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WW2 Katana Mei Identification


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#1 Nic

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 05:47 AM

Hi there everyone.

I was wondering if anyone can assist me in identifying/reading the Mei on my Katana.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

I apologise for the poor image quality, the original was too large to upload.

Nic

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#2 David Flynn

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 05:48 AM

Nagamura?
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#3 Grey Doffin

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 06:27 AM

I think so, Nagamura.
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#4 george trotter

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 07:41 AM

It is hard to see, but I think this is Nagamura, followed Kiyotsune ? saku. I may be wrong, but the family name is Nagamura and the art name is Kiyotsune. If correct, he was Seki Tosho from 1941/April/13. His personal name is Matsuichi?

Hope this helps,
George.
George Trotter

#5 David Flynn

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 08:01 AM

I didn't even notice the other Kanji till you pointed them out George.
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#6 george trotter

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 09:49 AM

Yes Dave, very hard to see...after a few years experience you get a "feel" for what "should be there". It's just a learning curve, and when you get used to it...you start to "see" (or expect) more in some cases. I couldn't see the mei either, but I checked Nagamura (a surname) against my Seki Tosho list and there was Nagamura Kiyotsune...so I looked at the pic again and sure enough, I could now "see" it. I would expect the kanji I can't read to be "kitau" (forged). I'm not certain, but do you also see a Seki stamp?
Regards,
George.
George Trotter

#7 Nobody

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 11:16 AM

It is hard to see, but I think this is Nagamura, followed Kiyotsune ? saku. I may be wrong, but the family name is Nagamura and the art name is Kiyotsune. If correct, he was Seki Tosho from 1941/April/13. His personal name is Matsuichi?

Hope this helps,
George.

Isn't the smith name Kiyonobu?

MORIYAMA Koichi
盡人事而待天命 - Do one's best and leave the rest to Providence.

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#8 george trotter

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 02:20 PM

Hi ...
Yes you are correct...it is Kiyonobu...gomen. I use the older kanji only list for constant practice, and as this nobu is very similar to tsune, I read tsune by mistake, I should have double-checked on my romaji list as well...apologies guys.
Regards,
George.
George Trotter

#9 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 05:17 PM

This is Nagamura Kiyonobu a WWII Rikugun Jumei Tosho from Gifu. He's on page 85 of Slough's.
Regards,
Joe

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- PM me if you have or know of one

#10 Nic

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 07:17 AM

Thank you so much for you expertise guys, it is very appreciated!
Does anyone have any more information regarding this particular swordsmith in regards to history or reputation etc?

Thanks again!

Nic

#11 george trotter

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 07:53 AM

Nic, as mentioned above, he appears on p.85 of John Slough "Modern Japanese Swordsmiths" and the tang illustrated matches yours. I notice in Slough that there is a small squarish stamp above the peg hole which says "Tan" (forged). I "think" I see this stamp on yours...if so it apparently means hand made, rather than "churned out" using mill-steel and oil tempering. The Tan stamp is very rare...can you post clearer pics?
Slough says this smith was Rikugun Jumei Tosho (Army approved swordsmith), but I can't find him on my list...but that may just be me. So, your sword may be a military sword of little artistic merit, or a military sword of handmade quality, as he apparently made both. better pics of blade and tang may help members point you to a clearer answer.
Regards,
George.
George Trotter

#12 Nic

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 09:38 AM

Thank you so much for your correspondence!
I have posted a cropped pic of the Tan. The image is poor due to the image size restraints on the forum. It definitely is a square symbol, it was one of the first things I noticed when I first saw the tang!
The katana was given to me by my grandmother who obtained it through her uncle who served during the war. I must get more details as I am sure the history behind it is fascinating.

Thanks again,

Nic

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  • Katana - Copy.JPG
  • Tan.JPG


#13 Nic

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 09:50 AM

Here is an image of the katana stripped down.
Note the spacers (seppa) and the left hand side of the Tsuba. The right hand side shows 3 spacers. The left also has 3 but was stuck under the middle seppa due to the oil.
Hopefully this sheds some light on the blade.

