Pavel Bolf


Pavel Bolf - Tachi ve stylu Bungo Yukihira, období Heian

Tachi in the style of Bungo Yukihira

A copy of Tachi in the style of Bungo Yukihira, Heian period. Nagasa about 80cm. Shape of nakago slightly reduced compared to the original. This modification was necessary to match the uchigatana set and was common practice for blades of the Heian and Kamakura periods originally intended for tachi type sets , fitted in later eras to uchigatana sets. The tachi sets had curved handles and therefore the blade spines were markedly curved. Thus, they were not suitable for uchigatana sets in their original shape and swords were modified either by straightening the tang or shortening the tang and shifting the hamachi and munemachi (ō suriage) fittings. This is one reason why there are few surviving Ubu (original shape and length) blades from these koto periods.

Blade material oroshigane, hada itame, mokume. Hamon suguha, yaki otoshi (starting a few centimeters behind the hamachi) is typical of Yukihiro Bungo's work.
Engravings: Bo-hi (groove). Tensho style set. The habaki is short, with shinogi and no notch for the back of the blade (Tachi habaki) Both the habaki and fuchi are decorated with transverse kiza. Tsuba katsushi style with openwork (sanskrt). Leather braid.

Pavel Bolf - ko tachi in aikuchi uchigatana koshirae

Ko tachi in Aikuchi uchigatana koshirae

Copy of sword (original blade Ichimonji, koshirae Tensho, owned by Uesugi Kenshin). Blade short tachi (ko tachi), nagasa approx.65cm, oroshigane/tamahagane mix. Hada is a mix of itame, masame, mokume...hamon choji, hitatsura. Classic style polishing, sashikomi. Interesting blade with lots of metallurgical effects. Utsuri, very distinctive sunagashi and kinsuji are present. Lots of tobiyaki and muneyaki. In the front half of the blade hitatsura hamon.
Koshirae tensho, uchigatana aikuchi. That is, the sword guard tsuba is not part of it. Saya fitted with horn parts, all lacquered. Tsuka covered with stingray leather all around, varnished and then braided in a simple style (crossing only) with leather braid. This style of braid is adapted to the handle construction, which is more solid. This is how war sword sets were designed. The saya pockets for the kogatana knife and kogai needle. Based on the placement of the menuki and the overall size and construction of the sword and koshirae, I believe this was a sword used with one hand.

Pavel Bolf - Tachi v uchigatana koshirae, Kamakura Ichimonji styl

Tachi in uchigatana koshirae, Kamakura Ichimonji style

Tachi in uchigatana koshirae. Tachi nagasa 72 cm, Kamakura Ichimonji style, khoji hamon with utsuri, sunagashi, kinsuji. Material oroshigane/tamahagane mix. Hon san mai construction. Itame, mokume hada. Tensho set, tsuba Katsushi with distinctive anvil edge and openwork crawfish motif.

Tachi, Kamakura period, Ichimonji School style - tensho koshirae

The model in making this sword was a Japanese original. This is the tachi mumei Ichimonji: Gou "Sancyoumou" dating from the Kamakura period, see Fig. in the gallery. It is a fairly well-known sword, with a distinctive high-natural chóji. His aikuchi kit is also very specific. This means that a tsuba sword guard is not part of the kit.
The length of the blade in the original is 79,5cm, sori 3,4 cm, motohaba 3,6cm and sakihaba 2,3 cm. This is a very well-preserved blade despite of the age of the blade. The juka-chóji quenching typical of Ichimonji School swords is high here, with beautifully differentiated lobes and ashi. In the part behind the hamachi and in front of the point, the hamon is lower, as well as in the point. This is due to the likely lower temperature of these areas at the moment of quenching.
This type of tempering occurs naturally, without the use of a paste that defines the height of the quenching and creates ashi. It is achieved by heating the blade so that the temperature required for the hamon line is only in the band above the blade. The height of the resulting quenching is dependent on the height of tempering. The emergence of ashi and hamon-type chóji is also a manifestation of the material (steel). Not every steel is capable of producing this type of hamon. I believe that the steel must be clean enough without the addition of elements such as manganese, which increases the hardenability of the steel and thus prevents the formation of ashi. Carbon content is also important. I manage to achieve better results with the steel more decarborized, with a C content of around 0.6%. Paradoxically, more difficult-to-hardened steel seems to produce such interesting effects under certain conditions.
The manifestations of steel within quenching without the use of clay can vary, from suguha, to suguha with ashi, ko chóji, chóji accompanied by tobiyaki, to high chóji. Usually, the hamon is accompanied by the utsuri and other accompanying acts of tempering. In making the kit, I was leaded by the Momoyama period war kits origin, also referred to as tenschó. (Kawamakitsuka korourushi uchigatana koshirae). One of the model for me was a kit which is fitted with a suriage tachi Sukezane blade. See fig. in gallery.
Tsuka is distinctive in its shape. Narrowing, especially at the back area, allows a better grip on the sword. Same (ray skin) is wrapped around the entire perimeter of the handle and subsequently varnished. This significantly increases the durability and strength of the handle. The handle is then braided with leather braid. This too has in some cases been varnished to increase durability and firmness. But the braid is not varnished on my set. Also typical are the horn parts for the saya and the cashira, through which the knot of the braid is run. The kit includes a cognac knife and a cognac needle, inserted in clipboards at the sides of the saga. Note the kaeritsuno hook on the saya. With my sword, it is only stylised, that is, closed. In the original, it's open towards the orifice of the Saya.
It was used to capture the saya for the obi. However, in the sword used for exercise Iai is prevented by performing tsuki techniques with the sword inserted in the saja. That's why it's closed on my sword.
Tsuba is made from iron, of folded steel. In this case, the tsuba is a copy of the original Akasaka School. This school was established during the Edo period in Edo (present-day Tokyo). It means the tsuba is of a younger period than the kit.