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Translation Of Wakizashi

wakizashi translation kogatana

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#1 hearthammer

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 08:32 AM

I have recently acquired an old Wakizashi Blade confiscated at the end of WWII. The featured piece was one of 5 Salvaged from a pile of swords and other weapons at the Japanese surrender to the Pacific Fleet. As it happened the sailors were each given their pick of 5 and this was one of the five chosen by one such sailor.

I have always had a passion for Japanese Fuedal history and the cultural that was developed around the Samurai Sword. Now I own a piece of such history and would like to learn more about where this piece fits in. I have attempted to translate the signature but with little success. the most I could determine was that it was from Yamato Province.  I do not wish to sell it. I simply wish to increase my knowledge of it. It was reputed to belong to a Japanese officer but it seems to pre-date the war so I wonder if it is a family blade that was passed down. Can anyone help me to learn who might have made it and how old it is. It will help me decide whether to restore it for myself as a show piece or whether to have it proffessionally restored.

 

https://imageshack.com/i/eyh75Mmwj

https://imageshack.com/i/f0fSltdqj

https://imageshack.com/i/f0ltUKJ4j

https://imageshack.com/i/exX0cvcYj

https://imageshack.com/i/pdj3I4tdj

 

I can take other pics if necessary to clarify a particular image.

It should be noted that I have done nothing to it. The first 2 pics were an attempt to enhance the images using contrast and various filters. The orange coloration seems to be wax or possibly crayon in another's attempt to decipher the writing of the signature.

 

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.


Eric B.

#2 Geraint

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 10:52 AM

Dear Eric.

 

I fear your translation may be an uphill struggle.  From the images you provide the blade shows signs of being non Japanese.  Best guess would be that it is a Chinese copy.  Have a look at the quality of the tang on Japanese swords, ignore the signature for the moment, just look at the accuracy and quality of finish on genuine examples and you will see what I mean.  For very good photographs have a look at some on this site; http://www.aoijapan.com/

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news for you.

 

All the best.


Geraint

#3 hearthammer

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 03:40 PM

At what point was it popular for the Japanese to be taken by Chinese knock offs? I know the individual that I bought it from quite well. He had no need to lie about it. He is in posession of the other 4 blades that his grandfather took from the pile. I can give you the sailor's name if that would help.
Consider for a moment that this blade was worn by a Japanese officer. It is my understanding (and signs of it can be seen on the tang) that some blades had to be shortened to meet Japanese military specs.
Forget the possibility that it may be a Chinese made blade. I still want to know what the Mei says.
Eric B.

#4 cabowen

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 03:51 PM

The blade would appear to have a name on one side of the nakago (tang). No clue on the other side. There were swords being made in China (Manchuria) during WWII so it is possible that this was made there during the war....The blade is very crudely made and does look very much like the usual Chinese attempts.



#5 ROKUJURO

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 09:56 PM

Hearthammer,

please sign your posts with at least your first name to be politely addressed.

Wherever the blade was found or what story you were told, it is very probably not Japanese as far as a photo allows a comment. MUNEMACHI/ HAMACHI are not in the traditional positions, the NAKAGO is so crudely made that it does not at all seem Japanese, as was said before. A comparison with original Japanese blades would show you what a blade should look like.

If better photos should provide evidence for YAKIBA/HAMON or HADA, then another judgement (falsely shortened blade?) might arise. 


By the way, the TSUKA ITO (handle binding) is not Japanese.   


Regards,

Jean C.

#6 Jean

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 11:15 PM

Eric,

What would be interesting is to have a picture of the remaining 4 sword tangs. Did you choose yourself the sword or was it the only one for sale? How many real Japanese swords have you seen in your life?

You must be aware that Japanese pride in their craftsmanship excellency and they are right. Do you think that this nakago reflects any excellency?

Here is a Japanese site with scores of swords. Look at the nakago and see if one of them matches yours in quality.
http://www.aoijapan.com
Jean L.
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#7 hearthammer

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 11:26 PM

Well this sucks!

Sincerely,
Eric
Eric B.

#8 Jean

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 11:42 PM

Eric,

To be sure, you can post pictures of the hamon and of the kissaki and we will be sure. Nothing to be ashamed of. If the blade is a fake, I hope you did not pay too much for it. If yes, you must face your vendor with the facts.
Jean L.
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#9 Stephen

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 01:21 AM

lets not give him hope, not to take away from your friend vet, they only believe what they were told, it is a crappy copy, learn and move on


                                  Stephen C.

                      USMC      DEC 63 APR 73 

​"Its not how fast you mow ! Its how well you mow FAST"


#10 hearthammer

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 02:21 AM

I appreciate the feedback from everyone. I was taken for $250 bucks. I will confront my friend with this info and see how he responds. I was told by a collector that the hamon was faded and it appeared the blade had been incorrectly polished at some point. As Stephen said, I will learn and move on.

Thanks again all,
Eric
Eric B.

#11 Jean

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 11:21 AM

Stephen,

You are ruining all my efforts to appear as a kindred soul LOL. But I will be very interested to have pictures of the other four swords :-)
Jean L.
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#12 GrantK

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 12:28 PM

Eric, that is a really good attitude, we all make mistakes in this hobby. Don't sweat it, $250 isn't that bad at all :)!


Grant

#13 hearthammer

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 04:50 PM

Jean,
I have repeatedly asked the guy for pics of the other blades. In disciption, he tells me one is a severely hooked dagger. Another is an old Tanto with very well defined hamon. His father has held onto a high quality polished violet Katana. The seller is a coworker. He has invited me over repeatedly to look at the others. If I take him up on the invitation, I will be sure to post pics.
To answer your earlier question, the one that I bought was the only one for sale and the only one I saw.
Eric B.

#14 Stephen

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 05:26 PM

he belives what his father has told him, what  child doesnt want to think his father knows what hes talking about. Did gun shows for years, ive heard stories beyond your wildest imagination, dont be too hard on him he doesnt know but what hes been told, if hes a stand up guy he'll refund.


                                  Stephen C.

                      USMC      DEC 63 APR 73 

​"Its not how fast you mow ! Its how well you mow FAST"






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