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Filming for Two Weeks, on Location Around East Sussex for a Documentary

The shop will be open as normal.

Code: 23843


A Simply Stunning 14th to 15th Century Tachi, The Samurai 'Slung' Sword

The blade looks simply magnificent. It's had grain as so beautiful and complex it is truly exceptional, and utterly remarkable for a blade that is between 600 to 700 years old!! A slim wakazashi sized tachi, in stunning Edo period shakudo fittings, of the most discerning quality, mounted faithfully to scale as a full tachi, but around two thirds size and to be worn as a shoto but tachi style, bound from the obi. Often they could be used as young samurai swords, but only for sons of the very highest ranking Daimyo when in this quality. Beautiful blade from the 14th to 15th century with nambokochu form fish belly tang. The koshirae are gilt bronze with fine shakudo and mon of menuki, The Nishikawa family crest, of the Maru ni Mokkou. A tachi was a type of traditionally made Japanese sword (nihonto) worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tachi style of swords preceded the development of the katana ? the first use of the word katana to indicate a blade different from tachi appears toward the end of the twelfth century. In later Japanese feudal history, during the Sengoku and Edo periods, certain high-ranking warriors of what became the ruling class would wear their sword tachi-style (edge-downward), rather than with the saya (scabbard) thrust through the belt with the edge upward. The bakuhan taisei was the feudal political system in the Edo period of Japan. Baku, or "tent," is an abbreviation of bakufu, meaning "military government" ? that is, the shogunate. The han were the domains headed by daimyo. The number of han (roughly 250) fluctuated throughout the Edo period. They were ranked by size, which was measured as the number of koku that the domain produced each year. One koku was the amount of rice necessary to feed one adult male for one year. The minimum number for a daimyo was ten thousand koku; the largest, apart from the shogun, was a million. 28.5 inches long, blade 20.25 inches long tsuba to tip. Kameda - Ishino - Magabuchi - Kawashima - Wada et Yamaoka. Tachi can vary in size enormously from elegant and small such as this ancient sword, to long and heavy.

Code: 22988

6950.00 GBP

Shortlist item
A Stunning Pair Of Tsuba, Original Early Daisho Sukashi Mon Iron Maru Gata Tsuba

Pre-Edo or early Edo period, circa 1600's. Polished finish bevelled towards the edge. Matching daito [long sword] and shoto [short sword] tsubas, very finely pierced with the Rokakku samurai clan's crest, the "kamon" . Founded by Sasaki Yasutsuna of Omi Province in the 13th century, the name Rokkaku was taken from their residence within Kyoto; however, many members of this family continued to be called Sasaki. Over the course of the Muromachi period, members of the clan held the high post of Constable (shugo) of various provinces.
During the Onin War (1467?77), which marked the beginning of the Sengoku period, the clan's Kannonji Castle came under assault. As a consequence of defeat in the field, the clan entered a period of decline.
Like other hard-pressed daimyos, the Rokakku tried to enhance their military position by giving closer attention to improved civil administration within their domain. For instance, in 1549, the Rokkaku eliminated a paper merchant's guild in Mino under penalty of confiscation. Then they declared a free market in its place.

