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Grandfather's Find, My Curiosity

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While my mother was helping my grandparents clean the pantry downstairs (which was also a tool shop for my grandpa), they stumbled across an old wakizashi.


My grandfather was never in combat in world war two - he was drafted and served in the Navy on a supply vessel. After a station in post-Bataan Philippines, he was stationed for a time in Japan, where he said he found this while doing PT.


The sword is now rusted to heck, and looks to even have some paint on it. It also has a bit of what looks like filing on it. It's not in good shape by any means. I have no doubts it is a WWII era wak, but what I want some opinions on....is would it be worth restoring? I apologize for the grinder marks - my grandfather had absolutely no clue what he had. To him it was just a big knife. I appreciate what he did in his time in WWII....but his actions against this blade may...offend...some people. Just realize he didn't have any clue what a nihonto was - or even a Samurai for that matter. Well, hardly, at least.


The tang does not has a signature on it,but it does have the three, uneven holes that I would associate with a non-factory made sword (I have no idea, really, but I have only ever seen it on pics of nihonto). On the SBG forum, it was noted that two of the holes seemed tapped, and one is drilled, giving a possible clue to its age. I am also looking to find a polisher qualified to maybe polish a section of the wak and see what we have under that aged and beat up steel.


Can anyone with some expertise chime in and give their opinion? Thanks!!




Here's some pics for ya'll.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0396.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0388.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0390.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0412.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0414.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0403.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0413.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0407.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0410.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0418.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/ ... CF0417.jpg


Thank you ahead of time for any and all opinions!



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Hi Aron and welcome.


I appreciate your interest in the sword but as you know it is in pretty bad shape. We have seen some examples of blades that looked as if there was no hope returned to life by skilful Japanese polishers but this one does look to be too far gone, others may have more optimistic opinions for you. If you do decide to attempt restoration then a reputable polisher will soon tell you if they think they can do anything for it, however it will cost a lot of money and the sword will never repay that.


Why not keep it oiled as a souvenir of your Grandfather and lurk here for a while, stacks of really good information and, who knows, you might find something that will deepen your interest in this fascinating field.


All the best.

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Thanks for the word, Geraint. I truly hope there is something to be done - even if it is just removing the rust and seeing the way it was made. I have no intention of ever using it for JSA, so it wouldn't need to be pristine, but anything to help me figure out the age, you know?


Even more than swords, I am a lover of history. And knowing this things general age - if that is even possible - would be more valuable to me then having it restored.

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Aaron, since your first objective is an evaluation I would say send these images to a qualified polisher and see what their response is, and if positive ask for a price on having a window put in for a better determination of condition and what this sword might be, age, possible tradition. In general an O suriage wakizashi length sword as this sword appears to be generally will not support the cost of full restoration in terms of cost recovery, unless it turns out to be an older sword of some quality. I would probably begin with Bushido swords in Hawaii for an evaluation and go from there.


Additionally; when taking images for evaluation, overall profile images centered from directly above should be included along with a list full dimensions.

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