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Is this a hiromitsu August 1945 gifu stamp, Ren Nanman Arsenal Dalian Factory stamp and maybe a 2nd gifu or cherrybloosm stamp?

Thank you in advance.

Hello every1. I'm new here, I've had 2 ww2 vintage swords that I have been trying to decifer. I have had some help but not a 100% assured hit. I have 1 that is unsigned and was told that it might be a koto or shinshinto. The 2nd sword is why I'm here. I have, from what I was told and doing my own research on the mitsu and stamps, a August 1945 hiromitsu, but I dont find the signature anywhere to match, the mitsu is a definite. The Hiro is the problem. It also has 3 stamps. One is definitely a gifu (gi) stamp the other 2 are what I think, and correct me if I'm wrong... one stamp is a Ren- Nanman Arsenal Dalion Factory, and 3red I think is another gift stamp or cherryblossom tree... I'm leaning more to figure. I would really appreciate if anyone's expertise, considering that I am only a novice. I will place pics on the next posting

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The sword is dated January 1945.  One of the inspection marks looks like a Seki stamp.  In the picture, it is rotated to the left.  A small Seki stamp is often found along with a 岐 Gi stamp.

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Thank you Ray and Kiipu. The January has a an extra mark to it, maybe a error when etched? The seki stamp I'm leaning to Ren - Nanman Arsenal Delian Factory. From what I read, it was made if Manchuria, if a sword has that stamp. If so, does this make it rare? Is it rare for a tang to have these 3 stamps?post-5362-0-45545000-1591912266_thumb.jpg

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It is a SHO stamp + a SEKI stamp.

 

Hiromitsu with an almost identical MITSU and a variation on the execution of the HIRO kanji: http://www.japaneseswordindex.com/oshigata/hiromit2.jpg

The sword is dated January 1945. One of the inspection marks looks like a Seki stamp. In the picture, it is rotated to the left. A small Seki stamp is often found along with a 岐 Gi stamp.

My stamp and sreenshot of what I found online from a bookpost-5362-0-22371700-1591912387_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-11961000-1591912410_thumb.jpg

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The stamp is a partially struck Seki. Here is what you are seeing:

post-3487-0-48238200-1592054262_thumb.jpg

 

For it to be a Ren, you'd have to be missing half of the right side (which, ok, poorly struck stamps are missing stuff), but you also have to have the indicated marks at the right diagonal angles.

post-3487-0-89141200-1592054784_thumb.jpg

 

PS: I'm the guy that compiled that "book" you referenced! Ha!

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The stamp is a partially struck Seki. Here is what you are seeing:

attachicon.gif20200613_071626.jpg

For it to be a Ren, you'd have to be missing half of the right side (which, ok, poorly struck stamps are missing stuff), but you also have to have the indicated marks at the right diagonal angles.

attachicon.gif20200613_072412.jpg

PS: I'm the guy that compiled that "book" you referenced! Ha!

Lol... nice to meet you Sir!! I'm only a padawan... a man with novice eyes. Would you mind if I get your expertise opinion on a second sword?

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Hey, that's what we're here to do, bring it on! Just depends on what you've got though, I know stamps, and a moderate amount of WWII swords. Anything older than that will have to have the eyes of the Nihonto guys.

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Hey, that's what we're here to do, bring it on! Just depends on what you've got though, I know stamps, and a moderate amount of WWII swords. Anything older than that will have to have the eyes of the Nihonto guys.

Hi Bruce, sorry for the late response. I wasn't able to get on this site. Not sure if it was the website or the url connection. It kept telling me that I couldn't get access.

 

To begin, I have a mumei katana I think that means unsigned if I'm correct, in gunto high decorative officer mount, correct me if I'm wrong please. Besides it being unsigned, it has 4 notches on the mune, between the mune-machi and mekugi-ana. I have do e various searches and I found that most sword experts, say that this is a koto/shinshinto. It's unsigned which matches the era when katanas weren't being signed. The notches where there to sort out the parts that went to the sword. Also it's what they considered castle armory for the foot soldiers or picked up from battles amd added to castle armory and the notches were added also for the correct parts. Now I do know that during the ww2, blades were signed and dated and or stamped, I know that was mandatory. One other clue that I think that this might be a shinto, is the weight. It is heavier than my hiromitsu. The only time when katanas were heavy was when Japan was introduced to guns amd samurai armour was made thicker to help protect against bullets. So when the armour was thicker the swords became heavier so they can have more effect when striking. Again, I will say, I am only a novice with novice eyes and just trying to put together a puzzle to get a clear picture of what i have. Would you still like to see pictures?

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Dear Robinson.

