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Late Kamakura Tachi


Tengu1957
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Koto Osuriage Tachi
68.6 cm
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon
Sayagaki by Mr. Tanobe
Tachi attributed to the Enju school. Enju is representative of Yamashiro Den it's roots are from the Rai school. This sword was discussed as being a work of Rai Kunitoshi at one point , but due to disagreement it was given the safer attribution of Enju. There were a few spots of Rai grain which caused the discussion. It can be said it's still open to discussion. It has an elegant Tachi shape of late Kamakura ( 1280 ) . 
This is a summary of the sayagaki.FB_IMG_1648508270526.thumb.jpg.30431ac8b1f3f27560fe83a89d4ab03f.jpgFB_IMG_1648508270526.thumb.jpg.30431ac8b1f3f27560fe83a89d4ab03f.jpgFB_IMG_1648508300129.thumb.jpg.24c1a694606aaab83e6682c796f03202.jpgFB_IMG_1648508270526.thumb.jpg.30431ac8b1f3f27560fe83a89d4ab03f.jpg

FB_IMG_1648508308211.jpg

 

FB_IMG_1648508103543.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Tengu1957 said:

Koto Osuriage Tachi
68.6 cm
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon
Sayagaki by Mr. Tanobe
Tachi attributed to the Enju school. Enju is representative of Yamashiro Den it's roots are from the Rai school. This sword was discussed as being a work of Rai Kunitoshi at one point , but due to disagreement it was given the safer attribution of Enju. There were a few spots of Rai grain which caused the discussion. It can be said it's still open to discussion. It has an elegant Tachi shape of late Kamakura ( 1280 ) . This is a summary of the sayagaki.

 

I don't think there are blades today which are accepted 13th century Enju. Your dealer might be translating sayagaki in a very aggressive manner. With Enju late Kamakura generally refers to Showa+ eras.

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I think the reference to ko enju and late Kamakura is what the sayagaki says. It's close enough for me. I am working from memory and not using my notes related to the sword. I'm certainly not knowledgeable enough to fully understand all of the gray areas between end of Kamakura and start of Nambokucho. 

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Possible to get a better shot of the top of the sayagaki?

 

(As you may know, the middle part is the length of the sword, and the bottom part is Tanobe-san's signature and the date that he wrote the sayagaki. The interesting stuff is at written at the top). 

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Yes , what I posted was a direct translation of what the upper part said. As it was explained to me Mr Tanobe felt it had a chance of being made by Rai Kunitoshi but due to disagreement it was given the attribution of Enju. It was said he suggested to resubmit at a later date. 

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Late Kamakura could also mean 1300-1330s here, so per Kirill's remark, not strictly speaking 13th century but very early 14th century. 

Rai Kunitoshi did work into the 1300s and has signed blades in 1319, for instance (eg a nice tachi dated Genno 1, when he was 79!!).

So, it could be that Tanobe sensei thought that on the basis of the high quality (probably clearer jiba than 'standard' Enju, lack of shirake utsuri but instead finer jinie in the hada, the boshi not necessarily being the larger Enju o-maru but somewhere in the middle, etc) this could be a borderline case or even Rai. 

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On 3/28/2022 at 4:19 PM, Rivkin said:

 

I don't think there are blades today which are accepted 13th century Enju. Your dealer might be translating sayagaki in a very aggressive manner. With Enju late Kamakura generally refers to Showa+ eras.

 

It's been a week an NO one has stated, or corrected the obvious. . 

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35 minutes ago, Baba Yaga said:

 

Try different swords completely; 

Also NO suggestions on laying a sword on granite.

 

The paper matches the sword shown in the first pictures, the nakago photo is the incorrect one.

 

I also don't have a problem with granite as long as it's propped at the top, which it appears so.

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A big part of my problem is trying to load up files from my phone. A lot of the images are very small and I have loaded up the wrong image of the 3 hole Nakago and did not notice it. The image of the Nakago with the Hi going through it is correct. If someone sees something just bring it to my attention and I can address it. It's a simple error not an attempt to misrepresent something. My phone photography skills are not great so I can be prone to making an error in trying to upload small images. I will be back at home on Friday , if anyone wants to see something let me know. 

