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Who's that WW2 era sword?

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Hey guys, I've recently come into possession of a WW2 Japanese sword and would like some help identifying it's type and any info that you learned gentlemen can provide. I haven't disassembled it at this stage and I'm reluctant to remove the mekugi to check the tang due to the condition it's in (see 2nd last image). I hope the pictures are sufficient, if any more need to be taken please let me know. Thanks in advance.

 

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G'day Kyle,

 

Your photos are good enough to show you may have a good, old blade in restorable condition.  Do nothing to the blade at present except to wipe it with a cloth or tissue using sewing machine oil, then clean off the excess.  As for the mekugi, don't worry about it all at all as it is replaceable with a bamboo chopstick whittled to shape.  Get it out as carefully as you can and let us see the tang photographed from both sides with the habaki off.  The tsuba appears to be an old one and the whole rig looks as if it has had a hard life in the back of a shed.  The blade is the very most important thing that should capture our care and attention.  A close up photo of the kissaki (point) would be good, both sides.  With the habaki off also p[ease give the length measured from the back notch in a straight line to the point.

 

Fingers crossed for you.

 

Best regards,

BaZZa,

aka Barry Thomas

Melbourne, Australia.

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Agree with Barry, looks like a promising blade circa 1500's. The Saya/scabbard would've originally been covered with leather, the handle is in pretty poor condition as well. An exciting find, from the looks of the gunk on the blade it has been used for keeping the garden neat!

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Thanks for your quick replies. You are both indeed correct, it's spent the last 40 years in my dad's shed, my grandad brought it home after his service in the navy and it's been neglected ever since. I've removed the meguki and taken some photos, hopefully the lighting is decent. The total length of the blade from the end of the tang to the kissaki is 89.7cm.

 

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Kyle this is potentially a very old sword, worth further investigation by a professional. Not sure where you are in Australia but we have a professional Togishi (Japanese trained sword polisher) in Melbourne: https://touken-togishi.com/

 

For the moment you will need to get as much of that red rust off the tang by gently wiping it down with a Tshirt or old towel. Do not use any abrasives or cleaning materials, just a soft cloth and some gun oil to halt some of the active rust.

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Hi Kyle,

If you haven't already whittled a new peg for the handle, do so ASAP.  The peg locks the blade in the handle and prevents it from falling loose and damaging either the blade or the person handling it.

Grey

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Okay, I'm back. Please forgive any incorrect terms I may use now or in the future, I have only a passing understanding of katana terminology. 

 

The sori is near exactly 70cm. I removed the habaki and could find no discernible inscriptions on any part of the tang. I found what looks like kanji on the spine and front of the habaki but can't make anything out due to the gunk.

 

I wiped the blade and tang down with a small amount of gunoil, hopefully I didn't go overboard. I'm gonna include a few more photos for reference. Thanks to everyone for their help so far.

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I would say its late kamakura. (1192-1333)

The blade was shortned but the nakago (Tang) was shaped down on both sides evenly so there was no mei (Signature) left to save on this  i think.

I think this is a very old and valuable blade but wait what others have to say. (Johns advise sounds good)

The dots that looked like kanji for you are just a typical decorative pattern on habaki :)

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Kyle has been put in touch with a highly esteemed Board member who lives close to his area.  We may await more news with bated breath...

 

BaZZa.

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I like this...shows a lot of promise. And if it is decent, you are very lucky to have Andrew in Oz who can polish and restore it.
We all await news.

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Jesse M,

If you like to read how barn finds turn out this one is a doozy:

BaZZa.

 

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Hey guys, thought I'd give a quick update on the sword. It's now in the hands of Andrew Ickeringill down in Melbourne. From a quick preliminary look at it he suggests that it is late kamakura, even possibly earlier and has a rough idea of the school the blade came from.

 

There are a couple of problems with it however, the most glaring is the bend in the blade that has resulted in mukade-shinae. As well as some chips near the kissaki. 

 

That being said over the next 2-3 months in between polishes he will be straightening the blade and doing an appraisal and a window for me. Once that's been done I'll be back with more news!

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You got it to the right guy. I bet it turns out awesome. Congrats! We're all hoping with you for a great outcome. Andrew's work is superb.

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Andrew is a great bloke, that will be an absolutely gorgeous sword when polished. Please make sure you post a plethora of photos for us to enjoy.

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