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 Post subject: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:08 am
Posts: 12
Hello All,
Hope everyone is doing well.
I was wondering if I could get some help translating the inside of this saya.
When I got it, the saya was wrapped completely in old black duct tape.
The saya fell apart when unwrapped, never having been glued together.
Image
Here is a close up of the top
Image
Close up of the bottom
Image
Thanks for any and all help.
Pavel


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 Post subject: Re: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:54 am 
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Location: at San Francisco in California
Pavel-
Very sorry you've had to wait for this, I was hoping to answer you sooner but this proved to be pretty tough;
安政四年巳霜月刻改之
邑雄改
Which I would render;
Ansei yon mi shimotsuki koku kai kore
Otake Kai
This last bit may be the mans name and there are a number of possibilities. Japanese names as a wiser man than I often says constitute their own hell. Also koku Kai kore is clearly not how this is read but the meaning is something like "correctly carved this" . If I can get a better reading I will post it, in the end this is the work of the sayashi if I am not mistaken...
-t

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 Post subject: Re: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:57 am 
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安政四年 fourth year of Ansei

霜月 eleventh month

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Thomas C Helm
Contributing Editor NCJSC
www.ncjsc.org
www.toryu-mon.com


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 Post subject: Re: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:18 pm 
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Toryu wrote:
Pavel-
Very sorry you've had to wait for this, I was hoping to answer you sooner but this proved to be pretty tough;
安政四年巳霜月刻改之
邑雄改
Which I would render;
Ansei yon mi shimotsuki koku kai kore
Otake Kai
This last bit may be the mans name and there are a number of possibilities. Japanese names as a wiser man than I often says constitute their own hell. Also koku Kai kore is clearly not how this is read but the meaning is something like "correctly carved this" . If I can get a better reading I will post it, in the end this is the work of the sayashi if I am not mistaken...
-t

Worth the wait, thank you very much.
Toryu wrote:
安政四年 fourth year of Ansei

霜月 eleventh month


This fits with what Mr. Watson said.
His quote:

"The writing on the inside of the scabbard appears to be that of the person who reshaped the sword. That was a naginata, and has been made into a wakizashi."

The date appears to be a month in 1857, but the name of the month is a bit smeared. The other three kanji appear to me to say BASHOU ARATAMERU, meaning changed by a person called Bashou. In this case, shou ryhmes with show."

That would make the blade that fits the saya a Naganata noashi?
I have a drawing of a nagamaki noashi, would that be the same thing, only modern?
Attachment:
book.jpg
book.jpg [ 121.63 KiB | Viewed 9495 times ]

Could the small gold spots on the nakago mean anything? The rest is so rusted you can barely see the yasurine, which to me look like Takanoha.
Attachment:
goldspots.jpg
goldspots.jpg [ 143.02 KiB | Viewed 9495 times ]


I am really beginning to enjoy studying about the Gokaden, and it is the gracious help I receive on this and other forums that make it even more so.
So thanks again, I really do appreciate it.
Pavel


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 Post subject: Re: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:02 am 
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 10:40 am
Posts: 5
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
re: Inscription in the saya.

安政四年巳霜月刻改之  邑雄改

Ansei yo nen mi shimotsuki kore wo kizami (kokushi) aratameru kunio aratameru

This was reshaped in November, the fourth year of Ansei, (year of the) snake. Reshaped by Kunio.

Since it was written inside the saya, at first I thought like Thomas that it was done by a sayashi.
But then that begs the question, why reshape a shirasaya?

After seeing your remark about it being a naginata-naoshi (reshaped naginata) the inscription makes sense.
刻 kizamu or kokusu - to carve away or cut away.
改 aratameru - correct, adjust, or redo.
之 kore - this

Regarding the name of the individual that did the work, this is one of those names from Hell.
My gut feeling is Kunio.

The reason I say that this is a name from Hell is that each kanji character has a number of possible readings making for an infinite number of possible combinations.

邑 kuni,mura,sato,sumi etc. country,village,municipality, etc.
雄 o, kazu, kata, katsu, taka, take, nori, yoshi......ad nauseum. male, brave, strong, hero, strong man, brave man, etc.

Other than the exact reading of what I read as Kunio, I am confident about the rest of the inscription.
I hope this is of help to you.

Loren M. Nishimura
Anchorage, Alaska

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Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable.


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 Post subject: Re: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 10
Pavel,

The bits of gold on the nakago are likely remnants of a Kinzogan mei attribution. The saya is indeed interesting. The first image looks as if the kurigata may have been relocated, which in turn leads me to believe that perhaps the saya *and* the blade may have been altered. If the sword were slightly shortened and the habaki and saya retained, proper fitting of the blade to it's saya would require trimming the koiguchi end down as well to augment proper seating of the blade in the pocket. The kurigata would thus be too close to the new koiguchi, and need relocating for adequate spacing.

