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HannesT

Opinion on Mutsunokami Kanenobu Waki (Ebay)

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Hello everyone, 

This is my first post in the forum. I have been interested in Japanese culture for a long time, also encouraged by my 10 years of martial arts studies in Iaido.

 
I have been collecting Tsuba for some time now and would like to get my first Nihonto. My budget is limited and it is absolutely clear to me that you get what you pay for, not the less I would like to buy a Wakizashi and would like to ask you for your honest opinion about this offer on Ebay.
 

Kanenobu is a prestigious sword smith from Nanboku-cho era.  Based on personal judgement, this wakizashi was likely to have been made by the Mino's sword smith Kanenobu in early Edo period.  

 

Mei:陸奥守兼信(Mutsunokami Kanenobu) 

All Length:76cm(29.92in)

Blade Length: 53.2cm (20.94in)

Sori: 1.2cm (0.47in)

Motohaba: 2.9cm(1.14in)

Motokasane:0.6cm(0.23in)


Thank you very much for your help.

 

Hannes

 

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Welcome to the board Hannes, I think this is a good study example in a nice polish and would be enjoyable for some time as you learn more about Japanese swords.

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Hi Hannes, welcome to Nmb. A nice 1st sword to begin your addiction with the rest of us haha. The seller has had a few nice wakizashi recently for ok prices. Have you checked out the sales section here? Some great deals from excellent sellers like Ray.

You mention practicing iaido, which ryu if you dont mind me asking?

 

Greg

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Yes, welcome, Hannes. Quite a few of us iaidoka in the NMB community.

 

I looked up that blade on eBay (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mutsunokami-Kanenobu-Wakizashi-Sword-Japanese-Antique-Katana-Nihonto/184038564842), & am scratching my head on a couple of points. The first thing that caught my eye is that the mekugiana is drilled, not chiseled, which puts it in Muromachi, at the earliest. Second, & most puzzling, is that although the blade appears ubu, the hamon looks like it has extended well into the nakago. Can't figure that one out. Third, the seller has circled an oddity just above the yokote that I'd want to know more about prior to buying this blade.

 

Other than that, a rather nice Mino wakizashi

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Generally, mekugiana were chiseled until some time in mid-Muromachi, when some bright soul decided that drilling them was faster, & gave a rounder hole. The way the holes were chiseled is a pretty accurate dating tool, but should be cross-checked with other features, of course. Markus Sesko has written a lot on the topic.

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Hi Ken, as often in this hobby, you will always find those blades with questions.

 

Once spent a bit of time looking into this, in books and online. I was quite surprised to find some very old ubu tachi (as early as late kamakura), with papers, but with one seemingly very neat round hole. Since then, I just accept that an obvious punched hole is an indicator of age and is always nice to see on older blades, but im not as concerned should I see one that is perfectly round. I think sometimes, punched holes maybe were done so well that you just cant tell, especially from images, 

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On the other side of the coin I suppose also that there are many Edo blades with punched ana for one reason or another

 

Vision of Smith to apprentice...."For gods sake, just punch the bloody thing" :laughing:

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Ken, you have mentioned the chiseled ana many times; any idea of what such a tool would have looked like? Modern blacksmiths punch holes frequently, with round, slightly tapered, flat faced punches, done while the steel is hot.

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Steve, I think that's more a question for Ford. The way the old tosho "scooped" metal out of some of my tsuba astounds me. Even with a microscope, I can barely see any tooling marks, & can't quite picture what tools they used.

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Thank you so much for the warm welcome. 

 
I contacted the seller. He says that the nakago was adjusted based on the flow of the Hamon, as it doesn't end in a curve and extends into the Nakago (just as Ken pointed out ;))
 
Regarding the hole in the Shinogi close to the Yokote, he took another close look at it. It is not a repaired or filled in area (covering up Umegane or Fukure) the hole looks like it was drilled into the blade. Diameter is 1mm. What could that be for?
 
So too many questions remain open, I will pass on this one. Instead I just signed up for the NBTHK membership.
 
Regarding Iaido, I study Muso Shinden Ryu under Ishido Sensei. I think that a martial art like this certainly provides respect and admiration for the matter.
 
Thanks Hannes

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Ken, I didn't want to sidetrack this post, but since the OP has decided to pass I will second the point regarding chiseled vs punched nakago ana.

 

If they were not drilled, they were punched hot as Steve described. Steel was red hot, punch cold (or cooler than red hot steel).  A punch is tapered, which is why punched nakago ana are tapered.  The tapered hole is what identifies a punched nakago ana from a drilled one.  This was done prior to the existence or the availability of a drill.

 

The technique is still used today by traditional blacksmiths as shown in this video.  

 

For some things a chisel is used along with a drift for making an opening in a larger chunk of steel such as a handle slot for an axe or tomahawk.  A drift is a larger punch of sorts.  The piece is heated to red hot then the hole is started and initially opened with a chisel, the enlarged with the drift. See below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Failing another explanation for the hole near the tip, I wonder if someone did a hardness test on the blade for some research project? Strange if true, but :dunno:

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Alex, yes it is amazing at how precise steel can be manipulated by an experienced blacksmith. 

There are many traditional blacksmiths who will only use hand tools, no machinery. 

 

Personally, while I admire the traditionalists, I like my tools.

I'm still pretty tough for an old man, but age and experience has taught me to work smart not hard. :)

 

However, tools bring a lot of safety issues into the mix.  Every time I see someone not using a vise to hold their work in a drill press, I cringe.

 

This is the result of such carelessness.  I keep these posted beside mine.

 

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The Blade is still up on ebay and maybe i want to buy it.

But i have some points i dont think the seller would help me that are curious.

The thing with the mekugiana should be over with EDO kanenobu.

I would like to buy a solid study piece from edo times but i think this one could be gimei.

I have only found this for good comparison http://sanmei.com/contents/en-us/p2008_%E8%84%87%E6%8C%87%E3%80%80%E9%8A%98%E3%80%80%E9%99%B8%E5%A5%A5%E5%AE%88%E8%97%A4%E5%8E%9F%E5%85%BC%E4%BF%A1%E3%80%80%E9%99%84%EF%BC%89%E9%BB%92%E6%BC%86%E4%B8%89%E5%88%86%E5%88%BB%E9%9E%98%E8%84%87%E6%8C%87%E6%8B%B5.html

 

Im not good with Kanji but the placement of the first kanji looks similiar and the yasurime are good.

But the Kanji look very different and more space between them.

Also the nakago-jiri is another but this could be because of the nakago adjustment mentioned earlier.

Last point is the difference in the Sanbon sugi hamon and the boshi.

 

I would be happy for every Opinion on this blade or more pics for comparison thanks.

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The mei are different  in my view; if you like the sword, buy it, not the mei, but don't pay shoshin price, would be my advice.

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