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Orikaeshi-mei (折返し銘) Kanemoto (兼元) Katana (刀)


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I had some free time today and was clearing my sword collection. I did a few quick iPhone pictures of a Kanemoto (兼元) katana new to my Japanese sword collection that is suriage (磨上) with an orikaeshi-mei (折返し銘). I have never had a sword with this type of inscription before. I was planning to submit this sword to shinsa but now questioning if I should after reading Facts and Fundamentals of Japanese Swords by Nabua Nakahara, translation by Paul Martin. On page 78 in a section of focused on different types of inscriptions (mei 銘) he states: "Many orkaeshi-mei are actually skillfully tailored fakes. The part that is bent back on itself at the new nakago-jiri is actually another mei that has been attached at that location to give the impression of orikaeshi-mei.". The cutting-edge length of my katana is 27.5 inches (68.8 cm). It was sold to me as a early generation Kanemoto from the late Kotō (古刀) Era. Here the few iPhone photos I have. I would like people’s opinion of my orikaeshi-mei but as always keep it informative and polite. 

 

IMG_1502.thumb.jpg.a61a29968a5c58754f61c4a04a46e060.jpg IMG_1503.thumb.jpg.c2a15954b3820f8449b9f1b6411a5bd9.jpg

 

IMG_1176.thumb.jpg.1314531ab74fde9b1c422919743fea0b.jpg

 

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     IMG_1508.thumb.jpg.a3930634379941e2f8ed8ea8c0e44db1.jpg

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35 minutes ago, John A Stuart said:

Not the best orikaeshi I've seen, but, the sword looks as if at least it fits the appellation.

 

Hello John and Brian;

 

Thanks guys. Yes, I would agree the workmanship of the katana does fit well with the Kanemoto appellation. The hamon shape is very consistent second and third generation Kanemoto as represented in oshigata examples in the Mino Taikan by Tokuno. I have been thinking on this a while, which drove me to seek opinions of other collectors. Earlier in the year I was thinking NTHK shinsa but it was cancelled at the San Francisco and deposit returned. I was then thinking NBTHK in August, but my regular broker has temporarily stop receiving items for shinsa submission in Japan due to COIVD-19 pandemic. I was thinking of sending it another broker, but people I have talked to have been complaining about delays in getting back the items they have submitted during the 2020-2021 timeframe. I have not submitted anything to shinsa since 2019.             

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David

 

Have you looked carefully at the very end of the nakago to see if you can see any indication that it was actually folded over not just inlayed?

If you can see actually see a fold, I would doubt gimei; if not ??

Rich

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12 minutes ago, Rich S said:

David

 

Have you looked carefully at the very end of the nakago to see if you can see any indication that it was actually folded over not just inlayed?

If you can see actually see a fold, I would doubt gimei; if not ??

Rich

Dear Rich,

 

Good point, I did not think about examining the end of the nakago. Here is another photo I just happened to take of the nakago on the side with the orikaeshi-mei at a different angle. From the end of the nakago you can see that it was actually folded over and not just inlayed.

 

IMG_1507.thumb.jpg.ed242a7fc92e4b0e3830cb0cb1656d41.jpg 

 

  

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13 hours ago, Rich S said:

David

 

Have you looked carefully at the very end of the nakago to see if you can see any indication that it was actually folded over not just inlayed?

If you can see actually see a fold, I would doubt gimei; if not ??

Rich

Hello..

I am not a knowledgeable Nihonto person..

 

I did watch this part  of a good Nihonto Lecture about what I think Rich is mentioning. 

Just trying to help..

 

6:54 Time Line ...  into the video :    Added 9/2/21 : 4:45 timeline. Sorry :)

 

 

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Watched Ken Kata’s linked video for 30 minutes all in Japanese but could not see anything directly related. Was this the wrong video, perhaps?

 

Anyway someone told me that there should be light, a hole at the foldover as if you could insert a pin or a toothpick right through it.

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Pretty much slam-dunk Kanemoto school. The Sanbonsugi pattern is highly regular with sharp peaks, at the same time is looks well made and high-quality. I would put it a generation or two after Magoroku. Likely 1570-1600. 

 

 

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Exceptionally I will comment on the video posted by Alton.  In 33.14 it is said that February and August are the best months for yaki-ire. But in those times these months did not exist and we were talking about the second or the eighth month of a year of an era that did not begin on January 1st of a year. 

Like what one can be learned and nevertheless say incongruities 

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Hello Everyone,

Still cannot see my video I tried to posted a few days ago. Not sure how it looks for other NMB users. To provide a written description of the jihada it is a very refined ko-itame mixed with a few areas of o-hada of different styles. One area the o-hada is a mokume style and other areas it is a masame style. At some point I will setup a do professional quality photos with my DSL with a good lighting setup. You would then be able to see more details.

I posted the iPhone video to my Instagram account. You should see the video by following this weblink: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTe7ZVrijIp/?utm_medium=copy_link. The quality of the video does not allow you to see much detail of the jihada.  
       

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On 9/2/2021 at 9:23 AM, Bugyotsuji said:

...

 

Anyway someone told me that there should be light, a hole at the foldover as if you could insert a pin or a toothpick right through it.

This is the First thing that should be checked with orikeshi mei in my opinion.
I think this is also an information found in facts and fundamentals.

But also if it is really folded it could also be a folded gimei. 


I think even if the signature is gimei it could be attributed to kanemoto without it. 

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1 hour ago, DoTanuki yokai said:


I think even if the signature is gimei it could be attributed to kanemoto without it. 

Dear Chrtistain S.,

 

I do not understand this comment. A gimei by definition is a signature added to a sword at the time of its making or later to falsely attribute the sword to be the work of a specific swordsmith. How can a sword have a false signature but also the sword itself be attributed to be the work of that swordsmith. A few swords I have submitted to NTHK shinsa that failed because of gimei was attributed to different swordsmiths in the worksheets. Any mei added to sword later by someone other then the swordsmith is termed Ato-mei, which might or might not be a gimei.

 

Thanks everyone for the feedback with my video. It might be just the web browser I am forced to use on my tablet computer which is Edge.  

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Hello Christian S.,
 

Thank you for the clarification. I also really like the sword, therefore any shinsa result positive or negative from any organization is not going to change my opinion of the sword. This sword is really a keystone of my Japanese sword collection.   
 

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