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Identification of a kao on a Type 19 general dress sword

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Hello everyone!


For several years I have owned this Type 19 general grade dress sword. The guard is marked (early ?) Suya and a stamp unknown to me.


Where the kamon is attached to some swords, there is a kao or kakihan - a mark that may be the owner's seal/signature or monogram (I hope my interpretation is correct).


There are books and a lot of information on the web about kamon, but I've found very little about kao/kakihan.


My questions: Who has seen this kao before and recognizes it? Who has ever tried to identify a kao - how can it resolved?

I would also be very interested to see other Japanese military swords with kao.


Thank you





1 - Säbel.jpg

3 - Griff2.jpg

9 - Marken.jpg

8 - Kao4.jpg

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Yours is the first I've seen with an actual kao, or kakihan, in that spot.  I have seen name kanji in the place of a mon but not a kao like this.  Normally, you see kao on the nakago or on tsuba. You can see several kao on nakago on pages 32-35 of my Stamps of the Japanese Sword document.  And there is a whole book of tsuba kao, but I don't know the name of it.  Is the blade signed?  As it is a general's 19, it's quite possible the general who owned it came up with his own kao.  If no one recognizes it on this forum you might run it through the Translation Assistance forum.



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Thank you -

I also think it's the general's personal kao and that makes identification almost impossible.
Maybe he signs with his kao or he uses a hanko / stamp for it. It would be a great coincidence to find such a signed document.

Your "Stamps Of The Japanese Sword" is a very helpful compendium that I have already used!
The book you mention is likely to be “Shosankenshu” by Henry L. Joly - it is helpful for Nihonto collectors.

The blade is a simple chrome-plated blade, as it is mounted in many dress swords. It has no other marks.

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