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Could this be Prince Takeda's sword?


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#1 Austus

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 02:08 AM

I have a shin gunto made and sgned by Asano Kanesane in 1940. It has a silvered habaki but solid tsuba: and the matching numbers are 1. (Number One??) There is a silver mon; and it is Takeda. When I searched the net for "Japanese officer Takeda," what came up was the Prince.  Should I be excited?



#2 Austus

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 02:14 AM

Addendum to previous:  The tsuba is pierced, not solid. Sorry.  And something I left out: the mei includes that it is made from Yasuki steel. Wondering why that would be the case.



#3 Hamfish

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 02:23 AM

Photos are a must when asking such questions
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#4 Austus

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 03:04 AM

Well... okay. I don't take the best pictures; but could try.  I figured it would be a "Hell, No" with just that info. Thought maybe somebody could tell me if their Kanezane was also numbered One. Thinking that someone would take issue with the Yasuki steel; or maybe know of a connection to the mill or shortage of tamahagane. Assuming the information is correct, can the possibility exist or am I kidding myself? If pictures will make a difference, I'll take some.



#5 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 06:41 AM

Many families used the Takeda crest on their swords during WW2, I wouldn't get ahead of myself on this one.


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#6 Austus

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 07:25 AM

Thanks. That's one of the main things I wanted to know. But not what I wanted to hear.

I heard that Takeda is a common name in Japan; but the original family was mostly wiped out by 1600; and Prince Takeda's father had brought back the line. I don't now about the mon and who could use it. Which leads me back to the number 1 on the furniture. Did Kanezane number all his swords #1; or was it a nod to the Prince?

I don't really think this is his sword... but it sure would be nice!



#7 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 07:32 AM

Generally royalty used their own unique crest, seen below. The numbers are for inventory and assembly use, designed to insure all the fittings are correct to the sword. Sometimes simple marks, stamped Kanji or other marks were used as well. Numbers on the Nakago were used by a fair few different smiths and arsenals, again for inventory and assembly use.

 

i-img1200x847-1565260521uanfof879639.jpg


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#8 Austus

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 07:41 AM

That's the prettiest mon I've seen. Bet that's a great blade.  So are you thinking that the Prince had a unique one? That would pretty much dash my hopes. If it's not his I'm gonna clean it up a bit.  Will try and post some pictures tomorrow. Thanks



#9 Brian

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 08:47 AM

Let me be the first to state "hell no" and "no chance"
Nothing there suggests it was his. Anyone could use any mon they liked at that time, didn't even have to be official family.
And the number 1 is just an arbitrary number to keep all the fittings together. Swords did not have serials. This is not #1. Many/most swords had random numbers or symbols put on by the koshirae makers to make sure it was kept together when reassembled.
 


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#10 Austus

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 09:51 AM

Thanks for the emphatic answer. 

I was thinking that a family mon was a matter of Honor, and hoping that Takeda was restricted. Wasn't really betting on it. 

I did know about the assembly angle on the fittings; but thought that #1 was odd, considering they had been issuing shin guntos for years already. 

Still, the "no chance" determination might be a bit harsh. No doubt the Prince had many swords. A shin gunto is part of the uniform; so maybe he had one or more. And why not have one from a multi- Gold Medal winner at the time?  (Yes, I'm reaching.)

There's an excellent book called "Gold Warriors" by Sterling Seagrave, which I highly recommend, that describes a sword belonging to the Prince. It was given to him by Emperor Meiji, and did not sound like a shin gunto. The Prince reportedly gave this valuable sword to a young Filipino man he had befriended in the Philippines, along with a tunic (not uniform). The sword was later destroyed by being used to cut sugar cane. After the war, Prince Takeda became a "compliance officer" where he could have set the example and given up a sword or two. (Okay, now I'm really reaching.)  But can you really say "No chance"?



#11 IJASWORDS

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:08 AM

Austus, your reference to Yasuki Steel is significant . The Yasuki Steel Production Company actually built and operated a Tatara producing tamahagane. This is the precursor of traditionally made swords. This could mean that Kanesane made this blade traditionally .  


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#12 Austus

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:40 AM

I appreciate that sentiment! And I'd like to agree; but you'll get plenty of argument from the traditionalists. There's a spirited thread within this forum about Yasuki and the other steels; and the consensus is that anything other than bona fide tamahagane is a gunto. (They treat "gunto" like a cussword.) They weren't considering Yasuki to be tamahagane, even though it is definitely Japanese iron sand. And even if the blade is forged traditionally, they and many other traditionalists don't consider a Yasuki steel blade to be a Nihonto. I think that might excessively exclusionary. But don't try and argue with them. It won/t work.  


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#13 IJASWORDS

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 11:02 AM

In no way am I arguing with so called traditionalists, I hope we are all seekers of truth and facts. I am basing my statement  on historical fact that Yasuki tatara operating in 1933 using iron sand as s feed maternal produced about 50 tons of tamahagane. 

Secondly gunto means army sword. I have many with old traditional blades in gunto mounts. Many papered. So the gunto that traditionalists look down on refer to machine made blades only not gunto per se.  


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Neil

#14 Austus

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 11:56 AM

Let me say that I do agree with you that a traditionally forged yasuki steel blade is a Nihonto. But you will get argument from many if not most traditionalists about that. Please check out the string I mentioned... it's very interesting. 

Yes, you're also right about "gunto." ( gun=military, and to=sword.)  I was mostly being facetious about their attitude, which I don't share. Truth and Facts can get lost in politics. 

According to Fuller and Gregory's "Japanese Military and Civil Swords and Dirks", possibly less than 10% of shin guntos have old ancestral blades. Sounds like you have quite a collection. I think I'm jealous. Also in that book is a mention that the tang inscription can add value if it mentions "manufacturing method and type of steel", among other things (page 230). Type of steel? Why mention that if the steel is tamahagane? Maybe that Yasuki steel is a good thing! By the way, it's dark in color, like tamahagane. But this hamon is not that bright. Hmmm.


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#15 SteveM

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 04:41 PM

Does the sword look like this one? This is purported to be Prince Takada's sword (Bizen Sukesada) retrofitted to guntō mounts. 

https://blogs.yahoo....e/61800241.html

 

 

Family crest of the royal Takeda house. 

https://ja.wikipedia...ia.org/wiki/竹田宮


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#16 Austus

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 05:41 PM

My heart skipped a beat over the first photo. That profile is very similar; but this is a Kanezane, not a Sukesada. Sure wish it were!

This crest is the old four diamonds of history. I've never seen that mon; but it sure is beautiful.

There is very little on our internet about Prince Takeda except Wikipedia. That's why I turned to this Forum for answers; and it looks like you have provided the answer I needed. It dashes my hopes; but I wanted the truth. Thank You!

It must be nice to be at the Source, and be able to see the very finest blades anytime, every day. What a collection you must have!

A while back, I mused that it would nice to have "the" #1 stamped fittings instead of my #45 and #95. Then this sword came to me. It's called The Law of Attraction. Everyone should get familiar with this philosophy. It's amazing what the Universe can provide if you just ask.  So I added a rule: Dream Big... but Be Specific.  

Thanks again, Steve.


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