The Rokakku were defeated by Oda Nobunaga in 1568 on his march to Kyoto and in 1570 they were absolutely defeated by Shibata Katsuie. During the Edo period, Rokkaku Yoshisuke's descendants were considered a koke clan. Historically, or in a more general context, the term koke may refer to a family of old lineage and distinction. Tsuba were made by whole dynasties of craftsmen whose only craft was making tsuba. They were usually lavishly decorated. In addition to being collectors items, they were often used as heirlooms, passed from one generation to the next. Japanese families with samurai roots sometimes have their family crest (mon) crafted onto a tsuba. Tsuba can be found in a variety of metals and alloys, including iron, steel, brass, copper and shakudo. In a duel, two participants may lock their katana together at the point of the tsuba and push, trying to gain a better position from which to strike the other down. This is known as tsubazeriai pushing tsuba against each other. A samurai's daisho were his swords, as worn together, as stated in the Tokugawa edicts. In a samurai family the swords were so revered that they were passed down from generation to generation, from father to son. If the hilt or scabbard wore out or broke, new ones would be fashioned for the all-important blade. The hilt, the tsuba (hand guard), and the scabbard themselves were often great art objects, with fittings sometimes of gold or silver. Often, too, they ?told? a story from Japanese myths. Magnificent specimens of Japanese swords can be seen today in the Tokugawa Art Museum?s collection in Nagoya, Japan.
In creating the sword, a sword craftsman, such as, say, the legendary Masamune, had to surmount a virtual technological impossibility. The blade had to be forged so that it would hold a very sharp edge and yet not break in the ferocity of a duel. To achieve these twin objectives, the sword maker was faced with a considerable metallurgical challenge. Steel that is hard enough to take a sharp edge is brittle. Conversely, steel that will not break is considered soft steel and will not take a keen edge. Japanese sword artisans solved that dilemma in an ingenious way. Four metal bars ? a soft iron bar to guard against the blade breaking, two hard iron bars to prevent bending and a steel bar to take a sharp cutting edge ? were all heated at a high temperature, then hammered together into a long, rectangular bar that would become the sword blade. When the swordsmith worked the blade to shape it, the steel took the beginnings of an edge, while the softer metal ensured the blade would not break. This intricate forging process was followed by numerous complex processes culminating in specialist polishing to reveal the blades hamon and to thus create the blade's sharp edge. Inazo Nitobe stated: ?The swordsmith was not a mere artisan but an inspired artist and his workshop a sanctuary. Daily, he commenced his craft with prayer and purification, or, as the phrase was, ?he committed his soul and spirit into the forging and tempering of the steel.?
Celebrated sword masters in the golden age of the samurai, roughly from the 13th to the 17th centuries, were indeed revered to the status they richly deserved. Daito tsuba 78mm, shoto tsuba 72mm. Apertures for the sword's tangs [nakago ana] 29mm x 8mm and 24mm x 8mm respectively [they can be adjusted as required]

Code: 23030

1475.00 GBP

Shortlist item
A Most Fine & Beautiful Katana Signed Sukesada of Bizen Dated 1560

Signed Bizen kuni ju Osafune Sukesada. One of the Sukesada, Bizen smiths. A very nice Koto blade, that has seen battle, with fine mounts and, most unusually, a very interestingly, embossed leather bound tsuka, with cloisonn? enamel menuki. Embossed leather was imported to Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century and was highly prized as screens and other decorative works of art. We have also seen, although most rarely, other items decorated with this distinctive leatherwork such as samurai purses and saya coverings. The embossing on the leather are various insects, highly popular in samurai fittings d?cor. The fushi tsuka mount is very fine, signed by the maker, and decorated with flowers and gold buds. Harima, Mimasaka and Bizen provinces were prospering under the protection of the Akamatsu family. Above all, Bizen province turned out a great many talented swordsmiths. A large number of swords were made there in the late Muromachi period not only supplying the demand of the Age of Provincial Wars in Japan but also as an important exporting item to the Ming dynasty in China. At the onset of the decline of the Ashikaga shogunate in 1565 ad., and Yoshiteru's assassination the shogunate of Yoshiteru was filled by his two-year old son, Yoshiaki. Yoshiteru's brother was the abbot of a Buddhist monastery. He resigned this position and attempted to assume the shogunate. These efforts ultimately failed. The demand for swords began an accent to unimaginable levels. The national unrest and violent civil war did not cease until the successful takeover of the shogunate by Tokugawa Iyeyasu. The "Osafune - Kozori" group was the major supplier of blades for these events. 29 inch blade Tsuba to tip. On just one side of the blade there are combat stress hagire marks near the top section. This blade has certainly seen combat, and is simply ideal for the historical collector of beautiful samurai weaponry of battle, rather than those seeking blade condition perfection. 40 inches long approx overall in saya

