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Thread: My grail razor finally the search is over. :-)

  1. #31
    Senior Member celticcrusader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dovo1695 View Post
    Congrats on an exceptional razor in amazing condition! I bet you're counting the hours for it to arrive When it does, be sure to post some hi-resolution pictures.

    I own one of the last Iwasaki Tamahagane Western Razors that Shigeyoshi Iwasaki ever produced (number 1901.6), procured by Harrelson Stanely from Masayoshi Hiraide in Sanjo city. If my house was on fire, it's the only object I'd take with me.

    I recently saw pictures of a Iwasaki Tamahagane Western Razor marked 1406.5 that had a picture of a very similar box. I don't know whether the box was original to the razor however. The box was black instead of green and bore the tamahagane stamp. Otherwise they are very similar. The box might be helpful for dating purposes. I have posted 2 pics below. Do you have any idea when yours was made?






    I don't have any idea of the age the only thing I have to go on is the seller said it was a old one other than this I haven't got a clue, I would be grateful for any imput.
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    “Wherever you’re going never take an idiot with you, you can always find one when you get there.”

  2. #32
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    I remember seeing another box like this! It was on another forum posted by Mainaman, and there was a translation done of the kanji on the scales. Apparently, the box and the razor was made while the founder Mr. Kousuke Iwasaki was still the head of the workshop from swedish carbon steel. I believe that Mr. Kousuke Iwasaki died around 1963, so your razor may indeed be very old. Your box is quite similar but the color of yours is green instead of black. That may be the key to dating yours. Here is link to that post:

    Iwasaki western in the house

    That particular razor had an inscription on the scales and this was the translation that was done (from the original poster Mainaman):

    ************************************************** *******************

    I was able to find a person to translate the kanji on the scales for me.
    The face side says :
    "Ueshima tetstu wo motte kore wo tsukuru. Iwasaki Kousuke" -With Ueshima iron this was made. Iwasaki Kousuke
    Back side says:
    "Zoutei Ueshima Daisuke" - Gift Ueshima Daisuke
    Back of tang:
    "Ueshima Kaimen Tetsu" -Ueshima Sponge Iron

    My translator also said: "Its in super old Japanese (and Japanese writing), so my translation may not be exact, but I asked a few people to make sure"

    So the razor was made during the time Kousuke Iwasaki was the head of the business. The other interesting fact is that the steel used for those razors translates as Sponge Iron, I have never heard the term before.

    ************************************************** *************

    Here is a picture of that box for posterity's sake lest the original post from (Mainaman) disappears. I believe it was Mainaman who originally identified my razor, you might want to PM him to see if he has any insight.


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  4. #33
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    Great find! Congrats on finding your holy grail.
    I have not heard of this brand before this thread, but it is sure making me interest in looking for one myself now!
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  6. #34
    Senior Member jigane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dovo1695 View Post

    So the razor was made during the time Kousuke Iwasaki was the head of the business. The other interesting fact is that the steel used for those razors translates as Sponge Iron, I have never heard the term before.
    I believe there are a few vid on youtube of tataras being dismanteled and the steel sectioned up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatara_%28furnace%29

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japane...eel_production

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    Wullie and entropy1049 like this.

  7. #35
    Senior Member blabbermouth engine46's Avatar
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    I think markbignosekelly was saying it didn't have to be fancy looking rather it is the age & quality of the specimen plus the maker was a true artisan much more interested in producing a high quality piece & was proud of his work. I'm sure it will fit in with Jamie's other magnificent pieces. I joke around with him about opening a museum one day & he knows I kid around with him about that. Ever since I first met Jamie he has always been a great guy & I have learned in time that he likes razors of quality & if it has any extra features, its a plus. I envy him & his collection very much!

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  9. #36
    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dovo1695 View Post
    I remember seeing another box like this! It was on another forum posted by Mainaman, and there was a translation done of the kanji on the scales. Apparently, the box and the razor was made while the founder Mr. Kousuke Iwasaki was still the head of the workshop from swedish carbon steel. I believe that Mr. Kousuke Iwasaki died around 1963, so your razor may indeed be very old. Your box is quite similar but the color of yours is green instead of black. That may be the key to dating yours. Here is link to that post:

    Iwasaki western in the house

    That particular razor had an inscription on the scales and this was the translation that was done (from the original poster Mainaman):

    ************************************************** *******************

    I was able to find a person to translate the kanji on the scales for me.
    The face side says :
    "Ueshima tetstu wo motte kore wo tsukuru. Iwasaki Kousuke" -With Ueshima iron this was made. Iwasaki Kousuke
    Back side says:
    "Zoutei Ueshima Daisuke" - Gift Ueshima Daisuke
    Back of tang:
    "Ueshima Kaimen Tetsu" -Ueshima Sponge Iron

    My translator also said: "Its in super old Japanese (and Japanese writing), so my translation may not be exact, but I asked a few people to make sure"

    So the razor was made during the time Kousuke Iwasaki was the head of the business. The other interesting fact is that the steel used for those razors translates as Sponge Iron, I have never heard the term before.

    ************************************************** *************

    Here is a picture of that box for posterity's sake lest the original post from (Mainaman) disappears. I believe it was Mainaman who originally identified my razor, you might want to PM him to see if he has any insight.

    The razor is still with me, and is never leaving the den, it is extremely smooth shaver.

    Here some newer pics of it.

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  11. #37
    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    Here is my most prized Iwasaki -western Tamahagane. It shaves like a dream.
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    I have one more in the stash that needs some more polishing, then etch to show the hamon and new scales.
    Stefan

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  13. #38
    Senior Member blabbermouth markbignosekelly's Avatar
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    Stefan, in a blind test so to speak could you tell the difference between the Swedish steel and the Tamahagane?
    I have Iwasaki kamisoris in both the Sweadish and Tamahagane and I would not be able to tell the difference in shave quality. The Tamahagane will always have a special place in my heart though.

  14. #39
    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbignosekelly View Post
    Stefan, in a blind test so to speak could you tell the difference between the Swedish steel and the Tamahagane?
    I have Iwasaki kamisoris in both the Sweadish and Tamahagane and I would not be able to tell the difference in shave quality. The Tamahagane will always have a special place in my heart though.
    I do not think one could tell the difference. Iwasaki chose Swedish steel for his razors because it could be modified to become similar in properties to Tamahagane.
    The Tamahagane version should hold edge longer, and will be somewhat tougher to hone other than that they perform very similarly or me.
    For me a western Iwasaki in tamahagane is basically the apex of craftsmanship and achievement in metallurgy. A razor hardened to 65-67 HRC that is hollow ground and can still flex, is something else. Add to that no chipping when honing, and you got a razor that basically can't be beat. IMHO those factors/characteristics make those razors so sought after by collectors.

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