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Would anyone here know if this is an authentic sword? Asked around and I was told it said  Bungo no kiri Yukihira. Any info would be greatly appreciated thanks.

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It is a genuine Japanese sword. As for who made it...we need to see the signature on the tang. Nice clear close-up.
It does appear to be signed as Yukihira. But less eye strain will help.

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Could be the picture quality, but looks like it might be in need of a polish (by a Japanese trained professional of course), but lovely blade. Looks to be some areas of rust...or could just be the lighting? Interesting Hamon. I like the sugata and that O-Kissaki is wonderful.

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Dear Ted.

 

The mei reads Bungo no kuni Yukihira saku.  I also am hoping that the dark patches are a trick of the light in your photograph.  As Brian said this is  genuine Japanese sword, whether it is a true signature is another matter.

 

Looking forward to some more photographs please.

 

All the best.

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4 hours ago, Brian said:

It is a genuine Japanese sword. As for who made it...we need to see the signature on the tang. Nice clear close-up.
It does appear to be signed as Yukihira. But less eye strain will help.

Thanks Brian. Here is a close up of the signature. It’s been sitting in a chest in our storage for over 50 years. My uncle sent it to my father from Japan but he passed about 6 years ago so we don’t know the history on it. 

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3 hours ago, Jwrussell said:

Could be the picture quality, but looks like it might be in need of a polish (by a Japanese trained professional of course), but lovely blade. Looks to be some areas of rust...or could just be the lighting? Interesting Hamon. I like the sugata and that O-Kissaki is wonderful.

Yes it has a bit of rust on the tip. I will definitely need to look into getting is restored somehow by a professional. I was amazed as to see how sharp this thing was even though it was sitting for many years. Any tips on sword metal care in the meantime? I know literally nothing about topic. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Geraint said:

Dear Ted.

 

The mei reads Bungo no kuni Yukihira saku.  I also am hoping that the dark patches are a trick of the light in your photograph.  As Brian said this is  genuine Japanese sword, whether it is a true signature is another matter.

 

Looking forward to some more photographs please.

 

All the best.

Thanks. Hoping it is authentic. 

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Non sword guys find it hard to accept the whole gimei/false signature thing. The fact is that the Japanese have been adding false signatures to swords hundreds and hundreds of years ago. It is said there are more false signatures than real ones. That just means that often the guy whose name is on it, is often not the smith. It doesn't make a sword a bad one, or a fake one....just a real sword with a false signature. It doesn't mean it is badly made either. Many fine swords with gimei signatures on them.
I say all the above to explain that we don't know if he really did make it, or if the signature is false. That can only be determined through a very expensive process of polishing and papering. Most of the time, not worth the expense. But the sword looks to have a few hundred years on it. So what you have is a genuine Japanese sword, signed: made by Yukihiro of Bungo province. It may or may not be by him. It has a long kissaki which I think many find appealing.
For now, you need to keep it oiled to prevent further rust. Oil...wipe with tissue...oil, wipe...leave a very thin film of oil on it....wipe lightly. No excess oil to remain.
It may be a case of keeping it as is until a future generation can afford the few thou to have it polished.

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58 minutes ago, Tad said:

Yes it has a bit of rust on the tip. I will definitely need to look into getting is restored somehow by a professional. I was amazed as to see how sharp this thing was even though it was sitting for many years. Any tips on sword metal care in the meantime? I know literally nothing about topic. Thanks.

 

 

Do some searching on the forum on sword care or "oil" will get you tons and tons of hits. Unfortuantely, that rust on the sword tip looks like it's eaten away some serious metal. Not sure a polisher is going to be able to save the geometry. That said, I'm nowhere near an expert and I'm sure it could still be helped. In the meantime, get some Choji/Camillia or REM oil and follow Brian's suggestions. The imperative now is just to stop any active rust and maintain the sword as it is. Where are you in the US? There are two shows coming up, Orlando and California (San Fran??). If you are near either it might be worth having someone look at it in person at the show. It's an impressive blade, even in the state it is in. Congrats and good luck.

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20 minutes ago, Jwrussell said:

 

Do some searching on the forum on sword care or "oil" will get you tons and tons of hits. Unfortuantely, that rust on the sword tip looks like it's eaten away some serious metal. Not sure a polisher is going to be able to save the geometry. That said, I'm nowhere near an expert and I'm sure it could still be helped. In the meantime, get some Choji/Camillia or REM oil and follow Brian's suggestions. The imperative now is just to stop any active rust and maintain the sword as it is. Where are you in the US? There are two shows coming up, Orlando and California (San Fran??). If you are near either it might be worth having someone look at it in person at the show. It's an impressive blade, even in the state it is in. Congrats and good luck.

