Jump to content

Kanesada ? Wakizashi Sword, Help Please


mds308
 Share

Recommended Posts

My first post.  Please bare with me.  This was purchased to eventually resell but I don't like making things up when representing an item.  I'm always looking for more knowledge.  I found this Wakizashi in a second hand store.  I did not have to come off of much money so I can't get hurt with bad news.  Excluding the Tsuka, the total length is 22 inches (55.88cm).  The Tsuka is a mess.  There are sections of Tsuka-ito which have come apart and there was a very old repair using medical tape and glue to secure it from further unwrapping.  The Menuki's look like bronze round disks.  I was told that the characters are for Kanesada but I also heard these are faked or reproduced.  The Tsuba may be cast but I'm not certain.  I have found this same Tsuba but its detail was inferior to this one.  The horse's reigns still retain a minor amount of gold gilt.  Perhaps it is not cast.  The Saya was repainted black and done poorly.  There was no Mekugi when found.  Only a rusted wood screw.  I don't know what else I can add.  I hope my images tell the rest of the story.  Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.  

IMG_0991.JPG

IMG_0992.JPG

IMG_0993.JPG

IMG_0994.JPG

IMG_0997.JPG

IMG_0998.JPG

IMG_0999.JPG

IMG_1001.JPG

IMG_1002.JPG

IMG_1004.JPG

IMG_1006.JPG

IMG_5413.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like 兼定 (Kanesada), with a slightly funky 定. I don't know how many swordsmiths there are named Kanesada, but probably a dozen or more. You would have to look up all the Kanesada smiths and try to match the signature - unless there is someone on this board who recognizes the smith. The sword is in bad shape. The rust, the chip in the cutting edge, and loss of the yokote, can all be repaired by a trained sword sharpener, but my guess is that the repair job would cost more than the finished item would fetch on the auction sites. It depends on what is hiding under the rusted surface. Don't attempt to polish it yourself or you will surely ruin the sword. It needs a professional to fix its flaws and reshape the yokote, etc... If it has been in a fire, it may not be salvageable, even with a polish. 

This is a very difficult class of item, because on the one hand it is an authentic Japanese sword, but on the other hand there are a ton of these problematic swords on the market, and the effort required to repair it and appraise it, is often more expensive than its worth (in purely financial terms). 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Edo period (the great catch-all for any wakizashi of unidentifiable origin). With diligence in tracking down which Kanesada this is (or is trying to be), you might be able to put a finer point on it. Have a search on the internet and on this site for Kanesada wakizashi with similar signature. You should at least be able to identify who it is NOT, fairly easily. There are a lot of resources available if you roll up your sleeves and get cracking. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I sold this sword and for what it is worth, this is what the buyer told me.

 

"It’s a Satsuma Rebellion era Koshirae. Very important from historical viewpoint so I have sent it off for preservation and am looking at the blade history with a friend from the Japanese sword society. Thank you for listing it and getting to me so perfectly well. Regards"

 

Thanks again for all your help.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not all crude made cheap fittings are satsuma rebellion swords. I wonder why so much of this swords had overlived the time. I think these swords are only weapons of use for poor samurai, merchants, bandits and farmers of the edo period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/11/2020 at 9:13 PM, mds308 said:

My first post.  Please bare with me.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, Sir, I’m a gentleman and only bare with women! :laughing:

 

I do agree, Satsuma Rebellion sword. No a great sword or great mountings at first glance. However, once I have said that, I would keep it. It’s a piece of history you have here. Not that many have survived and if I had one, I would certainly keep it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, vajo said:

Not all crude made cheap fittings are satsuma rebellion swords. I wonder why so much of this swords had overlived the time. I think these swords are only weapons of use for poor samurai, merchants, bandits and farmers of the edo period.

 

 I agree wholeheartedly with you there. Personally I think they are low class swords, held in the armoury and issued to the Ashigaru or low level Samurai as and when needed.

 They are always out of polish, and blades with chips or hagire, and the mounts are usually recycled from other swords, but always competently done. They are also fairly uniform and a definite type, which is why I see them as an issue item from a castle armoury.

 I have my own ideas as to why they are referred to as Satsuma, but like "type 3" it's a term hallowed by time and use.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you guys. I use the term Satsuma Rebellion Swords because that is the common term used, but I see no reasons why the Satsuma rebels wouldn't have used regular swords. So unless there is a rational explanation, the armory theory sounds logical.

 

Dave, I'd be curious as to what your theory of the origin of the name is. It could be interesting and maybe lead to new researches.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps the armouries sold all their loan swords around the same time the rebellion ended, giving them their name? I can't imagine they'd have been considered useful to the new, soon-to-be westernised Japan. 

 

I haven't a clue of course, just an idea. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the possibilities is they are indeed Satsuma Rebellion swords. It was the end of the Samurai era with swords being banned. Maybe they used arsenal swords to prevent their hereditory heirlooms from being destroyed in an attempt to eliminate swords as a symbol of the samurai class. They knew they would probably lose and die and maybe they didn't want their swords to go with them. Pure speculation of course!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 The Satsuma Han was famous for the number of samurai there, and the more "relaxed status" they had, as in many were very poor and worked for a living as opposed to being retained. They were also known for keeping damaged swords in use with shabby koshirae, to the point that grinding a broken point down to the Ha was known as a Satsuma-age (= counter shortening). Reference here...http://www.ksky.ne.jp/~sumie99/suriage.html . My take is that Satsuma became a shorthand term, slang even, for a poor and shabby sword

 

 Photo's from the time show rebels of the civil wars with their own swords and usually western guns.

 

That last photo is of the fortifications at Shiroyama, which was siege, not an open battle, Saigo Takamori died of a mortal wound from the IJA shelling of the position. Some debate whether he was finished off by his own hand or that of one of his men. There has been a fairly recent excavation of the site. rebel gun pits reveal a mixed variety of guns in use bought piecemeal from different countries. The final assault on the position was apparently launched by "Imperial Sword Armed Police" a unit that would reward more research. 

Satsuma-samurai-during-boshin-war-period.jpg

0f22ab1a0e9b8ad0060f54c8c6c633b2.jpg

cfd75099bf72f34b9508cd488ba7eb1b.jpg

800px-ShiroyamaFortifications.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting theory, Dave. I was well aware of the sad end of Takamori and the circumstances, but I think it’s the first time I hear about Satsuma-age. That’s funny, because Usagiya is one of my favorite website, but I guess I must have missed that one. Thank you for this, Dave! :)
 

Actually, I’ve just reread Usagiya's page and had seen this before but if I knew the shortening process, I had never noticed it was linked to Satsuma. Very interesting.

 

EDIT: by the way, here’s an excellent book about Saigo Takamori

https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B00DRDS1L2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_d_asin_title_o02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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..

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...