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Identification and information requested


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Hello,

I will preface this with the fact that I know basically nothing and have only started to research nihonto over the last 2 weeks or so.  Any terms that I use that seem incorrect, probably are.

I am looking to get help with researching a wakizashi that has been in the family for a while.  I'm not really looking for an appraisal since we wouldn't sell it, but the last couple of generations of my family didn't really know how to care for it or anything. So I'm looking to find out if it's worth getting restored, or just trying to keep it in as good condition as we can right now, or even if there is someone nearby who could help us know how to properly care for it.

The history that I know about it is limited. I'm pretty sure that it was brought from Japan to Canada before world war 2 and it was described to me as "the family sword" (with a matching katana).  The storage and maintenance has been somewhat neglected for a lot of years in the interim.  There was apparently a matching katana, but it was "too big to bring" or something.

More recently, it was handed down to my parents.  My dad built a glass box to display it (now that I did some research, I now realize, upside down).  Since the condition is not amazing and we don't really know what we are doing, none of use are confident enough to remove the handle and see if there are any markings.  So my pictures are taken through the glass of the display box. If it looks like there is little black things and the end of the handle and the point of the blade, those are just little plastic hooks holding it up for display.  Pictures below.

 

The blade is about 20.5" long, just under 1" wide, handle is just under 5" long. 

So my questions are:
1. Can anyone help push my research in a certain direction based on these images?
2. Is there anything else that you need to see in order to get better information?
3. Does anyone know someone in the greater Vancouver area who could help me with disassembly/repairs?
4. Is it worth restoring?
5. How does one go about getting something like this restored? I'm assuming that the first google search result for "Sword Restoration Near Me" is not it.

 

 I had issues with the images being too big, so I put them all here:

https://imageshack.com/a/89oW7/1

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It does need some oiling and clean-up from active rust and overall fixture is a bit unorthodox and would not be appropriate if the blade would be in good condition, as is the damage it does is probably very limited. In regards to what it is I would say no later than 1750, probably no earlier than 1250. The polish unfortunately is very heavy on hadori so seeing hamon is difficult. Has some masame in shinogi ji; the most weird feature it has kaku mune (?) which is extremely uncommon. You do find though it on some late Muromachi swords, Bungo for example, and by default (can be WAY OFF as its all based on really tiny evidence) I would think its late Muromachi and (possibly) Bungo.

Yes I would clean it a bit from active rust, oil it, and would look at the nakago.

 

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Taking off the handle is vital, and no more difficult that typing your shoelaces. They were meant to be taken apart regularly, you can't really damage anything except a disposable bamboo peg that can be replaced with a cut piece of chopstick. Push it out from the smaller side to the larger side. Then the blade can be removed.
 

 

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Hi Steven,

Here you will find a care and handling brochure:

https://nbthk-ab2.or...ord-characteristics/

You should read it. The sword doesn't require restoration; it is fine as is for now. If you get serious about Nihonto and learn a lot more than you know now you can then decide to have the sword polished (or maybe not). Big, important decisions like restoration, if made with little or no knowledge, often go astray.

Cheers, Grey

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