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Style or method of same on tsuka?

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Hi all, really interested if its possible to determine when the wrap method for same on tsuka changed to panels? Shinshinto? All guntos seem to be panels and obviously economics was a possible cause for the change? Or have both methods always been used?

Many thanks Brian for all your time,hope to see you at DTI but lets make next year?

Thumbs up to all the members for your support and answering of stupid questions.

All the best, stay safe.

Michael.

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Probably just economics throughout the ages.
My 1940's Sadaroku Gendaito had a full same wrap prior to it being restored with period menuki and new ito.

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Hi Lee, thanks for reply. Must admit I havent personally seen a 2nd WW with a full wrap- not my area but yes maybe just economics.Youngest I have is a shinto 1720 with a full wrap. Another question - why join the wrap in the centre of the ura side? With ito and the usual slice of wood down each edge, interesting? Thanks again. Michael

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The seam is central on the ura because of the emperor node placement being central on the omote. As that node is central on the skin, I assume it's easier to measure and a more economical way of using the skin. It also means there is a solid piece of same over the seam in the wooden core which would make for a more solid handle.

I've also read(where, I can't recall) that the seam is put on the side so the user/owner can tell it is a full wrap of same, though obviously a panel can be cut in two and the seam faked.

I've got an old tsuka(wakizashi) that has 3 pieces of same, omote is one piece with nice emperor nodes and ura is two pieces, joined in the centre but also joined mune and ha, negating the added strength of the full wrap but simulating it.
But I suppose it's purely speculative to assume a full wrap makes a tsuka stronger; likely it does but is it over engineered? I don't know.

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I understand there was a shortage of same during the 18th c. (?), which if I recall, was owing to a diplomatic rift with China. You certainly see enough tsuka covered with pieces of same rather than whole skins, although this could be just economics.

Ian Bottomley

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Hi Lee, thanks for your thoughts on the emporer node. I might suggest that the tsuka with multiple pieces has been remounted/ repaired.

Hi Ian, yes I thought it must be economic and 18 century seems right with my koshirae. Thank you for your input.

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Hi Dave, many thanks for the link. Answers lots of questions and surprised the round and a half is not more prevalent. Enjoyed reading the full koshirae link aswell.

Many thanks for reply. Michael.

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Hi Dave, just a quick question. Does the full wrap shin- gunto have the " emporer node" as civilian mounted nihonto. I noticed with Lees gunto there was not the central nodes-only saw one view but?

Cheers Michael.

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 No Emperor nodes on either of my two original WW2 examples, just a very even nodule size all over. Comparing old tsuka with the shin-gunto ones I have I think they might actually be using a different species of ray, or fish of very different size/age. The old tsuka have strikingly larger nodules, even on tanto and wakizashi.

 

 On at least two of my old tsuka, the Emperor node is a fake made of bone or ivory!

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From my experience Emperor nodes were fairly normal on the early, higher grade Type 94/98 swords. This is the only Shin Gunto I have with an obvious full Samegawa wrap, funnily enough the large Emperor node is nearly covered by the Ito knot:

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Currently I'm trying to built my first tsuka so I had to cut a piece (cleaned area) out of a big ray skin. Such skins have lot of different areas with different nodule sizes. It could be used for more than one tsuka but the others would look a bit cheap/boring because of too small and even nodule sizes.

I think a full wrap adds much strenght to a tsuka - the dried skin is incredible hard!

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I also have one gunto with a full same wrap with emperor node.

Cheers,

Bryce

 

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