Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Utopianarian

Possible early Generation Osafune Tachi

Recommended Posts

I just wanted opinion on Tachi signed Bizen kuni osafune with rest of mei cut off. Nagasa 26 inches nakago 8.5 inches. Chu saguha with very bright nioiguchi. Hard to tell due to condition if utsuri is present. Low shinogi. Iori mune (not steep). 94643884-2D1D-4149-90C3-B157C34477CB.thumb.jpeg.92f3d11aec5c5fafd3ffd20ee1c6ce96.jpeg073E4375-1125-4522-AD1B-49C3473634E3.thumb.jpeg.f0956ea91963f8b82151a4c27d90c6c3.jpegThe niku or meat at center of blade is thick and does have the convex or clam shell shape throughout the blade. The thickness is roughly the same at the yokote line at top to the hamachi at the bottom. The kissaki is small to medium and wide in relation to the rest of the blade. Saki-haba and motohaba not much difference in measurement. Boshi shape maru of sort. It does appear under lighting that last 2-3 inches up to kissaki was retempered. kitae is ko-itame mixed with small mokume and appears very fine. Sword does have a bluish color more so than other swords I have in comparison. Hamon hard to see activity but undulating areas are noted in some areas but obscured by heavy oxidation. Blade was shortened but still has some deep curvature. Nakago has either been cleaned at some time in the past or may have sustained fire damage due to loss of patina build up. Yasurime is kuri. The sword does have weight or heft to it when held. This sword does have a lot of indicators that it is an early blade but the shape is kind of lacking the extreme curvature usually seen in early blades. What do you think. Here are some pics94643884-2D1D-4149-90C3-B157C34477CB.thumb.jpeg.92f3d11aec5c5fafd3ffd20ee1c6ce96.jpeg073E4375-1125-4522-AD1B-49C3473634E3.thumb.jpeg.f0956ea91963f8b82151a4c27d90c6c3.jpegB31B61D7-615A-4E41-BC31-3CAA8C69261E.thumb.jpeg.962f01ca6d160f8c44ef53d64f57c43c.jpegE67D7D74-E668-404E-B574-F3A5265EC984.thumb.jpeg.0a6470bdf2f24a60542655be90941803.jpeg

E122DF0F-3056-4B64-89D1-B4338D5B70AE.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say going by probabilities, I would wager it was signed Sukesada. But that is just a wild guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion......this is not a early work. The shape doesn't match. 

And also not a tachi , a katana seems more logical. 

 

Looking at the mei and the Hamon ...well, I go for work of Osafune Kiyomitsu . In middle to late Muromachi period you  find more than 15 workshops with this signature.

Very often they work in Suguha and sometimes they don't look bad at all. 

I have a Tanto from one of these Kiyomitsu  and the quality of the workmanship  is not bad, very similar to your katana.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, DKR said:

My opinion......this is not a early work. The shape doesn't match. 

And also not a tachi , a katana seems more logical. 

 

Looking at the mei and the Hamon ...well, I go for work of Osafune Kiyomitsu . In middle to late Muromachi period you  find more than 15 workshops with this signature.

Very often they work in Suguha and sometimes they don't look bad at all. 

I have a Tanto from one of these Kiyomitsu  and the quality of the workmanship  is not bad, very similar to your katana.

 

 

In absence of a nengo whith a nagamei, you can eliminate Kiyomitsu Sukesada and all smiths of that period. 

 

Many things are odd  on this sword.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Jacques D. said:

In absence of a nengo whith a nagamei, you can eliminate Kiyomitsu Sukesada and all smiths of that period. 

 

can you explain what you mean by that, please ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mentioned  means date nagamei means long signature. Contrast that to undated two character signature or unsigned (mumei).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Barry , i was not sure if I understand correctly....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote nengo and autocorrect changed it to mentioned. I corrected that but it seems as if autocorrect struck again. I hate autocorrect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, DKR said:

 

can you explain what you mean by that, please ?

It's simple, the swords forged from the OEI era onwards and bearing a naga mei (Bizen Osafune so-and-so) must have a date on the other side of the nakago. If this date is not present, the signature is gimei (false).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Jussi,

Measurements : Moto-haba 2.7cm, saki-Haba 2cm , Sori 0.9cm, kissaki 2.8, Moto-kasane 0.7cm, Saki-kasane 0.5cm 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To quote Darcy from Feb 2014:

 

About: nagamei on Oei Bizen with no date.

