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Chicago Sword Show: A Tadakuni Nidai Cinderella Story


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First day of the show is on the books.  It was well attended and looked like there wasn't an empty booth space to be had.  

 

I walked in there with a wandering eye and curious hands which I mostly scolded and kept in my pocket.  

 

Behind my eye and hands was a main drive/focus...my Unicorn Cinderella quest.  I had a type 98 koshirae with sharksin saya (purchased on NMB) and wanted to find it a blade.  I would mention this quest and mostly told "Good luck" and I'd take the well wishes.  I knew it would be tough, but if it was to be done; this was the place.

 

I walked booth to booth with my tsunagi with a few potentials coming and going.  Hours later I had about given up while at the same time never yet losing faith.  Then at the end of an aisle it happened....

 

I came across a Tadakuni Nidai with Hozon papers for an affordable price.  I laid the tsunagi over it...huh...this might work.  I tell the dealer my quest and the potential of his blade so he says, "Well lets try".  I ask him do it because god forbid anything happen. 

 

He takes the blade out of shirasaya and it just happened to fit perfectly into the seppa, perfectly into the tsuba, perfectly into the tsuka...but could the mekugi ana honestly linenup as well?  I heard the magic words..."they line up perfectly!". 

 

I responded "No way, you might have found my Cinderella!  Now if it's a perfect fit I feel like I can't even try to haggle!"  The seller then said, "ha, I'll take $100 off".  Class act....

 

Then of course is the last and final piece...the saya.  He picks up the blade perfectly mounted in my tsuka and slowly...slowly...starts to slide it in.  Only the penitant blade shall pass.  He continues...so far so good....and then the Cinderella moment...it fit perfectly including the habaki.  Tight, nestled and safe.  

 

Lastly, it really could use one extra seppa to really snug things up.  Went to Grey and Mark's table digging into Mark's tacklebox of seppa, gunto etc...parts.  found the perfect seppa that lines up perfectly with the other seppa and locking mechanism.  We were all systems go. 

 

No pumpkin. 

 

The only thing off was that the tsunagi was about an inch and some change longer.  So Cinderella Tadakuni was a bit shorter than she could have been.  This I will allow.

 

That blade was my entire haul this year and couldn't be happier.

 

I'm not the first to have this happen, nor will I be the last but thank you Chicago Sword Show 2022.

 

Honorable Mentions that I Almost Bought: 

 

1. Signed tanto early 1800s with a Fuji design in hamon...but no sun/moon.  

 

2. Signed Gendaito (Kanesomething?) by a WW2 era smith in shirasaya who made the hada look like soundwaves all the way down the blade.  Was told it was an old "forgotten or secret" (i forget the adjective used) technique only done/known by a few smiths.  There were more details about the blade but I lost them in the fog.  It really was quite beautiful besides its flaws but walked away without it for a few reasons.

 

Picture collage below of seperate sword in shirasaya becoming one with the type 98 koshirae.

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WOW!!!  What a story, almost unbelievable.  Reminds me that even a blind squirrel can find the occasional acorn...  Thanks for sharing Adam, very much enjoyed.

 

BaZza.

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Congratulations Adam on your find. It is a Great Day when things work out In Our Favor.  Thank you for sharing your story. I had all my plans set in place to attend this year and life got in the way.  Happens. Maybe next year. Glad you made it

  MikeR 

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Wow Adam,,,amazing. That is a real strong sori...amazing that you found the only set of Type 98 with the exact, correct curvature.

I think Brian is right....maybe you should buy a lottery ticket now...!!!

Regards,

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Yeah, got lucky with this one.  I could tell from the tsunagi it was an older somewhat petite blade with a possibly koto/shinto sori.  Was open to whatever fit though.  Was really glad that the blade that worked was in good polish, signed, good smith and papered.  Worked out real swell.  I cashed in a swath of my nihonto luck with this one but left about an inch in the luck bucket for later.

 

Good luck to all those at the show today and Sunday.  I'm there in spirit. 

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Shame I didn't run into you today! Was really nice getting to put faces to names I've seen and interacted with here. I didn't do any purchasing myself, but I got to spend some time chatting and showing a few blades to Ted Tenold, Andrew Quirt, Grey Doffin.

Got some advice on what do with a promising koto blade as well!  If you're going tomorrow, be sure to check out some of the blades my friends Dan Kedzie and Barret Mueller brought! They've got some real gems with them. Dan has also made a lovely tachi kake for sale ($75 a real steal if I do say so myself; one has already sold) and some solidly-built tools for removing stubborn blades from their tsuka!

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On 4/23/2022 at 10:26 PM, ChrisW said:

They've got some real gems with them. Dan has also made a lovely tachi kake for sale ($75 a real steal if I do say so myself; one has already sold) and some solidly-built tools for removing stubborn blades from their tsuka!

Chris,

Thanks for your kind words!

 

It was indeed a great show. Hats off to Mark for a job well done!

 

Dan K.

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6 minutes ago, Ken-Hawaii said:

:thumbsup:  You had your eyes open, & weren't sidetracked by all the eye-candy. Thanks for posting the photo & hope others do, too.


There was SO MUCH eyecandy!

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Our small local shows only have 10-12 tables with sword related items. The other 300 are firearms, mostly. But even that small amount takes awhile to go through, especially since Bob Benson is selling. Haven't had the opportunity to hit Chicago or San Francisco, but I'll leave my credit card locked up, & just carry the cash I can afford to spend.

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1 hour ago, Ken-Hawaii said:

but I'll leave my credit card locked up, & just carry the cash I can afford to spend.

Yep… and the cash I leave locked up in the car in the parking lot as a fail safe just to give myself and extra 10 minutes to think about it…

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