About 30 years ago I was given a tortoise shell pic which I guess must be a faux bekkou bachi. It has a cream colored handle and an all tortoise top. It is very beautiful and was given to me as a work of art rather than to play. How can I identify more thoroughly what it is and what was being made thirty years ago? Of course I will be glad to send pictures to an interested person.
Hey there, Mortimer. Welcome to Bachido.
Some bachi are marked on the bottom of the handle as to whether or not it is real or faux bekkou.
There’s a pretty good shot it’s real if it’s older than 30 years, by the way.
As for the kind of bachi, if you post a picture with some sort of reference for size I can likely identify that. And it might be possible to determine the maker (some, but not all, mark the handle).
The dimensions in inches are 7 5/8 long 3 1/2 " wide at top
It’s a little hard to tell from the picture quality, but I can explain a few things.
The marker on the bottom of the bachi probably reads 一枚甲 (ichimaikou is the reading, I think). This means it was made from a single piece of tortoise shell, as opposed to being a composite of two or three pieces.
I can’t determine the material of the handle. It could be resin, it could be ivory. If you see small striations on it, especially on the bottom, you’ve got an ivory handle. If not, it’s most likely resin (or possible bone)
I’m not terrible sure about the maker either, but it’s a nice piece.
Based on your dimensions, it’s a little hard to class the type, although I feel that tends to be difficult (outside of exaggerated examples).
In metric, you’ve got 193.5mm of length and 88.9 mm of width; which is pretty long, but rather narrow. I’ll compare it to my own when I get home to give you a point of reference.
Hey again, Mort. Sorry it took a bit to get back to you.
An ~89 mm width is pretty on the mark with my Tsugaru bachi, which is about 90. Still, that length is a good cm and a half longer than mine.
It’s a bit shorter than the resin jiuta and min’yo I have sitting around however (which are around the 210mm mark)
Long, but thin~ probably built with Tsugaru in mind, most likely has the heft for standard min’yo as well.