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 Post subject: Owari-Seki school?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:10 am 
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Sai Jo Saku
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Aloha:

At last weekend's Honolulu gun & sword show, I was lucky enough to find a beautiful wakizashi with NBTHK Hozon origami that I could afford. The paper reads Owari Seki, but that's about all the information I've been able to locate.

With all of the searches available for the Web, I'm rather surprised that there is so little information on that particular school of swordsmiths. At the end of the Muromachi period, a number of swordsmiths migrated from Mino province to Owari, where they happily made great swords for many years. Does anyone have a bit more information on smiths from the Owari-Seki school? My wakizashi is mumei, & I'm very interested in tracking down its maker & any other information.

As soon as I get my digital camera back from the shop, I'll be happy to post a few photos. Mahalo! (Thanks!)

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 Post subject: Owari School
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:40 am 
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Jo Jo Saku

Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:08 pm
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Location: Wilhelmshaven,Germany
Two-easy to get-sources:
1.Art and the Sword,vol.2,1989,p.1-77
Kentaro Yoshikawa,Swords of Owari
2.Malcom E.Cox
Mino-To,Swords and Swordsmiths of Mino Province (with a lot of info about
Owari swordsmiths)
Ludolf


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:13 pm 
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Daimyo
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Hi Ken, On my web site is some pertinent information of the Seki schools and Owari. Some is general and most focuses on Jumyo, but may help your primary research. The Jumyo school, I believe has a greater influence on the start of the Mino den than is commonly published as the Seki Jumyo shodai arrived before Kaneuji from Yamato. Anyway, here are the links. John
http://www.johnstuart.biz/new_page_15.htm
http://www.johnstuart.biz/new_page_14.htm


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 Post subject: owari seki
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:13 pm 
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Chu Jo Saku

Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:59 am
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Location: england
Hi ,
I to have an owari seki blade (mumei)NBTHK hozen it is a fantastic blade ,full of interest , i to will upload some pictures .
Anthony


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 Post subject: Jumyo
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:43 pm 
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Sai Jo Saku
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A good underated school. Some people have a special love for this school and collect only this. John Stuart seems to have put together some nice information on them. There isn't much out there in English beyond the texts Ludolph recommended, and I've never tried to translate the Mino Taikan infromation. If Mr. Stuart tackles that, I'll be first in line to try and get a copy.

I have very few blades left, but keep this one Jumyo O-kogatana (see picture). It was featured in Bushido magazine many years ago, and is about the size of a nice little tanto. On a whim, I papered it one year- and it came back to "earliest Edo" Jumyo. That was fairly close to how I pegged it. Good enough. A very fun little piece.

Some of the Owari Seki Nobutaka blades can be such very beautiful works.


Attachments:
File comment: Jumyo O-kogatana
Jumyo O-kogatana001.jpg
Jumyo O-kogatana001.jpg [ 41.66 KB | Viewed 3563 times ]

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 Post subject: Wakizashi photos
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:30 pm 
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Sai Jo Saku
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I am truly grateful for all of the useful responses to my post. It's great to have such a resource.

My wife & I are heavily involved in martial arts (Linda studies kendo, iaido, & jodo, while I study iaido & jodo, & teach judo & European fencing), & were introduced to Nihonto only a few years ago. But we're making up for that in a hurry! I can see that this forum will be an excellent place to buy a few blades.

I got my digital camera working, & have included a few photos of my wakizashi & Hozon origami. Please provide any comments, & continue to point me in the direction of Owari-Seki info.


Attachments:
Owari-Seki-Wakizashi-full.jpg
Owari-Seki-Wakizashi-full.jpg [ 11.85 KB | Viewed 720 times ]
Owari-Seki-kissaki.jpg
Owari-Seki-kissaki.jpg [ 32.05 KB | Viewed 701 times ]
Owari-Seki-Hozon-Origami.jpg
Owari-Seki-Hozon-Origami.jpg [ 39.32 KB | Viewed 3542 times ]

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Ken Goldstein

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"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it'll annoy enough people to be worth the effort."
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:30 pm 
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Daimyo
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Hi Curran, I just downloaded a Japanese character program that is compatible with my Vista (damn them anyway) and if I ever figure out the way it works so that I can input the Minoto Taikan text I will work on the relevant Jumyo bit. It seems so far to merely echo what I have already, but if new info is forthcoming it will be added to what I have currently there. I also believe it is an undervalued scool. John
BTW I like the o-kogatana. If you ever......!!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:45 pm 
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Daimyo
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Oh Ken, I do not particularly like Owari-Seki as an appraisal. It seems to me that it is a catch all for swords that have characteristics of the area but not an actual school or smith. There were defined schools in Owari but I guess with mumei swords it is too indeterminate. If you were to research the Owari smiths you may find oshigata that can help narrow down suspected schools. Kazu-uchimono are commonly given this designation. All over Mino and Owari there were many such produced and are very problematic in appraisal in this respect. John


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:06 pm 
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Sai Jo Saku
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I'm not real surprised that my wakizashi was appraised as a not-very-specific school, John. It's certainly not the first time I've seen that happen.