I’m nowhere near a show but will definitely research everything about this topic. Good to know people are looking out for me on this. Thank you so much for your support.

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Help,

I posted, by accident, a screen shot of a customer's business along with a message to Tad.  I deleted my post but Tad reposted it.  I said:

Hi Tad,

Care and Cleaning:

https://nbthk-ab2.org/sword-characteristics/

Scroll down to the appropriate heading.  For the time being, don't plan to get your sword polished.  Proper polish (by a trained professional) is expensive and you don't know enough to appreciate it or keep it pristine (polishes are very easy to mess up).  Take some time to learn about the sword and someday later, if you're still interested, you can have the work done.  A light coat of oil on the polished part of the sword (not on the tang) is all that is necessary for preservation.  Any light machine oil, like sewing machine oil, will do fine.

By the way, polish by an untrained/self taught polisher is a terrible idea.

Cheers,  Grey

 

And then Tad answered:

 

Thanks! I will definitely not try to do any work on this sword myself. Still learning and have a long way to go.

 

Very sorry to have used my ability to delete messages but, given the situation, I had no choice.  Grey

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5 minutes ago, Tom Darling said:

Would be nice if you measured the cutting edge.  Also,  if the hamon is active in the boshi/kissaki it is koto, if not shinto.   Take a pic.of both sides of boshi area. Thank you. 

 

 

See post 6. Seems clear active Harmon in the kissaki to me. 

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1 hour ago, Tom Darling said:

Would be nice if you measured the cutting edge.  Also,  if the hamon is active in the boshi/kissaki it is koto, if not shinto.   Take a pic.of both sides of 

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1 hour ago, Jwrussell said:

 

See post 6. Seems clear active Harmon in the kissaki to me. 

 

I have/had a few Bungo wakizashi datable 1580-1620 with o-kissaki and active hamon. Not all of them were not fast enough adopting suguha I think, though I might be wrong. But same goes for other remote schools - there are Kaga waki for example which are 1620 but have active hamon.

Or it could be argued that Kunitsuna worked as early as 1580.

I don't think there is any chance here of Kamakura, the issue is this a real Bungo smith from late Muromachi/early shinto or its fake? I believe its a real smith. They used Bungo Yukuhira calling now and then.

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13 hours ago, Rivkin said:

 

Not all of them were not fast enough adopting suguha I think, though I might be wrong. But same goes for other remote schools - there are Kaga waki for example which are 1620 but have active hamon.


absolutely. Nothing happens exactly in one point of time. 

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17 hours ago, Jwrussell said:

 

See post 6. Seems clear active Harmon in the kissaki to me. 

What is an “active” hamon? I understand a hamon is the wavy line in the blade but can’t find anything about an active hamon. 

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In colloquial parlance, hamon is used to describe the ha, also known as yakiba. In fact, the hamon is the outline and shape of the ha, which you can see separated from the ji by way of the habuchi (the border). 

So, knowing that people use hamon to describe the ha, then an active hamon is one with a lot of activities (ie, hataraki) in it.

 

Therefore dull suguha will not be an active hamon.

 

An active hamon will have several of: sunagashi, kinsuji, tobiyaki (strictly speaking they are outside of the hamon but even hataraki in proximity to the hamon are considered associated with it), yo, yubashiri (see above note on tobiyaki), ashi, different forms of martensite (so combinations of nie/nioi/ko-nie), inazuma, etc etc 

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And forgive my mis-use of the term. What I was focusing on was that the style of the Hamon found on the rest of the blade carries into the kissaki rather than becoming Suguha as is typical in Shinto blades. As Jacques so tactfully points out, words have meaning and I was not using the correct ones. 
 

Here is some great reading to help the topic:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/markussesko.com/2015/06/10/kantei-3-hamon-boshi-3/amp/
 

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12 hours ago, Gakusee said:

In colloquial parlance, hamon is used to describe the ha, also known as yakiba. In fact, the hamon is the outline and shape of the ha, which you can see separated from the ji by way of the habuchi (the border). 

So, knowing that people use hamon to describe the ha, then an active hamon is one with a lot of activities (ie, hataraki) in it.

 

Therefore dull suguha will not be an active hamon.

