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Notches On Nakago—What Are They?

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Is anyone aware of why notches on the nakago would be present on a pre-war blade? I have read here on NMB how it was common for the war time era blades to have notches or something similar to keep the sword and fittings together or as a sorting method. The blade in question (http://www.toukenkomachi.com/index_en_tachi&katana_A070618.html) is from Ansei 2 (1855) so it is theoretically possible it was pressed into service during the war and those marks are the same as previously discussed, but I find that suspect. If these are not war time era markings, then is it possible that these notches are the smith’s mark as a verification in addition to his signature? Due to the difference in the way the notches are cut it seems to me that this would indicate something specific in nature and not just a random or haphazard act. What are your thoughts?

 

Thank you for any insight.

Mark F.

post-4484-0-61852800-1549001146_thumb.jpeg

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I think that represented every time they killed someone.  No wait, that was cowboys, never mind.  :)

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Original shinobi-ana.

Thank you for the clarification Mr. Singer.

 

I appreciate your input as well Franco and everyone else too. Hahaha Ed...you know being from Texas of course that is what first popped into my head. Seriously though, assembly marks was the only reference I could find prior to posting this question, but those were all on war time blades. With sword production steadily dwindling around the time this particular blade was made (1855) I find it curious as to the reasoning of cutting notches into the nakago as the method of assembly marks for fittings. If the reason it was done during the war was a simple way of keeping matched and fitted items together due to the large numbers of swords requiring fittings at the same time, then why would that same method be used when times were lean and it would clearly be much easier to keep fitted items together in fewer numbers without having to file notches for identification? If that were the case why don’t we see more nakago with these notches on them? Just thinking out loud and probably over thinking it... I am not disagreeing—as assembly marks is the most reasonable answer, I am honestly just trying to understand.

 

Thanks again,

Mark

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Could be anything. Maybe the smith made multiple blades at the same time, and wanted to differentiate them from each other. Maybe it was his code for how many swords he had made. Or maybe a secret dating system he used. We'll never really know.

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Could be anything. Maybe the smith made multiple blades at the same time, and wanted to differentiate them from each other. Maybe it was his code for how many swords he had made. Or maybe a secret dating system he used. We'll never really know.

Thanks Brian. That’s what I assume as well but I thought it worth asking more knowledge members than myself to see if anyone had encountered such a thing in their research. I appreciate all the input.

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