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Shin Gunto sword - Kozuke junin Ryūminsai Kanetomo saku


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Hello,

 

dear friends, I want to say big thank you to all members of forum, which  help me with identiffing my latest sword. In this thread I decided to post better and sharp photos of this certainly interesting sword. I made a decision to polish sword and buy a shirasaya for it. Papering right now is not possible because of situation in Eurobe and ban on all shipping between Japan and European Union. For polishing I contacted Mr. Martin Hornak, polisher who lives very close to me in Slovakia. Right now is Mr. Hornak in Japan, but he promised me, when he returned home he will polish the sword, so work can be done in summer. When the polishing starts, I will provide you with photos and progress of his work in this thread.

 

I hope you will like photos of sword.

 

Any advice with restoring the sword and advice where I can order shirasaya for sword in Europe are welcome.

 

Thank you

 

Best regards

 

Peter

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Peter, you must ask a fully traditionally trained togishi for your sword, not a self trained one. ASAIK, Martin Hornak is not a togishi and there is no togishi in Europe. Togishi are in Japan, USA, Canada and Australia. There are several self trained polishers in Europe, but no one is qualified to polish traditionnal swords.

 

You will find many threads on the subject here on the NMB.

 

Please don't have your sword polished by a self trained polisher.

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9 hours ago, MarcoUdin said:

I thought Massimo Rossi was a Japanese trained togishi in Italy? Am I mistaken?

Massimo Rossi is absolutely not a togishi, not matter he is polishing for many years, travelled to Japan, met Japanese swordsmiths etc... He did not do the full apprenticeship in Japan. 

 

Outside Japan, there is one in the USA, one in Canada and one in Australia, unless things have changed.

 

For non- traditionally showa-to heirloom or high end showa-to, there are a few good self trained polishers in the USA who can probably do the job.

 

 

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Is it possible to receive NBTHK awards without being a properly trained togishi ? Because Massimo reportedly did and I have a hard time squaring this with the fact he's not traditionally trained.

 

Edit: is it possible that you're mistaking Massimo with Pierluigi Ponzio ?

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No mistake François. Massimo told me himself he did not do his apprenticeship in Japan. He is probably a talented, passionate nice person but not qualified to polish any nihonto.

 

Long story short. One or two years ago, a french owner of an obvious gimei famous shinshinto smith known for his great horimono, contatected me. He had his gimei sword polished by Massimo and was looking for some kind of approval from me I guess.

 

I told him his sword was gimei and that as a supposed togishi Massimo should have been able to spot the false mei and warned the owner. I did not warn the owner the sword was gimei and thus should not be polished. Was it because Massimo was not capable of recognized the gimei? I don't know.

 

The owner never admitted his sword was gimei no matter what I told him. It was too hard for to admit he had been fooled both by the seller and the polisher. 

 

This cannot happen with a togishi.

 

As for the NBTHK awards for amateur. Yes they exist but are more given as "relational" papers to keep good relations between Japan an Western swords societies. (not sur if I am clear here).

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25 minutes ago, francois2605 said:

Thanks for those explanations Bruno. I had no idea

Massimo can probably provide average polish at best on nihonto but why taking the risk to pay close to what a toghisi will charge for a poor to average polish when a togishi will provide you a top end polish.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bruno said:

Massimo can probably provide average polish at best on nihonto.

 

 

 

 

 

I was under the impression he was trained whenever I read his NBTHK award. But I just read up seems he trained with somebody from Japan in Italy.

 

On a side note though, you can still get an average polish in Japan. Definitely should research who to do it with first.

 

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2 hours ago, MarcoUdin said:

 

I was under the impression he was trained whenever I read his NBTHK award. But I just read up seems he trained with somebody from Japan in Italy.

 

On a side note though, you can still get an average polish in Japan. Definitely should research who to do it with first.

 

Marc, Massimo may have had some (part time) kind of training by a togishi. But a full traditional training is 12 hours per day during 8 years at togishi's home, and that makes a HUGE difference at the end in term of qualification. 

 

If you use a good agent to have your sword polished in Japan, you won't have an average polish but top end polish. In Europe you will at best have an average if you are the lucky.

 

 

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Hello My friends, thanky you all for your mesages. I didn't know that Mr. Hornak is not official polisher. I know that he was trained in Japan and is still polishing swords there every year. So my ffirst opinions were, that he is good option for this sword - it is wartime produced piece, not a high end old work. And that is also why l want to share all the work which will be done with you. 

 

Bruno, thank you for all your messages. When l contacted Mr. Hornak, he told me at the beginning, if he can find me good polisher in Japan, or if l want to do the polish by him directly. I told him that if he can do that, he can polish sword directly. Then he told me that he need to discuss blade with his master too. 

 

Anyway, please let me know if you think sword can be seriously damaged, or there is an option that blade can be destroyed. Then l rather decide for someone else, or wait a while with work.

