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Japanese Sword WWII

Article about: by ghp95134 Hi Bob, I don't have a dog in this fight; however, I agree with you 100% up to a point. If one has a valuable blade, then the better choice is to send it to a LICENSED togishi. H

  1. #21

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    Quote by ghp95134 View Post
    Just found this link to David Hofhine who charges $79/inch plus shipping.

    If you require only a "finish polish" ...


    He shows a before and after of a SUKESADA wakizashi:
    Before
    After

    Hmmmmmmm ......

    --Guy
    Wow!

  2. #22

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    Quote by ghp95134 View Post
    Just found this link to David Hofhine who charges $79/inch plus shipping.

    If you require only a "finish polish" ...


    He shows a before and after of a SUKESADA wakizashi:
    Before
    After

    Hmmmmmmm ......

    --Guy
    I personally have never heard of Mr. Hofhine or had an opportunity to examine his work. After looking at Mr. Hofhine's site, I noted that in no place on his web site did he relate his teacher or years studying sword polishing. Sword polishing is much more than removing rust, brightening the blade and the grain and highlighting the temper. In Japan, a typical apprenticeship takes five years. It takes most students nearly a year just to be able to attain the proper sitting position when working. A great part of the apprenticeship envolves the study of blades and understanding where and when a blade was made. That will tell the polisher how to proceed with restoration. In some cases, that will also include returning a blade to it's original shape. This is a science not available to those who develop their work independently outside of Japan. In the long run, there are no bargains in sword polish. In Japan, it is common for the student to do the grunt work under the watchful eye of the master. The master will do the finishing work.
    Talking about polishing this sword is putting the cart in front of the horse. First, you need to affirm that the signature is correct and not a forgery. From what I see from your images, I would have doubts as to this. The signature appears lightly struck and not done with the confidence of a man who signed his own blades. The majority of the blades I have handled by this smith are also dated.
    Putting hard earned money into a blade that does not deserve the work is money poorly spent. These are my thoughts on the matter to be taken or ignored as one wishes.
    Last edited by BOB COLEMAN; 05-29-2013 at 12:14 AM.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    Thanks for your input Bob. I agree. I need to make sure exactly what this is and who made it. I am hoping the good people of this site will assist me in this. I would consider getting the blade properly polished if this is indeed an original. I would Al's like to determine the value of this to see if it would be worth the polishing.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    Quote by matty60618 View Post
    Thanks for your input Bob. I agree. I need to make sure exactly what this is and who made it. I am hoping the good people of this site will assist me in this. I would consider getting the blade properly polished if this is indeed an original. I would Al's like to determine the value of this to see if it would be worth the polishing.
    I would suggest you contact Bob Benson of Bushido Antiques in Honolulu. Here is his web site: Bushido*Antique Japanese Swords - Home
    After serving in the USAF in Japan, he stayed in Japan after his service and did a full apprenticeship under a master sword polisher. During this period, he won numerous prizes for his work in competitions in Japan. This was very uncommon years ago. Your sword needs an in hand examination which Bob can preform. He will never recommend work that should not be done. Bob is also an ex-cheesehead and visited me recently. He travels back and forth to Japan regularly handling swords for rewstoration work and also shinsa at the NBTHK. This is the issuance of a certificate of authenticity. Your blade is considered shinto or a new sword. All blades made after 1600 to around 1780 are considered shinto.
    As your sword is a wakizahis and has two holes in the tang, this will deflate the value of the blade. Shinto to have their best value should be as close as they can be to the time they were made. There was no war so blades did not break or get worn out. If your signature is genuine, Kozuke Daijo Sukesada top work time was in the Kanbun era which ran from 1661-1673.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    So do you think the only way to determine authenticity is to have someone like Bob Benson view the sword in person? Why is it that two holes in the tang diminish value? And are you saying this could possibly be over 300 years old? I would have never thought.

  6. #26
    ?

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    Quote by BOB COLEMAN View Post
    I would suggest you contact Bob Benson of Bushido Antiques in Honolulu. Here is his web site: Bushido*Antique Japanese Swords - Home
    After serving in the USAF in Japan, he stayed in Japan after his service and did a full apprenticeship under a master sword polisher. During this period, he won numerous prizes for his work in competitions in Japan. This was very uncommon years ago. Your sword needs an in hand examination which Bob can preform. He will never recommend work that should not be done. Bob is also an ex-cheesehead and visited me recently. He travels back and forth to Japan regularly handling swords for rewstoration work and also shinsa at the NBTHK. This is the issuance of a certificate of authenticity. Your blade is considered shinto or a new sword. All blades made after 1600 to around 1780 are considered shinto.
    As your sword is a wakizahis and has two holes in the tang, this will deflate the value of the blade. Shinto to have their best value should be as close as they can be to the time they were made. There was no war so blades did not break or get worn out. If your signature is genuine, Kozuke Daijo Sukesada top work time was in the Kanbun era which ran from 1661-1673.
    Very interesting, Bob.
    Any more info on your friend?

  7. #27

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    An in hand examination by an individual with an experienced eye should be able to determine the authenticity of the signature. As I previously stated, new swords values are determined on how close they are to the day they were forged. A second hole in the tang is an addition and likely indicates a slight shortening of the cutting edge.
    As to Bob Benson, he has been in the sword business for over 50 years. He handles transport of swords to Japan, arranges for their clearance and registration. After proper government registration, he will proceed in locating the proper people to do restoration work and also will arrange for shinsa. He also arranges for export clearance papers and shipment back to Hawaii. He also has several excellent artisans in Hawaii he has trained and they do various work for him. In the past, I have used him numerous times and never was disappointed with what he has done.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    Thanks Bob. I sent an email to him. Even if this is a fake it is still an old piece though right?

  9. #29

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    Bob... Is it possible that Kagamitsu from Osofune Bizen Provence ever made a Wakazashi?

    Thanks.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Japanese Sword WWII

    Hi Bob,

    I don't have a dog in this fight; however, I agree with you 100% up to a point. If one has a valuable blade, then the better choice is to send it to a LICENSED togishi. However, if one has a gunto or junker in rough shape, it makes sense to have it done by a skilled (to us who are not collectors) amateur. After all, most gunto will not be allowed in Japan.

    I met Chris Bowen in Japan sometime in the early 1990s, though he might not remember me. I found Chris' comment about Mr. Hofline on a Nihonto Message Board thread; he was very objective:
    Quote by Chris Bowen
    I know David [Hofline] quite well but as I have told him many times, he shouldn't be working on collectible blades. He does a lot of work on showa/gunto/iaito and swords that are tired, flawed, and otherwise not collectible, and does a decent job. I have no issue with that but would not give him something that was collectible because he doesn't have the training to do the work on the level that I have come to expect from professionally trained polishers.

    source
    The entire 9-page thread is very informative, and most of the message board members feel swords should be sent to Japan; however, others point out the blade in question was not a collectable sword, the condition was terrible, and the owner could only afford an amateur self-taught American polisher; points well made, I think.

    By the way, here's the sword before and after.
    The most pertinent criticisms of this polish were (1) the hada was not fully brought out, and (2) there is evidence of some small scratches (hiki) .... which the owner didn't notice.

    I understand how Nippon-to aficionados and connoisseurs feel toward preserving collectable swords; I've never considered myself a collector -- just a "user" of nice weapons, so my opinion varies 180 degrees at times -- even with myself. If I had a junker, I wouldn't mind sending it so someone with similar self-taught skills.

    --Guy

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