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Please Help Decipher Mei (Navy Kyu-Gunto)

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Can anyone help me decipher the Mei found upon a Japanese Naval Officer's Kyu-gunto? It has different characters on each side along the tang found under the sharkskin grip. The blade is extremely sharp! I'm no good with Asian lettering, however the sword is pretty incredible and I'd love to know if it is dated, maker signed, & where it was made.  Has an incredibly intricate sword tassel & ball knot that is orange/red & olive green. The hilt backstrap even has a natural Ruby & Blue Sapphire.  One pin holds blade in place.  Blade registers 99.99% steel on XRT Spectrometer and definitely was hand forged.
Thanks in advance!
Mike

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Is there a Date / Province in the characters / or reciepient's name perhaps? 

 

天正二二年八月日 = Tenshō 4'th year, a day in the 8'th month (August 1576)

 

I'm not 100% sure about the year: since 四 (4) is considered an unlucky number, it sometimes was written 二二 (2 + 2), which might be the case here.

 

The province is 備州 Bishū (備前 Bizen), the town is 長船 Osafune, the smith 祐定 Sukesada, and 作 saku means "made by".

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Nice sword, not unusual to find older blades in Kyu-Gunto mounts. Sukesada (you will find once you Google them) was a bit like "Smith" in those days. There were a LOT of them :)

Take care of the blade, and nothing abrasive to clean it! Just oil it occasionally.

 

Brian

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Me and Stephen both have a serious craving for a Kyu-Gunto with handmade blade. Time will tell who satisfies his thirst first   :laughing:

 

Brian

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(op) Thanks guys for all your help...  I am amazed at your knowledge and passion for edged weapons...  I will add many more photos if it is okay to do so.  I did not want to overstep my newbie status!  On another board a member said the blade was extremely old, like 16th century old!  The multiple holes along the tang show it has been repurposed several times, correct?  The fancy tassle & knot (albeit can be swapped from sword to sword) tells that if these two aren't a marriage the officer must have been high ranking, correct? 

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Yes to both questions, Id think its org but could have been added, id vote not. May be post pix in Military section. 

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