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Help on Identifying Age and Signature Gunto


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This is the first sword I purchased in WW2 mounts. It is in OK condition, but sadly wasn't properly maintained over the years. 

 

When I bought it, it came with this card. I fully disassembled it yesterday and confirmed it is the same signature on the tang. Here's where I'm at a loss: the seller (at a gun show) told me that it is from 1880's...another person told me 1942. 

 

Any thoughts or feedback is really appreciated. Thank you

IMG_2737.jpg

IMG_2736.jpg

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The date says made in September in the 18th year of Showa. Showa began in 1926 but ignore the first year in calculating the date so I make it 1943. 
 

The signature on the other side reads “Sukemitsu”. I’m suspicious that there used to be a stamp above this that would indicate that it was a non-traditionally made blade. This looks to have been filed off - you can see where there is a blank area in the diagonal file marks. 
 

I hope you didn’t overpay the gun show guy based on it being a pre-war blade or traditionally made. 
 

You might want to post some pictures of the entire package to get an evaluation of what you bought. 

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Limit is for post, hit CTRL+F5 if it won't reset. I see nothing catastrophic here, a classic Type 98. Bonus if Gendai but can't say anymore until there are better photos of the Hamon. 

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Winchester, by the mekugi-ana on the obverse side which has the signature, there is a small marking.  It looks like a 名 stamp such as appears on the reverse side of the tang above the date.  Can you confirm this is indeed the case?

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More than mass produced it was either produced with machine assistance, or any steel other than tamahagane. In my opinion, there is no much difference between a Showato blade and a traditional blade when it comes to utilization. However, Showato is not constructed in the traditional fashion. 

 

Many smiths signed their work, machine assisted or not, as well as some Smiths didn't sign their work and left it mumei. It just depends for various reasons.

 

I wouldn't consider your blade mass produced like an NCO gunto but it's not nihonto either.

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Agree with Marco.  You'll find as you get to know more about the Japanese sword, from the very beginning, that smiths often didn't sign their blades.  It's called mumei when not signed, and you'll see very old and beautiful blades that are mumei as often as you will see them signed.  So, the practice seemed to continue all the way through WWII.  It is often said that when rushed, when large quotas must be met, the smiths would skip signing.  Sounds plausible.

 

When Japan moved into China for real in the 1930s, and WWII escalated, the demand for swords greatly exploded.  Industry had to make advances in mass-production to attempt meeting the needs of the military.  Machinery aided in steel making and blade production, but they were always tools.  Real people made all the war blades. 

 

It's hard to tell from your photos what kind of production was used on your blade.  It's not stamped, so there is a good chance it's gendaito, but only the blade can tell, and that from first-hand inspection from an expert.  But, well-lit photos and clear close-ups can help guys on the forums make an educated guess sometimes.

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  • 1 month later...

I am thinking about selling this here on the forum to fund another item.

 

What would be a fair price? It's not a hundreds of year old nihonto, but good for a war time blade in my amateur opinion. Something someone could enjoy for not a lot of money. I was thinking about asking $1,350.00 obo.

 

Thank you in advance.

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From the lists of smiths that have been referenced here in the past, I see that there were at least three known war-time smiths with the name "Sukemitsu", and even one named "Sukimitsu"*non-RJT smith. I saw one named "Fukuda Sukemitsu" and the Mei reads as "Seki ju Fukuda Sukemitsu", so could we be looking at a non-traditionally made blade made by a Seki smith? The serial numbers on the blade and saya, which I believe to be uncommon on Type 98's, are also suspect and have me leaning toward this being Showato rather than Gendaito. Am I completely off target here?

Mei_Sukemitsu (Seki).jpg

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Dear Geoff.

Quote

The serial numbers on the blade and saya, which I believe to be uncommon on Type 98's, are also suspect and have me leaning toward this being Showato rather than Gendaito. 

I feel you may be assuming that the numbered blade and saya are the same sword as the original post.  They seem, rather to be random images of a different sword posted by Cliff and not the same sword as the one that Brian was working with.

I'm sure that Cliff had his reasons for posting these but for the life of me I can't work out what they are. :dunno:

 

All the best.

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6 minutes ago, Geraint said:

They seem, rather to be random images of a different sword posted by Cliff and not the same sword as the one that Brian was working with.  I'm sure that Cliff had his reasons for posting these but for the life of me I can't work out what they are.

 

Probably mistakenly posted in the wrong thread.  None of us are getting younger.

Wooden Handled Type 95's

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