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Josh Barker

Unknown katana identification

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Hello, 

My name is josh and I am new to this forum. I recently came in possession of a antique katana. I need help with the identification of this sword. This is my first katana and I have no way of knowing if this is a genuine katana or a replica. Please note I placed some baby powder in the signature to make it more Legible. Thanks again and feel free to ask questions. 

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Hi and Welcome. 

The tsuba is fake Chinese reproduction.

That one came in a set of six different themed ones in a box. I think £19.99 the six 

The fittings ergo fuchi kashira are also fake I believe with the mei upside down as well. 

The Nakago seems to have been artificially patinated with no obvious yasureme. 

The mei looks Chinese to me but I'm no translator so ill leave that to those that are. 

At this stage I'm going on reproduction 99% sure. 

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I think Adam is right. The mountings, at least are fake. The blade, I need to see more but if one is fake, the other probably is too.

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Well you live and learn Steve. It looked Chinese to my limited skill set. 

Still doesn't look right based on those images. The Nakago looks faked. Fitting definitely are. 

An oddball mush mash of parts then. 

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Believe me, many is the time I have written off signatures as "too weird to be true", only to find out they are authentic. In fact, I suspected this one was bogus, too. The fittings, well, at least the tsuba, are laughable (apologies to the op). The name is one that seems unusual at first - different from naming conventions normally seen on swords - and so the whole package had an air of fraudulence about it. However the year of Ansei 5 seemed specific and a strange thing to copy, so it hinted that the thing might be legitimate.

 

I'm not familiar with this smith, so thanks to the OP for posting this sword, which led me to Markus's site. 

 

(nb: To the original poster: As always, there is no guarantee the signature is authentic. It could be a forgery. The sword itself is the thing, and should be compared with known authenticated pieces. See below for a link to a sword by this smith.)

 

https://www.e-sword.jp/katana/1610-1075.htm

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To my old eyes, it looks as if both MACHI do not line up.  NAKAGO SHINOGI is not in the right place, YOKOTE is missing, KO-SHINOGI position/angle seems slightly off, wrong TSUKA ITO material and wrapping technique, MEKUGI-ANA is not carefully made.  Plus what Adam wrote, I don't see a Japanese sword.. 

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If its a genuine Nihonto , which I'm sorry to say is doubtful, its not anything like the shoshin examples of mei or yasureme shown in Steve's link. 

 

There's something very wrong with the Nakago patination in images 7 and 14 but it might be a trick of the camera? 

 

Question is who would copy this smiths mei and why? 

It's definitely one oddball combination of items. 

 

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Josh,

 

Welcome to the Board and the wide, wonderful World of the Japanese sword.  Its a bruising experience to be told that something you have is not the real deal, but I do hope you will stay around and explore the Board to see the possibilities in this enthralling study of Nihontou.  I take my hat of the Steve M who is a stalwart on the Board for difficult translations and his recognition of the smith and period.  If the blade is a non-genuine Nihontou it means a Chinese (?) source has done a good job of copying the signature of an  obscure smith in a reasonably competent way, but the offset machi (notches) is pretty much a giveaway indication of a Chinese copy.

 

I think it would help if you could clean the baby powder off the tang and photograph both sides including the notches looking straight down on it.  We can then see more clearly the colour of the tang and style and condition of the filemarks.  It also greatly helps if you orient the photos vertically.

 

Best regards,

BaZZa.

(Melbourne, Australia)

 

EDIT:  I do want to edit this for everyone's benefit, I hope.  I had JUST completed the reply above when my computer suddenly went down.  A household fuse had blown and I thought "There goes my reply".  So I came back on wondering where a draft might be kept...  I was still connected to the Board and when I pressed "Reply..." my draft was all there.  Wundebar etc etc.  So here it is...

Edited by Bazza
Explanation given
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If you quote someone then later try to reply to that same thread or post, your quoted matter will be in every reply. 

However there is a very small "clear" word you can click on  that removes this anomoly and puts you on a blank reply page again. 

OP. 

I was as gentle as possible and it still might be a real sword, but based on those images Nakago looks repatinated. 

Getting a genuine set of mounts (koshirae) to replace all that fake stuff, wouldn't be that hard. If it were replaced, then you might have a very nice starter sword. 

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I’m thankful for everyone’s incredible information. I had a feeling the fittings were a reproduction but I do agree the sword it’s self is a head scratcher. What would be my next step in authenticating the sword? I’m will do what it takes to find out if the sword is genuine or not. Thanks again. I saw some members wanted more pictures, I will do my best to take better ones and upload them.   

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sorry to disagree but,  IMHO  100% fake  you can see the burr marks on the Ana  tang hole are still fresh looking , plus the Fuchi  is signed upside down,  the tsuka ito  wrap all going in the same direction ,    the Habaki looks very suspect too ,,  looks like a Chinese fake to me .

 

just my two pennies worth :excl:

 

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Dear Josh.

 

First step would be to take off the habaki, blade collar, and get some shots of the whole nakago and of the whole blade.  That will give us some more idea about it from the sugata.

 

Wow!  New Board.  I see Raay has replied already.

 

All the best.

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Josh, more pictures should include a whole view of the naked blade (step on a chair and try to capture it completely without the image being skewed), close ups of the Hamon if there is one and, like Jean, I’m curious to see if the machi and ha notch do align. It’s a red flag as it generally indicates a Chinese copy when they don’t.

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I would be amazed if the blade wasn't a chinese copy. I agree with Ray. 

Josh you seem to have an interest in Nihonto so I hope this is just an experience to learn from and you stick around and further your knowledge and interest.

Good luck.

 

Greg 

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