Can anyone take a look at this mei for me? The highlighted Kanji is a guess. This is my first translation and I am very new to this so correct me as I'm sure i missed something! I also can't find the province, I'm sure I got that wrong. Any help would be appreciated!
Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:05 PM
yes, that looks like HARU. KUNI is 濃州 (Noshû), modern MINO.
Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:49 PM
KANEHARU (兼春), Shōwa (昭和, 1926-1989), Gunma → TSUGUNOBU (継延), Shōwa (昭和, 1926-1989)
USMC DEC 63 APR 73
It doesn't matter how slow you go as long as you don't stop.
Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:50 PM
Thanks Guys. I'm amazed I was that close. I see that there are 21 Kaneharu sword smiths out of Mino province from Koto to Showa eras (according to Nihonto Club). How in the heck do you figure out which smith and what date? I guess this is where really knowing your blades pays off? The sword is in WWII military configuration. I'm guessing here, but if it was showa period, wouldn't it have the showa kanji and different style date signature? Being it has the province, and maker, I would guess it is older. The tang throws me off though, if it's an old blade it should be rusty more black than red right? This one is slightly rusty...
I am a total novice here...
Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:19 PM
No need to make this one difficult, Stephen has given you your man. Nothing about the nakago suggest other than that this is a Showa blade. Not all Showa swords have stamps and sometimes this is a good thing. More pictures of the blade might bring some more, informed comment.
All the best.
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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:47 PM
Thanks guys. I'm only in 1 sword deep and already feel the addiction!
Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:00 PM
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Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:02 PM
Wow Brad, thats a very nice Kai Gunto and i had a few. Thanks for showing it!
This is not a low or medium grade showa-to like the Kaneharu which is here written. Try to stand up in front of a sunny window Brad and than look on the blade You will be impressed.
Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:47 PM
to help you understand how one could get an idea of the age of a blade by just seeing the NAKAGO (tang), I will give you a hint: The filing of the NAKAGO is called YASURI-ME, and in former times the smith did this very carefully and evenly. In SHINTO times it was even sophisticated and very decorative, so guessing the age was not so difficult, when you took the patina also into consideration.
Your blade is in good condition, and so is the NAKAGO. Very light rust, which just started to form a patina. The filing is quite irregular and not carefully done, which is typical for these war-time blades. By the way, the signature (MEI) is nicely and carefully written/cut, and a lot nicer than in many other GUN-TO.
Your photos do not show the full NAKAGO without HABAKI which would be helpful in further identifying the blade. So I am not sure if there is a stamp giving it away as SHOWA-TO. From the photos of the HAMON, it seems to be non-traditionally made, so nothing special. There will probably be no activities in the HAMON which you would expect in a traditionally forged, water-quenched blade.
All in all, a very nice item for the military collector!
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