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Shinshinto Amahide - Kao?


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Found this on an auction site.  First time I've seen both a hotstamp (kokuin) and kao (kakihan) on a blade, but I'd like to confirm that the last character is, in fact, a kao rather than something else, please!

 

If I have the date right, it's 1806.

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I see now, that paper uses

正秀 which would be MASA hide

not

天秀 known as AMA hide

 

The kanji on the blade doesn't seem to precisely fit either one, to me.  When I first saw it, I was thinking "Masa" because of the bottom of it.  Yet the hotstamp is the one seen on Amahide blades.  I wonder if @mecox can add some enlightenment?  Could the stamp be a forge logo like the one used by the Showa Amahide and seen on all the smiths that worked there?  It hinges on whether Masahide worked with the Amahide of the 1800s.  The Nihontoclub page shows Masahide working Active Period1781-1820.

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Bruce -

The kokuin is a combination of the characters Hi (nichi) and Ten (Ama) Masahiide is the first to use it - he had as many as five different stamps with the same kanji over the course of his career. There were three generations of Masahide and they all used the stamp to my knowledge. Later in his career he styled himself Amahide using various combinations of kanji. Amahide (Showa) was a student of a student of, so was in the Masahide line and therefore used this same stamp on his swords. The particular form of Masa seen in your example is a short-hand version of the Sei (Sho) kanji...

-t

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5 minutes ago, Toryu2020 said:

Masahiide is the first to use it - he had as many as five different stamps with the same kanji over the course of his career.

Wow, Thomas, where have you been all my life! Ha!  Sounds like I could use your input on the Stamps of the Japanese Sword document!  Do you have examples of the other stamps Masahide used?

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Bruce -

I'm not sure I can help - I always assumed your world of stamps was for Showato and did not include kokuin. If I am wrong about that I apologize. Masahide used at least five different stamps all with just the characters Ni-Ten and all looking very much alike...

-t

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2 minutes ago, Toryu2020 said:

assumed your world of stamps was for Showato

It predominantly is, but I've included a smattering of older stamps, when I find them, as it establishes the fact that stamping was not a Showa era phenomena but began much earlier.  Smiths put marks/images/bonji/etc on blades for centuries but they had to be carved in, so it wasn't very common.  The industrial age changed all that and so stamping exploded in use and numbers.

 

I'd love to have the other versions of the Masahide stamps if you have them.  And that goes for other unique stamps you might have.

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Thank you Thomas, those are excellent!  Are each of the 5 from different Masahide?  I eye-balled the various dates and they seem to be from different years, but without crawling through the Japaneseswordindex.com page to decipher, I don't know what they are telling me.  Are they in sequential order by date?

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Bruce - 

They are in sequential order by date - they are all by the first generation Masahide - he did not however use them in strict sequential order, there were times where he was using the third stamp and then the first...

-tom

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Ok, sounds like he might have had a set made (or made a set himself?) and the differences aren't intentional.  I, at first, assumed the progression of the 5 had to do with the 3 generations.  I've seen that in father/son kao where the son's kao came from the father's kao but was slightly modified.  But that's not the case here it seems.

So, if I have this right, there were 3 generations of Masahide.  The hotstamps were used by the first one.  Amahide is simply another art name used by Masahide, which explains the same hotstamp on his blades.  And finally, the Showa Amahide apprenticed from an apprentice from a Masahide.  Which explains the almost identical hotstamp he used, with slight modification.

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Hello Bruce, 

No, you aren't missing anything. The "hide" in the first photo is spelled phonetically using two kanji (hi + de)

日出  (hide) . Incidentally, these two kanji could be translated as "rising sun". 

 

Later on he switched to the single kanji (秀) which has the same pronunciation, but means "excellence". 

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You do have the profession correctly - and yes Masahide would have made the stamps himself - why so many? Maybe his wife moved his s**t when she cleaned up? IDK :-)

-t

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