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TroyTF

Showato inheritance, very little information

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Pardon me in advance for not knowing the terminology as of yet. My Mother cleaning out my Fathers items since passing away. He had this stashed in the gun cabinet; apparently this was from a great uncle (of mine) who was in the Pacific theater. Do not know the dates. I am fairly confident this is a stamped showato, but any more information would be appreciated.

IMG_6024.HEIC IMG_6025.HEIC

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Troy,

I don't see the stamp you refer to.  Could you give us a photo of that?

Also, I could use a picture of the area under the brass habaki, with the habaki off.  The habaki is that brass sleeve still on the blade in your pics above.  There are notches (machi) in the blade I would like to see how they align.

A picture of the blade tip would help, too.

 

Do we know what years your great uncle was over there?  What year he came home?

 

Adding your pics in .jpeg to simplify.  Looks like Apple has gone and made everything more complicated with their .heic photo software!

BringBack2.jpg

BringBackWaki.jpg

BringBack3.jpg

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I’ll be honest, I don’t like the shape of the nakago. Something looks very off here. I’m not at all implying it is a fake, but something went wrong here, as if, maybe on the field, the nakago was modified, perhaps for repair. Also, the kissaki and the lack of Yokote look odd.

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Yeah.. if it is real, then it is a blade that's been cut up to fit into the tsuka. A real tragedy if so!

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The tsuka has some fabulous sharkskin same'.  I'm thinking a post-war tourist souvenir, but I'm not sure a Japanese shop would make a nakago like that, even for a tourist.  The nakago is along the lines of island-made.

 

That's why I'd like to hear the time-frame the relative served and when he came home. Plus the added requested pictures.

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Troy,

First, I would advise you to gather as much information from your mom, cousin's, uncle's, as to the most exact explanation of sword origin as possible. ( If you haven't already.) Often when you begin getting to the bottom of the story , it sometimes has a tendency to change.

 

Secondly, You have somewhat of an anomaly...A Shin-gunto tsuka, upgrade sarute, shark skin same', civilian fuchi , tsuba and saya, an older two piece habaki. The nakago has been severely altered, the blade itself appears sanded ( dull appearance, lines are rounded.)

 

I'll go out on a limb and say it "could be" an older, yet severely abused blade. Hard to tell ! As Bruce suggested earlier, a look beneath the habaki could help.

 

Google  "Japanese Sword Guide" for term  definitions .

 

Dave M.

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We really need to see beneath the habaki, I have in the past seen a a genuine signed nakago joined to a spurious blade with the join hidden by an immovable habaki...... 

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Thank you everyone for the information provided - I did not realize I was not being notified of posts, so my apologies for slow response.

 

Bruce Pennington: The 'stamp' I refer to is that I think the blade was machine stamped.

 

Looks like I have more homework to do as far as when this came to the States. I also want to find better tools and another set of hands to remove that habaki.

 

Thanks again. Pics (in .jpeg) of the habaki soon.

 

Took less taping than I thought.

 

IMG_6033.jpg

IMG_6034.jpg

Edited by TroyTF
Pics added.

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Well, again, something is seriously wrong here. I can’t tell you what happened to this blade exactly, just the modifications are huge:

- you have a mune machi but no ha machi

- the nakago has been extremely thinned down, probably ground down

- I can’t conclude whether the vertical lines we see on the nakago, near the Habaki are the result of the blade being in a vise or if a new nakago was welded (which wouldn’t make much sense with an unsigned nakago)

 

oh, and I still can’t see the stamp you’re talking about.

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3 hours ago, 16k said:

 

- the nakago has been extremely thinned down, probably ground down

- I can’t conclude whether the vertical lines we see on the nakago, near the Habaki are the result of the blade being in a vise or if a new nakago was welded (which wouldn’t make much sense with an unsigned nakago)

 

oh, and I still can’t see the stamp you’re talking about.

 

I think a new "Nakago" has been welded on to keep the blade length as it was. I have seen this done with a rat tail tang blade to make it "usable".

We need to know more of the swords history to make sense of it.

 

 

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It's a mixed sword. Blade is not Japanese and very ugly. The shape is crude and the nakago a catastrophe. Tsuka is from Shin Gunto (Tachi styled shape). I'm not sure about the saya. Looks like asian made. Habaki is old. All together this non Japanese sword looks like assambled from different parts.

The tsuka is treated to fit a non fitting kashira. Not one piece here fits together. All said, for me it is crap.

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8 hours ago, 16k said:

and I still can’t see the stamp you’re talking about

JP,  He explained in post 12 that by "stamp" he meant single-steel, machine rolled and cut.

 

Troy,

If this sword had been brought to us from an auction buyer, who didn't know it's story, we would all have assumed it was a post-war piece-together.  It is done sometimes by collectors and sellers trying to make an easy buck from unsuspecting newbie collectors.  But you have, at least for now, a more solid story on the sword.  Without more details, though, it's still just as possible he obtained the sword after the war.  If so, or even if it was during the occupation, this appears to have been put together from available parts to make a souvenir. 

You have some interesting parts, though.  The tsuka is really nice quality.  I put the tsuba to the Translation Assistance guys, READ ABOUT IT HERE. You will see that the craftsman, Mitsunaga, made several of these, but they are likely made cheaply, possibly for tourists, which supports the idea this sword was constructed as a souvenir.  Which is why it would be interesting to find out if your uncle served during the post-war occupation.  Japanese craftsmen were selling such items after the war, just trying to put food on the table and survive.  As such, your sword would still be a valuable piece of Japanese war history, in my opinion.

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Fuchi is wakizashi size. The Tsuka ist destroyed. No worth any more. Tsuba is wakizashi size. I think the nakago was polished to fit for the tsuba. Then it was to small for the tsuka and someone had tried to fix it with a wakizashi size fuchi. That sword was never functional. 

 

sword.thumb.jpg.c554259ea1f38311fd62b466d3a90a09.jpg

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That's some good detective work on the fuchi/tsuka fit, Chris!  I knew the tsuka didn't align with the saya, and you found why!

 

With your collage, I do see a faint hamon, though.  Likely oil quenched.

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There's no doubt the sword was assembled by force. I'm still somewhat curious of the time frame and place the sword was acquired.

There had to have been literally mounds of sword fittings available post war. I would assume swords scheduled for the furnace were not tossed in fully

assembled and the miss matched "put together swords" that show up occasionally are in part a result of these loose fittings. I can't imagine however,

how a  post warJapanese civilian would risk having possession of any type of blade to assemble fittings for souvenirs.  But who knows, still a part Japanese wwll history in my opinion also...

 

Just a thought,

 

Dave M.

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40 minutes ago, dwmc said:

I can't imagine however,

how a  post warJapanese civilian would risk having possession of any type of blade to assemble fittings for souvenirs. 

 

Up front, this whole rig very well may be a post-war, G.I. or Bubba, piece-together.

 

But your question raises an interesting, and maybe unrelated, topic.  We know that many Japanese hid hundreds, thousands, of swords in attics, basements, and other places.  Additionally, we also know there was a bit of business making tourist tantos with the ends of blades that had been cut in half (ok, "know" is maybe too strong.  We have seen tanto we believe were made this way).  It is possible this rig was made from a longer piece of blade that had been cut up, explaining the rough, make-shift nakago.

 

As to "risk", the Japanese are not immune to making/selling shady products, or breaking laws.  Plus, the war devastated many people's businesses.  People had to put food on the table somehow.  People will take risks to eat.

 

Way out in speculation-land, but an interesting discussion all the same.

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I am working on the history of how & when it came here. Thanks for the very interesting discussion. Kind Regards.

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