Nihonto


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Nihonto

Postby Fuut » Mar 30th, '14, 17:14

Hi all,

I'm a huge tea ware enthusiast and of everything Japanese. Coming with that, I've always been interested in their swords and their construction.

I've been thinking about it for years, but around the end of last year i decided to go for it, and now I'm thoroughly invested in a pair of swords. Namely a tachi (long-sword) by the smith Bakufushi Kawai Hisayuki, and a wakizashi by Mutsu Daijo Miyoshi Nagamichi (shodai, meaning the first generation). I wrote out full names and titles so maybe for the ones that are at home in this niche it would be easier to link information. Since the first moment i've been so excited and i can't wait for them to arrive, right now they're still in Japan waiting for fittings and such for the accompanying koshirae (scabbard and handle etc), because for now they're only in a wooden transport casings.

Anyone here who went through this process and has a piece of his own? I can't wait to hear about it :D The whole experience so far has been so rewarding and i can't stop thinking about them. I just can't hold myself to sit still on the thought:)
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Re: Nihonto

Postby JBaymore » Mar 30th, '14, 18:25

Congratulations on purchasing the two swords.

I study Iaido....so I'm a bit familiar with this topic.

BTW.... actual tachi or a katana with the waki? And those names say ....... TAKAI DESU!!!!! Both Late Edo Jidai? Nice.

Are you getting a tachi type mounting? Who is doing the mounting... and will the furniture be Edo Jidai also?

One piece of advice......... unless you have spent some time studying kata........ be VERY careful drawing and sheathing. You can require serious medical attention in a heartbeat. A "nothing oops" with a shinken usually requires about 4-5 stitches.

Unless you study.. and have a good sensei... please don't go out and try cutting. Easy to screw up... and either wreck a good sword or wreck a good body (your own).

Looking forward to pictures.

best,

...............john
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Nihonto

Postby Pig Hog » Mar 30th, '14, 19:07

I have a Kurin stainless steel iaitō, bought from Nine Circles, as I study Genbukan bikenjutsu. Obviously it's not quite on par with what you've just bought.

I would echo to be very careful if you've never used a sword before. I'd love to buy myself a shinken but I until I can use it proficiently, I'm not going down that route.

Again, if you don't already know, pick up a decent maintenance kit -- most good MA suppliers will have them -- and take good care of them. You'll want to be re-oiling the blades at least once a month, if you don't use them, otherwise they should be cleaned after each use, or whenever the blade is touched.

Also, buying a tachi is an unusual choice -- as above, do you actually mean that or is it a katana? Considering the blades are different, I take it you weren't after a daishō, so it may well be a tachi -- you appear to have done your research, anyway.

Please post pics when the arrive! Good luck with them -- I'll keep my fingers crossed and you just keep yours!
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Re: Nihonto

Postby JBaymore » Mar 30th, '14, 19:21

Pig Hog wrote: .........as I study Genbukan bikenjutsu.


Ah...... another tea drinking Iaidoka. I study Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu. Hajimemashite.

Pig Hog wrote: I'll keep my fingers crossed and you just keep yours!


:lol: :lol: :lol: Nice.

best,

................john
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Nihonto

Postby Pig Hog » Mar 31st, '14, 04:18

I wouldn't go so far as to claim iaidōka status. I'm sure you learn iai a lot quicker at a dedicated class than I do.

At my dōjō, we only have two classes a month dedicated to weapons training and that alternates monthly between kenjutsu and bōjutsu, so aside from any extra training at home, I know what I have been taught pretty well but making progress is hard.

I'm going to Japan next month, so with some luck I'll be able to do some tests. I've considered joining an iaidō dōjō as well but I don't have the time or the money to fit it in. As it is, if I'm not at work, I'm training.

Back to the topic, though, I don't know where you guys live -- nine circles is a UK based company, but they also sell Tokujo iaitō with the option to customise the koshirae exactly how you want it -- pretty cool! I spent hours looking at that before I bought mine (then got the Kurin one anyway)!
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Re: Nihonto

Postby Fuut » Mar 31st, '14, 08:44

Hi all! Thank you so much for contributing to this topic.

I haven't studied any sorts of martial arts, and i wasn't planning on actually using these pieces, outside of just unsheathing to study the blades itself. Also i plan to display them in a small room i have upstairs where i stashed up all my tea equipment:)

Its a tachi *(nagasa: cutting edge is 76cm) coupled with the wakizashi will become a dai-sho with antique fittings (menuki, fuchi & kashira and the tsuba). The saya and tsuka will be modern made in Japan by traditional craftsman. The saya for the Hisayuki tachi is currently done with the laquer work and waiting for the fittings.

I'll try to show some decent photo's in upcoming posts, i have so much information in my head regarding to these 2 purchases that its super hard to write it all down in a sensible fashion!


Edit: in regard to the first reply, both will be in standard koshirae because otherwise there wouldn't be much of a daisho in the end;) The saya's will have (only 1 is finished at this point in time) ishime lacquer finish (as if beating by stone). Like here:

Image
Only in a darker earthy brown.

