August 1
I saw a sword made by the emperor Gotoba at the Tokyo National Museum.

The chrysanthemum mark is carved in the tang, and the blade is a very nice shape as a tachi blade from the Kamakura period. The hamon is choji pattern what looks like that of Ichimonji. Probably this time, some smith from Ichimonji prepared the blade for him and helped him to temper the blade by himself.
I'm sorry it was difficult to take the choji hamon by my camera.

One interesting point is Yaki-otoshi. The hamon and utsuri starts 3 ~ 4 cm away from the ha-machi. Such starting of hamon is very rare in Ichimonji blades. So it suggests the emperor Gotoba who personally tempered the blade.

Such a long yaki-otoshi often happens for sword fans who try tempering, because the fire to heat the blade is too hot for them to heat the blade part near the tang. They are afraid to burn their hand. It is funny when we imagine the emperor who heats the blade being afraid of his hand burnt.

Tempering experience by customers => Project Gotoba

May 26
University students from the United States came to my Kodaira forge.
They experienced the fold'n welding work. They helped me using a big hammer to forge the outer steel of blade. They are from Lebanon, Venezuela, China, Taiwan and United States.


May 8th
The executive director of NBTHK, Mr. Shizuka is coming to Poland next week. He will make some lectures in some sword events. And our smith kokaji will be together with him as translator.

April 1st
A joke tsuba made by our smith
It was submitted to the NBTHK new sword compatition 2017.

"May the force be with you"

March 26th
A pitiful tachi blade "Yukimitsu"
I met a long tachi blade at some antique shop. The signature is Yukimitsu. The shop owner said it is genuine from Kamakura period. The hamon was bright enough, but the shape looked a little strange. Because it had big curvature around the monouchi comparing with normal tachi shape from Kamakura period. I studied around the big curvature part carefully. Then, I found two deep marks of sword attack on the back, and crack in hamon. Sadly this blade was damaged by hard fight. Now it is just a wall-hanging.

January 29th
A blade is re-polished.
There was a blade with the modern style polishing (hadori polishing). And recently it was re-polished with the classical style polishing (sashikomi polishing). The appearance of blade has changed so much. The craftsman depressed the steel layer, and brought up the steel particles more. Such a tender work made the steel finer, and bring activities more clearly. I am confusing which is the true face of this blade.

The left is old hadori polishing and the right is new sashikomi polishing.

January 10th
I went to the Tokyo National Museum to see the O-Kanehira what they say one of the best Japanese sword.

I have seen it several times in the window.
I don't know who polished it, but the polishing work is not good, or horrible. Even if it is called an excellent polishing as "Art sword". It brings up the layer pattern so much, that the utsuri is masked by the visible layer.

On the other hand, the habaki is excellent. It is very original, made of un-refined copper. The surface is just a remains of filing work. It must be made at the same time when the blade was forged out. It shows that the blade was a simple weapon when it was made. Simple weapon is beautiful, while art sword is ugly. This is the key of the beauty of Japanese sword.

October 28th
I saw a strange sword in some sword meeting.
It was a tachi from 13th century, with famous smith signature and titled to Juyo-Token by NBTHK. The shape looks powerful, and it has one big attacking mark on the back. It is very interesting to see it as real weapon in Kamakura period. The hamon is made of large particles (nie) and it looks really masterpiece. But the hamon around 10cm near the tip is different. There are no large particles, but only nioi (smallest particles). It is very doubtful of step-tempering or fake hamon by excellent polishing. What is more, the groove shows the fact that the tip had broken-off and then reshaped sometime in the past. Anyway it is impossible to keep original hamon around the tip.

August 26
Meeting of Musashino sword club
Swords for kantei game
1, Tachi "Tsunemitsu" (Ko-Bizen) 12 century
2, Ko-tachi, originally no signature (or signature is crushed), attributed to Osafune Mitsutada, 13th century
3, Katana "Osafune Tadamitsu" "Entoku 4 year ..." (1492)
4,Katana "Osafune Katsumitsu" "Eisho 11 year ..." (1514)
5, Wakizashi in hira-zukuri style "Harima(no)kami Teruhiro"
This time, we studied the grooves on the blades from 12th century to 16th century.

July 7
I polished an interesting blade.
It is a Macedonian knife from 7th century. One side is polished by hazuya finish.
The steel construction is two blocks style. The body steel has a straight layer pattern. The edge steel is fine and its wood grain layer pattern is compact.

Hamon is made of small particles (ko-nie) mainly, and it is bright. Its pattern is choji and some complicated patterns. It looks like hitatsura. Nice blade.

Remembrance from the News

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