 

Juyo 19 has a tachi signed "Bishu Osafune Yasumitsu" with no nengo.

Juyo 21 has the same.

Juyo 29 has the same (example included).

Juyo 38 has the same.

Juyo 42 has two tachi like this.

 

Juyo 18 has a signed "Bishu Osafune Morimitsu" tachi with no nengo.

Juyo 32 has the same.

 

Juyo 13 has a tachi signed "Bishu Osafune Moromitsu" with no nengo.

Juyo 56 has the same.

 

There are others.

 

Additional facts: 

 

There are tachi with nijimei and no date. There are tachi with nagamei and date. There are no tachi that I can recall that have nijimei and date. There are numerous katana, wakizashi and tanto with nagamei and date. There are tanto with nijimei and no date. There may be other configurations, this is off the top of my head for what I've seen.

 

My conclusion:

 

1. obviously nagamei with no date is an accepted signature form for Oei Bizen and is not to be ruled out.

 

2. the accepted examples all seem to be tachi and rather large examples as almost all are slightly suriage, so it may be restricted to this form and one would have to look at a katana in this configuration skeptically.

 

3. it's possible that these were dated below the signature but it does not seem to be the case from these examples and the positions of the signatures, and I didn't see any that did follow this pattern, though I have seen it on Aoe. But without anything solid it is just speculation.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

George, 

 

Nagamei without nengo on ubu swords ?  I would love to see them. 

 

For example, the Osafune taikan lists 41 swords by Morimitsu from 1394 to 1426, 47 swords by Yasumitsu from 1397 to 1446 and 8 Moromitsu from 1398 to 1405. All have a nagamei and a nengo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Jacques D. said:

It's simple, the swords forged from the OEI era onwards and bearing a naga mei (Bizen Osafune so-and-so) must have a date on the other side of the nakago. If this date is not present, the signature is gimei (false).

Jacques,

 

Thank you for your patience to explain your personal opinion to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, just looking at the Juyo Zufu, and going by the fact that where there is nengo, they always show both sides of the nakago  and the setsumei explicitly mentions the nengo, there are numerous Yasumitsu examples with naga mei and no nengo mentioned. 

Some of these swords were sold in various DTI fairs, so we have some photos in the DTI catalogues. 

 

So, as the Juyo setsumei does NOT mention the nengo (it always DOES when there is such) by extrapolation, there is no nengo. 

 

Two Juyo examples attached from the DTI catalogues. 

3FE4B269-55F9-40D3-B723-2EA5CD372E0E.jpeg

BB640284-FCC8-4081-893F-AACF7A468E51.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Michael,  What are your thoughts regarding gyaku-tagane style chisel-strokes which can have some indication on a particular smith ie.. Chikage, Yoshikage, Morikage and Mitsukage for example. What indicators do you look at to generally tell if the chisel-strokes are left to right as opposed to normal saka tagane from right to left. I assume the chisel lines narrow pointing to the direction of the intended chisel stroke. I cannot find any literature of how to determine style of chisel stroke. Please advise. Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha, that is an advanced topic, George. I am at a medical appointment but when I get a chance / access to my records, will try to add colour. 
 

In reality, indeed you can deduce about an individual smiths by gakutagane but I have not delved deeply into Oei smiths and direction of chisel strokes. I do remember reading this for other smiths / schools. 
 

As to how you can tell which way they go, that is not difficult - you can tell by the termination of the final chisel stroke as that is always on top of the others in a small triangular shape. So if the apex of the triangle points right then it is left to right and if the triangle points left then it is right to left for horizontal or diagonal strokes. Again, will need to append some images at the right time. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to note that the signature is - 備前国長(船) - Bizen no Kuni Osa(fune). This particular signature style is extremely uncommon in Ōei-Bizen blades that I have so far recorded. I have around 100 Morimitsu swords and 0 with this signature, and bit over 100 Yasumitsu swords and 1 has this signing style (Tanto from Jūyō 31).

