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Janrudolph

Nihonto talking points

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Good day to you all. As a small Nihonto collector living where I do, I have serious restrictions preventing me from full enjoyment of my few collected items. Barring talk about limited funds/low sword budget and what not, I have to contend with the fact that I do not have fellow collectors nearby, as do many of you, and being of an age that does not allow me to travel back & forth over long distances to visit faraway acquaintances. So my communication with knowledgeable people is through books, internet, the forum, Whatsapp etc. Now I have many kind friends in my neck of the woods and we chat regularly, but none of them share my life-long passion for edged weapons. Imagine the conversation where I am bursting to talk about my newest blade, and my buddies stare at me with glazed eyes, waiting for me to stop rambling so that they can wax lyrical on gardening, rugby, politics or the stock market! So I have changed my style, in that when I meet with my friends, I throw a talking point on the table, show a small photo of what I'm talking about and see what their comments are. In this thread I would like to list a few such talking points and get the proper gen from you guys. Please let me know where I get it wrong! The first one is the so-called emperor node on rayskin. Johan 

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I have a few nihonto blades, one high-end Chinese repro and one shin-gunto. Only on one of my sword's handles is the emperor node apparant. It is situated 145 mm from the fuchi end of the wakizashi handle and 30 mm from the kashira end. Surrounding the emperor node are a few smaller nodes, but still noticeably larger than the majority of the nodes. What significance could there be as to the handle-maker's choice of rayskin sections? On my tanto handle the nodes are all very small. It is only this waki handle that has the emperor node plus nodes of larger size. Would the handle guy use the choice cut from the skin for choice handles? Would he take off-cuts from the edges for ordinary handles? 

I have read that swords made earlier than the 16th century had the emperor node situated near the centre of the handle. In the 17-19th century the handle mostly had the emperor node near the end of the handle. Is this regarded as an indication of age? 

You agree this is a good talking point, guys? Johan 

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Hi Johan,  Welcome Aboard!!

 

You are very fortunate to have a strong South African Contingent here on NMB.

 

Brian, who runs this Ship is also based in S.A.

 

Enjoy the Voyage of Discovery!!!!  :thumbsup:

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