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No Mekugi!

Article about: So many questions, so little patience. I recently purchased a WWII Japanese Officers sword. I wanted to get as much info as possible so I needed to remove the handle. Problem is no Mekugi. I

  1. #1

    Default No Mekugi!

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ID:	698800So many questions, so little patience. I recently purchased a WWII Japanese Officers sword. I wanted to get as much info as possible so I needed to remove the handle. Problem is no Mekugi. I have a free floating Manuki on both sides and have moved them back and forth as well as the leather wrapping. There are no retaining pins anywhere visible. Would they have placed the Ray skin over the pegs? I was told that this sword was possibly made late in the war but the Tsuba and the Habaki are both brass. Any help would be appreciated. I do not wish to remove the leather wrap.
    Last edited by swbeck55; 06-04-2014 at 03:09 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Welcome to the Forum. Please post pictures as we may be able to help you without showing the sword's nakago. There is a mekugi somewhere as it is required to retain the tsuka. If the sword is a factory or machine made blade, removing the handle serves no purpose.
    BOB

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

  3. #3
    ?

    Default

    Hello and welcome. Best to post some photos before taking any further action, so that we may provide the best assistance possible, but in response to your question about wrap over mekugi the answer is no, that was certainly not the standard practise.

    Regards,
    Stu

  4. #4

    Default

    So, here is the story as I understand it. It is "Rumored" to be from Okinawa. I do not know as yet how or from whom he got this. I will ask the next time I speak with him. If you have questions for me to ask, let me know. He stated that this originally had a leather cover for the scabbard but he removed it due to corrosion underneath. I do not know if the paint came off due to said corrosion or if it was only painted to that point. As you can see the scabbard tip is also missing. I can move the leather wrap on the handle a bit in each direction on both sides and see no obvious mekugi.

  5. #5
    Rod
    Rod is offline
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    Default

    You're right to be concerned about the mekugi-ana being hidden. That is the most amaturish wrapping job I've seen on any handle. The end of the scabbard is also a red flag. There should be some indication there was a cap on it at one time but this just looks banged up, I don't see a small screw hole either for what it's worth. Can't speak to the blade. Does it appear sanded to you? The tsuka and saya parts appear genuine but in poor shape.

    My apologies for being harsh, I know what it means to want your first to be a great find. May I reccomend you get your money back if you can. Anyone who'd try to pass off a handle like that is not above inventing a story about an Okinawa association.

    Best, Rod

  6. #6
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    Default

    That sword has too many red flags for me. Numbered habaki being just one. I would pass on it.

    Regards,
    Stu
    PS: always best to add photos in a new post rather than through an edit to your original if there have been replies.

  7. #7

    Default

    I do not believe you are being harsh at all. That's what I am looking for. The Cap as you pointed out is loose and easily removed. And as you stated about the blade and tsuba and parts, yes, they do look genuine. No evidence of sanding or grinding. No nick's and very little corrosion. That was the main reason I wanted to get the handle off, to see what info I could get. With the cap removed from the handle, The wood is visible and you can see the end of the tang about 1/2 to 3/4 inch from the opening. His asking price is $300. I have not paid for it yet until I get some more comments. Even in poor condition and not knowing where it came from doesn't take from the historical aspect of the piece. My opinion of course, and I would be interested in yours. The other sword I am looking at is posted in my other post titled "Fake?". Let me know what you think of that one. He is asking $700 for it.

  8. #8

    Default

    I missed the number on the habaki. I spent too much time looking at the tsuka. A serial numbered habaki is a feature never done on original pieces. However, a common thing found on Chinese reproductions
    BOB

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

  9. #9

    Default

    Thank you all so very much. Very helpful!

  10. #10
    Rod
    Rod is offline
    ?

    Default

    It might be better to pass on a dubious item than suffer buyer's remorse later on. There are many honest swords that you are better off putting money on. At this stage there's a big learning curve ahead. In retrospect my worst moment in the hobby and a real turn off was being dupped on a sword by a dealer (who was probably dupped too) would only trade for cash value. It's all money on one side of the trade versus your passion to collect. Don't be your own worst enemy.

    Best, Rod

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