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Nakahara san has these words about sayagaki:

 

“Originally, if you had many katana in shirasaya (storage scabbards), to keep them in order people would write the smith’s name, length, and so forth on the shirasaya. From around the Meiji period this evolved into notes about the sword’s authenticity and history being recorded on the shirasaya. Later, this became a popular type of authentication by reliable persons, but nowadays sayagaki are not so reliable.”

 

I’ve grown to be not a fan of inscriptions on shirasaya or on origami. If a blade is mumei, then who the F knows? It’s an educated guess. Those inquisitive, look on the patina on the nakago, the shape of the sugata, horimono, jihada, the hamon, and the kissaki, but in the end it’s a toss-up. Does it look like an ancient blade? Sure! Have ancient blades been reproduced in honor of the skilled metal smiths? Oh yeah. Is this an ancient blade . . . my wager goes here . . .

 

But then again, I’m a novice with a history degree, looking into a specific field of cultural history, so take my comment as just that.

 

I love your posts, so please keep posting Gary! Sword porn at it’s best. 

 

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Gabe I think you are not giving the experts any credit whatsoever, these are people who have studied thousands upon thousand of swords to a degree you or I couldn't imagine. The investigation and time to attribute a sword goes up exponentially as the level of paper increases, this isn't some middle aged Japanese man giving a cursory glimpse at a sword and mumbling a vague guess before going back to the racing pages.

 

As for Sayagaki, many of the lovely swords Gary has shared have Tanobe Sayagaki, which are held in very high regard. Not to bring the hammer down on you, but this is not a hobby where basic generalizations are appropriate, especially when dealing with really quality swords like these.

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I am a collector absolutely not a Kantei expert. I agree that it's almost unimaginable to understand the years of study that someone like Mr. Tanobe has worked at. For me personally I would take sayagaki from him over anything else. The one thing most of us can't do is to have personal access to the best swords ever made for years on end. Most of what we learn is based on observation. If someone can constantly see top grade swords whenever they want they will develop an eye for characteristics which allow them to pick out small details we can't see. Not just to schools but individual smiths. Year after year study and constant challenges to support your opinions in a professional setting give you a perspective most of us can never achieve. 

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1 hour ago, WillFalstaff said:

Nakahara san has these words about sayagaki:

 

“Originally, if you had many katana in shirasaya (storage scabbards), to keep them in order people would write the smith’s name, length, and so forth on the shirasaya. From around the Meiji period this evolved into notes about the sword’s authenticity and history being recorded on the shirasaya. Later, this became a popular type of authentication by reliable persons, but nowadays sayagaki are not so reliable.”

 

I’ve grown to be not a fan of inscriptions on shirasaya or on origami. If a blade is mumei, then who the F knows? It’s an educated guess. Those inquisitive, look on the patina on the nakago, the shape of the sugata, horimono, jihada, the hamon, and the kissaki, but in the end it’s a toss-up. Does it look like an ancient blade? Sure! Have ancient blades been reproduced in honor of the skilled metal smiths? Oh yeah. Is this an ancient blade . . . my wager goes here . . .

 

But then again, I’m a novice with a history degree, looking into a specific field of cultural history, so take my comment as just that.

 

I love your posts, so please keep posting Gary! Sword porn at it’s best. 

 

 

You're right! ALLWAYS remember this is a internet forum. Internet forums are FULL with people who will agree for the sole reason of making peace. Ever hear the words "that's a problematic sword" ? Nope, you will never hear that even if it's true. The people that don't know what their talking about will argue the point to the death. Controversy breeds truth! When everyone agrees on something like vague Art, there is a problem.   Only very few who actually do know will say nothing, or not want to be on a forum for this very reason. By a forums very nature mob rules. Most of the people I actually trust aren't on forums for this very reason. BTW those numbers are very few.  If you understand the Art world "really" everything is doubled and tripled questioned, Doesn't make a difference what expert is involved, it's the Art World.  It eats people and spits them out without remorse.  