Nic

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  • Katana - stripped down..JPG


#14 george trotter

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 12:19 PM

Nic,
yes, that is tan which means forged. Collectors disagree on what it implies...handmade? or partly handmade or ...?
Yours is only the second one I've seen in 40 years...I think it would need a close examination by a knowledgeable member to (possibly) come close to answering this question. Some say all "stamped" swords are not True Nihonto except for possibly some of the star stamped blades by the Rikugun Jumei Tosho which your guy seems to be...so, short answer...can't really comment on quality/type of blade from here (Australia). Shape looks nice, close-ups of blade, temperline/hamon and tip etc would be nice.
By all means get history, names, dates, rank, operation etc...it is all important.
Regards,
George.
George Trotter

#15 David Flynn

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 12:28 PM

I vote Tan means traditionaly forged. ie Gendaito
David




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#16 Nic

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:03 PM

Here are some more images of the blade. I have covered it with machine oil to preserve the steel. Some of the marks are fabric remnants from the blade's wipedown.

I live in Australia too! I am quite interested in getting this katana professionally serviced to retain/enhance its condition.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Katana Tip.JPG
  • Katana Hamon.JPG


#17 george trotter

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:44 PM

Nic...it is very hard ti tell from pics, and covered with oil, and with fine scratching, but the lower part of the blade near the habaki seems to show some activity in the hamon, unless it is a thread from your cleaning fabric. Anyway, worth looking at...there are members in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne at least...it would be good if you said where you are (not detailed address) and an NMB member may be able to have a look for you.
Regards,
George.
George Trotter

#18 SwordGuyJoe

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 04:44 AM

I had a Kiyonobu in my collection and was very impressed by how well done it was. This smith did not get much in the line of documented praise, but in my opinion, I really enjoyed the blade and thought him to be a good WWII smith.
Regards,
Joe

-----------
Looking for swords produced by smiths from the Kasama Den (direct students of Shigetsugu, their students, or those that preceded Shigetsugu)
- PM me if you have or know of one

#19 Nic

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 07:45 AM

I would certainly love to have an expert in the field have a look at the blade.
I am in the Sydney area. Is there a way of getting in contact with an NMB member in regards to appraisal and restoration?

Once again I appreciate everyones kind assistance!

Nic

#20 george trotter

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 08:34 AM

Hi Nic,
there has been a good response to your sword...there must be some members in Sydney who could PM you and take a look...I'm in Perth.
Please get back to us in the future and let us know what you find out about the "Tan" and whether it is traditionally forged.
Nice find.
George.
George Trotter

#21 David Flynn

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:31 AM

Nic, I'm in Sydney PM me
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First there is a mountain then there is no mountain, then there is.

#22 Nic

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:49 AM

Thanks David I sure will!

My absolute appreciation to you George and all others for your amazing knowledge, I'll keep you in the loop!

Nic

#23 Nic

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 01:04 AM

If anyone has a copy of John Slough "Modern Japanese Swordsmiths, I would love to obtain a copy of pg.85 (maybe a scanned copy) so as to keep as many accurate records of the blade and swordsmith as possible...

Thanks guys!

Nic

#24 Stephen

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:00 AM

check your email soon.

 Stephen C.                 USMC            DEC 63 APR 73

"Freedom is never lost in an instant,
it is taken away slowly so as not to disturb those who slumber"


#25 Nic

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:17 AM

Thanks Stephen, you are super efficient!

#26 Nic

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 05:27 AM

Another query I have regarding the Katana is the numbers stamped on the various pieces of the Seppa. All 7 pieces have 37 stamped on them.

What is this in reference to and is there a way of finding out more about the sword? ie who it was issued to etc?

#27 David Flynn

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:16 AM

The numbers are assembly numbers. It is very hard to track down who owned the sword unless, there is some document, or surrender tag with it. Also many of the old Veterans have passed away.
David




First there is a mountain then there is no mountain, then there is.




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