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Help a novice please- is this any good?


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#1 st468

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 11:23 PM

I recently acquired a WWII vintage sword and I'd like to learn some more about it. It is out of polish, but not in very bad shape overall. My main question- is it traditional (Gendaito) or is it a mass-produced junk blade? Also I'd like to know the maker if possible. The mei is only 2 characters as shown, it's the only markings on the tang, there's nothing else. Any and all opinions, good or bad, will be much appreciated! And I apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures, I have a heck of a time trying to capture the temper line. My eyes see it fine, it's just the camera... Thanks,

Kory

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#2 st468

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 11:24 PM

A couple more pictures. Thanks

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Kory K.

#3 Grey Doffin

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 11:33 PM

Hi Kory,
Possibly Masatsugu. Seems to match a signature in one of Fuller & Gregory's books of a smith who signed Watanabe Masatsugu. That blade had the Seki arsenal stamp. Judging from what I can see of the blade and the chippiness of the signature I would call this non-traditionally made Showa-To. Not junk but not a treasure either.
Grey

#4 Dr Fox

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 12:06 AM

Hey George

If you pick up on this, isn't that tsuba the one we discussed, one fitted for the leather and press stud fastening?

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#5 benatthelake

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 02:22 AM

Kory:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=15979

MasaNobu ...based on previous guidance, but I defer to those that have the books!

Unless my eyes deceive me, this is identical to a Showato I picked up very early in my collecting journey...discussed in the attached thread. Not a traditionally made sword...not Gendaito. The board cautioned me on the price and saved me from making a big mistake financially. As you'll see from the thread attached, mine is in a civilian koshirae. As Grey said, not junk for more of a historical artifact of the WW2 period and valued as such (generally less than $1,000)...sometimes significantly less ;) .

I find it interesting that this smith did not seem to have any arsenal stamps, although I believe he was a Seki smith. Not sure if that means he was just before the War time arsenal stamping mandate or for some reason did not meet military standards (which I doubt). I did not find any interesting information on this smith.

Ben M.

#6 george trotter

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 10:34 AM

Yes, I think Masanobu also. (Watanabe Masanobu (Watanabe Seiichi) registered as a Seki kaji on April 7 1941).

About the tsuba...as Dr Fox says, it is a rare type for sure as it is the sukashi gunto type but with a hole for the leather press-stud strap to pass through (the first? I have seen...unless the one Dr Fox and I discussed is the first?). Having said that, it is of no great significance, just a rare WWII fittings variation, of value/interest to militaria collectors.
I don't know if this has a Seki stamp, but looks probably showato IMHO.
Regards,
George Trotter

#7 st468

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 12:54 PM

Thank you all very much for the replies and opinions. I bought the sword under the initial assumption it was wartime/non traditional construction, but I held out that sliver of hope that maybe the blade would turn out to be made in the traditional way. There is no arsenal stamp or any kind of military stamp on the tang, just the two characters shown. That had me wondering... This was no Ebay purchase or anything like that, rather it came from a WWII vet's family directly.

My eyes are not as good as they used to be so it is inconclusive to me as to whether I can see any grain pattern in the metal. The temper line looks better in person than I can capture in pictures, though there's just something different about it compared with the limited number of true nihonto blades I've personally seen. I thought maybe because it is out of polish, but most likely because the blade was mass produced.

I'll try to post some additional pictures a little later of the fittings including the tsuba and saya. It does have a leather snap attachment which goes through the tsuba and connects to a snap on the saya. The saya is wood wrapped in leather, not metal by the way.

Thanks again,

Kory
Kory K.

#8 benatthelake

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 03:46 PM

George:

Any thoughts on why this Seki smith did not have arsenal stamps? Originally I thought mine was perhaps made for a private order as it has a civilian koshirae. Now we have two blades with no stamps and Kory's is clearly outfitted with army fittings (including the interesting tsuba). I'm simply curious. Could this smith have used some steel which may be considered somewhat "different" and therefore no stamp? :dunno:

Kory: Perhaps a few more close up pictures of the jihada and hamon.