 

An active hamon will have several of: sunagashi, kinsuji, tobiyaki (strictly speaking they are outside of the hamon but even hataraki in proximity to the hamon are considered associated with it), yo, yubashiri (see above note on tobiyaki), ashi, different forms of martensite (so combinations of nie/nioi/ko-nie), inazuma, etc etc 

 

 

Perfect illustration of what I was saying. You confuse being and having. I don't have time now but I'll elaborate later.

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First of all I will speak only about nioiguchi commonly called hamon (what I will do), what it is and what can be found in it.

 

The hamon is composed of nioi and nie which are simply particles of martensite. Their existence is a sign of the activity (existence) of the hamon. In this hamon we can find what we call activities which are also composed of martensite. The word hataraki (働き) means work or activity, I don't know who used this term for the first time to designate ashi, yo, kinsuji etc. but we are facing an abuse of language because there is no real work or activity, we could just as well have called them frills or ornaments without that changing anything to what a hamon is.  A hamon is therefore "active" by definition and inside it, one can find various arrangements of nie (hataraki). I must add, to my knoweldge, no Japanese swords books describe a hamon as active.

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13 hours ago, Jacques D. said:

First of all I will speak only about nioiguchi commonly called hamon (what I will do), what it is and what can be found in it.

 

The hamon is composed of nioi and nie which are simply particles of martensite. Their existence is a sign of the activity (existence) of the hamon. In this hamon we can find what we call activities which are also composed of martensite. The word hataraki (働き) means work or activity, I don't know who used this term for the first time to designate ashi, yo, kinsuji etc. but we are facing an abuse of language because there is no real work or activity, we could just as well have called them frills or ornaments without that changing anything to what a hamon is.  A hamon is therefore "active" by definition and inside it, one can find various arrangements of nie (hataraki). I must add, to my knoweldge, no Japanese swords books describe a hamon as active.

 

Hey, Jacques, I see you are ready for some verbal dueling, and I am endorsing it warmly. As mentioned elsewhere, deeper debate and scholarship have abated somewhat on the NMB, so we should do our best to educate people who are now setting on the path we have trodden down some way further. 

 

Firstly, the nioiguchi is not the same as hamon. The nioiguchi is the border of the hamon (which is the outline and shape of the ha). Refer to the handy definitions crib sheet below (photo 79F…..)

 

Secondly, when people speak of ‘activities’ (i.e. hataraki)  and ‘active’ with regard to the hamon, they refer to the presence of hataraki. Of course, every hamon has some activities but that does not make every hamon ‘active’. A comparison I can draw is that every person has some fat in his/her body, but that does not make every person fat. Even though I am eventually getting there with all this Covid sitting on my posterior and imbibing alcohol! 

 

Thirdly, I do not engage in debates for the sake of debates and being argumentative. When I make statements here, which is not often, they are capable of corroboration. So, I attach excerpts from two Japanese books which talk about hamon being ‘active’:

 

—>The Japanese Sword (written by numerous authors - refer to photos B6…, E9…., 58FB…., 322CA attached herein). 

The part I wish to draw the readers’ attention to is the amazing ubu zaimei kokuho Rai Kunitoshi (and I knew people would be interested in the blade, so I attached an image of it).

In that paragraph the author talks about the ‘active suguha’ of the Rai master smiths and then goes into the ‘active koshiba‘ of the illustrated kokuho tachi.

 

—>Tanto (by Suzuki)

I enclose both the Japanese text and the English translation - again, please read for yourself. 

Now, this text imputes a slightly different meaning to the word ‘active’ and associates it more with flamboyance and variegation in the shape of the ha. But, wait a second, that is called hamon (per the first argument in this response)!! So, again the hamon is described as active. 

 

Personally, I subscribe to the former approach, which centres more around the number and type of hataraki to describe the ha as active, as opposed to the mere shape or outline not being a straight line (i.e. suguha) per the latter approach. Simply, I have seen numerous active suguha blades, be they Rai, Awataguchi or Shintogo. Sometimes the hataraki are tiny but they are there and impressive. 

Therefore, yes, a suguha blade can be active, as you yourself say, and The Japanese Sword posits, but that also does not make every suguha active (which is a fallacious argument you are making above). 

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Ok, you are free believing what you want.  I note that in the text on the Nanbokucho era, the word active is in quotation marks.

 

As i say the word active is here an abuse of language as well the term "greenhouse effect"  or "bigbang" and numerous other examples.

 

 

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