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Japanese Sword ID Help

Article about: Gents, Helping out a member over at GHW who is trying to help out a friend who has this sword. Any help in telling us what it is? Blade is 2 feet long. No markings on the blade that he is aw

  1. #1
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    Default Japanese Sword ID Help

    Gents,

    Helping out a member over at GHW who is trying to help out a friend who has this sword.

    Any help in telling us what it is?

    Blade is 2 feet long. No markings on the blade that he is aware of.

    Japanese Sword ID Help

    Japanese Sword ID Help

    Japanese Sword ID Help

    Japanese Sword ID Help

    Japanese Sword ID Help

    Japanese Sword ID Help

    Japanese Sword ID Help
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  2. #2

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    That was the predecessor to the Type 94 officer's sword, the model launched on 24th February 1912. The one in the photo is the model for field grade officers (Major-Colonel), basically same in design as the general's version, but with water buffalo horn grips instead of tortoise shell. Shown below is the 26th Feb. 1912 issue of the government gazette announcing these new sword designs. Also added a blow-up showing the design feature difference between field and company grade swords.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Japanese Sword ID Help   Japanese Sword ID Help  

    Last edited by nick komiya; 03-02-2020 at 12:07 AM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Nick. I'll pass this along.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  4. #4
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    Nick would an officer have such a short sword being only 2 feet long or would this be a sword made for an officers child or a salesman sample . Gary

  5. #5

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    Emperor's Edict 10, which launched the Type 45 uniform series including this sword, said the blade length was to be a minimum of 2 Shaku (60 cm) and maximum of 3 Shaku (90 cm), so the example being 2' (61 cm) is in a totally legitimate length. The Edict also gives a fairly generous range of grip lengths for the sake of practicality.

  6. #6
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    Most traditional, older, Nihonto are a fair bit shorter than Western blades of the same era. Partly due to the greater weight per inch/cm, and partly due to user height difference. If they were fitting a traditional blade it would usually be at the shorter end of the scale, and would also mean a longer hilt was needed to accommodate a traditional nakago
    In 1920 the average height for a Japanese man was 5 ft 3 inches, which means that about 50% of men were shorter, and no great increase until after WW2.

    http://nbakki.hatenablog.com/entry/2014/05/30/173407

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the additional information gents. Appreciated.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  8. #8

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    Just to add on to your good information.

    My instructor was a fencing & bayonet instructor during the war. He mentioned the same particulars about sword length that you listed, but he went on to say he preferred a longer blade.

    Quote by Nakamura Taizaburo
    Length.
    Sword blades transitioned to 2 shaku 3 sun (about 70 centimeters) because the Tokugawa government (Circa 1600-1867) standardized the measurement. There are examples of swords being 2 shaku, and 2 shaku 5 sun; however, these were instances where a person's body height was extremely different from the average of the day. Also, the former Imperial Army and Navy military swords were standardized at 2 shaku 2 sun (about 67 centimeters).

    Swords used in modern iaido range from 2 shaku 3 sun to 2 shaku 5 sun (about 70 cm. to 76 cm.) in length. Anything longer than that would be for an exceptionally large person.

    Using a sword longer than 2 shaku 5 sun for tameshigiri (test-cutting) is inadvisable because the body of the blade may be a bit weak due to the excessive length of the blade. The blade may bend or break when combined with the physical shock of striking an immovable object, incorrect blade angle, and an incorrect striking angle. The longer a blade is, the more likely it is to be weak.

    I had the considerable opportunity to meet the great master Nakayama Hakudo (Hiromichi) sensei and was able to hear his insight about the length of a sword. Nakayama sensei said that subtracting 3 shaku (90 cm) from one's own height was a good rule-of-thumb; the resulting difference would be a good sword length. From my height of 5 shaku 4 sun (164 cm), I subtracted 3 shaku. Therefore, a good length for my sword would be 2 shaku 4 sun (73 cm).

    However, this length would only be good for practicing iai kata in empty space; it is just a bit too long for test cutting. After World War Two I was presented with a koto sword which was 2 shaku 4 sun 5 bu (74 cm) in length and 1 used it for about five years. But once while test-cutting, my grip was not on the mark and I ended up bending the sword beyond repair. The standard blade length for modern test-cutting is 2 shaku 3 sun 5 bu (71 cm); I recommend that students do not use swords exceeding this length.

    Source
    -- Guy

  9. #9
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    Nick thank you for the prompt and informative answer . Gary

  10. #10
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    Great thread. Thanks everyone
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

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