Code: 22916

6450.00 GBP

Shortlist item
A Beautiful Antique Edo Period {1615 -1868 } Shakudo and Gold Kozuka and Kogatana of Seiobo Flying on Her Phoenix, also Known as Xiwangmu

with two attendants holding open gold fans. the background has crashing waves and a large urn decorated with pure gold clouds. the blade is fully signed. Kozuka is the small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu (groove of the sheath [saya] of a Japanese sword). Many tsubas (sword handguard) have two holes pierced to put Kozuka and Kogai (hairdressing equipment for appearance) next to Nakagoana (a hole of the Tsuba to put sword), so that Samurai didn’t need to draw his sword out of the scabbard when he wanted to use his Kozuka or Kogai. Initially, Samurai used his kozuka knife for cutting wood or attacking enemies in an emergency. Xiwangmu, the Queen Mother of the West, is one of China’s most popular goddesses, and one of the oldest. She featured in the Daoist classic by Zhuangzi, part of which was written in the fourth century BC, though she achieved her greatest prominence in later times. She symbolises long life and is the patron goddess of women. The Chinese-imported goddess is less well-known in Japan, but may have been more ubiquitous in ancient times in Japan as localized funerary tomb figures. Statues of Xiwangmu have been found in tombs of the Kofun Period. Given her associations with immortality and her garden and peach tree of immortality, her popularity as a figure of the Underworld is not surprising. 205 mm long overall, kogatana blade 105 mm long, kozuka [handle] 97mm long 14mm wide

Code: 23841

595.00 GBP

Shortlist item

The Wakazashi sold in 20 minutes, only the tanto and katana remain. See below for photos descriptions and prices. All offered below cost!!

Code: 23839


SPECIAL CUSTOMER DISCOUNT, SAVE AN INCREDIBLE £2000A Koto Aikuchi Tanto 500 to 600 Years Old With Clan Mon.

!! Our regulars know, now and again, we offer very special pieces, below cost, to make space for an influx of new additions. This can be the perfect opportunity to seize an amazing bargain. With deeply ridge red lacquer saya horn fittings and menuki forming it's mekugi decorated with pure gold clan Gosan kirimon of powlonia. The blade is very attractive and around 500 to 600 years old. It's kozuka is most rare, in that it's hilt is a representation of a formed samurai sword's tang with it's signature with the large chrysanthemum mon. This is a rare and very desireable type of kozuka. The tanto is commonly referred to as a knife or dagger. The blade can be single or double edged with a length between 15 and 30 cm (6-12 inches, in Japanese 1 shaku). The tanto was designed primarily as a stabbing weapon, but the edge can be used for slashing as well. Tanto are generally forged in hira-zukuri style (without ridgeline), meaning that their sides have no ridge line and are nearly flat, unlike the shinogi-zukuri structure of a katana. Some tanto have particularly thick cross-sections for armour-piercing duty, and are called yoroi toshi. The blade is beautiful and remarkable for it's great age.

Code: 22999

2350.00 GBP

Shortlist item

!! Our regulars know, now and again, we offer very special pieces, below cost, to make space for an influx of new additions. This can be the perfect opportunity to seize an amazing bargain. With gold and copper fushi kashira decorated with dragon. A most interesting o-sukashi tsuba. Signed kodzuka with hamon. Superb original Edo period lacquered saya with a stripe and counter stripe pattern design. Three hole nakago and superb polished blade of a gently undulating notare hamon. Wakizashi have been in use as far back as the 15th or 16th century. The wakizashi was used as a backup or auxiliary sword; it was also used for close quarters fighting, and also to behead a defeated opponent and sometimes to commit ritual suicide. The wakizashi was one of several short swords available for use by samurai including the yoroi toshi, the chisa-katana and the tanto. The term wakizashi did not originally specify swords of any official blade length and was an abbreviation of "wakizashi no katana" ("sword thrust at one's side"); the term was applied to companion swords of all sizes. It was not until the Edo period in 1638 when the rulers of Japan tried to regulate the types of swords and the social groups which were allowed to wear them that the lengths of katana and wakizashi were officially set.

Code: 19206


SPECIAL CUSTOMER DISCOUNT, SAVE AN INCREDIBLE £3000, Sold Below Cost A Most Impressive Antique Late Shinto Edo Era Samurai Horseman's Katana