 

This signature style was more common is swords of Kamakura and Nanbokuchō period and the potentially appearing again from Late Muromachi (although as I focus on early swords my data on later swords is bit limited).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jussi,  Thank you for your knowledge on this sword. You have contributed a great amount of knowledge here on the board. I often reference the impressive statistics and informative topics that you contribute to on other interesting swords. Especially the golden age  which I have much interest. I am still trying to find out more about this sword. It does take time and different perspectives of knowledgeable folks with the same interests 

                              George 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Gakusee said:

So, just looking at the Juyo Zufu, and going by the fact that where there is nengo, they always show both sides of the nakago  and the setsumei explicitly mentions the nengo, there are numerous Yasumitsu examples with naga mei and no nengo mentioned. 

Some of these swords were sold in various DTI fairs, so we have some photos in the DTI catalogues. 

 

So, as the Juyo setsumei does NOT mention the nengo (it always DOES when there is such) by extrapolation, there is no nengo. 

 

Two Juyo examples attached from the DTI catalogues. 

3FE4B269-55F9-40D3-B723-2EA5CD372E0E.jpeg

BB640284-FCC8-4081-893F-AACF7A468E51.jpeg

 

The first Yasumitsu has a nagamei  but is suriage and the second has a nijimei and not a nagamei. These examples are not relevant . 

 

The fact i missed is that the sword discussed is suriage too, so it can be shoshin.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jacques D. said:

 

The first Yasumitsu has a nagamei  but is suriage and the second has a nijimei and not a nagamei. These examples are not relevant . 

 

The fact i missed is that the sword discussed is suriage too, so it can be shoshin.  

 

Jacques, Jacques, Jacques…..

 

I do not know what to do with you……

 

Now, I do agree that in most / majority of Oei Bizen cases when there is nagamei there is nengo. But it is not always the case. 

 

1. Definition

Naga-mei (長銘) – Lit. “long signature.” Term to refer to a  signature which consists of six or more characters. Shorter signatures 
are referred to as niji-mei (二字銘), sanji-mei (三字銘), yoji-mei (四字銘), and goji-mei (五字銘). However, there is no rule that the 
differentiation has been made at six characters because also terms like rokuji-mei (六字銘), shichiji-mei (七字銘), or hachiji-mei (八字銘) 
exist to refer to signatures with exactly six, seven, or eight characters respectively.
 

2. Yasumitsu with efu-no-dachi koshirae above

Therefore, the attached zaimei example is nagamei. It does not need to be in the format province, title, name. It could be as it is here. I attached that Yasumitsu exactly because it is such a special and rare case, where there is a prayer in the signature: Yasumitsu Marishiten Daibosatsu on omote and Bishu hachiman daibosatsu on ura.

 

3. Suriage or not

Irrelevant. The sword either has nengo or not. You claim that they always have nengo when nagamei. You have been proved wrong. 

Even you yourself do not mention ubu in your first statement (post 4) as you subconsciously know it is completely irrelevant. In your second statement (post 13) you go on to mention ubu, but it does not matter as the nengo is directly opposite on the opposite side of the nakago, so even if suriage, when the nagamei is preserved so will the nengo due to the physical placement of the nengo. 

 

4. Just because

… For your satisfaction, further examples of some Moromitsu and Morimitsu without nengo but with nagamei

 

 

In all of this, what is much more interesting is the syntax to which Jussi pointed, ie the Bizen no kuni osa []… that is the one point to raise flags, analyse and deliberate on. Guys like Sanenaga, Chikakage, etc signed like that…. So one will need to hit the books and start comparing the ‘handwriting’ and yasurime…….

 

 

99BC122C-E582-49C7-98B7-F1877BC0A3A1.jpeg

117FAADC-BF33-4C0F-A10D-BC8E961B957D.jpeg

A1E6CA2E-4B87-477E-87E8-36BF68DBD540.jpeg

A4A41CDB-BF05-4F04-8653-FE5BDCAB2AF1.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gakusee said:

 

3. Suriage or not

...as the nengo is directly opposite on the opposite side of the nakago, so even if suriage, when the nagamei is preserved so will the nengo due to the physical placement of the nengo. 

 

 

 

 

I think the nengo get filled away to shape the nakago in such cases, it is done on the opposite side of the mei.

