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Authentic Japanese Sword?

Article about: Hello I would really like some insight on to weather this Japanese sword is authentic or not. I believe this type of sword is called a wakizashi. It appears to be old and well made. If this

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    I agree Bob , it has an authentic civilian hilt and a snapped blade to which someone has attempted to form a new Kissaki or tip , that`s why i wanted to see the tang if it were possible as the blade has the not so often seen hira-mune or flat topped ridge . It has seen plenty of abuse and a silver coating and removing the hilt to uncover the tang would not be any more detrimental to it`s condition .
    REGARDS AL

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  2. #12

    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    I'm happy to be wrong for you mate sorry for my misinformed comment earlier.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    Looking again at the images, the tsuka or handle is far too long for the blade in it's current length. This was a katana length blade that has had a good deal of the front edge of the blade removed. That is the reason for the poorly shaped point. Just to currect my colleague's statements, older blades can have a single habaki and also a cast tsuba. It is an indication of a poor quality blade. Removing the tsuka may or may not help us further identify what is left of this piece. Whatever was done to the surface of this blade, it appears it was done to the entire blade. Original temper can be seen above the habaki. Likely whatever was done was an attempt to mask the damage to the top end of this sword.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    Quote by BOB COLEMAN View Post
    This sword is a genuine blade that has been very poorly treated. As previously mentioned, someone has evidently tried to plate the blade with something to make it shiny(they failed). The kissaki or tip has been badly broken loosing the temper in the point or boshi. The low quality cast tsuba, which is period, and lower quality menuki under the handle wrap indicate that this was not a highly regarded blade before the damage was done. It is impossible to date the blade due to the condition it is presently in. The damage makes this piece basically worthless as the fittings have little value.
    Although not a valuable blade to begin with (judging from the comments of those in-the-know), its too bad what happened to it.
    Bobs post reads like a clinical how-to on how one ruins a sword. Again, nothing to cry about, but still too bad.

    On the other hand: The many centuries old hereditary swords which were in some instances given to the soldiers who went to war and which were subsequently lost or 'abused' in the hands of the captors (who of course didnt know better) does hardly bear thinking.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    How in the world can you tell- everything about it looks pretty bad, just like a cheap Chinese knockoff would...
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  6. #16

    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    Quote by Matt L View Post
    How in the world can you tell- everything about it looks pretty bad, just like a cheap Chinese knockoff would...
    Many, many years of studying and handling thousands of Japanese swords both here and in Japan. What we are looking at is fairly basic for a student of Japanese sword study. Chinese copies lack the refinement of even lower end swords and mounts. Where it gets interesting is judging a blade as to what period it was made, what school and who made it. That is called kantei and is done with polished blades with the tangs covered.
    The tsuba, habaki, menuki and fuchigashira are all lower quality indicating the quality of the blade is basic and it likely belonged to a lower ranking samurai.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    It's ironic that it does take some expertise to spot real pieces that look fake to the less-experienced LOL I've studied Japanese swords somewhat, but sadly only through photographs and it would seem that people often choose better ones to display, which must be why the cast tsuba looked bad, why I've only ever seen 2-part habaki (knowing them from the proper manufacture method steps I learned), and so on. Someone must have really ruined the temper of the blade in addition to rather butchering it- what a shame.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    Bob is the man on Japanese blades anywhere.
    His list of credentials are way to many to list. This forum is exteremely fortunate to have his expertise available.

  9. #19

    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    Quote by SteveR View Post
    Bob is the man on Japanese blades anywhere.
    His list of credentials are way to many to list. This forum is exteremely fortunate to have his expertise available.
    Steve-
    That is a pretty big build up that i have to live up to. I have seen sword treated far worse than the one that started this thread. Back in the 70's, I received a call from a fellow who had gotten two Japanese swords from his neighbor for free. He wanted to turn them in to cash. I went to his house. One was a standard army parade saber which at the time sold for about $15.00. The other was in IJA military mounts. From the curvature in the scabbard, I knew it held a very old blade. On the pommel, was the family crest of the Tokugawa family! The Tokugawa were the shogun that ruled Japan for over 350 years. When I drew the blade in great excitement, I discovered that someone had been beating it likely against a steel blade. It had over 40 deep gashes through the temper line causing cracks in the steel. It was a testiment to the swordmaker that the blade had not snapped. Removing the handle, I found a signed and dated Bizen blade by a famous sword maker of the late 13th century. Only the tang was of value as a signature reference. The blade had been ruined. I bought it for $10.00 and sent it to the sword museum in Tokyo for a reference piece.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Authentic Japanese Sword?

    Only a good man like you would think to send the blade to a Tokyo museum for a reference piece.
    My compliments sir.

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