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Thread: Identify this Mystery Deba of Doom?

  1. #1

    Identify this Mystery Deba of Doom?

    Well, not really 'of Doom' - but who can resist such a snappy, alliterative title....



    This small Deba dates from the late '40's or early '50's - part of a set made for a woman who was about 4' 10" tall and maybe 95 pounds dripping wet - so all of the knives are somewhat undersized, but they seem well-made, all have fitted Sayas, and have seen many years of hard service.

    One unusual feature on all four knives is the inset bolster and pinned tang - which I've not seen on any recent knives. Yeah the recessed bolster does have a smooth, sleek, 'aerodynamic' look, but it has to be seriously weak, as three of the handles show repaired cracks.

    The set consists of four knives, a 155mm Deba, a 210mm Yanagiba, a 180mm Nakiri, and a 220mm Suminagashi - my furshlugginer camera died while shooting the Deba, but I'll post more pictures to this thread when it returns.

    All of the blades are signed, so if someone on the board can read cursive Kanji, or perhaps hirigana script, maybe their origin can be found - we think that they may have been purchased through the Kintetsu Department store in Osaka, but that's a guess since we know the family had an account there.

    Here's a close up of the maker's signature in a vertical orientation:



    Which may help to read the letters - and no, I've not a clue as to why these pictures are coming out so blessedly small - mutter, mutter, mutter....

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers

    Jim

  2. #2

    ecchef's Avatar
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    Need better pics.....
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  3. #3
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    lol maybe the pics are huge but the knife being so small is keeping the pics small.

    (I hope that makes sense.)
    Chewie's the man.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ecchef View Post
    Need better pics.....
    Yes, I know the tiny pictures suck, but for some reason - I assume as an anti-spam measure - I can't attach pictures, and using the in-line URL reference limits them to a very small size.

    Sent a note to the site admins requesting edit & attachment rights - hopefully the post will look better soon.

    Sorry

    Jim

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
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    You need to deselect the box that says "Retrieve remote file and reference locally". Otherwise your pictures will be tiny.
    Now is not the time to bother me. And it's always now. Wiley Miller

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Hmmm - I may have borked my Picassa albums, so back to photobucket and try these:

    Rght side of Deba:



    Left side of Deba:



    Spine of Deba:



    There - these should be a <bit> better, and JBroida was kind enough to download the full-sized version of the Knife's signature in his post - thanks JB...

    This was stupidly difficult, but now there should be enough detail for someone to offer an identification.

    Cheers

    Jim

  8. #8
    The pinned tang is supposed to be a traditional feature of wa handled knives. My Tadatsuna gyuto has a pinned handle, but I don't recall seeing it on any other production knives (and to be fair, I don't see, collect or handle traditional J-knife shapes, so my scope is pretty limited)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Jim View Post
    ...
    One unusual feature on all four knives is the inset bolster and pinned tang - which I've not seen on any recent knives....

  9. #9
    Right, I can tell you this: the kanji is 正宗二十三代 總廣作 and it would be read as 'seisounijyuusanndai soukousaku'. I think the first bit, 正宗二十三代, can mean that it's been produced for 23 generations.

    Are you sure it's only around 50 years old? Hehe..

  10. #10
    much more awesomer
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    That's a pretty robust-looking deba. Nice shape, if you ask me! [I know nothing]

    Picasaweb defaults to 144 pixels; you just have to use the dropdown to choose a different size in the link, or right-click on the picture itself and copy the URL directly.
    Francesco
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