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Malcolm was recently offering some mekugi-nuki for sale; this prompted me to search around the house and do a historical shot.

Five are Shinchū. The oldest one is in separate pieces and could well stretch back to the Edo Period.

(The two iron ones are probably specifically for matchlocks. They can also act as a key to turn a Bisen breech screw.)

A74CA357-124F-483E-9CC6-AFCA75B32747.jpeg

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Great Collection Piers,

 

Makes you wonder where they all went, with a Samurai population of 6 - 10% of the total population over the Tokugawa period.

 

Or, being constructed of metal, were they high status objects?

 

Did those lower on the Koku stipend use mekugi-nuki made of less durable materials?

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They're a small item, and I suspect there are thousands of them in odd corners all over Japan unrecognised, unloved and ignored. Non of these are mine, alas, just images from the internet.

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mekugi_nuki_img22.jpg

Mekugi-nuki by Yokoi Akimitsu.jpg

bamukugi2-e1274543692385.jpg

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Thank you for the images Dave,

 

I love the last image of the bamboo drift.

 

Quite sophisticated, has the same rustic charm as some of the old Chashaku Tea scoops.

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Nice finds indeed.

(The top left one Dave, is mine before I changed the string, and the one to the right of it I gave to my sword appreciation Sensei.)

 

Malcolm, drift is a new word for me. Thank you!

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10 hours ago, Bugyotsuji said:

Nice finds indeed.

(The top left one Dave, is mine before I changed the string, and the one to the right of it I gave to my sword appreciation Sensei.)

 

Malcolm, drift is a new word for me. Thank you!

 

 I had a feeling that one or more of these would be yours. I downloaded these images via google search for the most part, with the intention of copying some of the more pleasing and different ones.

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Also when I do exhibitions, people take photographs. One of the Bizen artisans actually told me he was going to make a copy. I see some scary similarities in a couple of your shots above, Dave! 🙊 Still, if it keeps the tradition alive...

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10 hours ago, Bugyotsuji said:

Also when I do exhibitions, people take photographs. One of the Bizen artisans actually told me he was going to make a copy. I see some scary similarities in a couple of your shots above, Dave! 🙊 Still, if it keeps the tradition alive...

 

 Would you like me to make one for you? Copper alloy is easier, I don't have access to a forge currently.

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On 11/13/2020 at 12:39 AM, Baka Gaijin said:

Great Collection Piers,

 

Makes you wonder where they all went, with a Samurai population of 6 - 10% of the total population over the Tokugawa period.

 

Or, being constructed of metal, were they high status objects?

 

Did those lower on the Koku stipend use mekugi-nuki made of less durable materials?

These are all good questions. Where did they all go? Or were there never any great numbers? I very rarely see an old one, and I do trawl a lot of antiques fairs and markets. And if they were common, why are they expensive when I do find one? 

Dave, I have given away two of mine already. Thanks for the thought, but I think the older style were actually more difficult to use. The internal screw 'drift' is such a clever evolution. Only the two on the left in my photo above have this feature. (I have tried unsuccessfully to open the tops of the middle two.)

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This is a nice topic and they are most enjoyable items shown.  Lots of character.

I will throw in a modern "mekugi pocker" made by Kimura Kanemitsu of Akamatsu Taro Tanrenjo in Kumamoto. With handmade bag.

The saying "ichi go ichi e" means something like "always treat someone you meet as though its the first time, as it may be the last". 

Mal

kimura kanemistu.jpg

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Thought this deserved its own topic, as we had strayed into For Sale threads. Post pics and info here. Quite an interesting topic too.

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I like items like these and make them myself in the forge from old iron (puddle iron, about 140 years old. See in the 'ForSale' section).

MEKUGI-NUKI 02.jpg

 

MEKUGI-NUKI-TSUBA 02 23.jpg

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On 11/14/2020 at 3:25 AM, mecox said:

This is a nice topic and they are most enjoyable items shown.  Lots of character.

I will throw in a modern "mekugi pocker" made by Kimura Kanemitsu of Akamatsu Taro Tanrenjo in Kumamoto. With handmade bag.

The saying "ichi go ichi e" means something like "always treat someone you meet as though its the first time, as it may be the last". 

Mal

kimura kanemistu.jpg


Mal,

 

I’ve always dreamt of getting one of these but could never find a link or a shop selling them. Do you have a link or information that could help?

 

This thread is great. That’s an awesome collection you have, Piers. Great unusual collection. Thank you for posting them.

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Good morning Thomas,

 

I really like the larger hammer with the Kamon.

 

Is it lacquered metal or wood?

 

Reminds me of the type of hammers in kit to remove reluctant Tsuka.

 

Hi JP, I've seen those type of Mekugi Nuki at DTI.

