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Namesake / Michael 
My opinion is already in the other thread. I have looked at many Ko-Bizen, own one, etc. This blade is very good BUT you must know what you are buying before venturing into something like that. If you are asking for [moral] support and views on the blade and others justifying to you whether you should buy it, it seems to me you are not ready yet to swim in these [deep] waters… if you truly have such funds, then pause, look around, compare and decide what type of Ko-Bizen (or whether it is Ko-Bizen you desire in the first place) you are after and then by which smith. And then perhaps decide whether you want it with provenance and koshirae or not. Someone buying at such level would need to evaluate the smith, condition, provenance, length, other bells & whistles etc etc. You would need to know what you want / expect of the blade and whether it is meeting your requirements (eg do you like the hamon and want flamboyant choji, or does it need to be an “old blade”, do you want a blade with a mei etc). 
 

 

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I love the hamon on this one. It's amazing that this sword is roughly 1000 years old! I keep trying to imagine how it looked in all it's original glory freshly made!

 

IMHO it's a little pricey. His prices have gone up quite a bit in the last year or two but he's also added quite a few decent nihonto to his selection. 

 

I agree with the above. If you truly have the funds, shop around. Think on it for a bit. Maybe you'll see something else you like better? Either way it's a good long term investment you can hand down to someone you love. Or not😉

 

Good luck

 

 

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At this level of nihonto, you have so many amazing works to choose from. If this is your first foray into nihonto it would be wise to take a breather and look around more broadly to determine why it is you want this particular blade and not others, lest getting buyer's remorse.

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+1 to Michael's write-up.

Even if you are in the /ultra-wealthy/ or on up to the billionaire's club, it is hard to recommend something to someone we don't know.

This is not to say "we don't know you",  as much as we don't know whether you'd prefer a 1930s Rolls Royce over a modern Mercedes-Maybach.

 

The previous thread that Michael linked covered some of the errors and whatnot of the Aoi Art listing.

Nice sword, if you like ko-Bizen. Extremely rare. Is it your cup of tea, or does one of the pristine shinshinto Juyo deliver more pleasure per (Great British) Pound.

 

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I doubt a person that hasn't had the 'common level' blades ever would even know what they are looking at/understand it/appreciate it/study it. Now if that's the billionaire club, call ALL dealers and ask them to show you what they have in their 'vaults' (as someone suggested that they have MANY for sale available). Then the blade/s will pick you ;)

 

 

John

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Personally, sometimes struggle with these old blades.

 

Made so long ago and seen so much wear over the years that it shadows the blade it once was.

 

Changes along the hamon, weaker in some areas than others, distraction for me and would probably end up getting a little bored. (at that price)

 

As always, horses for courses.

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Bugyotsuji, As you have probably guessed already I am new to this. I am looking for something old, rare , high rated origami with history. I feel history of the blade is more important than the quality itself. I like The Kamakura period because I believe there are not only more blades to choose from but I also believe the Smiths were in the age of perfecting the quality of there blades.Perhaps I am looking at this the wrong way. I would like a very nice quality sword with history behind it.  

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Hi Michael,

 

Have you thought about making contact with this gentleman? 
 

https://yuhindo.com
 

As well as selling some top class items he has some interesting views on collecting (have a read of his blog) and can no doubt advise on building a collection or a one item collection if that’s what you want.

 

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1 hour ago, michaelb said:

Bugyotsuji, As you have probably guessed already I am new to this. I am looking for something old, rare , high rated origami with history. I feel history of the blade is more important than the quality itself. I like The Kamakura period because I believe there are not only more blades to choose from but I also believe the Smiths were in the age of perfecting the quality of there blades.Perhaps I am looking at this the wrong way. I would like a very nice quality sword with history behind it.  

Well, Michael

This background is very helpful: you seem to like old, historic items with proved or provable history / provenance. I am with you personally on Kamakura, even though I venture either side too (Heian and Nanbokucho). Bear in mind that with Kamakura and older, you often have to compromise on condition issues (eg here there are some lamination seam ware on one side of the hamon, which I personally can live with, but some members who prefer younger swords, eg Shinto etc, would not accept). 

 

If you are not focused on a certain school or schools and not fixated on how a blade looks like, as long as it is in a good condition, then you could go for any blade that ticks the boxes mentioned above. Personally, I like this Ko-Bizen Tochika a lot, but that is because I like Bizen.  What the bonus features here are: the preserved mei, the highly rated provenance and Honami certificate. I shall leave aside the tachi koshirae as it is nice but not super nice. The Honami who appraised it is the highly rated Kojo (big bonus) and the family is an offshoot of the very famous Matsudaira clan (bonus). 
 

The sword description in the Juyo paper talks of fabulous choji and excellent deki, so the judges did think rather highly of the sword. As mentioned before, they compare it to Hatakeda (the founder, Moriie, had such glamorous kawazuko choji) and Saburo Kunimune (another Bizen great with expressive hamon). Such comparisons are also a subtle nod to the reader that the blade is from the early 1200s perhaps (they do mention that the blade does not date later than mid Kamakura). The smith himself is not very famous but this  blade seems to be one of his tour de force creations. He does not have many blades left to us but those that remain (fewer than ten) have JuBI and JuBu grade items among them and are split between suguha and flamboyant and active hamon. Honma sensei, in his book Kanto Hibisho, speaks favourably of this very sword and compares it to the JuBi and JuBu examples. Fujishiro has also included it in his book. So, clearly this is a famous, well researched and well documented blade that has been reviewed by Honami Kojo, Fujishiro sensei, Honma sensei, the NBTHK shinsa panel, Tanobe sensei (if I were you, I would get his sayagaki of this sword professionally translated by Markus Sesko) etc. Well, it does not get any better than that documentation wise. 
 

At this level, you need to trust the dealer as you are not seeing the blade in hand. The photos are all right but sometimes obscure certain details. The oshigata Tsuruta draws for sale are not usually  too precise and tend to exaggerate some activities but of course oshigata are works of art and interpretation. So, do allow for some condition issue that might pop up when you get the blade but again I suspect for the age of the blade it will be acceptable. Ask for a video of the sword, ask for daylight photos of the sword, ask for someone you trust to review it in hand if possible. But anyway, with this sword, you get a lot of research done by others in your behalf. 
 

Personally, I am surprised that such a caliber sword ended with Tsuruta. But anyhow, do your own research with some of the pointers above and sleep on it. 

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50 minutes ago, Shugyosha said:

Hi Michael,

 

Have you thought about making contact with this gentleman? 
 

https://yuhindo.com
 

As well as selling some top class items he has some interesting views on collecting (have a read of his blog) and can no doubt advise on building a collection or a one item collection if that’s what you want.

 

That TokuJu Norishige on Darcy's site at the moment looks :Drooling: 

With a nice issaku koshirae too

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Asking dealer's opinion on another dealer is redundant.

What you'll get is:

The papers are fake.

The sword is fake.

The polish is fake.

The images are fake.

The store is also fake.

..... but on the other hand I might just have what you are interested in.

 

The worst thing - sometimes such advice is true.

 

On this blade - its within a typical price range for TJ early Bizen work.

150-225 or so.

Its not the earliest, in my (very personal and erroneous opinion) its more along the lines of Ichimonji (Fukuoka?), but it could be that in some 17th century publication Tochika is marked as ko-Bizen and all thus signed work is now labeled as such. Its Japan.

Which does not detract from it being very active, passionate and interesting work, in good polish and decent condition, not too often seen and quite early.

 

If you like the style - go for it. Its a great blade.

 

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