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Please help with long Mei

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Hello together,

attached is a nakago with a long mei.

Can someone translate it for me?


The sword is slightly rusty and in a Gunto type 98 Koshirae.

Although I can see the date Showa 19 (1944), I believe that the sword is not from WWII. Maybe younger...


Masatsugu Saku ?


Need really help :-)

Many thanks in advance!




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The sword is by Fujino Masatsugu from Chichibu city in Saitama Prefecture. 

It was made at the request of Sakurai Saburō, on the ocassion of the 13th anniversary of the passing of his relative Sakurai Tomiharu, who was at one time a Lieutenant in the Japanese Imperial Army. Tomiharu was born in Sendai city on January 23rd, Meiji 19 (1886), and died at the age of 89 (1975) in Kawagoe city.


This means the sword was made around 1988.  

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Steve, that's fantastic work.  And Peter, thanks for sharing - is the sword yours??  Would be nice to see koshirae and full length bare blade looking straight down.  However, if the blade was made around 1988 how come its in a Gunto type 98 Koshirae??



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Hey Steve, thanks for the great translation.
I hope I'm not being rude, but may I ask you for the kanji for this translation?


So it is a "memorial sword to Sakurai Tomiharu" requested by Sakurai Saburō.
On the Gunto Kabutogane and Habaki is a Sakura Mon. so this fits great with the Sakurai Family. :-)
This also explains why a seppa from the Gunto Koshirae is missing. The sword was adapted to the Koshirae.
Barry I will make photos today.





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My research has revealed this to the smith:


Masasuke (政丞), real Name is Fujino Yoshisaburo (藤野芳三郎), was born in Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture, lives in Kagemori, Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture. He is listed under different names in different sources Fujino Masatsugu (藤野政丞); Fujino Masamitsu (藤野光正) or Fujino Mitsumasa (藤野正光). He is one of the fifth students of the famous swordsmiths Sakai Ikkansai Shigemasa (酒井一貫斎繁政), real name os Sakai Hiroshi from the Kasama school. Sakai Ikkansai Shigemasa born 1905 and he died at the age of 91 in 1996.


This sword was registered in 1993.

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Thank you, Volker. :)


Moriyama Koichi help me to translate a nice Kogatana Mei in a other thread and I would like to thank you all for this and for the translations in the past with a donation to the NMB.

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Could not find a photo of the blacksmith so far. Also nothing to Lieutenant Sakurai Tomiharu or Sakurai Saburō.
If someone should find something I would be happy.


The Koshirae is in very good condition. Blade is rusty, but not dramatically so.

Nagasa: 61.5 cm (Ubuha); Nakago: 16.6 cm (Ubu); Sori: 12.0 mm; Moto-haba: 30.5 mm; Moto-kasane: 7.1 mm


Masasuke Gunto.png

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