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Mei Translation Of Unidentified Sword

katana translation

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#1 Stevensonbak

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:02 PM

Hello Everyone, 
 
A sword came into my possession today, and as with anything I plan to keep for my own collection, I would like to know as much about the piece as possible. And as always,  I have reached the step where I would like to translate the writing that I have found on the piece. In this case, there is a very visible mei on the tang and additional writing on the tsuba.

Here is a link to the gallery for the sword, the mei pictures are towards the end: http://imgur.com/a/eDe6E

In terms of the known history of the sword, the story is pretty typical: I received this sword from a gentleman who has had it in his personal possession for about 15 years, who had the sword handed down to him from his father, a WWII veteran serving in the Pacific Theater. How exactly the veteran received the sword himself is a mystery, and no associated paperwork or certificates are present with the sword.

The main focus of this thread would be to determine the translation for the mei and inscription, but I am also curious about the general nature and history of the piece itself, the extra information would be greatly appreciated!
I will tell you what I have observed so far. The tsuka appears to be pre-war based on condition and design, fairly old looking. Most of the metal pieces appear to be made of brass, I would assume the skin on the handle would be stingray, and the wrapping is made of some sort of cloth (not silk). The blade itself is great condition besides the tang. It has definitely never been sharpened, and is in fact quite dull, which is reminiscent of what I have seen in Type 98 blades. Finally, the scabbard is made of wood, and painted with a dark burnt umber-kind of brown paint. The scabbard has a matching brass design and the sageo is also made of cloth. Unfortunately, the bottom of the scabbard splits slightly when the sword is sheathed, you can see the crack that runs down the middle of the foot of the scabbard that it splits along. The mekugi was also damaged, with only one half of it remaining, but other than that I did not find any other significant damage.
 
If you have any other questions, specifications, or need pictures of a specific part I overlooked, let me know. I appreciate any and all input you all can give me!
 
 
Thank You!

Steven B.

#2 DirkO

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:22 PM

Hi,

Hate to be the one to tell you this, but it looks like a blatant Chinese fake. The tang is 100% artificial, as is the mei. Please have a look at the FAQ at the top on how to recognize a fake. Sorry I can't give you any better news.

I suggest you enjoy it for what it is, a gift by some one who meant well.

Dirk

~~ichigo ichi´e - (一期一会)~~


#3 Brian

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:37 PM

Sorry, have to agree. It happens. At least there was no great cost involved. You are not alone, happens to many people. Stick around and read a bit, and you'll have better luck next time.


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#4 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:38 PM

Agreed on the Chinese nod. The signature says Sakai Yoshiharu, which is interesting since usually the signatures on these are gibberish.

#5 Stephen

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:42 PM

ah them stories, if i had a hundred bucks for each i could afford a juyoto


                                  Stephen C.

                      USMC      DEC 63      APR 73

              


#6 peterd

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:55 PM

Tsuba motives are the wrong way up


Peter Dibden


#7 ROKUJURO

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 09:04 PM

Stevenson (is that your first name?),

please sign all your posts at least with a real first name plus an ititial, as is requested here.

I would like to recommend that you read a lot here on the NMB and look at as many photos of real Japanese blades as possible. After a while you will get acustomed to what is real and what was only fabricated to deceive.

Hopefully you are not disappointed or even discouraged!  


Regards,

Jean C.

#8 Stevensonbak

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 12:09 AM


Stevenson (is that your first name?),
 
please sign all your posts at least with a real first name plus an ititial, as is requested here.
 
I would like to recommend that you read a lot here on the NMB and look at as many photos of real Japanese blades as possible. After a while you will get acustomed to what is real and what was only fabricated to deceive.
 
Hopefully you are not disappointed or even discouraged!

I have updated my signature, thank you for informing me about this rule.

Everyone, I greatly appreciate your honesty and input on this matter, I would not benefit from white lies about the authenticity about any items that I inquire about here. I also appreciate your concern as well about the financial aspect of how I acquired this sword, so I will elaborate on that subject to clear things up. The person I received this from is actually a friend of one of my personal colleagues, and neither my colleague nor the owner had any true knowledge of the piece, so my colleague referred the man to me because I was the only person they trusted to give them an honest and frank opinion on the blade. No money has actually been exchanged, but he did express interest in possibly selling it, although I could see he had no idea what would have liked to receive for it, and I did not want to take advantage of the situation. So all I had to go off on was my prior knowledge in dealing with these swords, but this one definitely struck me as unorthodox in some way, which is why I am here...

 

Tsuba motives are the wrong way up

I noticed this immediately as well, but due to my inexperience I did want to count it as a red flag initially because I wasn't sure if that possibly could have been a deliberate decision by the smith. I know now that these motifs are consistently positioned in the way that a person holding the sword can see the design properly.

Again, I chiefly came here to see what I can learn based off the mei translation (Thanks SwordGuyJoe!), but I see that red flags arise from pretty much everything else about the piece, so again I appreciate your honesty everyone. I will relay the news to the gentleman, I hope he doesn't have any hard feelings towards his pops! I suppose this is just another old case of, "My Dad Gave Me His Luger..." that I hear quite often in my time.

Thanks again everyone for your time, although I did not intend to waste it! I admit I personally collect and study European arms and armor more often than Far Eastern arms, so your help is very invaluable to me on these matters.

Thank You!


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Steven B.

#9 Brian

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 07:22 PM

You did not waste our time. Instead, someone reading this may have learned something or will be a bit more educated. So nothing wasted at all ;-)


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#10 Surfson

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 12:55 PM

Steven, this is actually a win for the NMB, so don't feel like you wasted anybody's time.  So often we have people posting a sword like yours all excited about the treasure that they have unearthed, and after paying a sum for the sword (any amount paid is too much for such swords).  In that case one of us has to break the bad news to them (you notice the kindness and trepidation that Dirk used when he passed along the news).  I fear that in these cases many potential nihonto collectors are lost by having had a truly awful first experience with Japanese swords.  They sulk off, lick their wounds and often decide that the sport is not for them.  This is sad for all of us, and is fortunately not the case for you.  The fact that you didn't pay anything for it means that we were actually able to help you!  I hope that this kindles an interest in genuine Japanese swords and that you use the knowledge of the board members to help you find a sword that can be a "starter sword" for you as you set off to be a collector.  Cheers, Bob


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Robert S.





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