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Kiyomaro school


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Hi Josh

I wish you success and deep pockets. As far as I know a Kiyomaro still holds the record for an auction sale outside of Japan. Sold from the Festing collection in the late 80s for more than $400K (I believe it was bought by Aoe Art) Although school work will be less they will still command a significant price tag

good luck

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I have always enjoyed Hayama Enshin's work. There are a couple of tanto for sale right now, and I included links to one additional (for reference) which just sold.


- Ray





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  • 2 months later...
Surprisingly there is no direct attribution to one of his better known successors


If they felt that the work exceeded the quality of others in his mon, and was unusually good for Kiyomaro himself (displaying more hataraki, etc... than one would typically expect to find in an authentic work of Kiyomaro) then this may explain the attribution and the use of Den in this case. It's unfortunate that we don't have more (written) insight into why the shinsa team makes these judgements...


- Ray

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There was another osuriage mumei blade attributed to Kiyomaro, a wakizashi, which was auctioned not long ago by Christies. One could speculate that the mei was removed and the sword made osuriage to attempt to pass off as a Shizu, Naoe Shizu or other Nambokucho masterwork. Doing that obviously wouldn't make a lot of financial sense now, but the change could have been made a long time ago.


- Ray

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Well, the quality of your Wakizashi is outstanding. The effectivness and superiority of a sword by Yamaura Saneo (Masao) is well documented in „Extreme Aratameshi“ by Fukunaka Suiken (Nihontocraft.com)


Kiyomaro and his school used shiho-zume and hon-san-mai kitae (forging), in which the hagane is covered by the kawagane. Because of this, many of their works have long kinsuji and sunagashi on the ha side jigane, and inside of the ha.

(NBTHK Journal No. 652)



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  • 2 weeks later...

Josh, your wish has been granted. There's an alleged Kiyomaro sword on sale at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Samurai-Sword-Katana-Signed-MINAMOTO-KIYOMARO-August-1851-AD-/230847822537?pt=Asian_Antiques&hash=item35bf9a3ac9 for "only" $27,500 or best offer. No papers, but not a bad-looking blade.



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Owner in Japan had it polished and a shirasaya made for it, then didn't bother with shinsa, where, if it passed, would have increased the value to somewhere over $200,000? Hmmmmmm.....:lipssealed: :lipssealed: :lipssealed:


PS- Mumei Shinshinto do not receive tokubetsu hozon....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Josh and Ken,


These are some photo of 55th "Kiyomaro-kai" meeting.

They have Meeting once a year at Sojo-ji Temple in Tokyo where Kiyomaro's grave is.

all big name people are on photo.

they bring their super collection, and give lecture, and enjoy their treasures....

All of the best Kiyomaro swords are there, not only Kiyomaro, but, Kokuho and Juyo-bukanzai swords are displayed.

I think that the temple will stay forever by only donation from Kiyomaro-kai.


Best regards,





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Ken san,


They are complete private group.

They are calling themselves "Kiyomaro-kai" and holding most of Kiyomaro's master pieces.

they have no web site, no official contact,

mr.Shibata Mitsuo was one of board and contact person, but he passed away...

Fukunaga Suiken, Fujishiro Matsuo,,, they are also passed away...

so, Brother of mr.Shibata, and mr.Okusato Fujishiro could be contact person...


However, they are the people who are keeping the market value of Kiyomaro sword.


Best regards,

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Ken san,


When the owners of Kiyomaro make Koshirae now,

They will ask to mr.Takayama Kazuyuki, Mukansa Koshirae maker.



but Most expensive as well...

i think that his work start from 1.000.000JPY plus cost,

cost will be Tsukamaki or Seppa making,,,, they are also highest level.

total about 15000-20000USD for work,

Plus Fittings,

you can use Modern tsuba maker (Top qualiy) - no cheap..

or they can use Juyo Fittings. so, high cost of craft men ship will be small % of its value.


here is the Book of his work. 5000JPY.

http://www.worldcat.org/title/nihonto-n ... /228888236


He makes Koshirae for mr.Yoshihara Yoshindo, (mr.Yoshindo can make Koshirae by himself)

i know mr.Yoshindo, so, i can ask him to contact mr.Takayama,

but, if he accepts, you have to send your blade and wait at least 3 years or maybe more.....


if you decide what kind of Koshirae or what kind of fitting you want to use,

i know many craft man in Japan. from student to masters, i will introduce you some good people.


Best regards,

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Morita sensei !!



i am not in there....

i know a few, but i have never been invited...

... yet :steamed:


I like Kurihara Nobuhide better.

for my personal opinion, I think Nobuhide is better than Kiyomaro.

Nobuhide leaned from Kiyomaro only a few years, then left, became his own.

When Meiji came,

Meiji Tenno is ordering his sword to Nobuhide,

When Taisho Tenno was born, Also, Nobuhide made mamori-Gatana for new born prince.

so, I believe that Nobuhide was the Top master smith at that time.... *different opinion from nowadays. I think.

however, his Hori is so special, you can recognize his work without seen nakago or even blade.

Kurihara Nobuhide is my favorite smith at this moment.


Best regards.

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Hi,Kunitaro san,

I love the dynamic carving of Kurihara Nobuhide blades.


On monthly which Kurihara Hikosabro(Akihide) had published at around 1935-1945,

Hikosaburo wrote [i was always asked from sword-lovers at everywhere in Japan, "Are you a relative of Kurihara Nobuhide?" ],.....

Of course, Hikosaburo was answered that he was unrelated to Kurihara Nobuhide. hahaha

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