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Am I on the right track?


GeorgeLuucas

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First of all, I like this sword. It checks many of my boxes. It reminds me of another wakizashi that I’m having professionally restored. 
 

It’s unpapered and mumei. I think KOTO and suriage. I’m getting Yamato vibes. Am I just seeing what I want to see, or am I on the right track? 
 

Nagasa: 51cm (20.2inch)

Motohaba: 2.7cm

Sakihaba: 1.75cm

Kissaki length: 3.2cm

Still working on photography. I need a lighting rig. Light and reflections seemed to be battling me on this one. It’s easier to admire and looks better in-hand.  
 

Cheers,

-Sam

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Your blade is more like Yamato Shikkake than mine, which is papered for that den. The masame above the Hamon, which is absent for my blade, is a regularly cited feature.  Would be interested to hear what others think.

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Thank you @Lewis B, and I like your sword very much! 
 

Right now I’m looking into Shikkake, Sue-Tegai, and Uda. But I’m mostly just enjoying the ride and not drawing any conclusions. 

 

Its easy to jump down the wrong rabbit hole with the combination of mumei, suriage, and my own inexperience. I’m trying to view it critically, and not allow my hopes and desires to impede my assessment. 

At the very least it’s got my nose in my books! And its condition allows me to enjoy it for what it is (whatever it is). 

Cheers, 

-Sam

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The chase is half the fun, isn't it? Having seen a couple of Ko Uda (a Juyo and Hozon) in hand last week and listened to a nice lecture on the School I would say your blade isn't Ko Uda, maybe a later generation? Tegai is definitely a contender too. 

 

Here is a video of the Hozon Ko Uda

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/C8Stjtws8aD/

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Yes, this is heavily Yamato blade with a strong presence of masame.

Massive blade, almost straight, decent quality work. Its something interesting to look at hand.

It looks like jigane is very consistent, quite bright, long masame, seen everywhere, no clear kizu. At the same time it does not convey a feeling of strong ji nie, its a bit less bright.

Hamon shows good separation into lines, good flow but again it is not made from bright and large nie, but more ko nie.

I suspect its kambun shinto Sendai or comparable smith. That would be my 50% bet.

If not, its a high grade Tegai work... maybe 1380s. 20%.

Kai Mihara... 30% probability.

Shikkake needs periodic gunome. Mokume with sharp angles is usually shinto work in koto style.

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I can't say for sure, as these are just photos, but it seems to me that there's a lot of open grain, which indicates a low level of quality. 

 

 

 
Quote

 

 

I suspect its kambun shinto Sendai or comparable smith. That would be my 50% bet.

If not, its a high grade Tegai work... maybe 1380s. 20%.

Kai Mihara... 30% probability.

 

 

Since you don't know which school it is, you announce the schools at random, hoping that one of them will be the right one.

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Jacques, if you have anything of significance to add, then by all means post it. If your response is directed at the poster and not the item, put down the keyboard, step away, and go for a nice walk in nature.
I'm not going to allow personal attacks anymore from anyone. You really do work hard to confirm your reputation, don't you?
 

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26 minutes ago, Brian said:

Jacques, if you have anything of significance to add, then by all means post it. If your response is directed at the poster and not the item, put down the keyboard, step away, and go for a nice walk in nature.
I'm not going to allow personal attacks anymore from anyone. You really do work hard to confirm your reputation, don't you?
 

Quite simply, the work of the schools presented by Rivkin is totally different.

 

Have a look at the Brandolini's law (you are also concerned, but on a much more important subject)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandolini's_law

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How about you have a look at Narcissus' law.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism

You think you're an educator. But you're just an agitator. You could easily post "That school is not applicable because XYZ...."
But instead you choose the easy route of refuting without evidence instead of elaborating. You're really not as clever as you think.

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13 hours ago, Rivkin said:

 ....

Massive blade, almost straight, decent quality work. Its something interesting to look at hand.

 ....


Thank you very much Rivkin! Your comment is very helpful, and offers me avenues to research. Even if I rule some out, I will have learned something in the process, which is exactly what I hoped to get from this thread. 

