Posted By Thomas L. Buck

I took a few blades out of storage this morning for their scheduled cleaning and oil.  The tsuka of one caught my eye, it was rewrapped by a former student last May, and I hadn't really looked at since I put it away two months ago...  Seeing it again gave me a fresh look at this student's first tsuka. 

The story goes like this, last Spring I was given the opportunity to introduce a student to tsukamaki.  For his Senior Project topic Jake Wright chose to investigate Preservation / Restoration of Japanese Arms & Armor.   Among other things, he was specifically interested in the fundamentals of tsukamaki.

Using the tsuka of a Gendai blade in civilian mounts from our collection, I was able to supply him with the tools (a traditional maki stand, clamps, picks, etc.), and the materials (tsuka, ito, paper, etc.) to complete this aspect of his project.  

Although the tsuka was in overall good condition, there was some ito decay and shifting from use.  Here are a few "before" pics of the tsuka: 

jake

jake

Here are a couple of action shots of Jake's maki work:

jake

And, here are a couple pics of the finished project:

jake
jake

I was VERY impressed by the final product, especially when you consider it was his first tsuka!  Personally, I think his work is equal to, if not better than, the original.  Nice job Jake!  I have posted a few additional pics of the blade and koshirae below.  Except for the new ito, everything is original (saya, fuchi/kashira, menuki, tsuba, etc.) and I believe the blade is still in its first polish.

On a side note, Jake will be starting classes at Gonzaga Univerity in Spokane Washington this Fall. 

jake

jake

jake

jake

jake

jake

jake

 
1 Comment(s):
AJ said...
This is a beautiful example of a true gendaito, or traditionally forged sword blade by modern Japanese smith. Too often I have seen western made blades marked as gendaito - shame on them. -AJ Hunt
August 16, 2009 11:26:45 AM
 
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