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Bert

Unknown barn find

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Hello,

 

my granddad bought this sword decades ago on a touristic visit to Japan at a market. I remember it when i was younger, we used to play with it and cut objects with it, that's why the Koshirae is ruined and also the blade had to endure a sharpening attempt by my younger brother. Can someone of you give me a very rough estimation what this thing is about? My granddad plans to sell it on the internet, but i told him i would like to check it first. I suppose strongly it's a purely massproduced piece for selling to tourists (he bought it in the 70s), but as i myself have not the slightest idea, it would help me a lot if anyone could tell me his quick opinion. At the moment i can't get the handle off the piece, but i think it won't be neccessary anymore after your first feedback.

 

I hope you don't see it as an offense to be confronted with such a piece, but i have simply no clue at all & I assume it takes a quick look for you experts. I think for someone with knowledge, already the used materials can give hints.

 

Cheer and thanks 

Bert

 

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No, it’s a genuine Katana that has seen a lot of abuse. You’ll need to post picture of the naked blade (without the hilt) and not skewed by perspective to know more. It "looks" like it could be a Shinto era (Kanbun) Blade, but perspective may play a trick on me.

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ok, i'll try to get it off somehow. It was professionally locked with an old rusty nale which was bent and hammered into the hilt (also performed by my younger brother). To me the scabbard looks strange. I'm not sure if it is just plastic or some kind of lacquer. How does the tsuba look to you? The material of the metal on the blade, i think it's called habaki looks like copper or brass.

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Bert it is not plastic. The lack is Urushi lacquer and the horn can be look and feel like a plastic by a not trained people. It is very artistic sanded thin. So you can think it is plastic. The fittings looks like nice iron work. To avoid further damage to the sword oil the blade and dont touch it further with your fingers.

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The saya is lacquered in Kuro ishime style (if my memory is correct, I’m more into blades than koshirae), so genuine too. Tsuba and Habaki are good too.

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Tsuba alone looks worth a hundred or more. Sword is old and genuine...few hundred years. Yes, it is in poor condition. But worth more than being dumped for next to nothing. Looks to have a nice hamon. Don't discount this as junk just yet.

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Here are a few more picture from the tip of the blade and the handle. Handle is also glued around the base and fixed with a rusty screw, as soon as i manage to pull it off i'll post it. It might be that the handle is destroyed through that. I've been looking around here a bit, i realize the piece is in awful condition although you indicate it could be real. The boshi doesn 't show the separating lines anymore (probably due to the bad polishing attempts).

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Dear Bert

 Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see what emerges on the nakago.  The screw is just possibly original as they were sometimes used.  Have a look in the hole on the tsuka and check which way the threads go then a pair of flat nosed pliers and some gentle manoeuvring should see it come free unless someone has peined over the other end of course.  It is possible that the glue is just there to keep the fuchi in place, we can only hope.

 

Don't try to clean anything, just a little light oil on the blade at this stage.  When you do succeed in getting the tsuka off then a nice shot of the tsuba and the whole blade would be good.  Whatever you find this is a genuine Japanese katana with some age to it and not any sort of tourist piece.  

 

Looking forward to seeing it.

 

All the best.

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This does look like the classic two piece mekugi, it could be threaded or just a friction fit. 

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