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This is due awe

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Good evening everyone,


I suppose this is the right place, though its not because its for sale I feel like writing this.


I've been looking at this naginata for a couple weeks now. The sugata of this sword, its atmosphere, is just awe inspiring. I sit behind my monitor with my jaw hanging, nearly drooling over my desk. This naginata (Tokubetsu Juyo and I'm not even thinking twice on why (leading to wondering how many naginata even went beyond Juyo)), is one wicked piece. I mean - look! It leaves me awestruck:shock:


- https://www.nipponto.co.jp/swords/JT988980.htm






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Sorry to disagree but personally I find this blade very unattractive. The only reason I can think that it achieved such high ranking is the fact it is ubu and that is extremely rare.

Regarding the hada hand hamon it looks coarse and tired and I have seen many far better Shikkake examples

Don't mean to be argumentative but of all the blades receiving Tokubetsu Juyo certification this time round I find this the most difficult to understand. not least when one considers some of the pieces that failed.

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I've been butting heads with Paul over this for a good while :laughing: However I must agree with his analysis on that it is not the best Shikkake work qualitywise. The size of it and how it has been preserved make it rare and precious. You cannot find many ubu naginata of this length from Nanbokuchō period surviving.


I was looking at the data that I currently have and I think I have 16 naginata of around this size or larger from Kamakura & Nanbokuchō periods that have survived to this day. Of them 13 are Bunkazai, Bijutsuhin or non-classified items owned by shrines. So in overall the chances in owning a naginata of this size and age are very slim even for someone in Japan.

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Well by the time I am finishing it, I am ending up echoing the previous statement.

its ubu (sort of) which is unusual for the period. Otherwise jigane is very rough, it reeks of Muromachi spirit rather than Kamakura. Hamon is good, but nothing one would not expect from any shikkake out there.

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Ok. Opinions differ. To me it's like seeing a Momoyama period tea bowl. Something about such artefacts gives me a certain feeling, an impression that brings me to a certain headspace. They speak for themselves. 


I do agree the photography is, for lack of a better term, lifeless or 'flat'. Some sites these days brought up the standard and it is such a major difference that photos like these are not even in the same league. This naginata still speaks to me though. Just magnificent 🤤


Edit: unrelated but I think very much worth sharing as I think it's quite a great tool, nifty?



Not just for these types of papers but it also helps me out with tea bowls that came with a nice little pamphlet about the maker. 


Google lens 


I only found out about this a month or so ago - so it might be old news for many (first time I'm genuinely happy with my smartphone, this is handy!). You need an Android phone though (there are websites for this too but lens works for just camera as well, no recording necessary). I have a pretty old model so anyone that has one from the last 4 years should have this too.


Tokubetsu Juyo paper from subject naginata, as a for instance.









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Yes, we discussed this together with some folks. Very rough and very ugly but a very nice sugata and rare. 

However, rarity per se has not been a decisive factor for the NBTHK in the last 2-3 years when they have overlooked extremely rare and highly ranked smiths and passed them over for “promotion” to the more ethereal ranks of the grading ladder. 

The conclusion we reached after analysing how they have been behaving lately (kind of last 3-4 shinsa) was that they seem to lately award a heavier weight to sugata - big, manly, as preserved as possible lengthwise. 

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