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Chokutō 6th C


Bugyotsuji
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Our regional NBTHK meeting Saturday evening, 12 December 2020.

This blade has a very early Mié registration card, suggesting it may have been kept in a Jinja there. The Saya attributes it to Yamato work, 6th century. The blade has no Yaki. The Nakago is quite frail so we were requested not to pick it up without Habaki and Tsuka fitted.

Photos follow with luck.

 

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71F5C272-D8AF-4039-86BD-A57728ABC077.jpeg

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It can be quite arrogant to comment on those judging by the photographs alone, but I don't like the blade. Many small things which are just a bit atypical. But yes, nakago can be quit frail and bend under strain or some of the material can even come loose on those...

 

Kirill R.

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On 12/13/2020 at 12:22 PM, Brian said:

Stunning habaki and sword. And to be able to handle a sword over 1000 years old! Wow.
What is the sword with the new habaki? Naval horimono?

 

 One of the arms fairs in the UK that I attended, a dealer had a sword from Ewart Oakeshott's collection, an actual Viking sword! Decent condition though not shiny and I got to hold that. I do sometimes wonder what a Japanese polisher could do with one of the better preserved Viking era swords? 

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Nice thread! Gorgeous habaki, the smoothness of the recesses reminds me a little of those Natsuo wave menuki darcy had listed.

 

Any mesurements for the chokuto by any chance?

 

The blade surprises me, the straight angled nakago is mirrored of what one would expect aside of being straight/no sori. Think the tang looked different due to erosion to the point it's shaped like this now? 

 

 

IRT: Dave, was it one of the 'Ulfberht'?, I've always wanted to see one up close.

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In the past, ancient dagger that had been handed down to ordinary Japanese houses have appeared. The name was "三寅剣 san-in-ken" engraved on the blade.
"A gold and silver inlaid sword handed down to the Hatakeyama family of Matsubara Suwa Shrine priests. Blade length 25.4 cm Weight 151.72 g. The inlaid pattern is the four heavenly kings of the Buddha world (多聞天 Tamonten, 持国天 Jikokuten, and 広目天 Komokuten and 増長天 Zochoten), constellations such as the Big Dipper, and the nine-character Mantra. The name of the sword is inlaid in silver on the ridge." 

三寅剣 - 信州の文化財 - 財団法人 八十二文化財団 (82bunka.or.jp)


I believe that ancient swords are enshrined in old Japanese shrines as the object of worship in a Shinto shrine. It is a sacred thing, so even a priest cannot usually see it.

三寅剣a.jpg

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Re length, this answer will not help, but I overheard someone asking that question. The answer was that the length written on the registration card is not the same as the actual length. I made a comment at that point, saying something like, "They must have originally registered a totally rusted object." There was a quiet nod in my direction. 

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On 12/15/2020 at 3:49 PM, Fuuten said:

 

IRT: Dave, was it one of the 'Ulfberht'?, I've always wanted to see one up close.

 

 

Hiya, I really could not say, the condition was very good for a Viking sword, but still heavily patinated with stable oxidation, so  any iron on steel inlay was hidden. It had its upper and lower guards of iron with some of the soft metal decoration still present, but the grip core was long gone.

 

  What I can confirm is that it was a damn big sturdy blade, and a real experience to hold in the hand.

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On 12/15/2020 at 12:02 PM, Dave R said:

 

 One of the arms fairs in the UK that I attended, a dealer had a sword from Ewart Oakeshott's collection, an actual Viking sword! Decent condition though not shiny and I got to hold that. I do sometimes wonder what a Japanese polisher could do with one of the better preserved Viking era swords? 

There is some kind of answer for that.

"Here .is the South German sax from 600 AD - 750 AD before and after Japanese polishing
from Stefan Maeder's Ph.D. thesis. See also this module.
There is a clear hamon and since it is not parallel to the blade there might have been a clay coating.
On the other hand, the wavyness of the hamon may just be due to thickness variations of the blade."

maeder_sax_large.thumb.jpg.e4163671c4ec2cc3116d728aff86be9b.jpg

https://www.tf.uni-kiel.de/matwis/amat/iss/kap_b/illustr/ib_6_2.html#_6a

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This thread has wandered a bit, but there seems to be some interested in very early swords, so please let me show a blade that may fit in that category. This blade was discovered in the US as a bare blade and was a Post-War bring back -- apparently from Japan, but the history is uncertain.

A previous owner sent it to the NBTHK where it spent a couple of years. When asked what was going on, they said it needed to be brought down to Nara for assessment, but that seems not to have happened and it was returned later on without papers - but with some hard feelings (I hate it when that happens).

A previous owner had it polished (oh, and there were some hard feelings about that, too). I had it dropped into a shirasaya.

This looks like a very old blade. It is laminated and edge tempered.It has iori-mune now, but I never saw it before polish so this may have been enhanced... The nakago looks to me like it was attached with peining.

Peter754167953_chokuto2020.thumb.jpg.9a726753aa9c0a5448c923f62b49822a.jpg

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Did this not pass? This is just my humble opinion, but I think it took a long time to wait because I measured the take an X-ray and C14 dating. It can be made with a very small amount of sample that can hardly be understood.
It depends on how you look at it. If it turned out to belong to ancient times, it might not have been returned.

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This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one, unless your post is really relevant and adds to the topic..

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