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Dean1981

New sword bought home by USMC vet from Tsing Tao 1945

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A USMC vet brought this home when the Japanese surrendered in 1945 in Tsing Tao China. It comes with a flag and other items but I want to show this sword.

 

Feels amazing in hand, not maker marked, blade measures 26”

A friend who deals with these and who i trust likes it

Thoughts please

 

Thanks in advance

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Hi Dean.

 

Well the blade looks like an older one, for best opinions take a photo at 90 degrees to the bare blade, habaki off.  Obviously the saya and tsuba are civilian and pre WWII.  The tsuka has had an odd re wrap but the saya could be improved by replacing the missing horn fittings. The next question will be, do you get it polished?

 

All the best. 

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Hi Dean!

What is the book you've pictured? Seems the sword and flag are the ones pictured in the book.

 

Yes the book is the marines memoirs! I have his combat uniform also

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Hi Dean.

 

Well the blade looks like an older one, for best opinions take a photo at 90 degrees to the bare blade, habaki off.  Obviously the saya and tsuba are civilian and pre WWII.  The tsuka has had an odd re wrap but the saya could be improved by replacing the missing horn fittings. The next question will be, do you get it polished?

 

All the best.

 

Hi

 

The wrap on the Tsuka is very old and discoloured, period for sure.

I’ll get some pics without the Habaki

 

Do i get it polished ? Looking at the blade do you think it’s a traditionally forged blade, maybe a Hamon

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Older sword, suriage it seems. Probably used in civilian mountings. Hard to tell much more. The patina doesn’t look too dark and the nakago quite long, there seems to be tapering and little curvature, chu kissaki. So Edo,  18th Century possibly. In its current state, I don’t see Hada or Hamon.

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Personal opinion, a nice old sword and very abused. This looks like an Okashi To because there is no same under the wrap, and a typical amature re-wrap using the original Ito. Possibly even done in China (Tsing Tao) because I have seen something like from there before.  

 

Also ooh ooh, vermilion saya, usualy a sign of Satsuma Han origin, done because Tokugawa hated it.... Satsuma Samurai studied ways to be annoying to the Tokugawa regime.

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So a Satsuma rebellion sword? Very neat!

 

Possibly, just possibly. There was some bloody weird stuff going on in China, including Japanese "Ronin" masquerading as as native Chinese and engaging in "False flag" operations..... And civilians fighting for their lives either as genuine victims or propaganda shills.

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Personal opinion, a nice old sword and very abused. This looks like an Okashi To because there is no same under the wrap, and a typical amature re-wrap using the original Ito. Possibly even done in China (Tsing Tao) because I have seen something like from there before.

 

Also ooh ooh, vermilion saya, usualy a sign of Satsuma Han origin, done because Tokugawa hated it.... Satsuma Samurai studied ways to be annoying to the Tokugawa regime.

Thank you for the comments, a friend also pointed out the satsuma connection with it

 

Yours

Dean

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I’m sorry, I’m just fascinated by the fact that he made a book! Did he mention the circumstances of how we came to own the sword?

Hi Bruce

 

His book is quite the read , memoirs of a mud marine. He was at Guadalcanal, Saipan and Tinian just to mention a few.

The flag was found in a cave that they had been clearing, it was found on an officer.

The sword was bought home after being in China.

 

Fascinating stuff

 

Yours

Dean

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Older sword, suriage it seems. Probably used in civilian mountings. Hard to tell much more. The patina doesn’t look too dark and the nakago quite long, there seems to be tapering and little curvature, chu kissaki. So Edo, 18th Century possibly. In its current state, I don’t see Hada or Hamon.

Thank you 16 K

 

Yours

Dean

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Hi Dean,

It is very difficult to offer an opinion based on the images, not because they are bad but there is little if any detail to see in the blades current polish. I cant see any obvious major issues that would prevent it from polishing. However a good next step would be to show it to some other collectors and let them see it in hand. If you would like to drop me a pm telling me whereabouts you are in the UK I can put you in touch with local members of the Token of GB who could help

well done on buying what looks to be an older and interesting work.

