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Saratoga
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The second part that Ray mentioned, Tenmon five, is a date and translates to around 1537.   Based on the shape of the tang, I am guessing that the cutting edge of that blade is somewhere between 17 and 22 inches, which would make it a wakizashi.  The habaki (silver collar) looks to be well made.  This is a prolific maker, and the signature is nearly certainly good, i.e. the sword is genuine.  You are the owner of an authentic Japanese samurai sword that is nearly 500 years old - congratulations!   It would be nice to see photos of the cutting edge, which will be necessary to help you determine the value and whether the sword is worthy of restoration or even needs restoration.

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And please don't forget the koshirae - we would LOVE to see it.  The tang looks excellent and the habaki, as said, is very good and I'm guessing solid silver??

 

Robert S said:

>  ... the cutting edge of that blade is somewhere between 17 and 22 inches, which would make it a wakizashi

 

Might I suggest, if closer to 22 inches it could be a katateuchi, therefore in its day considered a katana??

 

BaZZa.

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Wow. This all overwhelming. I confess understanding all the Japanese names is a learning curve. Here are some more photos. Having difficulty with file sizes.

 

The blade actually measures almost 25 inches. Thoughts?

 

Thank you so much for the information. This is very exciting!

 

Zachary

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Dear Zak.

 

Yes, its a bit of a steep learning curve to start with, in fact all the way.  What you have is a nice sword whatever else you discover about it.  If this is your first then you have done better than most of us.

 

Now, the length we need is from the tip, (kissaki), to the notch on the back of the blade were the habaki sits, (mune machi).  If that is at or greater than 24" then it's a katana, if lower then refer to Bazza's answer.

 

After that start really looking at the hamon and the hada to see what you can see, try this in different lights, incandescent bulb, daylight and so on.  

 

Enjoy!

 

All the best.

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The story is getting better and better Zak.  It is a katana and it is in fabulous shape.  Did you inherit it or buy it?  If you bought it, you did well to pick a nice piece.  If you inherited it, your ancestor did very well!  Cheers, Bob

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I inherited it but nobody had any idea that this is what we were dealing with. This is wild. I am just amazed at the artistry. I have never held something 500 heats old let alone something like this that looks like it was forged yesterday.

 

Any suggestions on my next steps! I would love to know more about the period and sword maker.

 

Oh, and I have read and reread care and etiquette. Thank you.

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It was made in the Osafune village, a sword making center of that era located in Bizen province, which is in what is now called Okayama province.  The name of the man who made it was Sukesada, but there were around 20 smiths who signed with that name around 1530, so it would be difficult, if not impossible, to determine exactly which one made it since he didn't use his longer name.  This was a major center of sword making in the 16th century due to the excellent steel that was made there.  Unfortunately, there was a huge flood of the Yoshii river in 1590 that wiped out sword making in Osafune, and the region never completely recovered.

https://markussesko.com/2013/03/12/the-great-flood-of-the-yoshii-river/

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I'm not starting a NEW thread regarding this past wakizashi blade and my sincere and honest apologies for offending others in the past. 

 

I again apologise for plonking this data here...  as data is data... and new knowledge is knowledge to be discovered.

 

EXPANDING on my HIZEN-CODE I have taken on the chiselled characters for 'YOSHI' and 'LUCKY'. 

 

Your Tadayoshi... and who made it? Well here's my updated penny's worth for 2018.

 

Ohhh and errr... I've discovered that YOSHINAGA and Yoshifusa's (formerly Tadafusa's) partnership in SAGA alongside MASAHIRO up until 1638 is very interesting.

 

Throw in some Yoshisada (Hirosada's elder brother) and Yukihiro teaching 2nd Gen Tadakuni and 2nd Gen Masahiro and the mention of wandering samurai/swordmaker KUNISUKE would have me sound just crazy... but hey that's the rocks I lift.

 

  

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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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