the exact correct answer. Extremely good. Otherwise we have Franco, Ford with atari for narrowing down to Rai Kunimitsu and Rai Kunitoshi, Dozen with Carlo and Keith for getting to Rai. Special award to Jean for shooting himself in the foot by naming Rai Kunitoshi then using a Rai Kunitoshi feature to rule him out :-). That tends to be my problem, over-thinking it.

 

The fine jihada and suguba with mixed in notare might lead one to Shinkai, not such a bad answer, in the works of his that he made to look like Go Yoshihiro. But that would be a more pronounced notare, and it would get wider (often considerably) in the monouchi in general. The sugata would be more powerful and look like the time of manufacture as he didn't like the Hizen smiths seem to aim more closely at replicating the older work. Go Yoshihiro, the kitae is not so fine, and you'd be looking for more activity than you could document.

 

Tegai Kanenaga is not such a bad answer but this is overall quieter and this jihada is finer, basically at the finest level so should keep us in Yamashiro. I shot one though that could be confused with Rai. Yamato Shizu is going to be a much coarser jihada and since the attribution to Yamato Shizu is extremely wide and covers many generations you get all kinds of things lumped together here so it can even be pretty hard to describe what a Yamato Shizu is on one page.

 

Anyway, after writing all of that up, maybe there is a lot more to go on than would seem at first glance :-).

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Hi Darcy, It all seems so simple now. Jeesh!! Good one though and logical when all the attributes are listed like that. John

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Absolutely wonderful as always! I shouldn't post when I have just worked a 12 hour work show and am barely able to keep my eyes open, and was going to say what a silly guess I made, but your reply came in first Darcy :oops: :D

These aren't a replacement for formal kantei (as I have said many times) but obviously there must be something good about them if we get so many atari. Well done to all...even if we had to "nudge" you all to have a go :) The answers are always the most educational thing too....like a mini article on the smith that will remain archived for the future.

I'm going to have to come up with a small prize or incentive sometime for these. :beer:

Well done all, have to go pass out now.

 

Brian

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