 

Yes, we certainly need to see pictures if we are to offer any information about your sword.  Some measurements would also be helpful.  Are your researches solely on line at the moment?  If so then there are a couple of books that would be well worth your money, on line information can be very useful but until you know enough to tell whether the person posting has some real knowledge or just a fog of opinion then it can be a minefield.

 

Plenty of people here with years of study under their belts and very willing to share it with you.  Looking forward to the pictures!

 

All the best.

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Dear Robinson.

 

Yes, we certainly need to see pictures if we are to offer any information about your sword.  Some measurements would also be helpful.  Are your researches solely on line at the moment?  If so then there are a couple of books that would be well worth your money, on line information can be very useful but until you know enough to tell whether the person posting has some real knowledge or just a fog of opinion then it can be a minefield.

 

Plenty of people here with years of study under their belts and very willing to share it with you.  Looking forward to the pictures!

 

All the best.

Hello Mr Geraint. My apologies for this late response. I have some pictures of the other sword, but I do have a question in regards to my 1st sword I posted, the 1945 hiromitsu (not sure if its August or January because of their calander). Can it be possible, that this was a gendaito? Only because it has 3 stamps, which I read somewhere, that with a lacquered wrapped tsuka, a sword with 3 stamps, which mine has 1 seki and 2 gifu's, is rare to find and might be a private purchase and traditionally made? It needed to be pass inspection 3x because of this. Also I read that in seki, gifu province there were a lot of backyard Smith's working traditionally on swords for the military/govn't, then later on were approved and stamped for military use, which is why my stamps are badly visible, because it was stamped after approval and it was a private purchase? Just something I read on this forum, but I cant find the 2 threads... one was 2009 and the other 2015.

Here are the pics of the 2nd mumei sword, I have to say it definitely is heavier. Maybe mid 1500s - 1700s? Battlefield armory sword? Maybe koto unsigned? My inexperience guess.

Pictures are before and the one with measuring is after with the 24hr white vinegar bath and some wet/dry 1000-3000 grit sanding. I definitely made it look better, but might of harmed the hamon a bit and let the wash go to high on the nagasa.

I also have a mumeiwakizashi to show later.

Thank you and every1 that has helped me with my search to obtain a little more knowledge every day.post-5362-0-24462500-1595491748_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-61955400-1595491784_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-28981100-1595491833_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-46111100-1595492058_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-41212500-1595492330_thumb.jpg

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Pictures are before and the one with measuring is after with the 24hr white vinegar bath and some wet/dry 1000-3000 grit sanding. I definitely made it look better, but might of harmed the hamon a bit and let the wash go to high on the nagasa.

 

Thank you and every1 that has helped me with my search to obtain a little more knowledge every day.

 

So... to increase your knowledge, please never do this again.  No matter the condition of the blade, as a general, blanket rule on the NMB, such amateur restorations are not supported.  You have no idea what you might be destroying and in no way is sandpaper and vinegar an 'improvement'.  I know it is hard to hear and you may not believe it, but honestly, it is ALWAYS better to do NOTHING until you REALLY know what you have.  

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Robinson, welcome back! I'll let the Nihonto guys help you with your old blade, but I'd like to address a couple things you mentioned about your showato.

 

Calendar - I'm wondering where your confusion is coming from on the month. According to what I've read, the Japanese switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1873. Even when considering their use of a Fiscal Year in factory/arsenal documents, the months were still the same as ours. So "One" month is January, like on your blade.

 

Stamps - over the years, there are some who have argued that a Seki, or regional stamp, could have been simply been like a guild mark and had no statement about how it was made. But the majority of what I read is that simply wasn't the case in WWII. In fact, it is widely known that some people would have a polisher remove the stamp, because it denoted a non-traditionally made blade and they wanted to get more money out of the sale. With the stamp missing, they could claim "gendaito" and ask more for it.

 

You haven't shown us the blade. Asking us whether it could be traditionally made, without showing us the blade, is like asking us if your Ford Cobra is real or a replica without showing us the car. Sometimes it's hard to say, even with pictures, but sometimes it is obvious.

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So... to increase your knowledge, please never do this again.  No matter the condition of the blade, as a general, blanket rule on the NMB, such amateur restorations are not supported.  You have no idea what you might be destroying and in no way is sandpaper and vinegar an 'improvement'.  I know it is hard to hear and you may not believe it, but honestly, it is ALWAYS better to do NOTHING until you REALLY know what you have.

 

Thank you Mark. I know better now. This was a 1st time lesson learned the hard way. My 1st place of unnecessary and useless help was YouTube, I was desperate and less knowledgeable in my defense. Never again! I cringed after the vinegar bath and did my best to bring it back... the hamon is in need of some life though . I am the killer of swords! ☠ I am looking into buying the Japanese stones and maybe in a few years finally know what to do. A hobby to pass the time.

