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Translation Assistance Appreciated


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#1 Jantonu954


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Posted 17 August 2015 - 09:59 PM

Hello Everyone, hoping someone can help read primarily the date, and of course maker if possible to distinguish. Sword has been with my family for many years, I have always wanted to know its age and lineage for personal knowledge, couldn't ever think of selling it as its become very special to me. Thank you in advance.

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James A.

#2 Thekirsh


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Posted 17 August 2015 - 11:18 PM

Hi  Jantonu,

I think your sword inscription reads as follows-

Omote- Sunshu Shimada ju

Ura - Mikawa no Kami Minamoto Sadasuke


Full reading - Sunshu Shimada ju Mikawa no Kami Minamoto Sadasuke


There is no date on your sword, possibly first generation working 1624


Simon K

"Draw me not without reason. Sheath me not without honour."

#3 Jantonu954


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Posted 17 August 2015 - 11:29 PM

Wow, thank you! 1600's would be incredible.

James A.

#4 Stephen



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Posted 17 August 2015 - 11:46 PM

WHAT  you some big cartel lord??? clean up that nakago...lol

  • Thekirsh likes this
Stephen C.

#5 Jantonu954


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Posted 18 August 2015 - 12:24 AM

LOL, I assure you its flour and its cleaned up already :)



James A.

#6 Toryu


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Posted 18 August 2015 - 06:32 AM

Simon has it right -

     Jantonu (sorry don't know how I should address you) this is most likely the fourth generation since he uses the character 参 san instead of 三 san, for his title Mikawa no kami - an interesting piece for research. Would love to see pictures of the blade...


(for Tom or Toryu)

Thomas C Helm
Northern California Japanese Sword Club


#7 Jantonu954


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Posted 18 August 2015 - 01:47 PM

Thank you for the information Simon and Tom. I will take some pictures of the blade tonight. I hope you will indulge me with some novice questions on how to interpret the inscription.

Sunshu Shimada - The School correct ? I assume this school operated before the Shinto period but can not find precise dates or information on the school specifically online (or have not yet found I should say)

Mikawa no Kami - Tom said this is the sword smith's title, would you explain the significance.

Minamoto Sadasuke - the craftsman's given name?  I have seen reference to a "Minamoto  Rai Sadasuke" would this be the same person or reletive? the Later was late 17th century and signed  Sunshu Shimada ju Mikawa Daijo Minamoto Rai Sadasuke would titles have changed through a career from Mikawa no Kami to Mikawa Daijo?


Again thank you for the information,

James (apologies I was being rude and didn't realize)


Adding Pics, Tips on better photography method appreciated too :-)


James A.

#8 cisco-san


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Posted 18 August 2015 - 11:40 PM

from Markus book:

SADASUKE (貞助), Kanbun (寛文, 1661-1673), Suruga – “Sadasuke” (貞助), “Sunshū Shimada-jū Kawachi no Daijō Rai Sadasuke” (駿州島田住河内大掾来貞助), “Mikawa no Daijō Minamoto Rai Sadasuke” (参河大掾源来貞助), “Mikawa no Kami Minamoto Sadasuke Sunshū Shimada-jū” (三河守源貞助駿州島田住), he signed the character for “Mi” (三) in the honorary title Mikawa no Daijō also as (参), mostly a chū-suguha, chūjō-saku

Klaus Schicker

#9 Jantonu954


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Posted 24 August 2015 - 03:50 AM

Thank you for the information Klaus, can you recommend any books, websites, or other resources for researching this craftsman?

James A.

#10 Geraint


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Posted 25 August 2015 - 10:27 AM

Dear James.


Finding detailed information about a smith is difficult for many reasons, we are after all talking about someone who worked a long time ago.  You have probably already come across this, if not then well worth buying.   https://books.google... school&f=false


You might also find this useful for background, http://www.sho-shin....com/tokai6.htm 


Most likely you will have to piece together information from a variety of sources, though Markus has done most of that work for us, and don't be surprised if they contradict one another sometimes.


Enjoy the sword.


All the best.


#11 Jantonu954


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Posted 25 August 2015 - 02:54 PM

Thank you!

James A.

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