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Old 12-04-2017, 02:04 PM   #11
Pat McDonald
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Tee hee, memory, as fallible as a drunken bee...

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AtdYBah-RzmTgQJ6hrnfA23LIKyj <-Sonny sessions, text and picture

https://1drv.ms/b/s!AtdYBah-RzmTgRYtMLk9hFlHDxaF <-MJO Session (PDF)

Uploaded the lot, for the casual reader, here's the first feedback text and pictures... The CUE was "Describe the making, production and presentation of the katana sword from Owner to Recipient whose marking matches the inscription of the supplied picture file ONLY" or something like that. All double blind, of course, done by email.


Quote:
Expected data would be to describe a katana sword being presented to a notable figure as a symbol of feudal loyalty. The OWNER is NOT the same as the RECIPIENT. The owner is the person who paid for the katana sword. The recipient would be the samurai to whom the sword owner owed loyalty through the Japanese feudal tradition.

The marks on the sword refer to 2 things - the date the sword was made, and the maker. Very often the maker's mark also includes the feudal district where the sword maker was based. I must apologise for the poor transcribing of these marks, which I penned approximately August 2000. Just to prove there really was such a sword to have its markings transcribed from - for they are exceedingly unusual - I have included a scan of the receipt I got for a small downpayment. I did not actually complete payment, as the dealer concerned swapped the blade for a different one when he compared it to the others in his militaria store. Ooh, blooming cheats... but as he's gone to the great antique trader in the sky, it is not possible to ask him directly as to exactly what happened.

The date simply isn't clear. It refers to the 17th year of an emperor's reign, but exactly which one cannot be decoded. The first character appears to be Gen, a musical instrument, but there was no emperor with such a nengo (reign ideogram).

It is probable that I have simply written down the first character incorrectly. Given the style of the characters - running grass script, popular during the Meiji restoration when wearing of swords and the samurai caste as a whole were abolished - and also the similarity of the first character with ji, (2nd character of Meiji), it is likely to have been made either in 17th year of the Meiji reign or perhaps in the 17th year of the previous emperor, Komei. Given the general condition of the antique, I would have been suprised if it had been older as it lacked patina around the mark area (underneath the hilt).

Assuming I am correct in the ball park estimate of mid nineteenth century for the date... This era is particularly fascinating as it marks Admiral Perry's intervention in Tokyo bay, the initial rush to "Repel the foreign invaders! Protect the emperor" followed by a boy emperor who promptly adopted modern western technology, ditched the military dictatorship (shogunate), and pretty much banned anyone from carrying this sort of weapon unless they were on imperial business. Previously to this, trading and commerce with mainland Japan was I'm told limited to one ship docking at Nagasaki per year.

The maker's mark has so far eluded me, as my transcription is poor, and the stylistic nature of the kanji, have resulted in a zero hit rate for gaining an accurate estimate at this time. From memory, two of the characters are "Rekka" and "-tsu", and the rough area where the sword smith was based is probably Wushu. As there are literally thousands upon thousands of known smiths, finding the area speeds up identifying the smith.

It is almost a certainty that the sword represents war booty from WW2, and was the property of an ex-serviceman from that era who bought it back to the UK. It is also almost certain that the sword was used in anger. However, it is arguable that the initial INTENDED primary use was not that of a weapon, but as a meditation aid to a man skilled in Zen, Kendo, and probably quite a few other ancient Japanese practises. Although Zen Bhuddism didn't originate in Japan...

I'd say you both hit pretty good. Better analyses to follow.
Incidentally, sonny "made his bones" in MAC-V, ie he is a Vietnam veteran. MJO is a Brit like me. Haven't talked to them online in years... Never met either of them physically.

Kanji feedback link (Picture);-

https://1drv.ms/i/s!AtdYBah-RzmTgRAREp3kkECNhh2k

Receipt feedback link (Picture). Store is defunct over 10 years... used to sell RPG launchers for 500 too. No ammo though. Bosnia threw up some interesting booty. The signature I deliberately screwed up when I wrote it.

https://1drv.ms/i/s!AtdYBah-RzmTgRGBUnuXhbvHLHtT

Link to Initial Feedback posted and quoted above;-

https://1drv.ms/t/s!AtdYBah-RzmTgRKRFyg4xXbbsi7q

Link to Analysis, scores and Final Feedback here (the RTF has the most interesting bits if you are scanning expert or fan of Nippon ways or just want to know why I'm such a "strange" person...);-

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AtdYBah-RzmTgQM6d0sLu7VbXCDa
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Last edited by Pat McDonald; 12-04-2017 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:47 PM   #12
Pat McDonald
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat McDonald View Post
The website where the data was made available was disbanded over ten years ago, so I cannot simply put up a link to the project.
Hmmm... 10 years is a bit long, rv.co.uk (Marv Darley's site) was shut about 2011, so 6 years or so I think.

Pretty sure Marv's sessions have appeared in 8 Martinis magazine, or at least one of his. Very good chap, it was his website. But he is a school teacher, and needed to save some time and money. Fair enough.
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Beware virii that hide in signatures. Nasty, nasty hackers out there. Usually they appear in Personal Messages, not on a forum.

You think I don't know. Well, maybe you're wrong. Maybe I'm wrong.

But assuming you are always right always puts you in the wrong.

Because assume just makes an ass of u and me.
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