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Show us your Japanese Natural Whetstones

Japanese oil stone?
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Over the last few months I've been quietly buying up the whetstone stock of one of the many junk merchants on Yahoo Auctions. You see a lot of these listings, with fairly high opening prices, which don't sell and get relisted over and over. Normally that's because the stones are total trash but sometimes... they're not.

I got five stones I got from this seller. None were more than $50 US and none of them had anyone bidding besides me. First up, this beautiful old kiita in a fitted base:

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It's a decent chunk, 210x70 and 670g. Totally pure, and yellow all the way through. I think the sides look to be hand sawn:

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It's quite soft, and lovely to hone on, sucks the edge into the stone like a good soft stone does. It's pretty fast as well. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be an easy stone to finish a razor with. I can get an edge that gives a comfortable three pass shave but is a shade off where I'd like it to be. But it's a keeper just for being such a lovely piece of stone, and I'll keep honing on it until I do get a good edge!
Next up, a little iromono koppa, barber-size-ish and around 600g:

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Again, the sides look to me like they are hand-sawn, and the back has lots of scratches:
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I've seen this on a couple of other stones as well, don't know what it indicates. Maybe the miners checking the ore is good.

This one is slightly softer than the kiita, and a bit less fast, but makes amazing edges, just super close but very comfortable at the same time.
 
Next up, a little iromono koppa, barber-size-ish and around 600g:

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Again, the sides look to me like they are hand-sawn, and the back has lots of scratches:
View attachment 1802826

I've seen this on a couple of other stones as well, don't know what it indicates. Maybe the miners checking the ore is good.

This one is slightly softer than the kiita, and a bit less fast, but makes amazing edges, just super close but very comfortable at the same time. I have some of that on some older stones too though.
So the sides were sawn and then scraped with a ski-sen. It is the same thing used to scrape out the hollow of a worn out kamisori to bring it back again. I wonder if they scraped the bottom some too in order to flatten it more Or remove small chunks.
 
So... almost 3 months after the expected delivery date... More than a month after I lost eBay protections... as I pushed send on a message to the seller saying "This isn't getting delivered, please refund me".... this got dropped off at my door.


Appears NOS? Label got destroyed, but not removed enough to use that face, and other face is stamped and has paper glued around the corners? So either that face got used and then restamped/corner sealed or it's unused.

Slurry stone is a dead ringer for dark blue Thuri, down to some "FASO" era/esque sawmarks and I actually suspect that's what it is.

Case is plastic... but that brittle plastic that is almost like heavily veneered wood... so I'm guessing it's got some age.

Original price tag (I think) still there.
@SliceOfLife just noticed that a stone and razor kit that just sold on Yahoo Japan is a dead spit for this one of yours. This one seems to have been originally sold in Japanese Taiwan, which I guess dates it to 1895-1945.

 
I wish I knew more about mid grit and pre-finisher jnats. I finish knives to tomo on my kiita then do a few light laps on medium Botan or gujyo slurry to put teeth back on it but it'd be cool to have one that just does it. Especially if it's fast. Fast mid-range>pre- finisher that get pretty fine for what they are, they're my favorite stones. I love the one that'll put tiny little teeth like a micro- serration in short order(Tams, washitas, and medium llyn Idwals come to mind). I do have slate hunted down and cut by one of our own that leaves teeth very similar to a soft medium washita. They're one of my prized, I have a couple prices. That range/ utility is undeserved in natural stones, especially one that leaves proper teeth.
 
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natural stones are great but so expensive, but I guess for a few hundred bucks 100 million years of evolution isn't too expensive if you compound the interest per year.
 
natural stones are great but so expensive, but I guess for a few hundred bucks 100 million years of evolution isn't too expensive if you compound the interest per year.
I'm invested enough I can justify it, but I refuse to pay insane prices for jnats. I'd love a mid range jnat with fine, slimy mud that is fast as a quick coticule. I can justify it by I don't really need it. I'm planting Indian tobacco this year and I think a rounded edge and corner for my tobacco knife would be perfect edge for cutting tobacco stems.
 
Wastikivii(?) Is also interesting to me
I have a greater need for well tuned farm implements than shaving razors generally, but being able to make a scalpel in short order is a valuable skill.
 
I'm invested enough I can justify it, but I refuse to pay insane prices for jnats. I'd love a mid range jnat with fine, slimy mud that is fast as a quick coticule. I can justify it by I don't really need it. I'm planting Indian tobacco this year and I think a rounded edge and corner for my tobacco knife would be perfect edge for cutting tobacco stems.
I would consider getting some Morihei synthetics. The 1k is ok, but the 4k feels like a good suita. They leave allot of bite. The 4k is probably closer to a Naniwa 2k.
Midrange jnats are really nice.
For me the sweet spot is stones in the lv 3.5 range. They are hard enough to get a precise edge, and you can control the auto slurry effect with pressure, if you get a good stone with enough cutting power.
They can also be used with razors, at least my stones can.
 
Next up, a little iromono koppa, barber-size-ish and around 600g:

View attachment 1802824
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Again, the sides look to me like they are hand-sawn, and the back has lots of scratches:
View attachment 1802826

I've seen this on a couple of other stones as well, don't know what it indicates. Maybe the miners checking the ore is good.

This one is slightly softer than the kiita, and a bit less fast, but makes amazing edges, just super close but very comfortable at the same time.

The third stone is this suita san:
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I really like the san form factor. From its general complexion I believe it could be an Ohira suita?

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It is pretty hard for a suita which I think backs up the Ohira theory. It seems to be less old than the other stones, but I suspect it originated from the same lot.

It is as fast as you would expect, not crunchy feeling but not slick and soapy either. I've used it successfully as a prefinisher but should try shaving off it - I suspect it's probably fine enough to give a comfortable shave.
 
I’m not seeing any particular thing that scream “ohira” at me. Looks like a nice stone, but could equally likely be from any of a number of mines I think. Surface looks a touch oxidized - I find with old storage suita lapping 0.5mm - 2mm off the surface can really bring a stone to life.
 
That is a really terrific looking stone! What's performance like? Unfortunately, unless it's something fairly distinctive, which this doesn't strike me as, it's bad practice to speculate too much I think, especially without having the stone in hand. I've seen Okudo like that, but also Shinden. The way that line is patterned almost like a vine with leaves reminds me of a Hakka suita I saw from a reputable vendor too. So... impossible to say with certainty and risky to even speculate.
 
That is a really terrific looking stone! What's performance like? Unfortunately, unless it's something fairly distinctive, which this doesn't strike me as, it's bad practice to speculate too much I think, especially without having the stone in hand. I've seen Okudo like that, but also Shinden. The way that line is patterned almost like a vine with leaves reminds me of a Hakka suita I saw from a reputable vendor too. So... impossible to say with certainty and risky to even speculate.
Thx Ed. I hate to speculate too but I thought I would pick your brain on this one. A similar looking Okudo sold recently and it reminded me of it so I found the old pics. Will look around for it and see. If I remember correctly it was pretty hard and worked great before going to a final stone.
 
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