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Nobutaka

O-Kissaki Katana koto or shinto?

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Looks like the mei was removed at the point of Machi being moved. If indeed it was a mei and not Sanskritic add-on to what was once blade.

If we are way off on age then that whole nakago is a red herring.

If full osuriage then the nakago starts fresh at that point.

I truly don't think images will get anything but varied opinions as the evidence duggests.

I have a sword that has four mekugi ana and the nakago looks very new due to it all being blade material once so no real patina has built up.

Mine is deemed a koto blade ,once a tachi now an O-wakizashi,yet look at the nakago you will think it's Showa or later.

I sometimes believe not everything presents at face value.

With sword in hand what era would you say it was Nobutaka?

If it were mei it's katana mei.

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Holding the blade in my hand, I'm struck by the yasurime; worn down. I'm also struck by the blackness of the patina on the nakago. If it were shinshinto, could what I see on the nakago be the product of only 250 or so years? Unfortunately, I'm not knowledgeable enough to answer my own question, let alone the evidence of the shape of the hamon and kissaki. I posted more high res photos of the nakago yesterday and hopefully others will have a better idea from them. 

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Holding the blade in my hand, I'm struck by the yasurime; worn down. I'm also struck by the blackness of the patina on the nakago. If it were shinshinto, could what I see on the nakago be the product of only 250 or so years? Unfortunately, I'm not knowledgeable enough to answer my own question, let alone the evidence of the shape of the hamon and kissaki. I posted more high res photos of the nakago yesterday and hopefully others will have a better idea from them. 

 

 

Look attentively at the start of hamon it will say if this sword is suriage ro not.

 

 

 

 

post-373-0-71301700-1595502846_thumb.jpg

 

 

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Your mei has been filed away then any traces have been punched out of recognition. 

To be honest its not a bad job so your sword would get a result at shinsa but what that result will be is another matter. 

I like the shape and you must remember that people's opinions on the NMB are entirely based on photos. Opinions are just that and bear no real weight in light of a hands on appraisal by someone of knowledge. 

I've had such varying kantei on my own items it becomes clear even the very best intended opinion can cause you to make a poor decision because it may be totally wrong . 

Always find someone with knowledge and let them tell you what they see in hand before you make any determination . 

Regards Adam 

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I see no indication one way or another that there once was a mei.  

 

My sense is that this sword is either late koto or early shinto and just a bit machiokuri and slightly suriage.  It may have been mumei or it may have had a mei removed, but my inclination is mumei originally.  Two makers come to mind that worked in that era and made okissaki blades like this that were fairly straight.  One was Jakushu Fuyuhiro:

 

http://www.sanmei.com/contents/media/O54012_S3055_PUP_E.htm

 

Another was Daido, though he commonly had muneyaki.  This style was definitely revived during shinshinto, but the age and evolution of the tang make that less likely in my mind.  

 

 

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On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 4:27 AM, Nobutaka said:

Once again, thanks for your help and opinions - they are greatly appreciated. I had no idea this would generate such a lot of discussion. I've attached some better photos of the nakago ana's and habaki. One photo shows the obliterated mei, looks like a small rounded punch was used. As far as the width of the blade compared to that of the nakago, it has probably been polished a couple of times. 

 

post-2535-0-88861100-1595413208_thumb.jpgpost-2535-0-37101600-1595413243_thumb.jpgpost-2535-0-79548400-1595413268_thumb.jpgpost-2535-0-64776700-1595413350_thumb.jpgpost-2535-0-32987900-1595413398_thumb.jpgpost-2535-0-39873400-1595413540_thumb.jpg

 

 

As Adam has mentioned, these are only opinions at best. Even with a Shinsa team, it is a very well informed opinion, yet about the best we can hope for. Many times we have an opinion of what we hope, or what we want the sword to be and seek out those who support our conclusion.

 

With all due respect others, I would still put my money on Shinshinto, the sword just appears too healthy for Koto, I don't see black nakago patina, the yasurime appears a bit too crisp, the mekugi ana are drilled, one rather poorly. It has obviously been polished a least once.

 

Here is a comparison  of a Kanbun era nakago . However, still not conclusive evidence.

 

Either way,  a beautiful sword and shirasaya.

 

Dave M.

 

 

 

 

 

20200824_105844 (5).jpg

20200824_110254 (2).jpg

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Once again I'm indebted to everyone who has replied. I don't think the nakago has helped in dating the blade due to the (obliterated?) mei. Thanks too for the comments about the blade and shirasaya. At least I know this is not an o-suriage tachi despite (deceitful?) attempts to indicate such. It is razor sharp - I have accidentally nicked my fingers several times when cleaning it, and I'm usually careful.

 

Its easy to spruce up shirasaya if you have a kettle.

 

When I received this sword the shirasaya had several bumps and dents in it, so I removed the blade and moved the shirasaya back and forth over a steaming kettle (with gloves on) to raise the bumps and dents, followed by gentle sanding with successively finer grades of sandpaper over a wooden sanding block finishing with vigorous polishing with a soft dusting cloth. 

 

Thanks again.

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Here is another o-kissaki katana with the koto or shin shinto  question.

 

I'm gonna say koto but the shape could be shin shinto to to me.  Has one hole that is punched and the patina looks black in the photos.  25 1/4" nagasa and looks to have been shortened and nakago is cut.  These are the only photos I have.

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I would tend to shin-shinto. Look at the way the shinogi runs in to the nakago it wobbles and if this were an O-suriage Koto piece I think I would expect it to run as a smooth continuation of what's happening in the blade. The patination on the nakago also looks a little superficial and possibly created rather than the result of natural aging.

Always difficult from images. One key dimension you need to look at is the thickness. If it is koto I would expect it to be fairly thin (6mm or so) Shin-Shinto more like 7-8mm

 

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Shape and Hamon are reminiscent of Kiyomaro.

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Width (mune to ha) at hamachi 1.36 inches (34.55mm) and width at yokote 1.15" (29.4mm).  Thickness or kasane is 7.75mm at munemachi

 

The width then points to shin-shinto.  Thats a helpful little bit of information.  Thanks Paul.

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Adam, This is a guide only there are always exceptions. I have seen Rai blades from the 14th century which were nearly 8mm thick. But as always in this type of assessment I tend to be guided by the "norm" the more exceptions to that you see the less likely it is to be what you might hope. For me the nakago, the way the shinogi distorts in it and the colour, combined with the thickness suggest the later date but as always this is only opinion not a statement of fact.

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