 

Im not sure about the blade but if i would have to make a call i would say its oei bizen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Utopianarian said:

Thank you Michael,  What are your thoughts regarding gyaku-tagane style chisel-strokes which can have some indication on a particular smith ie.. Chikage, Yoshikage, Morikage and Mitsukage for example. What indicators do you look at to generally tell if the chisel-strokes are left to right as opposed to normal saka tagane from right to left. I assume the chisel lines narrow pointing to the direction of the intended chisel stroke. I cannot find any literature of how to determine style of chisel stroke. Please advise. Thank you

George

 

Just checked some sources. According to Tanobe sensei:

”The Aoe school smiths of Bitchu province would be a prime example of the smiths that very commonly used saka-tagane. The old Aoe smiths worked prior to the mid Kamakura period, as well as the later Aoe smiths of the Nanbokucho period, consistently used quite a bit of saka-tagane in carving their mei.
Among the Bizen province smiths, so called the Un~ group smiths including Unsho , Unji and Unju, and Chikakage, who was a student of Osafune Nagamitsu, as well as smiths in Chikakage's line who also used the kanji character "Kage"as a part of their names including Morikage, Yoshikage, Mitsukage, Norikage and Morokage, all shared the same habit of using saka-tagane. Authentic works of the Yoshii school smiths also show this characteristic.
The main line of the Osafune school was succeeded by Nagamitsu, Kagemitsu and then Kanemitsu, but they all used jun-tagane [normal tagane]. On rare occasions, we encounter authentic blades with Kagemitsu mei carved with saka-tagane. These, however, can be understood as dai-mei actually carved by the peripheral line smith Chikakage on behalf of the mainline smith Kagemitsu.”

 

When you look at sakatagane or juntagane, it is not about left or right. It is whether the stroke is chiselled In the correct/usual direction or in the opposite direction. So, if the correct direction is left to right then sakatagane would be right to left. 
 

So, he gives an example with the Rai character and Kuni character for some of the Rai smiths that were executed in sakatagane. Namely strokes one and four (the horizontal strokes) in “Rai” are chiselled from right to left (sakatagane) while normally they should be done from left to right (juntagane). See the attached image, bottom left. 

 

Next, please find attached a short video of the correct kanji stroke order for “Kage”. I have focused on that kanji as it is common across the Bizen guys referenced in Tanobe sensei’s paragraph above about sakatagane. Please watch it a few times to see how it should be executed. I always cheat and use that software to figure chisel strokes and order (shhh, do not tell the teacher!). 

I show below Kozori Mitsukage and Omiya Morokage and their sakatagane in red mark-up. One has to go through a similar exercise for in-depth analysis. 

56D42976-75BB-429D-9D4C-806C313AE876.jpeg

500A9B8E-95DA-4918-8D20-C26F45138FA4.jpeg

4C95639C-7EE8-4051-8E52-74504CDC5158.jpeg

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DoTanuki yokai said:

 

I think the nengo get filled away to shape the nakago in such cases, it is done on the opposite side of the mei.

 

Im not sure about the blade but if i would have to make a call i would say its oei bizen.

Fair point and very good observation, Christian!

There is indeed such filing on the opposite side (ura)  of the mei side (omote) but that affects mostly the bottom part of the nakago and is particularly accute in cases of osuriage. When we have minimal shortening by clipping the jiri, not really. See attached clearly shortened blade with retained nagamei and nengo. Most of the examples I attached are not such extreme cases of shortening as to cause nengo removal. 

76A57C62-DADD-4157-83AA-D61FC4F270AA.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DoTanuki yokai said:

 

I think the nengo get filled away to shape the nakago in such cases, it is done on the opposite side of the mei.

 

 

 

 

You are totally right but sometimes nakago is rather machi-okuri than suriage which allows to preserve the nengo

 

To be precise, when i say naga mei i mean Bizen/Bishu Osafune smith name 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael, Thank you for this information. It will help me greatly. Thank you as well for sharing your comprehensive knowledge which I also frequently use some of your past postings to supplement my quest for more education. I starting looking closer on both sides of nakago. There may be a faint date on the other side or is that just file patterns and my imagin52789FBD-3EE9-4F6E-9B9A-7FC989B5FEFD.thumb.jpeg.7734b52289bdfa01671afa6b14536ac3.jpeg3AE280C2-6528-4397-924C-E079BB9B7638.thumb.jpeg.a2268f43738870b3daa8bc79dea9cc7b.jpegation . Also a more clear pic of mei.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...