!! Our regulars know, now and again, we offer very special pieces, below cost, to make space for an influx of new additions. This can be the perfect opportunity to seize an amazing bargain, such as this fabulous sword for only £3750 now. All original Edo period fittings, and a very nice iron sukashi tsuba. The fuchigashira and sayagaki and jiri are matching brass decorated with fulsome designs and silver striping. The saya has all its original period Edo lacquer impressed with a cloud patterning, and in dark bulls blood red. The menuki are horsemen's saddle stirrups, called abumi, and a horseman's yari pole. The blade has a superb and elaborate gunome hamon, in old Edo polish. This is a katana made for a senior ranking samurai based on horseback in combat, certainly not a light and cursive katana, but a battle sword, made to complete an uncomprimising task of close combat and aggressive swordmanship. Designed as much for cleaving armour and helmets in two, as much as defeating another samurai on horseback. Although samurai would not, one would say, be a cavalry based warrior, all senior samurai would be mounted and thus travel on horseback, and some cavalry type samurai could be deployed in battle, but with differing combat styles depending on what part of Japan they came from. The cavalry troops, being Samurai, had personal retainers that stayed closer to them in the Sonae, carried their weaponry and worked as support units, much like an European squire. They also joined the fight whenever possible (especially in the mounted infantry scenario) and were often responsible of taking heads for their lords.
These foot Samurai were also used as heavy infantry or archers to support the ashigaru lines.

Given the fact that the Samurai could directly dismount and operate as infantry, there were some specific tactics for horsemen.
Cavalry in general was only used after the battle was already started, either to deliver a decisive victory or to trying to save the day.

This is a classic charge, where several small groups of five to ten horseman ride consequently (possibly with a wedge formation) into a small area against the enemy lines, to maximize the shock. It was mainly used by heavy cavalry in the East, but given the fact that the ideal target where "weavering" units with low morale or disorganized, even medium cavalry could perform this charge.
The main role of this charge was to create confusion; if it didn't succeed, the cavalry regroups and either retreat or deliver another charge.

This is a combined infantry and cavalry charge. The horseman charged first, and after creating mayhem, a second charge is delivered by infantries armed with polearms, which could keep on fighting. The main target for this tactics were ranged units detached by the army. After a Norikuzushi usually follows a Norikiri by the cavalry group. 28 inch blade tsuba to tip. The saya has some old wear marks, but very nice indeed and untouched. special discounted items are for a straight sale only, without layaway or px.

Code: 23086

3750.00 GBP

Shortlist item
A Very Fine & Original Japanese WW2 Silk Flag & Good Imperial Japanese Naval Officers Dagger Tanto

An exceptional Imperial Japanese WW2 silk flag, probably the best quality example flag, in original condition, that we have seen in years & a now most scarce 1883 pattern near mint original Imperial Japanese Naval officer's dirk tanto, last used in WW2. WW2 naval officers daggers are most scarcely found these days and this is a jolly super example, with brilliant blade and superb etched hamon, all gilt mounts with imperial cherry blossom decor, and deluxe top quality polished rayskin scabbard. Photo in the gallery [not included for information only] of Imperial Japanese Naval officers in full dress, all wearing this form of naval dirk prior to WW2. original rayskin grip and ornate gilt finished fittings (see pages 70-73 of Military Swords of Japan By Fuller & Gregory). It has an ornate gilt pommel and wave cross guard. The grip is wire bound and bears the cherry blossom mount to hold the blade within the hilt. It measures 15.75" overall and the hilt is retain by a scabbard button catch. The scabbard has ornately decorated gilt mounts and is covered with lacquered polished rayskin. The upper mount of the scabbard has the correct press button retaining lug & 2 hanging rings. It's condition is excellent.The dirk pattern as authorised in 1883 (Meiji 16). Although adopted some 59 years before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, these daggers remained in use through the end of World War II. The Japanese military in the modern era required their officer’s to purchase their own uniforms, equipment and personal weapons, just as nearly every major military force in the world did. As such, even though standardised regulations were in place for every conceivable item an officer might need, variations did exist – especially within the realm of edged weapons like swords and dirks. One photo in the gallery is of a Imperial Japanese Naval delegation to Hawaii in 1933, and a photos of a Japanese Naval officer Lt Com. Miyazaki of Imperial Naval Intelligence. All the officers in these two photos are wearing their Japanese naval dress daggers just like this one. This is the orange disc circle on a plain white ground. Since ancient times, the sun has been a symbol of national unity because of the close relationship between national rule and the sun. When Taira was destroyed and the samurai government was established by Genji, successive shoguns claimed to be descendants of Genji, and it was said that the Hinomaru of "Shirachikamaru", [red circle on white background] had been inherited as a symbol of those who achieved the unification of the country. In Japan, "red and white" has been regarded as a joyous colour scheme. Flag is 40 inches x 27 inches.

Code: 23809


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