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Shinshinto Ryokai?


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Dear all.


My new toy arrived today and though I have no trouble translating the mei I have no information that seems to fit. Pound to a pinch of salt that the blade is shinshinto but I have no information on a smith from this era using the mei Ryokai. Any ideas? It looks too obvious to be a serious attempt at gimei.....?


Many thanks.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, that's the question. From time to time work comes to light that is signed by a smith who has escaped the records, that is one possibility. I don't have very good resources for Shinshinto smiths and I believe this to be shinshinto; if that is the case then I was hoping someone could throw some light on it. Or, of course it might just be gimei, by which I mean a forged mei rather than an unknown one. If it is just gimei then it is the most casual fake; nothing about the blade suggest the age it would have to have.


Perhaps just signed to make it more appealing to foreign buyers? I don't know, hence the request. The blade is in quite good polish though with some scuffs here and there so at the moment I can see no hada. The hamon is midare or notare, the habuchi is suite tight but has fine activity running through it, fine nie and some small sunagashi. It really doesn't matter what the outcome is but I am curious.


To support my dodgy photographs I have done a rough oshigata, Nagasa 175mms, kasane 6.5mms, haba, 26ms. It has lost nothing to polishing at the machi and is ubu.


What do you think?




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I think this is signed Ryokai for the same reason many WWII and shortly later tanto/knives are signed Sanjo Munechika: in homage, out of hubris, or most likely, to impress Westerners (customers). Your piece is much nicer than the WWII stuff, and earlier I believe. But rather than Shinshinto, how about Meiji?

I don't think this was signed by a smith who worked as Ryokai; signed to impress the tourists makes more sense.

But what do I know? Grey

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Thank you both, Grey, that is pretty much the conclusion I came to as well, just wondering if I was missing some information.


What a memory Peter, really useful though I'd rather not have seen it resting on bare stone. Thanks for that though I have to say the workmanship is clearly nothing other than Japanese so some of the more far fetched response are a bit off beam. .


Thanks all.

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