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Katana identification

Article about: Hello all, Can anyone help me identify what type of sword this is. Someone said it was for pilots but I have nothing to back this up. It's shorter than the typical Katana's. Blade is ~23 inc

  1. #1
    MAP
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    Default Katana identification

    The fully restored Katana has arrived.....please later posts starting at #33 for updated photos!!!!!

    Hello all,

    Can anyone help me identify what type of sword this is. Someone said it was for pilots but I have nothing to back this up.

    It's shorter than the typical Katana's. Blade is ~23 inches. Overall length is around 32 inches.

    No markings on the tang.

    Blade is razor sharp but with some pitting and stains.

    Condition otherwise is good.

    Could not get a good shot of the blade but can try again another day.

    As usual, any and all comments are welcome.

    Michael

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    Last edited by MAP; 12-09-2015 at 02:06 AM.
    "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

    Default

    I can tell you that it has been cut down from a longer and possibly older blade.
    I personally don't see any red flags here and I believe it to be original. The habaki has the cat scratch pattern on it which is a good thing. I like the weather cover and it appears very much like the one on my own wakizashi. The handle fits the sharply tapered tang well.
    There were shorter versions that were carried by pilots and tankers but I am not familiar enough to tell you if the length of this one falls into that category.
    Others will be along to verify if I am even close or not.
    Ralph.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  3. #3
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    Default

    Not a pilot sword , but a wakizashi mounted for army use. Normal to see.

  4. #4

    Default

    The use of mounted wakizashi as pilot and tanker swords is a collector myth and has no basis in reality. You have an older hand made blade that has been shortened at some point and mounted for military usage. Good pictures of the blade and hamon may help in giving you an approximated date. Is the habaki gilt or silver foil?
    Last edited by BOB COLEMAN; 01-07-2016 at 07:08 AM.
    BOB

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

  5. #5
    MAP
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    Default

    Quote by rbminis View Post
    I can tell you that it has been cut down from a longer and possibly older blade.
    I personally don't see any red flags here and I believe it to be original. The habaki has the cat scratch pattern on it which is a good thing. I like the weather cover and it appears very much like the one on my own wakizashi. The handle fits the sharply tapered tang well.
    There were shorter versions that were carried by pilots and tankers but I am not familiar enough to tell you if the length of this one falls into that category.
    Others will be along to verify if I am even close or not.
    Ralph.
    Quote by Gunto View Post
    Not a pilot sword , but a wakizashi mounted for army use. Normal to see.
    Thanks Ralph/Thomas! appreciate the feedback! Will get better pictures either tonight or when I return from work (I unfortunately commute part of the week to work by plane!).

    Michael
    "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)

  6. #6
    MAP
    MAP is online now
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    Default

    Quote by BOB COLEMAN View Post
    The use of mounted wakizashi as pilot and tanker swords is a collector myth and has no vasis in reality. You have an older hand made blade that has been shortened at some point and mounted for military usage. Good pictures of the blade and hamon may help in giving you an approximated date. Is the habaki gilt or silver foil?
    Bob,

    As always, thank for the great feedback. Will get better pictures of the blade/hamon as soon as I can. I aways find it difficult to take decent pictures of a blade but will do my best for you guys.

    It may be tonight but more probably in a few days when I get back from work.

    As noted, the blade, while still razor sharp has quite a bit of pitting and stains.

    Also, I'm not sure if the habaki is gilt or silver foil. Are there any signs that could tell an amature like me . But I will look again and also will take better pictures of it as well.

    Looking forward to futher feedback.

    Regards,

    Michael
    "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)

  7. #7
    MAP
    MAP is online now
    ?

    Default

    Bob,

    Here are some better (?) pictures. Probably not up to the appropriate standards but given the lighting conditions the best I can do for now. Let me know if you need any other pictures.

    As you can see, the blade as seen better days....

    Would love your input.

    Regards,

    Michael

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    "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

    Default

    Hi Michael-
    Japanese swords are very difficult to photograph. From what I can see, your blade appears by shape to have been in the Late Muromachi Period which encompasses the 16th century. A great number of blades were made during this period as nearly the entire century consisted of civil war which finally ended with Tokogawa Iyeyasu consolidating control over all of Japan. The gilt foil habaki likely also indicates the blade is koto as new habaki were usually ordered at the time of polish. Gilt foil was used on Koto, which were blades of the Muromachi period and earlier. silver indicated a newer blade. These were usually ordered by the polisher who made his judgement from the material and construction of the blade he worked on. Many mass produced blades of poor quality were produced in the Late Muromachi Period. The presence of hi(grooves)indicate that was not the case with this blade as they would have been special order. All of this is fairly good conjecture but definite opinions must always be made with the blade in hand.
    BOB

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

  9. #9
    MAP
    MAP is online now
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    Default

    Quote by BOB COLEMAN View Post
    Hi Michael-
    Japanese swords are very difficult to photograph. From what I can see, your blade appears by shape to have been in the Late Muromachi Period which encompasses the 16th century. A great number of blades were made during this period as nearly the entire century consisted of civil war which finally ended with Tokogawa Iyeyasu consolidating control over all of Japan. The gilt foil habaki likely also indicates the blade is koto as new habaki were usually ordered at the time of polish. Gilt foil was used on Koto, which were blades of the Muromachi period and earlier. silver indicated a newer blade. These were usually ordered by the polisher who made his judgement from the material and construction of the blade he worked on. Many mass produced blades of poor quality were produced in the Late Muromachi Period. The presence of hi(grooves)indicate that was not the case with this blade as they would have been special order. All of this is fairly good conjecture but definite opinions must always be made with the blade in hand.
    Bob,

    Thanks for this wonderful information. Will take me a bit to absorb but I'm a fast learner. Too bad the blade is not in better condition but given that it could be 400 years old, I'm happy I have it.

    If your ever in the NYC area, would be happy to show it to you!

    Regards and Thanks again,

    Michael
    "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)

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote by MAP View Post
    Bob,

    Thanks for this wonderful information. Will take me a bit to absorb but I'm a fast learner. Too bad the blade is not in better condition but given that it could be 300 years old, I'm happy I have it.

    If your ever in the NYC area, would be happy to show it to you!

    Regards and Thanks again,

    Michael
    Hi Michael-
    I don't travel much any more but if you ever want to consider having the blade polished, I can recommend a source for you. Do not ever turn your blade over for polish to anyone without first checking credentials with reliable sources. A good polisher will also re commend if ti is worth while to have your blade restored. From your pictures, I do not see any flaws and it appears to be he4althy enough to take a polish.
    BOB

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

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