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Another Beginner’S Sin


Wouter
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I did it again and sinned against the PPP-rule for purchasing (Perfect-Polished-Papered).

However, this katana was so cheap and since I am studying (not sinning against that forum rule), it looked promising to me, so I couldn't let it pass me.

 

Besides, I practice Iaido and in some far future will be using a real blade. Since this one fits me, I won't send it for a polish, but would be using it.

 

I purchased it from an M.D. in the Czech Republic, he bought it 8 years ago in an antique shop near New York City.

 

Here following is the info he got with the katana,

I’m recopying it here and would like to get your feedback (is the description correct; your opinion; has the tang been reshapen; (very slight chance, but:) has anyone seen this katana before, etc)

 

§Blade: age - early 20th century. (1920-1940)

o   Total length: 83, 5 cm, blade: 63 cm.

o   Original polish, healthy massive blade, shinogi zukuri, suitable for chopping, cutting, without a signature/date on the tang, legible Guno Hamon Choji.

§Tsuka: age - early 20th cent., Or older. Dimensions: 23,5 x 4 x 2,3 cm. Material: wood, white stingray, the original braid - wear and tear, paired Fuchi and Kashira of copper alloy Engraving, phoenix and flowers, paired Menuki: flowers.

§Tsuba: age – possibly 19th century, or older. Dimensions: 5 x 6,5 x 0,5 cm. Iron, carved and engraved Kakugata sukashi tsuba.

§2x Seppa and Habaki.

§Saya: lackered wood, used.

§100% of Japanese origin.

 

Looking forward to your feedback

 

Wouter

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Wouter

I think you have to decide why you are collecting at the moment (your motives are likely to change with time). what you have has two virures:

1. it was cheap

2. It is Japanese.

If you are looking for it to teach you anything about traditional mannufacturing techniques or the art in a sword then you will be dissappointed. If you are looking for something to practice martial arts with then it is a better choice than an antique blade with some historical merit.

If you want to collect and study good swords try and break the habit (which we have all suffered from) of buying something because it is cheap. it is cheap because no one wants it, so when you come to sell it you will struggle. In the meantime the money you have spent on lots of cheap things could have been put towards something better.

Sorry I am not trying to lecture you I am just sharing my own experiences and things it took me far too long to learn. hopefully you can realise this much faster.

Regarding this sword: like Hamish I am guessing it is Showa, not traditionally made possibly oil quenched.

The nakago looks to have been repatinated to add age.

Fittings  20th century mass produced.

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Thank you, Hamfish, Fuuten and Paulb for your valuable feedback.

 

Lesson learned: check. 

Not that it will make a huge difference, the kissaki looks odd due to my poor photographic skills, in reality it is clearly defined.

But, for 150 Euro, I wasn't looking for a miracle find. 

 

Wouter

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Great find!  Not badly done if showato.  I'm not really skilled/experienced enough to determine how traditionally made it is from the not so great (not as perfect as needed) photos.   Id just go ahead and bow to thing, better to be cautious if you aren't sure I think.  Id love a Japanese katana that is cheap enough to handle a little more freely than I feel like handling my $1000 signed showato.  It is shirasaya so I guess apples to oranges really, as I guess you don't want to swing a blade in shirasaya

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acid hamon? no way!  Maybe PH acidic polishing compound sure, but that IS a hamon.  Whether its oil or water quenched, and how hot it was fired to just prior to quench, is beyond me.  That blade IS differentially hardened, lets be real here!

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Thanks Brian, that's what I meant. In other words, I don't think they spent hours and hours polishing the hamon with hazuya stones on these blades!

 

Blimey, you have to be so precise with the nomenclature around here! :laughing:

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Thank you all for the excellent feedback.

So Showato from Seki.

Taking a risk here, since I should rather post this question in the military section, but since I see the same contributors popping-up here:

One of the reasons why I bought the sword was because of the estimated age: 1920 - 40.

Before the war, so wouldn't this in theory exclude the mass-produced Showato?

But, the tang does look not right and thinner than it should be.

Leading to the conclusion someone was trying to mask it's mass produced (arsenal stamps etc.)

Do I regret this buy: not at all. Excellent Iaido blade with some history and I have been educated and hope this topic will also benefit others.

Have a great weekend,

Wouter

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I humbly bow down in the shadow of your immense wisdom.

The Habaki was stuck, I gently removed it today. Adding the pictures here for completeness.

No signs of any stamps anywhere.

Wouter

Reposted in the Military section of this forum, since that is where this katana belongs.

 

Wouter

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"No signs of any stamps"

 

Agree but Disagree the nakago corrosion is heavier on ura side, and especially where the stamp very likely was. As the nakago shape would reinforce the theory, that corrosion is a good sign of a stamp was there.

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Well, there are some unclear features on this blade. The first one in about nakago. You show us the omote side and there's no sign of stamp on it and second, and most important, the patina doesn't fit the age. All that rust is not genuine and therefore added to cheat a possible buyer. The blade is no doubt a Showato, maybe one of the semi-mass produced blades (not from a Rikugun jumei tosho work). The kissaki might have been damaged during the war (just a guess) and later DIY reshaped. The kodogu are also of scarce to no value. My guess: a semi hand made Showato with extensive damage to the kissaki later reshaped, nakago reworked and dressed with cheap kodogu. It's up to you to decide whether to spend 150€ on it or not.

Regards,

Emiliano

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This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one, unless your post is really relevant and adds to the topic..

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