Ben M.

#9 Grey Doffin

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 05:39 PM

This is the listing from Fuller & Gregory that put me in mind of Masatsugu. Looks close.
Grey

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#10 st468

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 06:54 PM

Here are a few more pictures. I will try to take some better quality pictures of the blade soon and post asap.

About the maker- I read on a Japanese sword index website that there is a "Hizen kuni Masatsugu" which is known to have made gendaito of WWII vintage. Apparently this maker made blades which were papered by NTHK and/or NBTHK. Same maker? I have no clue...

Thanks again to everyone for the excellent information.

Kory

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#11 Ronin Akuma

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:43 AM

George:

Any thoughts on why this Seki smith did not have arsenal stamps? Originally I thought mine was perhaps made for a private order as it has a civilian koshirae. Now we have two blades with no stamps and Kory's is clearly outfitted with army fittings (including the interesting tsuba). I'm simply curious. Could this smith have used some steel which may be considered somewhat "different" and therefore no stamp? :dunno:

Ben M.


Make that three blades. Mine does not have an arsenal stamp either...

http://www.militaria...=t&sd=a&start=0
Steve




Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
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#12 george trotter

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

Hmmm...Grey, that does look to be the same mei shown in F & G #54, but I would say that it is a mis-trans of Nobu.

About the lack of stamp. The use of showa and seki stamps overlapped c.1940-42. The sho stamp was first, 1938?. It was a govt. mark and the seki stamp was an Swordmakers Assoc. mark, c.1940-41? signifying that the sword met the govt standards and those of the members of the Seki Sword Assoc which was set up around 1941 to make affordable, reliable war swords.
I would say that maybe the 3 swords were made before Masanobu joined into, and was registered into, the Seki Kaji group in 1941.
The rare gunto tsuba and the civilian mounts (these appear to be showa) suggest these were private order, and privately mounted...one to suit a military customer and one maybe for an iai student...just guessing though.
Hope this helps,
George Trotter

#13 Dr Fox

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:19 PM

Hi George

On close up it can be seen the tsuba is another type to mine, it is not sukashi! It seems pierced only to accept the press stud.
Denis

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#14 Grey Doffin

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 01:42 AM

Hmmm...Grey, that does look to be the same mei shown in F & G #54, but I would say that it is a mis-trans of Nobu.

The mei is so poorly cut that it could be a mis-trans of Miss Piggy. Who knows?
Grey

#15 st468

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 07:32 PM

I'm still not quite sure what to think about this blade. Here's some more pictures, hopefully they show something more definitive to one of you guys who has much more knowledge than I. No arsenal stamp on tang, I do see tight grain, temper line is inconclusive to my untrained eyes. Is it oil quenched? Is the blade machine-made? The blade is out of polish and/or of wartime quality polish so I don't think that helps things much. On this board I realize the WWII era blades seem to be generally looked down upon and all are considered pretty much worthless/non-art unless they are signed by a famous well-known maker. Being that this blade is not by a famous or well-known maker, I hope I'm not wasting my time or anyone else's here.

I may consider getting a finish polish done on it, that is if I decide to keep it. I don't really care how much it is worth, nor would the polishing cost really matter, it would be simply for a better looking display piece. Or if the blade is indeed trash, and the more rare through-tsuba snap thing makes it more desirable to a militaria collector, perhaps I'll flip it to one of them so I can acquire more Allach porcelain which has been the focus of my latest collecting spurt. Thoughts?

Thanks,

Kory

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#16 st468

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 07:36 PM

And a few more. Thanks,

Kory

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Kory K.

#17 rennie

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 01:22 PM

Nice looking sword you have
I love samurai swords

#18 Dave R

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:51 PM

 Add another wartime blade without stamps, this arrived as a bare blade so no idea how it was originally mounted.

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