 

Best regards

 

Peter

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8 hours ago, Bruno said:

But a full traditional training is 12 hours per day during 8 years at togishi's home, and that makes a HUGE difference

 

 

 

Sorry to steal from the thread's main subject but is somebody like Woody Hall considered a togishi technically since he studied under somebody like Bob Benson? Who is a fully trained togishi, even if he is no longer in Japan. I believe they both won the Dorokusho award from NBTHK. And I know Bob speaks of Woody as being on the same level.

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Marco, Bob Benson did not complete the entire apprenteceship in Japan when he was studying over there. He is not a togishi stricto sensu.

 

Plus, I don't think he is polishing for customers anymore, he is not so young now.

 

The only togishi in the USA is Shigekazu Jimmy Hayashi.

 

Sorry but this old tired debate togishi versus amateur polishers has been discussed a countless times (just search on the forum). 

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A note that there are well regarded polishers that didn't complete the process in Japan.
I'm not going to make a list, but there are Western polishers highly regarded in Japan and elsewhere that I would gladly send my blade to. The forum is anti amateur polishing. That doesn't mean that everyone who didn't complete studies in Japan are amateurs.
Let's be careful when labeling people with tens of years experience as amateurs.

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I can't say I've had the opportunity to meet Jimmy but would like to. Does anybody know if he attends San Francisco sword show, seen as how he lives there?

 

I've met both Woody and Bob, and both are still polishing. Woody is by himself now in Las Vegas. I haven't had anything polished by them, but I know that they've both polished blades that have eventually went Juyo.

 

Note: I just want to assure Bruno I'm not attacking him. I'm not an expert on the subject of polishers or togishi, just asking questions so I can be more informed

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2 hours ago, MarcoUdin said:

I can't say I've had the opportunity to meet Jimmy but would like to. Does anybody know if he attends San Francisco sword show, seen as how he lives there?

 

I've met both Woody and Bob, and both are still polishing. Woody is by himself now in Las Vegas. I haven't had anything polished by them, but I know that they've both polished blades that have eventually went Juyo.

 

It's been a while since I've been to the SF sword show, although I can't imagine Mr. Hayashi not attending. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jimmy about a couple of swords I had brought to the show. Mr. Hayashi impressed me as a friendly soft spoken individual, who was very generous with his time and expertise in evaluating your swords. He is an individual I would trust with any level sword I owned....

 

Dave M.

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2 hours ago, MarcoUdin said:

I can't say I've had the opportunity to meet Jimmy but would like to. Does anybody know if he attends San Francisco sword show, seen as how he lives there?

 

I've met both Woody and Bob, and both are still polishing. Woody is by himself now in Las Vegas. I haven't had anything polished by them, but I know that they've both polished blades that have eventually went Juyo.

 

Note: I just want to assure Bruno I'm not attacking him. I'm not an expert on the subject of polishers or togishi, just asking questions so I can be more informed

Very fine  Marc, no worry.

 

I will have a blade polished by Woodie asap, . It is a Mantetsu-to (high end showa-to, not tamahagane).

 

Plus, presently Woodie is repairing a bad monuchi and straighten a bent star stamped gendaito of mine.

 

I trust in Woodie.

 

I do know Woody and Bob won't do anything bad to a sword and do good work. It is just that while having the choice, I prefer to use a togishi who did all the apprenticeship for a a traditionally made sword. Nothing disrespectfull to anyone really. 

 

Personally, I do think decent to high end showa-to deserve to be polished as well. Talented self trained polishers are great for the job as togishi won't do it.

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1 minute ago, Stephen said:

Have you talked to Woody of late? Afaik hes not doing anything from WW2 era.  Please update if things have changed.

Hi Stephen,

 

At first he was not really encline to polish a non traditionall sword  but when he saw the photos of the Mantetsu-to, he replied OK I will do it I think he was expecting a poor WW2 finished blade.

 

As for the RJT blade, he was OK to polish it but I was the one who hesitated and only asked he straithen it plus get rid of very bad rust patches on the monuchi.

 

So to answer your question, I appears he is open minded, maybe that also depends on how you ask etc.

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I've had a working relationship with Woody longer than I've known you Bruno.

I touched base with him he's just doing the top of your blade to bring out the hamon he's not doing all of it. And yes hes not doing Gendaito anymore.

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1 hour ago, Stephen said:

I've had a working relationship with Woody longer than I've known you Bruno.

I touched base with him he's just doing the top of your blade to bring out the hamon he's not doing all of it. And yes hes not doing Gendaito anymore.

Stephen,

 

It is strange because Woodie has now in hands my  RJT gendaito and when I asked him to polish only the bad rust patches on the monouchi, he told me it would be better to polish the entire blade. Of course it was obvious to him it is a WW2 blade. It is me who refuse the full polish as this particular gendaito is medium grade.

 

As for my Mantetsuto, he recently told me again that he would be happy to do a full polish on it with a keisho finish.

 

In both cases, I clearly mentionned the 2 blades were WW2 and that the Mantetsu-to was oil quenched and non tamahagane.

 

I guess I am lucky.

 

BTW, Woodie is such a NICE person.

 

 

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