You are absolutely correct in your observation about the Jie-Nie, it's nearly absent, or very hard to see. Your observation about the nie in the hamon is spot-on also, its more ko-nie, and very fine. Getting the photographs that I got was a challenge to show that. No utsuri to speak of, but i'm sure that's no surprise. The open grain is less obvious in hand, and took some tricks of the light to expose.

I have a question about your observation about the blade being "massive". I had perceived this sword as being fairly slender and small. What did you mean by that? 


Motokasane = 5.9 mm
Sakikasane = 4.1 mm
Motohaba= 27.1 mm
Sakihaba= 17.5 mm

Sori = 7.3 mm
Kissaki = 32 mm
Nagasa = 51 Cm
Total = 65.5 Cm

 

Thank you very much for your input. 
Cheers,
-Sam

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Thank you @Brian, some people just can't help themselves. This particular pattern is becoming predictable at this point  :laughing:

For what it's worth I am still shopping for a papered mainline Yamato blade (as described in my "wanted to buy" thread). This particular sword I just had to have for the price. I'm under no illusions that it's a high end piece or anything. Like I said, I like it! 

I'm just a newly married blue-collar fella. I'd quickly lose my wife/life if I bought all the swords, art, and collectibles I REALLY want :rotfl:
Cheers,
-Sam
 

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2 hours ago, Brian said:

How about you have a look at Narcissus' law.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism

You think you're an educator. But you're just an agitator. You could easily post "That school is not applicable because XYZ...."
But instead you choose the easy route of refuting without evidence instead of elaborating. You're really not as clever as you think.

I've never claimed to be an educator, but enough of this nonsense, there are people who come here for information, not meaningless blah, blah, blah. It's the same thing with global warming: there's what science says and there's what others like you say.

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George, 

What's your budget? Happy to look out for stuff at the Orlando Show this weekend for you. PM me if interested in an extra pair of eye on the hunt.

Best,

Bobby

 

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3 hours ago, GeorgeLuucas said:

Motokasane = 5.9 mm
Sakikasane = 4.1 mm
Motohaba= 27.1 mm
Sakihaba= 17.5 mm

Sori = 7.3 mm
Kissaki = 32 mm
Nagasa = 51 Cm
Total = 65.5 Cm

 

Dimensions-based guessing is a bit difficult for me, as is guessing based on photos, but I was generally aiming at four, somewhat competitive statements as massive:

1. Relatively wide mihaba for the length. I did not realize that nagasa is very short, so I assumed its more in katana range.

2.  Tegai blades tend to be in 6.5mm range motokasane, a solid number. Tapering to 4mm is a good thing - for Edo swords it often stays in 6-7.5mm range.

3. It does not feel like it has very high shinogi? Getting this from photographs can be hard, it definitely not low, but I wonder if its actually high.

4. Its overall quite healthy. 

 

I am not concerned about scuffs here and there. If its koto, its expected. Average Tegai will have ware and sometimes long one.

If its shinto than yes, small things are still kizu that affect the value.

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Thank you for clearing that up for me. That makes sense now, and is much appreciated! 

I agree that the shinogi does not appear particularly "high" - but I would say it's higher than it is low.

I'll have to take a closer look at the shinogi height after work today. 

Edit: is there a way to measure, or photograph, the Shinogi height in a meaningful way? 


Thank you again,
Cheers,
-Sam

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Keep in mind that the kasane depends on the number of polishings the sword has undergone, so there is no average kasane. The sugata of Yamato mono is similar for all schools, generally a high shinogi with a wide shinogi ji   

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Looking at the pictures at airport. Identifying fine details is not my strong point but I would think the general direction people are thinking is plausible. However for me the differences between schools sometimes feel very tiny.

 

One thing to note that the sword could have been shortened quite a bit as it is now only 51 cm. I think the lower hole might not be the original either. If it is the sword would be c. 60 cm in blade length. With shortened blades it is often bit tricky trying to imagine the possible original shape for the item.

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Thank you @Jacques D., and good question.

I took my sword out this morning to investigate the shinogi height, and also that line.

