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Wakizashi of a friend


ChrisW
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Hey guys,

 

Got a friend here who sent me some pictures of a wakizashi he acquired and I thought I'd share them here. The mei gives me an off vibe, despite being unable to read it, it looks too fresh and awkwardly written. Maybe I am wrong there, so I thought I'd ask!

For him, I'd like to find out:

 

Translation

Gimei or shoshin

Approximate era/school

Is the horimono a recent addition or period correct?

 

Thanks guys!

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Horimono could have been a later addition. Could have been contemporary. I don't think it makes an enormous difference either way. I don't think its a 20th century addition, if that is what you are wondering. Its losing some definition in the scales, which usually means its been through a few polishings, something that is corroborated by the shallow bo-hi on the other side. I'd be cautious about trying to make a judgment on the authenticity by comparing signatures over the internet. Much better to look at the sword itself and see if it has the characteristics of a Kunimichi, but this is quite hard for casual sword enthusiasts to do. Also, your friend's sword is in need of a polish, which would (hopefully) show off the activities in the hamon, and would thus help identifying it. So, it is the classical dilemma of trying to decide whether it is worth investing a couple thousand into polishing a sword that may turn out to be worth much less than the cost of the polish. 

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That is probably the most troublesome situation in Nihonto with regards to identifying it as shoshin, thanks Steve!
 

And you're right, smith could have changed signature style or had a bad day. Its not SO far off from the one I saw.

 

I'll probably advise him to see about showing it to someone in-hand who more of an expert and perhaps getting a window done first.

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The wear on horimono is very natural, so its probably old enough. Its location is a bit awkward, as it barely fits above the hamon, which detracts a lot from its visual impact, but its actually quite detailed. Sugata can be consistent with the early Edo, the work is most likely shinto-style also. This smith's examples unfortunately seldom have some kantei quality which can be used for definitive judgement, the work varies and can have rough hada, or tight itame etc. etc.

This could be brought to shinsa as is to verify the signature. Here is an authentic signature for comparison. There are significant differences, but I don't know if they are enough to be certain its gimei.

Very personal opinion - gimei, but don't hold me to it.

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I think that there's some quality about the horimono. It seems like a lot of effort to go to to put a good carving on a mumei blade (assuming the signature is false and added later) as this is most likely something done to order rather than for an off-the-shelf sword. Likewise it's a lot of effort to go to to pimp a sword to pass off as shoshin if they were done together. As stated above, the wear isn't out of line with the age of the blade or with the carving on the other side so, for me, worth further investigation.

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Ähm, It  has  not the  shape  of the  period  of Dewa Daijo, the  hori is wrong. yasurime  does not  match. Gimei. Hada  and  hamon can  not be juged with  these  pictures.

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