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TI am looking into buying the Japanese stones and maybe in a few years finally know what to do. A hobby to pass the time.

 

Please don't... same end result as the vinegar and sandpaper.  I highly encourage you to hang out here at the NMB and READ and ABSORB as much as you possibly can.  Over time, you will most definitely learn and come to hold a deep appreciation that polishing blades is not a 'hobby'... 

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Robinson, welcome back! I'll let the Nihonto guys help you with your old blade, but I'd like to address a couple things you mentioned about your showato.

Calendar - I'm wondering where your confusion is coming from on the month. According to what I've read, the Japanese switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1873. Even when considering their use of a Fiscal Year in factory/arsenal documents, the months were still the same as ours. So "One" month is January, like on your blade.

Stamps - over the years, there are some who have argued that a Seki, or regional stamp, could have been simply been like a guild mark and had no statement about how it was made. But the majority of what I read is that simply wasn't the case in WWII. In fact, it is widely known that some people would have a polisher remove the stamp, because it denoted a non-traditionally made blade and they wanted to get more money out of the sale. With the stamp missing, they could claim "gendaito" and ask more for it.

You haven't shown us the blade. Asking us whether it could be traditionally made, without showing us the blade, is like asking us if your Ford Cobra is real or a replica without showing us the car. Sometimes it's hard to say, even with pictures, but sometimes it is obvious.

Hey Bruce... lol, yes I understand. I will post the pictures of the January 1945 Hiromitsu 1 seki stamp and 2 gifu stamps.

I also have a mumei wakizashi that I will put up later in the week and waiting on another katana, but it definitely will need to be inspected and hopefully it's not a china replica... that one is for another day when I receive it. It might have gotten lost or stolen in usps hands... its about a week late. If it is, ebay and paypal battle for refund. I hope it's just delayed.post-5362-0-04871200-1595532188_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-80707000-1595532204_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-05356600-1595532219_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-82761400-1595532244_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-12944600-1595532447_thumb.jpgpost-5362-0-17145900-1595532507_thumb.jpg

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Please don't... same end result as the vinegar and sandpaper.  I highly encourage you to hang out here at the NMB and READ and ABSORB as much as you possibly can.  Over time, you will most definitely learn and come to hold a deep appreciation that polishing blades is not a 'hobby'...

 

You are correct, wrong choice of words for me. It is something I do want to learn and I am aware that it is a skill that takes a decade to learn. As I get older, I will have more time to dedicate to this. I won't be going anywhere Mark. I want to know more and learn about Japanese swords both military and nihonto.

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Thanks for the pics Robinson. The hamon is quite faint and hard to see. The Nihonto guys can correct me if wrong, but I believe this to be an oil-quenched, non-traditionally made blade (like the vast majority of WWII blades). The two holes in the nakago indicate this was made for the Rinji-seishiki (Type 3) fittings.

 

The multiple stamps are not unheard of on showato, though not the norm, but I agree yours having both the Seki and Gifu stamps put it in the "scarce" or "rare" category.

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Hey guys. Just got a sword in from ebay. Yes I know, too many fakes. I gave one a chance from a seller who said he bought it from an estate sale and had his sword expert people confirm it was legit. It has no mei or stamp. I will be posting a lot of pics. I'm only a novice, but I think that this is a fake, I may be wrong and I hope that I am. But if I'm right then I have learned a little and I will return it. Please tell me what you all think.

Thanks everyone,

Robinson

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The nakago alone screams "Not Japanese!!!". Having said that, it's not bad enough to be an island sword, in fact most legit island swords don't try to BE a Japanese sword, they just have flavors of Japanese military in them. Fakes try to BE Japanese swords. So in that sense, this leans toward fakery. The kabutogane and fuchi (photos too dark, could use bright, clear pics of them) look right. The tsuba from a distance looks good, but up close, it has the sand-blasted look of fakes and the petal tips of the sakura, instead of being formed as cherry, were formed like plum, but then the craftsman used a small chisel to split the tips.

 

The rust on the blade (from the photos) looks like chromed steel looks when it corrodes. Might be the photo.

 

There were some hacks in the business during WWII, that's why the military had inspectors, but how many of them actually got gunto into the field is unknown. But I'd lean toward fakery on this.

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Thanks Bruce, I figured it was a fake once I opened it up. I'm covered by ebay, the seller is trying to say that it is genuine Japanese hand forged late ww2 katana.

I do have my eye on a niromitsu. Any suggestions where I can look besides ebay?

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Robinson,

be cautious, there is no NIROMITSU.

Buy from this forum, there are good and safe offers. And take your time, unless you want to go to war there is no haste in equipping with weapons!

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