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Tachi Bringback

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Hey guys,

 

well, it was not a big surprise to myself that after the first blade I had to get myself another one if I would see one that appears to be of interest to me. This was one of the cases - especially since it came directly from the vet (or his wife - she turned 97 and moved to a nursed home; he already had died). She didn't care much on his souvenir since it still was in the wooden box in which he had sent it back home. I've attached a few pictures of this box. Someone was researching on behalf of the widow on the blade, mainly because she wanted some money, I made an offer that was accepted. Then it was shipped at beginning of May - and disappeared in tracking at the end of May. Turned up again mid of August, and today finally received it!

 

I was amazed by the fact that inside the wooden box that I said I definitely would want with the blade was a clothing bag in which the blade was stored within a Shirasaya. I've been told this is a Tachi, based on the shape, and that it must had been shortened (based on the amount of holes). Total length is 96cm, blade length is 75,5cm. Yes, there are some small rust pittings on it, unfortunately, but at least the hamon is still visible and otherwise not bad. I wiped it down with oil to make sure the rusting will stop.

 

Looking forward to be educated on what I've purchased and please forgive me my incorrect wording and especially since I'm sure I'll need to look up words that will be used in the replies. So please make them as simple as possible for me to understand ;-). Any ideas on where and when it was made, any features that I should know? And to have made this very clear, I bought this for myself because the ensemble itself was attractive to me and I somewhat got caught with Nihonto as well - hence I'm not selling this! To however find out if I overpaid or underpaid this Tachi it would be appreciated if I would be given feedback where you would place the value of this ensemble.

 

More pics to follow, once I know what you need to see. Most pictures were taken with the DSLR, but also tried with the HighRes scanner, these are the last two pictures. I hope you can see the details that are important. If not, let me know what else I should picture and I'll do my best!

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What did you pay for it is the more relevant question Georg.

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I'll have to leave the details to others more knowlegdable than I. Cool blade though, definately an older one. I like it. Even cooler with the veteran's old box. 

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I had missed to take a picture showing both sides of the blade in full length, hence I took one just very quick'n'dirty this morning. Please find it attached.

 

If someone wants to view this picture in a much higher resolution (at 5000px height) please CLICK HERE.

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With 4 ana, yes, this is definitely a tachi, length-wise. Doesn't look as old as I'd expect it to be  - if it was shorter, I'd say Kanbun. At that length, :dunno:

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Same. initial pics gave me a good koto vibe, now I'm having all sorts of bad Shinto vibes. That lack of sori is causing strong disturbances in the Force. 

 

If it's shinto mumei with dress-up nakago you've set your money on fire. 

 

I love the vet bring back box though. It's a nice piece of GI history. 

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Georg

 

This could be an interesting one but could we get more pictures? The mune, closer on the kissaki, jigane? 

 

Maybe some measurements on sori, kasane, motohaba, sakihaba, as much as you can basically?

 

Older tachi that were shortened can be relatively low on sori but a closer inspection is required. The problem is that swords of this length and sori came about in the shinto (few) and shinshinto aswell. 

 

Is there a possibility of better shots on the nakago? 

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As a rule of thumb when we see such a straight blade,  that points to Kanbun Shinto, of the end of the 17 century.  The length of 75cm is not an issue whatsoever (see Kunisuke example below, all 76cm of Kanbun “magnificence”).  In fact, there are some examples which are 80-89cm in length and frequent 75-80cm. 
 

This blade is likely Shinto/ Shinshinto and the nakago could have been tampered with to mislead for an older blade. I could be wrong, if we see wonderful hataraki and complex jigane, but somehow I am sceptical. 

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I agree the shape says shinto, and I can’t explain why the nakago would have so many holes. I don’t see anything to imply an older shape, especially at this length. With a 75 cm nagasa to work with I’d expect to see more curvature somewhere. 
 

Is this machi-okuri, folks?

 

In any case, it’s a neat package, and I imagine the blade would clean up nicely if you ever head in that direction (but don’t expect a return on your investment). 

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Shape wise it does shout Kanbun. But, to be honest we would need accurate measurements to make a solid call, i have a long shinto blade that is very similar from Takada Muneyuki that has a similar profile but the hamon is different, we need to see all the features before making a decision. I would also point to an Awataguchi that i have that are also very shallow on sori but the nakago sori points to Kamakura. 

 

Basically, more details please

 

The nakago rust is a conundrum as well, that red rust is going to destroy the patina and we cannot see any yasurime features because of it 

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Thanks for the replies! I've tried various picture styles. The first attached picture was done with the scanner *edit* sending the message throws them out of order. The pic showing the tip from both sides was taken with the scanner *edit* whereas the others were done with the camera.

 

When I lay the blade on its back the (roughly measured, as far as I could do) highest open point under it was 18mm until blade started again. I think this is what was meant with Sori? Jigane is very tough to picture, easier visible with the Scanner. But what the Scanner shows isn't really visible in reality, so not sure this would be helpful?