The line appears on both sides where masame is most heavy, but not in the same area (they don't mirror each-other by any means). It does not extend the entire blade. It fades into itame/mokume after a few inches toward the kissaki. 

Upon inspection of the JI, it seems the masame is mostly toward the hamachi, and in the middle of the blade. Toward the kissaki it blends into itame and/or mokume with more intermittent masame.

This is just my observation. More experienced eyes may vary! I couldn't get great photos, i'll have to wait for another nice day. Here’s a highlight from my previous photos where that line appears to end on that side. 

 

I know photos are not ideal for Nihonto, but the discussion does help me learn. Thank you! 

 

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Thank you @Jussi Ekholm, I value your input! I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts over the last couple years I’ve been active on this forum. Your information gathering of awarded Juyo blades has been really interesting. 
 

I also think this sword is greatly shortened. You’re right, it is very tricky to imagine how it originally looked (especially for me!), and I’m at a loss for dating it. It’s been enjoyable to admire nonetheless. Safe travels, and thank you! 

As for the height of the shinogi… Jury is still out. I’m having a hard time determining, but it does not appear particularly high to me. This has been a struggle for me to identify that I hope to remedy once I can see more blades side-by-side. Apologies

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With the sword being massively shortened and still retaining a motokisane of 5.9mm suggests at tachi length this would have been a beast of a blade in its original form. I would consider this a wide Shinogi typical of Yamato. I measured my motokisane last night at 7.1mm tapering down to 4.2mm at the sakikasane (nagaso 70.6cm). Yamato would be top of my list. Tegai or Shikkake. Not enough Masame for Hosho and Taima/Senjuin are very easy to distinguish from the other 3 Yamato schools. Obviously the interpretations of a true novice.

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Thank you @Lewis B! I appreciate your input

One of the reasons I really liked this sword, is because it reminds me of an early O-suriage Tegai Wakizashi that I am having professionally restored. I wont get that sword back for over a year+. 

Albeit, that sword has ji-nie and other activity like sunagashi, while this one is much less active. 

Cheers,
-Sam

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1 hour ago, GeorgeLuucas said:

Thank you @Jacques D., and good question.

I took my sword out this morning to investigate the shinogi height, and also that line.

The line appears on both sides where masame is most heavy, but not in the same area (they don't mirror each-other by any means). It does not extend the entire blade. It fades into itame/mokume after a few inches toward the kissaki. 

Upon inspection of the JI, it seems the masame is mostly toward the hamachi, and in the middle of the blade. Toward the kissaki it blends into itame and/or mokume with more intermittent masame.

This is just my observation. More experienced eyes may vary! I couldn't get great photos, i'll have to wait for another nice day. Here’s a highlight from my previous photos where that line appears to end on that side. 

 

I know photos are not ideal for Nihonto, but the discussion does help me learn. Thank you! 

 

49675C4B-4D8E-4542-9D51-0868A7DE2357.jpeg

In regard to that line for quick reference a yamato school Taima mukugitae construction? sold at auction yesterday at Aoi still retained Juyo status. 

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Interesting, thank you. Short answer is no, it does not extend the whole blade and is not the same on both sides. At least not to my novice observation. 

Muromachi would not hurt my feelings. This sword only put me back hundreds, not thousands. Muromachi was actually my first impression - but i'm not drawing any concrete conclusions until I get this sword into someones hands or Shinsa. 

What's your current opinion on age and school @Jacques D.? I understand photo kentai will be far from definitive. 

I appreciate your expertise and input,
Cheers,
-Sam

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I never kantei a sword without having it in hands. That said, yours could be sue koto and Mino would not be impossible it has most certainly been suriage (the photo of the nakago mune speaks for itself). Now, to be frank, it's not very high quality: there are too many open grains, which indicates a lack of mastery in the forging process. 

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Fair enough, and thank you!
 

I think Sue Koto Mino does make sense. 
 

I appreciate the frankness - I wouldn’t be here if I weren’t prepared for that :laughing:

 

Thanks again, much appreciated!
Slowly but surely I’m learning a little every day.

Cheers,

-Sam

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