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As Paul said, extremely difficult to tell from these photos. I seem to discern a slim suguha hamon (or at least what looks like it) along certain different portions of the blade, which makes me think there might just be some hamon there. But I cannot be certain.

 

The major things to look for when trying to decide on polish are:

A) does it look like it has a hamon

B) does it look like it has a boshi

C) what is the “niku”, i.e. “meatiness” or just plain thickness of the blade , which will indicate if there is sufficient metal to polish further

D) look at the hamachi - if there is a proper notch at the hamachi , then it might be that the cutting edge has not been polished that much and you might have a chance of the ha/ hamon polishing well

Of course all of these need to be evaluated with a view to your financial circumstances and your intentions / liking of the sword.

 

I think the koshirae either was or was trying to emulate Higo aesthetics.

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Hi Dean 

 

in the nicest way , please clean all the finger prints of the blade ASAP , they will become a permanent mark if not wiped off , 

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Hi Dean

 

in the nicest way , please clean all the finger prints of the blade ASAP , they will become a permanent mark if not wiped off ,

They where oiled and wiped down after photos

 

Yours

Dean

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Dean where are you in the UK?

I know a few people dotted around our island.

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The only way to judge this is in hand.

Your images just don't show any detail and I think the angles and perspective are throwing the sugata

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There see,s to be a Hamon underneath all this, and there’s enough ha machi for a new polish but is it a trick of the photo or the ha machi and mune machi don’t align?

 

Anyway, the blade see,s healthy enough, but is it worth a new polish? That’s a decision you have to make.

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To be honest based on your SMS to me and looking at your previous posts about your other sword purchases over the months I think it safe to assume you buy these off of Bill Tagg at Liverpool militaria or other non specialist dealers , then stick them on here to get the NMB members kantei and perhaps approval in your purchase or intended purchases.

Bill is experienced enough to price these at the level of their worth and can and does tell you about them in his own kantei.If a polish will realise more money then he will get a John Bolton commercial machine polish done for a couple of hundred pounds. He often gives his opinion Sometimes on a label as you show in another post and sometimes as a letter headed "opinion".

I get these are probably not worth the paper they are printed on but they might just steer your study to the right areas.

I have a couple bought from JC Militaria with just such Kantei and I must say they should be taken as just that. An opinion which in the two I bought was miles out.

I understand he's well respected and rightly so but that doesn't mean he is always right.

You mention learned friends like the swords you seek info on so surely they can tell you more about them?

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To be honest based on your SMS to me and looking at your previous posts about your other sword purchases over the months I think it safe to assume you buy these off of Bill Tagg at Liverpool militaria or other non specialist dealers , then stick them on here to get the NMB members kantei and perhaps approval in your purchase or intended purchases.

Bill is experienced enough to price these at the level of their worth and can and does tell you about them in his own kantei.If a polish will realise more money then he will get a John Bolton commercial machine polish done for a couple of hundred pounds. He often gives his opinion Sometimes on a label as you show in another post and sometimes as a letter headed "opinion".

I get these are probably not worth the paper they are printed on but they might just steer your study to the right areas.

I have a couple bought from JC Militaria with just such Kantei and I must say they should be taken as just that. An opinion which in the two I bought was miles out.

I understand he's well respected and rightly so but that doesn't mean he is always right.

You mention learned friends like them so surely they can tell you more about them?

I have bought from Bill in the past ,

This came from a USMC vet and is part of a grouping. Hence the book and the flag in the 1st post, not from a commercial dealer but the vets cousin.

 

With regards to opinions I like to post on here because you get many opinions, and I agree not everyone is always right (hence the posts) which I believe is the best way to collect anything. Bills Write ups on swords are always very informative also And a good start on the journey of learning.

 

I would also like to add Bill has Taken the time and spent many hours helping me on my path to learning more about Japanese culture and more ! I thank him very much for that.

- DC

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