The question is why am I here? The answer, I'm looking for a few swords so I can put a finish on my cake. Something I can give to my family who can add for I hope generations. To be honest I haven't found anything here yet. I've always hated seeing people be taken advantage and not being able to say anything, because mob rules........BIZEN!   

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1 hour ago, PNSSHOGUN said:

Gabe I think you are not giving the experts any credit whatsoever, these are people who have studied thousands upon thousand of swords to a degree you or I couldn't imagine. The investigation and time to attribute a sword goes up exponentially as the level of paper increases, this isn't some middle aged Japanese man giving a cursory glimpse at a sword and mumbling a vague guess before going back to the racing pages.

 

As for Sayagaki, many of the lovely swords Gary has shared have Tanobe Sayagaki, which are held in very high regard. Not to bring the hammer down on you, but this is not a hobby where basic generalizations are appropriate, especially when dealing with really quality swords like these.


John, due to my lack of experience, I relied on authority to voice my opinion, which aligns with said authorities’s opinion. I am consulting an expert beyond my experience. He says stop, and reevaluate, and take sayagaki with a grain of salt. 
 

I’ve read plenty of stories where an evaluation of a sword in Japan see-sawed between who evaluated and at what time. This, to a layman, suggests educated guesses based on kentai and an incomplete record.
 

I guess when you look at unsigned blades, it’s anyone’s guess, including the experts who have vastly more knowledge and experience handling these blades than we peons do.
 

But still, the blade is excellent and I think whatever judgement is issued it will acknowledge this excellence. 

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33 minutes ago, Baba Yaga said:

 

You're right! ALLWAYS remember this is a internet forum. Internet forums are FULL with people who will agree for the sole reason of making peace. Ever hear the words "that's a problematic sword" ? Nope, you will never hear that even if it's true. The people that don't know what their talking about will argue the point to the death. Controversy breeds truth! When everyone agrees on something like vague Art, there is a problem.   Only very few who actually do know will say nothing, or not want to be on a forum for this very reason. By a forums very nature mob rules. Most of the people I actually trust aren't on forums for this very reason. BTW those numbers are very few.  If you understand the Art world "really" everything is doubled and tripled questioned, Doesn't make a difference what expert is involved, it's the Art World.  It eats people and spits them out without remorse.  

The question is why am I here? The answer, I'm looking for a few swords so I can put a finish on my cake. Something I can give to my family who can add for I hope generations. To be honest I haven't found anything here yet. I've always hated seeing people be taken advantage and not being able to say anything, because mob rules........BIZEN!   


Oh, stop it!

Bizen for the win!

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1 hour ago, Tengu1957 said:

I am a collector absolutely not a Kantei expert. I agree that it's almost unimaginable to understand the years of study that someone like Mr. Tanobe has worked at. For me personally I would take sayagaki from him over anything else. The one thing most of us can't do is to have personal access to the best swords ever made for years on end. Most of what we learn is based on observation. If someone can constantly see top grade swords whenever they want they will develop an eye for characteristics which allow them to pick out small details we can't see. Not just to schools but individual smiths. Year after year study and constant challenges to support your opinions in a professional setting give you a perspective most of us can never achieve. 


Gary, you’re forbidden from now on to stop your posts! Swords man . . . you got ‘em we want to see ‘em, and then we (and you) can throw mud at each other! 

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Of course, being able to judge the various sayagaki is part of the game.

If you know who wrote it, and what their hand(brush)writing and Kaō looks like (good or bad) and which ones look dodgy, this all helps one to get the overall picture and further zero in.

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Beautiful looking sword. Well executed Suguha always gives me the fizz.

Does the hamon get slightly wider around the monouchi leading towards the kissaki? Or is that just the angle of the photo playing tricks on me.

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On 4/5/2022 at 11:41 AM, MarcoUdin said:

 

 

The paper matches the sword shown in the first pictures, the nakago photo is the incorrect one.

 

I also don't have a problem with granite as long as it's propped at the top, which it appears so.

 

EVERYONE has a problem with laying a freshly polished sword on a surface like that in any way. CK the search option, it may help you! 

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This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one, unless your post is really relevant and adds to the topic..

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