The terms Naoshi or Suriage are generally associated with corrections to a blade, but I can't see how a sayashi would be relegated to that task as it's not generally in their trade focus. The blade may have been altered by a craftsman suited to that task, then the saya and blade sent to the sayashi for this "carving" alteration.

Just my thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:54 am 
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Posts: 12
Kajitori wrote:
re: Inscription in the saya.

安政四年巳霜月刻改之  邑雄改

Ansei yo nen mi shimotsuki kore wo kizami (kokushi) aratameru kunio aratameru

This was reshaped in November, the fourth year of Ansei, (year of the) snake. Reshaped by Kunio.

Since it was written inside the saya, at first I thought like Thomas that it was done by a sayashi.
But then that begs the question, why reshape a shirasaya?

After seeing your remark about it being a naginata-naoshi (reshaped naginata) the inscription makes sense.
刻 kizamu or kokusu - to carve away or cut away.
改 aratameru - correct, adjust, or redo.
之 kore - this

Regarding the name of the individual that did the work, this is one of those names from Hell.
My gut feeling is Kunio.

The reason I say that this is a name from Hell is that each kanji character has a number of possible readings making for an infinite number of possible combinations.

邑 kuni,mura,sato,sumi etc. country,village,municipality, etc.
雄 o, kazu, kata, katsu, taka, take, nori, yoshi......ad nauseum. male, brave, strong, hero, strong man, brave man, etc.

Other than the exact reading of what I read as Kunio, I am confident about the rest of the inscription.
I hope this is of help to you.

Loren M. Nishimura
Anchorage, Alaska



Thank You this is great news.
The blade itself is in rough shape, I hesitate even showing it, however,
maybe it will help identify it.
Attachment:
kit.jpg
kit.jpg [ 113.88 KiB | Viewed 9391 times ]

My books say it is a U-no-kubi/Cormorants neck style blade.
It has a Naginnata-hi on one side and futasuji-bi on the other.
From what I can see the hamon is wide sugata.
I have put it in a new saya to protect it.
Attachment:
bst2.jpg
bst2.jpg [ 43.18 KiB | Viewed 9391 times ]

Thanks again for any help at all.
Pavel


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 Post subject: Re: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:08 am
Posts: 12
Ted Tenold wrote:
Pavel,

The bits of gold on the nakago are likely remnants of a Kinzogan mei attribution. The saya is indeed interesting. The first image looks as if the kurigata may have been relocated, which in turn leads me to believe that perhaps the saya *and* the blade may have been altered. If the sword were slightly shortened and the habaki and saya retained, proper fitting of the blade to it's saya would require trimming the koiguchi end down as well to augment proper seating of the blade in the pocket. The kurigata would thus be too close to the new koiguchi, and need relocating for adequate spacing.

The terms Naoshi or Suriage are generally associated with corrections to a blade, but I can't see how a sayashi would be relegated to that task as it's not generally in their trade focus. The blade may have been altered by a craftsman suited to that task, then the saya and blade sent to the sayashi for this "carving" alteration.

Just my thoughts.


Just looked up Kinzogan mei, and that would be fantastic and rare from what the connoisseur's book says. I thought it might be a cutting test.
Whatever this sword is, it has provided many hours of study and speculation.
For me to know it is older than 1858 is excellent, I think it maybe even older.
Thank you for the thoughts.
Pavel


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 Post subject: Re: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:40 am 
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 10:40 am
Posts: 5
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
re: Gold flecks on the nakago.

As Ted stated these are probably remnants of an attribution mei.
Strictly speaking though, it is not a kinzogan mei but a kinpun mei.
Kinzogan mei are gold inlay. The kanji characters are cut into the nakago and gold inlaid into the incisions.
Kinpun mei (lit. "gold dust" mei) are written onto the nakago with gold lacquer.
With a kinzogan mei, if the gold gets loose and falls out, the inscription still remains. (See example of the test cut mei in this forum.)
With a kinpun mei it could rub off from friction and nothing would remain of the inscription.
There was a "pecking order" for these mei. Unfortunately, I do not have my reference materials with me so I am not a 100% sure what type of mei goes with what but I believe kinzogan was for originally zaimei blades that lost their mei through suriage. Ubu mumei were something else.
There were kinzogan, kinpun, possibly ginpun ("silver dust") and red lacquer.
I will try to research it and get back with you.

Loren M. Nishimura
Anchorage, Alaska

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Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable.


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 Post subject: Re: Translation of inside of saya
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
You are right Loren, Red lacquer is for ubu mumei sword attribution called 'shumei'. 'Kinpunmei' or 'ginpunmei' are for attribution on osuriage swords. John


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