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Today I went to a sales exhibition at the Nihombashi Takashimaya department store of works by Gassan Sadatoshi, and his son Sadanobu, by invitation of Inami Kenichi.

 

I’m not a collector of contemporary swords, but wanted to have a look at their take at Sō-den, my main field of interest. Although the Gassan smiths are famous for their swords with ayasugi-hada, they also excel at the Sōshū style, and some very fine examples were on display / for sale.

 

As a collector of antique swords, I sometimes feel a twinge of jealousy when looking at those absolutely flawless, healthy blades, exactly like the smith intended them. OTOH, they are also kind of “sterile” (for lack of a better expression, and not meant derogatory at all); in any case, art is art, no matter if it was made in the Heian period, or last week.

 

It’s always a pleasure to meet Gassan-sensei, who is very friendly and humble (and constantly in need of a good haircut 😝). The only downside was the lighting, which was a little bright, so I had to twist my neck constantly to get a look at the details in the blades; that’s also the reason why I didn’t take more photos.

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Some more photos. The last one shows (from left to right) Gassan Sadatoshi (sitting), Gassan Sadanobu, Inami Ken’ichi (and an unknown visitor). I just couldn’t bring myself to ask them to post for a selfie with me … 🥺

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Thanks for sharing Guido. I am always amazed at the Japanese ability to use dept stores for exhibits like this, and do it successfully.
Very classy setup there. I agree with you about the modern vs old thing, and the fact that modern will often cost more than old (until you get to the very high antique levels) but they are certainly stunning to look at and I'd love to own one.

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32 minutes ago, Brian said:

..., and the fact that modern will often cost more than old (until you get to the very high antique levels) ...

 

The average price was 3 million Yen for a katana.

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The other day I learned about the existence of an 'Osaka' habaki, also known as a 'Gassan' habaki, with an angled edge like that on the base of a pyramid, but the photos above are not clear enough to see if they fit that definition.

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1 hour ago, Bugyotsuji said:

The other day I learned about the existence of an 'Osaka' habaki, also known as a 'Gassan' habaki, with an angled edge like that on the base of a pyramid, but the photos above are not clear enough to see if they fit that definition.

 

The photos expand if you click on them. Anyhow, I think I know what you mean, but have seen those type of habaki only on tantō so far, and more often on Umetada blades, not on Gassan blades; they are called daitsuki-habaki 台付 .

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https://www.touken-world.jp/search-habaki/art0003680-2/

 

What I saw was a single piece Habaki, Guido, not a Daitsuki. Here they seem to describe it 'Osaka Ju Gassan Sadakatsu...................' which might account for any interchangeability, but I need to follow this up further. Apologies for thread drift.

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Gassan Sadatoshi is one of my favorite Mukansa smiths. I was wondering is this katana from him in Sōshū style? does not seem to be ayasugi hada looking at the close up photos: https://katananokura.jp/SHOP/1708-K01.html

Additionally, were there tantos for sale by him? Especially that tanto in your post, was it for sale? 

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1 hour ago, terminus said:

Additionally, were there tantos for sale by him? Especially that tanto in your post, was it for sale? 

 

Yes, it was a sales exhibition, everything was for sale.

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5 hours ago, Guido said:

 

Yes, it was a sales exhibition, everything was for sale.

Do you know how I can get into contact to buy some of these items? specifically his tanto pieces? 

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The very first photo in this thread shows the business card he gave me, complete with address and phone number.

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