Edit: Also a few nice selling points these 2 swords have is that the Tachi by Hisayuki is listed in the Shinshinto Taikan (having references to the top smiths of the shinto period) and the first Nagamichi was listed as a grandmaster of sharp sword making, only (if i'm not mistaken) 13 smiths are taken up in that category of grandmastery.
Last edited by Fuut on Mar 31st, '14, 11:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Nihonto

Postby Pig Hog » Mar 31st, '14, 09:08

In that case I would suggest the following things:

Go and buy a cleaning kit and learn to properly maintain your blades. Even if you're not using them, they will still rust if left unchecked, moreso if you're looking, touching and breathing over them. Plus being displayed in their koshirae will contribute because the lacquered wood will trap the moisture, which is why shirasaya are used for long-term storage.

Second, learn to properly tie the sageo -- although you won't be using it, it's good to know how to tie various decorative and functional knots, in case it comes undone or you just want a change.

Also, tsuka to the left when on display.
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Re: Nihonto

Postby JBaymore » Mar 31st, '14, 09:12

Was aware of both smiths names. Sounds like you'll have a VERY valuable and beautiful pair of swords there. Lucky you.

Remember to study up on proper handling techniques for simply maintaining them. Get GOOD choji oil for them...and don't over oil. I assume the seller will give you information on that stuff.

Just saw the above posting while I was composing mine..... good thoughts.

best,

................john
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Re: Nihonto

Postby JBaymore » Mar 31st, '14, 09:13

Pig Hog wrote:Also, tsuka to the left when on display.


Except when he has someone he doesn't trust coming over. :lol:

best,

.............john
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Re: Nihonto

Postby Fuut » Mar 31st, '14, 09:32

Thank you everyone, i really appreciate all the advice.

This isn't meant as a promotional thing of any kind but the dealer i contacted for these pieces was uniquejapan for which so far i have absolutely no complaints. Only the highest honors for the main contact person here and the endless emails he endured and still is enduring until
today.

A good quality cleaning kit will be provided with i think both pieces, and also a great full color booklet which explains all the types of sageo (if i wrote it correctly). And also how to handle exquisite pieces like these, how to hand them over, how to store and maintain their status. So i think I'm good on that front, however so far i haven't had the pleasure to learn the correct ways or actually learn from a teacher.

Either way my main priority is keeping the value that's stored in these pieces because I'm actually not that rich, this project is basically using up 80 to 90% of my savings.
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Re: Nihonto

Postby Fuut » Mar 31st, '14, 09:47

Alright, i had just opened a message from the guy i'm buying the pieces from. And i just agreed on several parts of the koshirae!

I mean really I'm SOO excited. :D What i want is a natural looking set in earthy colors with a natural theme (like vines, flowers, anything that's found in nature, just not with dragons, lions and aggressors like that).


Starting with the daisho fuchi & kashira, which depict magic mirrors and fans flowing in flowers by the Goto school, accompanying menuki depicting leaves flowing in a river also by the Goto school down to the pair of tsuka depicting a shiitake *(mushroom) design by the Kinai school.


Image
The fuchi and kashira.

Image
The menuki!

Image
And the amazing shiitaki designs on the tsuba (i really like these).


And then forming the circle of healthy flowers to dead plants to fungus taking the dead leaves to grown mushrooms.
Last edited by Fuut on Mar 31st, '14, 09:58, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Nihonto

Postby MEversbergII » Mar 31st, '14, 09:50

My weapon experience is in western arts, but there's a lot that transfers over. Congrats on your daisho! I used to run with the sword collecting community years back, but have been unable to really keep up since moving out on my own. With any luck, I'll finally be able to remedy that this year...

As for cutting practice, I wouldn't cut with "art blades". Better investment to get a good quality production blade and water jugs and practice from there. Been doing it for years; very common thing in the WMA / repro collector community.

Don't forget to post some pictures!

M.
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Re: Nihonto

Postby Fuut » Mar 31st, '14, 10:01

And here after dealing with image restrictions and all that stuff finally some pictures. These are the parts that i ok'ed on earlier this afternoon:) Imagine dark brown earthy ishime lacquer saya's and an earthy tone of silk on the tsuka together with the parts shown above.

I hope i didn't make any mistakes but so far I'm confident the final product will just blow me away!
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Nihonto

Postby Pig Hog » Mar 31st, '14, 10:04

JBaymore wrote:
Pig Hog wrote:Also, tsuka to the left when on display.


Except when he has someone he doesn't trust coming over. :lol:

best,

.............john


Please, come into my tearoom -- I have something I would like to show you...

Sounds like a lot of info is provided. Just ask if there's anything you're unsure of.

These swords are certainly not art blades in the sense of the term that I think you mean. Once mounted, they'll be perfectly useable. Whether you'd want to use such expensive blades is another matter, but for all intents and purposes, they're swords made to be used.
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Re: Nihonto

Postby Fuut » Mar 31st, '14, 10:07

From what i learned from articles and weekly additions from swords clubs all over the world, there were swords that were exempt from sword testing just because they were too valuable to use fearing wear on them, (this basically went for every national treasure or cultural treasure that they had during the time of the wazamono lists and such books). Also just to keep it on topic, i won't use these swords unless some crazy burglar dares to go that far:)


Pig Hog wrote:Please, come into my tearoom -- I have something I would like to show you...

Did you watch Dexter by any chance, seems you have a kill room planted nicely in there;)
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