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Andi B.

Replica Kogai?

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Hello board members,

I grabbed this kogai in passing but I wonder, if it is made by hand.

For my untrained eyes, the shape of the warabite is very strange and looks somehow cast or embossed...
And the uniform nanako ground looks very suspicious too.
It reminds me at my own nanako etching tests a decade ago (before knowing and appreciating the real thing).
 

I don't know the quality range of real kogai so I'm unsure, whether this is still authentic or a kind of replica.

 

Can someone please enlighten me?

 

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Good question. I would have automatically assumed real, but there are strong signs of casting. A seam around the warabite and seams in the nanako. All looks very homogeneous too. Leaning towards cast production.
Btw, tell us more about your experiments?
 

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Hi Brian,
Years ago - before realizing that collecting Nihonto & Kodogu is an option - I thought I have to make fittings etc. on my own.
During this DIY time I had the idea to etch nanako ground by using a copper sheet coated with photo copying laquer, a printed tranparent foil made with the PC and a facial tanner for exposure.
Eventually I didn't used it for fittings because the time changed and I converted to the real thing...Halleluja! ;-)

 

 

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i have noticed an increasing number of kozuka and kogai that appear to me to be reproductions, especially ones with imperial pawlonia or hollyhock mon on them in shakudo and nanako.   I'm afraid that our collecting is under assault from forgers not only of blades, but also all sorts of kodogu.  In the past, the fakes were very easy to spot, but it is getting harder and harder.  I'm not so worried about experienced collectors making mistakes, but all that a newbie has to do is get burnt once or twice early on and they may not come into the sport.  

 

Along these lines, I considered starting a collection of Roman and Greek coins some time back, buying a few books as we usually tell novice collectors.  it became obvious to me that there were so many fakes, and the fakes were as beautiful as the authentic, that I decided to drop it as a thought.

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Faking is not modern. All those meiji period tourist pieces are antiques now. I have a kozuka, I got it for the design (yes a mantis was involved) early in my collecting. Didn't pay a lot, also didn't pay a lot of attention to it. A few years ago, purchased a dinner knife/kozuka (assumed it was meiji). Again, it was for the design. The dinner knife reminded me of something but I wasn't sure of what. When I received the dinner knife, the handle had the same design on either side and I realized why the design was familiar- it was exactly the same as the kozuka i had purchased many years ago (coloring differences did obscure it a little). Made me realize I really have to pay attention to all purchases. The kozuka version was old, I knew it wasn't a national treasure but I still thought it was a "real" kozuka. Casting never crossed my mind. A good lesson and luckily not an expensive one. So not only do you have an influx of newer repros but you also have over a hundred years of repros continually hitting the market.

One thing I have found useful at times is when you do find a store selling modern stuff take a look around the inventory. Seeing one of those designs on an auction can help raise your alarm bells. Most of the time you can tell but I come across a few items where I might have had a harder time telling in photos. Anything that makes you more aware can help.

Happy hunting

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