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Help with Translation - Inherited Katana

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Hello --


Although I've collected edged weapons for a while, I have not previously ventured into Nihonto.  However, I recently inherited a katana from the estate of my step-father-in-law.  It has clearly not been properly cared for in it's lifetime, as it seems to have been allowed to rust previously, and then the rust was sanded.  There is also a fairly large chip in the edge, the same is cracked, and there is no ito. The blade-to-tsuba length is approximately 70 cm.  My understanding from what I have read so far is that the first step in determining whether to pursue professional restoration is determining the age and quality of the blade, and that translating the mei can be helpful in that.  So, I am posting this to the translation section in hopes of assistance in that regard.  There only appears to be writing on one side of the nakago.  I am also posting other pictures of the sword for context.


Thank you very much for your help,


--R. Santos









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Hello --


Thank you so much for the fast reply and translation!  This is quite a bit older than I had anticipated and so I'm quite excited about that.


I know that, in general, such a sword should be restored to proper polish and fittings.  However, I also know that some swords are considered too damaged for this.  I am wondering if anyone more experienced in these matters than I had any opinions regarding whether this sword is worth it or even capable of a proper restoration.  I am attaching a close-up of the worst condition part of the sword for context.  There are oxidation marks and abrasion streaks throughout.  


Thank you again for your help,


--R. Santos


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The most worrisome thing in particular with your blade is how narrow the hamon might be compared to how deep that chip bites into the blade. It might be too much metal to remove to take the chip out completely.. but my personal feeling is that it should be fine. The only other concern anyone would have applies to any other blade up for polish: if there are underlying flaws in the blade, such as a hagire, then a polish has a high chance to bring out those flaws. These questions are best left answered by a togishi though. If you're seeking restoration work, I would look for a togishi recommended by the board here or go to a sword show and see what people think of it in person.

At the top, under Nihonto Info, there is a tab called "Links" and under that, there is a subcategory called "Restoration". Checking there would be a good starting point. Let us know if you need anything else!

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