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Translation of Signed WWII Samurai Sword Please?

Article about: Hi Griff, could you please use the forum uploader. Thanks. I added some earlier pics to your post yesterday. Cheers, Ade.

  1. #1

    Default Translation of Signed WWII Samurai Sword Please?

    Hi All,

    My grandfather recently passed and left me his father's sword that he brought back from Japan right after WWII. It has two characters engraved in the tang, and some other characters that look burned into the sleeve. It also looks to have a family crest on the handle. Is anyone able to translate their meaning for me for identification purposes?

    Thanks for your help!

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  2. #2

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    The tang and scabbard mouth need to be rotated 90 to the left.

    The tang looks similar to "Fujidori" [wisteria bird????], but there are 3 extra marks to the left of "tori"
    藤鳥 [Edit: OR-- ]

    So, the second kanji might not be 鳥, but something similar, e.g.: 鳩 [pidgeon], 鳫 [goose], 鳴 [chirp], 嶋 [island]).
    Hmmmmm --Googling, I see that "Fujishima" 藤嶋 is a Japanese surname......

    And, there was a swordsmith named Fujishima Tomoshige 藤嶋友重

    The koiguchi [scabbard mouth] has "chestnut" [kuri] inked in by the scabbard-maker:


    I can't read what's under the chestnut, and above the circle mark/stamp. Maybe sawa/numa? 栗沼 [kurinuma/kurisawa]???? JUST A WILD-A$$ GUESS.

    --Guy

    Here's another Fujishima, different style of engraved name:

  3. #3
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    Hello and Welcome to WRF,

    To add a little more, what you appear to have is a nice IJA Officer sword of the Type 98 pattern. It's worn suspended from a belt, by a hanger, in the tachi style (blade edge down) as opposed to the true samurai period katana worn through the belt with cutting edge upward.

    If you develop a passion for Japanese swords you will, in time, discover and use Choji oil but till that time a very light (did I mention very light?) application of plain mineral oil or sewing machine oil would be appropriate for preserving the blade. By light I mean 4-5 drops spread with a soft cotton cloth or Kleenex tissue. Wipe toward the blade tip from the hand guard. If you take the sword down never wipe from the base of the tang toward the tip. You may inadvertently drag bits of abrasive material upward and onto the blade causing scratches.

    Here is a link to some more information on the type.

    㔪Rڎ Army Type 98 military swords (Gunto)

    If you need further assistance let us know.

    Regards,
    Stu

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the info Guy and Stu - very helpful!

  5. #5
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    Hi Griff and welcome to the forum , that is a wonderful family heirloom and a fine example . I would love to see more extensive photos of the whole tang and blade if possible , although i know it is difficult to get good images of a blade .
    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...

  6. #6

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    Hi Al,

    I just uploaded some more photos that you might find helpful. I'll try to get some more of the full tang tonight.

    WW2 Katana - a set on Flickr

  7. #7

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    It will be easier to read the kanji on the tang if presented properly. presently, you have the tang with the kanji sideways, which due to their condition, are bnot easy to read. The proper way is to show the tang with the section towards the tip as the top and the butt end of the tang as the bottom. Vertical instead of horizontal. Thanks.
    BOB

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

  8. #8

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    Hi Bob and Al,

    I just uploaded some more photos that might be helpful.

    The full set is here. I'll try to get some more of the full tang later tonight.
    WW2 Katana - a set on Flickr

    Thanks again!
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  9. #9

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    Griff,

    Please take a full-length photo of the tang from the collar notches to the butt (but if you cannot remove the collar, take a photo from the collar). I just checked your Flicker page -- all tang photos are cropped at just the signature area.

    Thanks,
    --Guy

  10. #10

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    Hi Guy,

    I just uploaded four more pictures to the set: WW2 Katana - a set on Flickr

    There are two from the collar notches to the butt - one from each side. I also took a few of the handle pieces and noticed that each piece is stamped with "70."

    Best,
    Griff

    EDIT: Pictures embedded in this post now

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    Last edited by griffmcg54; 08-16-2013 at 02:10 PM.

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