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Translation of Katana Mei

katana translation

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#1 ChrisW

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 03:18 AM

Hey guys,

 

Got another blade here. I think this one is mid-1800's but I am unsure. I'd love a translation of the smith and what I believe to be the date? The nakago is really slender compared to the guntos I have, so I think this one is earlier. It appears to be o-suriage as it has an area that clearly was where the habaki was lower. It has three mekugi-ana though, which are all clustered rather closely together. The current habaki has been somewhat butchered sadly and is missing the 'flanges' that flank either side of the blade. Sadly, much of the geometry is eroded but there is definitely enough meat there to have it polished and brought back... if it's worthy of that luxury.

 

If you want pictures of the rest of the blade, feel free to ask! It does have a shirasaya so there's no worry for that. The blade-edge measures approx. 25 1/2 inches.

 

 

P.S. I apologize for my still-amateur photography skills. :(

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Chris W.

 

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#2 ChrisW

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 03:43 AM

There's some kind of build-up of dust in the signature. I think it might be possibly flour? Any way to safely remove this without harming the mei?


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#3 Ganko

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 05:56 AM

Looks to me like Sukehisa and maybe Showa 18. It is not too well cut. You can clean the mei with a tooth brush and soapy water.

 

TomC


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#4 ChrisW

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 06:04 AM

What explains the fact that its cut down? Showa 18 places it as a WWII blade if so. Is it a mumei that was bought and cut down for use in the war?

 

So strange.


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#5 SteveM

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 09:36 AM

Of the chippy WW2 inscriptions I've seen, this one looks particularly hastily inscribed, almost reduced to as few strokes as could be made and still have some recognizable form of the original kanji. Actually, the first part of the name is unrecognizable to me. Tom's guess of Sukehisa is as good as any, but I couldn't find any Sukehisa on the WW2 smith lists. (I agree the second character is 久 - hisa).

 

The names on the lists that might be plausible are all just a few strokes too removed to be a good match. I'm thinking of 兼久 (Kanehisa) 義久 (Yoshihisa), or possibly even 武久 (Takehisa), but as I say the form on this sword is just a bit too different. Looks like kusa kanmuri, but there are no smiths I could find with any such name. 祐久 (Sukehisa) is as good, if not better, than any of the above, so maybe somebody can find a mid-20th century Sukehisa in one of the list of smiths. 

 

I also think Tom has the right date (Showa 18) but this too is reduced to an almost unreadable few scratches. Definitely a WW2 blade. 

 

I don't think the blade is o-suriage. It might be machi-okuri, but its hard to tell. 


Steve M

#6 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 02:29 PM

Chris,

I agree with the above that the mei and date are WWII style and the date is 1943. The nakago looks too new to be older than that, unless it has been cleaned. Why it would have 3 mekugi ana - possibly field damage and repairs?

What is it that gave the impression of 1800's?

#7 ChrisW

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 07:27 PM

@Bruce Ah, the overall slenderness of the nakago and the fact that there are three mekugi-ana. Just have never seen it on a WWII blade before.

 

 

But thanks guys! That clears this one up. And I think it is likely machi-okuri because there's a clear demarcation where the habaki was lower on the nakago.


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