 

Here's a link showing Mekugi Nuki made from original nakago:

 

 https://www.yamatobudogu.com/products/mekuginuki-made-of-a-antique-blade-nakago

 

Also Aoi Art used to sell ones made of Silver, I always wondered if the silver was too ductile for the job?.

 

https://www.aoijapan.net/silver-mekugi-nuki-youko-fox-spirit/

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I have a tiny little boxed Higo Zogan folding mekugi-nuki, given to me years ago, far too nice to actually risk using. :headbang: 🈲️

 

Pic to follow .....

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On 11/13/2020 at 6:36 PM, Bugyotsuji said:

Thanks for the thought, but I think the older style were actually more difficult to use. The internal screw 'drift' is such a clever evolution. Only the two on the left in my photo above have this feature. (I have tried unsuccessfully to open the tops of the middle two.)

These are so beautiful.

Piers, could you—or someone—please clue me in as to what makes an internal screw a useful feature on a mekugi nuki?  

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Richard, normally a push with the long prod will dislodge a mekugi, but occasionally it will not move under a simple pushing force, so you will need to hammer the end of the hammer, (well, gently tap the hammer to get movement).

 

Rather than having to use two hammers, you can remove the 'drift' pin, place the tip against the mekugi peg, and tap that with the hammer to dislodge the mekugi.

 

Yesterday I had to remove the pins of a long gun and they were so small that I chose a mekugi-nuki hammer with an internal more-pointed drift.

 

Not to put too fine a point upon it...

 

52C35464-4270-4532-9823-88EB16AACD66.jpeg

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Thanks Piers.  (I was imagining the handle unscrewing from the head, which doesn’t make any sense.)

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This interesting topic just came up as I had just re-discovered a hidden away brass tool / implement (shown here with my mekugi nuki) I was given so many years ago I can't remember from whom or what it is called or what its exact purpose is. As you can see I have not used/handled it...is it Japanese sword related (I think so), maybe a scraper...or?

Be interested to know.767252976_mekuginugiIMG_7141.thumb.jpg.e9ff218b9fdc6debe0357bee7762b04f.jpg

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Dear all,

 

I love to collect mekugi nuki. Here is my little collection I try to get one of each type. You will see here some common ones, some handmade and a few old ones. Please don't hesitate to sell me some if you don't find them here 😀.

 

PS : sorry for the poor quality of the pictures

 

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Ages back, there were folding Concho style bootlace ties in the form of a minature Tsuba, with a folding drift a bit like Piers example, available at DTI.

 

I can't find an image, but I think they were also available at the old NBTHK Hakubutsukan shop.

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I have one head of a 3/4 inch dia. cast brass tsuba with pusher cast on the blank backside. No idea where or when I got it. Has anyone noticed that some of the recent (1980's up) have tiny Kanji cast/stamped on to the side of the hammer head?  Both my large brass ones do, but different Kanji (too small to photograph).

Rich

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Question for those possessing old examples of the brass/metal specimens: is the head mounted solid on the rod? I ask as the modern ones I seem to end up with are threaded bottom & top, which renders them all but useless as hammers!

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On 11/23/2020 at 6:18 AM, PNSSHOGUN said:

Question for those possessing old examples of the brass/metal specimens: is the head mounted solid on the rod? I ask as the modern ones I seem to end up with are threaded bottom & top, which renders them all but useless as hammers!

 So that's where they all went!

 

Into NMB members' collections.

 

John, I have not tried detaching the hammer head itself, but an internal drop of superglue might well be in order. 🕵️‍♂️

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On 11/22/2020 at 7:33 PM, george trotter said:

This interesting topic just came up as I had just re-discovered a hidden away brass tool / implement (shown here with my mekugi nuki) I was given so many years ago I can't remember from whom or what it is called or what its exact purpose is. As you can see I have not used/handled it...is it Japanese sword related (I think so), maybe a scraper...or?

Be interested to know.767252976_mekuginugiIMG_7141.thumb.jpg.e9ff218b9fdc6debe0357bee7762b04f.jpg

I take it no=one has ever seen a tool like this little "scraper"?

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It was I who added the puzzled icon to your post, George. Do you have any other shots, of the other side of the 'scraper' part for example?

 

You ask if anyone has seen anything similar.

 

700FE0DF-FD07-4F6F-9221-6A9437ED7FE4.jpeg

ED06041C-12D0-486B-B123-4865459DB81C.jpeg

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On 11/24/2020 at 12:59 PM, Bugyotsuji said:

It was I who added the puzzled icon to your post, George. Do you have any other shots, of the other side of the 'scraper' part for example?

 

You ask if anyone has seen anything similar.

 

 

 

Here is mine. Looks similar to yours. Width of "blade" is 14 mm or 7/16 in. Do you know what it is used for?

scraper IMG_7158.jpg

brass scraper IMG_7157.jpg

brass scraper IMG_7159.jpg

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