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ribendao

Aprox. age of new nihonto?

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Bought this one off an auction before the new year and it finally arrived. It has some pretty major flaws and a dull hamon but I like it none the less. I'm trying to get an idea of the approximate age. I'm guessing it is from sometime around the Genroku period based of the shape of the sugata. However, I could be completely wrong and its a modern fake for all I know (hope not). Can anyone help me with an aprox. date? 

Also, how serious are these flaws pictured? Would be a shame if it was considered a "dead blade."

Thanks in advance.

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Don’t think it is a fake or Genroku.They tend to taper more I think.perhaps Shinshinto, but I’m not quite sure. Many flaws on that one... :(

 

Not a dead blade, nothing fatal (at least that we can see) but not desirable.

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With those flaws, you have to consider kazu-ichi-mono possibly.

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Thanks JP and Brian. Do you think it is suriage or ubu? Kazu -ichi-mono would be disappointing but would explain these flaws. Despite the flaws it still looks beautiful in the right light. Just wish I could get a good idea of the aprox time period it comes from.  

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I’ve also wondered if it was suriage or not. Gut feeling is "not". First, only one mekugi-ana, then the edges look rounded. However, I can’t see if the Hamon starts just before the machi or goes into the nakago. If it continues into the nakago, chances are it is suriage.

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Hi, name please,

With the dull hamon and terrible flaws, retemper is another strong possibility; this may be a prime example of what not to collect.  Take some time for study and save your money for something you'll be proud to own: a much more satisfying pursuit.

Grey

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3 hours ago, Grey Doffin said:

Hi, name please,

With the dull hamon and terrible flaws, retemper is another strong possibility; this may be a prime example of what not to collect.  Take some time for study and save your money for something you'll be proud to own: a much more satisfying pursuit.

Grey

Yeah I think retemper is a good possibility. Why would someone have there sword retempered in the past anyways? I know this is not the ideal collector's piece but I still like it and enjoy looking at it each time I take it out. I didn't spend much on this blade and hopefully I can at least break even if I ever decide to sell it and get a more desirable one. In the meantime I don't mind collecting a mini arsenal of cheap nihonto :)
P.S. Name is Jonathan. I believe I bought a Dawson's book from you in the past. 

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3 hours ago, 16k said:

I’ve also wondered if it was suriage or not. Gut feeling is "not". First, only one mekugi-ana, then the edges look rounded. However, I can’t see if the Hamon starts just before the machi or goes into the nakago. If it continues into the nakago, chances are it is suriage.

Ill have to check when I get home but I believe the hamon does not run through to the nagako. I am also guessing ubu. The nagako just feels unaltered to me.

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Why a retemper? For practical reasons, it would give the blade a second lease on life and make it useful again.

 

Yes, it drastically harms its value as an art piece; but to them, it was a tool that had a job to do so retempering didn't necessarily mean it couldn't do the same work. If the blade was retempered, it means it either had a problem with the original temper, the blade was in a fire (all too common) or some other issue.

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12 hours ago, ChrisW said:

Why a retemper? For practical reasons, it would give the blade a second lease on life and make it useful again.

 

Yes, it drastically harms its value as an art piece; but to them, it was a tool that had a job to do so retempering didn't necessarily mean it couldn't do the same work. If the blade was retempered, it means it either had a problem with the original temper, the blade was in a fire (all too common) or some other issue.

Thanks Chris, been wondering this for a while. I guess the fire department was busy back then.

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Edo-period Japan had a good fire department system if I recall correctly. Can't remember where I read about it though.

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I mean, if you want to be a contrarian, go right ahead. I'm not going to argue over irrelevant minutiae on a topic tangental to the OP's post. In any case, @ribendao, there's lots of fire-damaged blades that would have been retempered. Not uncommon at all. A really telling sign is if the blade has something called a "mizukage"

https://japaneseswordindex.com/kizu.htm
 

About halfway down the page is what you might be looking for!

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Thank you Chris. I just looked up mizukage and the below close up picture might just be one. As for the debate over the effectiveness of Edo period fire departments (lol, love this forum), I'm sure they did the best they could. I'm at least grateful they saved this sword for me.

image.thumb.png.1915224ddd0e2f9517c8569d5b11b42e.png
 

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Just want to add this for the Mizukage 

"Some books say that mizukage is a proof of re-hardening. But it is not true. Such information has been confusing beginners.
Mizukage means just a starting of hardening effect. It comes from the hardening work. It is very natural for original length blades."

http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/utsuri.html#mizukage

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Thanks for that comment Christian.  Just to dip my toe in the water, I've seen a nijimei Shodai Tadayoshi katana with mizukage.  The sword has NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon ninteishou.  I'm sure many a good and genuine sword has been bought cheaply by a collector "in the know".

 

BaZZa.

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Interesting! I was under the impression it was a sign for a definite retemper. Here's hoping that this blade is kosher then!

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Thats the issue. I may be blind or dense, but I don’t know why this retempering discussion started. Where do you guys see a Mizukage?

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7 minutes ago, 16k said:

Thats the issue. I may be blind or dense, but I don’t know why this retempering discussion started. Where do you guys see a Mizukage?


Cheers JP, I thought it was just me. 
 

For me, the state of polish is far from perfect. Given that, it’s going to be hard to definitively identify most features of the blade and that goes for a mizukage. 


 

 

 

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