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Japanese WW2 Officer's sword information

Article about: Good evening! I am new to the forum. I collect knives and guns and while on Christmas break, a friend of my mothers offered me a Japanese officer's katana that her grandfather won in a poker

  1. #51

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    Quote by ghp95134 View Post
    Let's not throw caution into the wind ... your sword might be a forged blade -- old, but forged.
    I am not a sword connoisseur, and I am no way near being native-level (much to my wife's chagrin) or even elementary school level; but I have formally studied Japanese and have had to write compositions for graduate-school course assignments: at least I am somewhat comfortable with kanji. With that said ...

    I keep toggling between your sword signature, and that of the papered sword. Although yours looks good at first blush .... there are inconsistancies.

    These are my LAYMAN observations:

    First off, the engravings on yours looks very soft and dull in comparison; the exemplar is crisp and sharp.

    Then:
    -- the horizontal strokes all look equidistant on yours; on the exemplar, the top stroke of the has a "tail hook" [this would be the 4th stroke of the full kanji].

    -- yours is too squared in comparrison and the first stroke is long; on the exemplar, the first stroke is almost a dot.

    -- your "michi" radical is not fluid, especially the "tail."

    -- yours looks too straight in comparison, especially the water radical .

    ... hmmmm Yours is square; exemplar is flowing.

    -- yours is two separate components; the exemplar is one smooth flowing stroke with a "bridge" attaching the two elements.

    -- your tail is dead straight; exemplar's has a slight upward curve.

    other side:
    -- [wa/peace] yours: first element heavy; exemplar, fine almost like a thin brush stroke.

    -- [year] thick; exemplar, like a thin vine curleque.

    -- [8] yours is angular; exemplar is round and flowing.

    -- [month] more angular; exemplar is much larger, and very arty-farty.

    All in all: yours is heavy and stiff; the exemplar chisel work looks like brushed calligraphy.

    Again -- I am not an expert, but these are my observations. Perhaps once yours was very crisp and willowy, and has degraded due to being stuck in the handle. I am not an expert. But I would be cautious about declaring this a true work of Sukenao until an expert has his say.

    I'm wearing my bullet-proof vest, so don't worry about refuting my UNLEARNED opinion.


    --Guy
    Guy, definitely appreciate your insight. Either way, this has been an awesome adventure. I am certainly not in this for the money, but instead learning about these blades...I am planning on getting it authenticated anyways (although you guys have done an awesome job helping me along the way). Thank you very much for your research and time!!

    Very respectfully,

    Dan

  2. #52

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    Sukenao was the top student of Tsuda Sukehiro. Many examples fo swords are found with these names faked. Unfortunately, your blade is one of these. However, it is a sound Edo period blade likely dating to the mid 17th century. If the workmanship in the blade warrants restoration polish, a good polisher knws how to remove the gimei(fake signature)without doing any damage to the blade. If you need a referal to a competent restorer, send me a PM. Please be aware that there are many steel butchers who pretend to be Japanese swoprd polishers.
    BOB

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

  3. #53

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    The genuine example posted by Guy shows an excellent example with the kanji struck with confidence. Note how light the strokes are on your mei. This is not even a good attempt at matching a genuine mei. Remember, in the Edo period, there were not reference material available to the average samurai. Unscrupulos dealers existed 300 years ago.
    On a side note, note the two piece solid gold habaki mounted on the real thing.
    BOB

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

  4. #54

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    Bob, I need to compare the mei side by side and will do so- for my own education. Very enlightening to be able to compare my sword with the real thing provided by Guy. With the fake signature, and thus coming from a possible con-man so to speak, would this sword have been made in the traditional fashion- or tantamount to today's "Made in China"? Also, in your opinion, how old is the handle and why would there be three peg holes? Thanks in advance for the information gathering and opinion- I still love my fake* sword hahaha I will pursue restoration if the restorer thinks it is worth it. If not, it looks pretty cool as is and will be an awesome part of my until now nonexistent Japanese collection! V/R Dan

  5. #55

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    Quote by Badcat22 View Post
    Bob, I need to compare the mei side by side and will do so- for my own education. Very enlightening to be able to compare my sword with the real thing provided by Guy. With the fake signature, and thus coming from a possible con-man so to speak, would this sword have been made in the traditional fashion- or tantamount to today's "Made in China"? Also, in your opinion, how old is the handle and why would there be three peg holes? Thanks in advance for the information gathering and opinion- I still love my fake* sword hahaha I will pursue restoration if the restorer thinks it is worth it. If not, it looks pretty cool as is and will be an awesome part of my until now nonexistent Japanese collection! V/R Dan
    Dan-
    You have a a genuine hand forged blade that was likely an unsigned contract piece ordered by a feudal lord for his samurai. The three mekugi ana reflect different mountings of the sword shortening the cutting edge. This could only be achieved from the tang up as shortening from the point would destroy the temper. This is often seen when a new owner was using a different form of swordsmanship and required a shorter blade. Wne comparing the mei, note the strength and depth of the chisel stroke reflecting confidence in the way the nbakago is signed. You will see that not only are the shape of the kanji different, but also their is no strength in the cutting of the mei. The mounting for your sword is 19th century and very nice. Congratulations on finding a decent first sword.
    BOB

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

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