Our local sword society has three shinsas as members, however, & they have agreed to take a close look at my blade to see what they can determine. When I can get that level of help, I'm not worried about provenance...yet. I also videotape the examination & discussion, which probably teaches me more about Nihonto than any amount of reading I can do :).

Besides, my wakizashi is a lot of fun just to look at & admire, & I can also learn a lot more with a blade that isn't precisely appraised (not that I could afford one that is perfectly identified).

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Ken Goldstein

Judo Godan/MJER Iaido Yudansha/SMR Jodo Oku-Iri
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"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it'll annoy enough people to be worth the effort."


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 Post subject: That would be a good find.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:19 pm 
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Sai Jo Saku
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Ken,

Finding that wak with NBTHK papers for what you called a fair price- is a good find. I say that with a touch of envy. I liked the photos. The blade looks to be in very good polish.

As John said, Owari-seki does get to be a sort of shinsa dumping ground for blades that meet certain characteristics, but are unsigned. I think that brings the Owari-seki down in overall stature, but the Owari blade geometry, hard dark iron w/ active and visible grain, and strong hamon temper usually with healthy sprinkling of large nie- it all appeals to me in a way that many shinto blades do not.

John-
I'll put a note with it, should I ever decide to sell it. I have the random days when I think to sell off my last non fittings (a tanto, an arrowhead, and this o-kogatana). As an O-kogatana- it was probably made to accompany a massive shrine dedication sword c. 1600.
If you figure out how to input the Mino Taikan, I have about a half dozen other books that could use your leap of technology.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:24 am 
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Daimyo
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Thanks Curran. As to the translation. I have to input every character individually and then try to get sense from odd sentence structure. A paragraph will take me a week or more. Luckily for me Koichi gave me an overview of that section. He did mention that it was difficult to render a translation because of this. I wish I was proficient in this as I have so many books jam packed with info I have no access to. I did try to get pro help but after an assessment they wanted thousands to translate an article I had received from Akos, a past member of the original board. A very frustrating situation for us that can not read Japanese. I shall post when at least the little I do is done. John


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 Post subject: Good question
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:49 am 
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Sai Jo Saku
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Curran, that brings up a good question that I've wondered about for awhile. Should we collectors concentrate on a given period or swordsmith school, or should we instead try to accumulate gorgeous blades that make for interesting study?

My collector friends have gone both ways. I have one friend who must have 25 Bizen Nihonto, which I enjoy examining. But another friend has nearly 100 blades, no two of which are from the same school, & I enjoy those at least as much. Both of them are lucky that their budgets are almost unlimited. Linda & I, on the other hand, will likely stop at a dozen or so in our collection.

Which way is the best??

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Ken Goldstein

Judo Godan/MJER Iaido Yudansha/SMR Jodo Oku-Iri
Fencing Master/NRA Instructor/President Japanese Sword Society of Hawaii

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it'll annoy enough people to be worth the effort."


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:58 am 
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Daimyo
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Ken,

Its your choice, all options are possible, that's the way of collecting. But once you are in the Nihonto collecting business interest seems to narrow to specific schools or period

John has written :

Quote:
Owari-seki does get to be a sort of shinsa dumping ground for blades that meet certain characteristics, but are unsigned. I think that brings the Owari-seki down in overall stature,


Is this the same as Koto o-suriage blades being "bungoed" at shinsa? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:32 pm 
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Metsuke
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Jean wrote:
Is this the same as Koto o-suriage blades being "bungoed" at shinsa?

Not at all, there are quite a few good Owari Seki blades out there. The attached pic shows a Sagami no Kami Fujiwara Yasuyuki Wakizashi that easily made Tokubetsu Hozon, and came darn close to Jûyô (according to a well known NBTHK official ;)).

One of the very few cases I later regretted having sold it ... :cry:


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yasuyuki.jpg [ 98.42 KB | Viewed 3070 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:30 pm 
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Daimyo
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Splendid Guido,

In fact my remark was just a joke for Milt :D

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