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Identification Of Sword Recovered During Ww2


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#1 TommyMars

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 07:59 PM

Hello, and thank you in advance for any help you can give me. This sword was recovered by my grandfather at the end of the war and has been in my family ever since. We know absolutely nothing on this and i was having issues finding information from reading websites. I'd like to be able to clean it up properly and have a bit of history on this sword. These are just some pictures sent to me so sorry for the potato quality, but i'll have better pictures once it is in my possession next week, the handle seems to be on pretty tightly, though the pin comes out rather easily so my parents didn't want to damage anything by trying to force it off. Thank you again in advance for the help!

 Tommy.

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#2 Geraint

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 09:35 PM

Hi Tommy.

 

Welcome to the board.  First bit of good news, this is a perfectly genuine Japanese sword, though it is hard to tell a great deal because of the condition and the photographs.  It is potentially something good and you should go slow!

 

You mention cleaning, hold that thought, a little light oil on the blade is ALL you should do.  It is very easy to ruin a sword and it's fittings by what seems like simple cleaning.  When you get the sword you will need to remove the hilt very carefully, if this is causing difficulties someone here can advise you on how to go about it.  The fittings look as if they have been with the sword for some time and as soon as we know what is under the paper and tape we can advise you on restoration. 

 

Welcome to a fascinating study and we look forward to seeing some better images when you can, plus some measurements.  Lots of people will chime in with opinions and there may be someone close enough to you so that you can show them the sword in hand and get some advice.

 

Enjoy!

 

(Oh!  And by the way it is not a military sword as such in that it is not mounted for use in WWII.  This means that it is at least 19th century and possibly much earlier).


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Geraint

#3 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 11:44 PM

Tommy,

The handles can resist coming off. The seppa (spacers on both sides of the handguard) sometimes are fitted really tightly, or corrosion/dirt can build up causing a resistance. Either way, you won't harm the fittings by convincing them to come off. I start by grabbing both sides of the handguard (tsuba) and try rocking it one side, then the other. If that doesn't work, tapping with a rubber mallet always does the trick.

#4 TommyMars

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 12:52 AM

Thank you for the information so far, once i get ahold of it next week i'll give that a shot with getting the hilt off and get some high quality pictures uploaded of the process. What do you mean by the paper and tape off? Is there something in particular i should be looking for under it? My parents have always left that on since it's got some cute Japanese comics under the tape and that was just the way it was received. This all seems like a wonderful can of worms i'm opening up.



#5 Bazza

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 01:23 AM

Tommy,

The handles can resist coming off. The seppa (spacers on both sides of the handguard) sometimes are fitted really tightly, or corrosion/dirt can build up causing a resistance. Either way, you won't harm the fittings by convincing them to come off. I start by grabbing both sides of the handguard (tsuba) and try rocking it one side, then the other. If that doesn't work, tapping with a rubber mallet always does the trick.

Bruce,

 

My emphasis in bold.  Generally speaking this is never a good thing to do as there is real potential to damage a good habaki or fuchi.  GENTLY tapping directly in line with the blade is a far better idea.

 

BaZZa.


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#6 TommyMars

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 01:34 AM

So if i can't get the hilt off with just using some pressure with my hands i should transition to tapping it off gently, then? The more i can mitigate actually harming this, the better. The wooden pin in the hilt is easily removable and the last i remember the hilt doesn't seem to be secured very well, i guess it's just still a bit tight somehow. Also in reply about someone being able to handle it in person, I'm located in western North Dakota, but this sword is currently in Southern California, and i'll have it in my possession while i'm in Irvine, CA and the stops after that would be Carson City, NV and Wyoming, if there is anyone in those areas that would be willing to meet on my way back home within the next few weeks.



#7 Grey Doffin

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 02:53 AM

Hi Tommy,

Here is a link to care & handling: http://www.nbthk-ab.org/Etiquette.htm

When you get the sword you can try to get the handle off with the technique in this brochure.  If it doesn't work you need to get this to someone who knows what he's doing; these are too easily damaged for an amateur to be messing with (regardless what you were told above).  Please read the brochure carefully twice; it's important.

Grey



#8 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 04:15 AM

:laughing:  Aw c'mon, peeps. Grab the hammers and files and grit and set to work!

Headlines: "$1,000,000 National Treasure sword loses 99% of value overnight!" What's a zero or two between friends? :rotfl:


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Piers D

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#9 TommyMars

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 04:25 AM

Thats what i'm afraid of lol, not that i have any intention of ever selling this thing, i just really don't want to ruin it in any way. And hopefully it hasn't already been messed with too much as it is. It's been kept safe going on a third generation now, i don't want to ruin it for generations after me. 

 

 

:laughing:  Aw c'mon, peeps. Grab the hammers and files and grit and set to work!

Headlines: "$1,000,000 National Treasure sword loses 99% of value overnight!" What's a zero or two between friends? :rotfl:


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#10 Shamsy

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 04:25 AM

Resting the blade on a soft material is good too. Not that I suppose the polish will be damaged in this instance. Read the guide Grey provided.
Steve
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#11 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 12:38 PM

I wouldn't be too pedantic about a little extra force here or there, the blade is already in rough condition. I would also suggest the traditional method of holding the handle firm in the right hand and hitting the base of your right hand with your left until you feel some movement. If that doesn't do it a thick towel around the tsuba and some gentle but firm tapping with a wooden or rubber mallet isn't likely to cause any significant damage.


John


#12 TommyMars

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 02:31 AM

Alright so i'm back and i currently have the sword in my possession. I'm going to upload an imgur album to this just because i took too many pictures to upload them all into one post. The blade seems to be in somewhat rough shape, the edge has some damage from i can only assume being used for its purpose. The blade itself looks like someone tried to either badly sharpen it or polish it, so there's some scuffing and scratching in one area. There is some surface rusting but it's now oiled and will continue to be protected from the elements. There is no indication of any sort of makers mark or inscription on the tang itself, the tang came from the hilt rather easy by using the method from the link above. I haven't peeled the tape off yet in fear that i might damage the scabbard more than it already is, but i may attempt that later. I'm trying to get the pictures as best quality as i can but definitely let me know if i need to retake any and i'll do that as soon as possible. 

 

Here's the link to the pictures: https://imgur.com/a/V2Snr

Thanks again to everyone helping out on identifying this and helping me keep this in good shape.

 

Tommy.






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