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Looks like an exciting find.  My inclination is that it is ubu nakago though slightly machiokuri possibly.  The lowest hole on the nakago may be from when it was once mounted with two nakago ana, as is sometimes seen on longer military swords.  At 20cm, the nakago is not particularly long, but with the end of the nakago being shaped, it may well be original.  The largest hole may be the initial one.  I agree with some of the early shinto calls, though suppose there is a slim chance that it was once enormous and is osuriage.

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Last update for today, I promise: a few mobile phone shots that I've did of the blade. Hope they shows what was asked for.

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With those new photos, it looks like there is mokume in the shinogi ji, making me wonder whether it is in fact a much older blade.  It is definitely worth studying further and I still think that it's a very nice find, especially if it turns out to be osuriage.  

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I just realized that you are the same Georg that found what is probably a Kiyomaro.  You are getting a great start in finding excellent blades!

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9 hours ago, Surfson said:

I just realized that you are the same Georg that found what is probably a Kiyomaro.  You are getting a great start in finding excellent blades!

I wish it was Kiyomaro, unfortunately it is only Masayuki :-). But at least it is not only probably, but confirmed!

 

14 hours ago, Katsujinken said:

In any case, it’s a neat package, and I imagine the blade would clean up nicely if you ever head in that direction (but don’t expect a return on your investment). 

I'm not much worried on the ROI. I've roughly had € 1000 in this blade, mainly because the "time capsule" setup attracted me.

 

I've attached a few more shots of the tang. Tough to show but notice that around the large hole the tang becomes significantely much thinner on the cutting side (I've tried to highlight this with red lines). I really wonder if this was where the blade originally started and parts of the tang were chopped off? Also some more detail shots of the file markings. Some are rather wild.

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The hole that is lowest down the nakago has been drilled.The others punched through.

To me this means the original hole going up the nakago to Machi is 2  I'm guessing.

The others are associated with slight Machi Okuri.

It's possible hole 1 is part of the wartime refit.

There is some loose jigane there, but this is not apparently concerning the experts at this stage so maybe of no concern.

 

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The swords steel is in bad shape on this one. A polish would probably cause more harm that good here I feel, I am not sure what others think? 

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Something needs to be done to get rid of the active rust, but I agree with Ray that the blade won't take many more polishes. I'd say go for it.

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Georg, I'm afraid to say that you may be hooked into collecting Japanese swords.  I know it wasn't your original intention.  But finding a Kiyomaro/Masayuki as your first sword and finding this one, that I think may be Kamakura now based on the ko-kissaki and the mokume in the shinogi-ji, you have certainly had some major positive reinforcement!

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With €1000 in the blade, it is like a lottery ticket, so chances could be taken. I still do not believe it is Koto, with all the new photos. 

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Great photos. I wish all swords posted to NMB had such good photos. The nakago doesn't look ubu to me, but it can't have been shortened by too much. At 75.5 cms it feels like a long sword for kanbun, especially if it has been shortened. Anyway, even if its kanbun it's a nice length. I can't tell if its kanbun or older. I think its a good candidate for a polish. The many shallow ware in the sword mean that this wasn't the best work of the best swordsmith, but it seems to be in OK condition other than the light rust. I think it will polish up nicely. The ware won't disappear, and a few might even become more prominent, mind you,  but I think the improvement in the hamon and the ji will be worth the effort/risk. The line of rust just behind the yokote (that runs for a few mms parallel to the yokote) might be one yellow flag. Rust is one thing, but if its a crack hiding under the rust its a problem.

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Considering the overall good shape this is in, a radical polish may not be required at all. Beyond the active rust the polish is more than sufficient, as time goes by these old original Sashikomi polishes will be rarer to see with the relentless tyranny of Hadori. I would keep it as is if the rust can be removed and stabilized so it is a true time capsule.

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I would submit it for papers first Georg, as I think that the hada and hamon are very clear and you can get an expert opinion about era and school.  If you like what they come back with, then you can decide whether to polish it or not.

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I've wiped off some rust with oil and clothing, I think that bit that is on it is only superficial and if I was to clean it a bit more I'm sure only a few darker spots will be left. Same thing that over the years I perfected with firearms. I don't really think it needs a good polish, most is still visible, a touch up should be fine since it has no rust that goes into the blade. Plus I've played around a bit more with the DSLR, quite unsatisfying if the mobile phone shows the grain better than a professional camera. Attached some results. And yes, the picture showing the blade from both sides were taken not from perfect middle at 90 degree, hence it looks weird that the holes are not mirrored. Fault of the photographer, sorry. Only wanted to illustrate the shape of the blade with this picture, I hope it does.

Tachi_19.jpg

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It would be very interesting to see what the experts say about the blade.  The fact that the blade looks shinto because of the shallow sori seems valid, but it must be taken into account that many of the Shinto blades were copies of osuriage koto blades.  Robert brings up a very good point about the mokume hada in the shinogi-ji, which is one of the kantei points of koto blades.  Not being able to see the blade in hand makes it very difficult to pinpoint the age as well as the school, and until confirmed, it is anyones guess.  

Based on the photos, my very amateur guess leans toward maybe Ko-Uda or Etchu.

 

 

 

Brian M.

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Could someone kindly please circle in highlighter the mokume hada in the shinogiji? All I can see is horizontal scratch marks. 

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