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Reading Mei on Tanto and Wakishabi


Jasper C

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Hi all.  New to the forum and to collecting Japanese Swords.  A few months ago I bought a Wakishabi which is in a reasonable state of polish but could do with some attention.  This weekend I added to my collection a Tanto which was terribly rusty and had been badly scratched with what I assume to have been sandpaper but the guy just wanted to be rid of it as he seemed afraid of it for some reason.  I thought the Tanto would be an opportunity to try to learn polishing. 

 

I wondered if anyone could read the Mei on either of them. 

Mei on Tanto Blue .jpg

Mei on Wakishabi .jpg

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4 hours ago, Jasper C said:

 I thought the Tanto would be an opportunity to try to learn polishing. 

 

Well… that and a 10 year apprenticeship under a trained sword polishing teacher and there you go… 

 

a quick read:

https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/35486-a-word-about-amateur-polishing/

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2 hours ago, Ian B3HR2UH said:

The tanto is a Chinese fake and the wakizashi is signed Echizen ju Shimosaka

Thanks for the reply.  that has given me something to look into.  I figured the Tanto was cheap.  I don't feel bad about it being so rough now.  I'll look into the name you gave me. Thanks. 

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29 minutes ago, Mark S. said:

Well… that and a 10 year apprenticeship under a trained sword polishing teacher and there you go… 

 

a quick read:

https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/35486-a-word-about-amateur-polishing/

Being as that is never going to happen and the Tanto is fake I'll do no harm.  Thanks for the reply though. 

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Hi jasper, unfortunately you cannot just learn to polish a Japanese Nihonto as a hobbyist, as noted above it takes a good decades apprenticeship…you have to have a profundity of knowledge about  Nihonto to decide even how to Polish a Japanese sword…before your event start on the practical skills..don’t ever try to Polish a Nihonto as you will certainly destroy any value in the blade leading to an expensive re polish and may even destroy blade entirely taking it beyond repair

 

As for buying Japanese swords as a beginner

 

1)..first step is to get a few books and read them, then haunt sites like this and look up the websites of the reputable Japanese sellers of swords..see what they have on offer..how much they cost..as they also have brilliant pictures so you can see what a nice sword looks like.

2) after you have spent say 6-12 months getting a basic knowledge ( just enough so you don’t get ripped off start looking for your first blade.

3) pick a school, period and or smith your want to collect first.

4) Then find your first blade, remembering:

 

A) get an in Polish blade

B) have NBTHK hozon papers.

C) have a signature 

 

As a beginner don’t buy a signed sword without hozon paper…faking signatures on swords  has been a Japanese pass time since they started making Nihonto… if it’s signed by a known smith and it does not have at a minimum hozon papers assume it’s got a fake signature….don’t buy out of Polish blades as  it will cost you £700-£1000 pounds to get it polished if you are luckily enough to even find someone to Polish it, I know of only two polishers in the UK and their lists are now closed ( I waited 2 years to get my out of Polish koto blade polished). 
 

to study and learn about a sword it must be in Polish…collectors will not generally touch out of Polish blades unless they think they have spotted something really special…

 

 

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6 hours ago, 2devnul said:

... and it is WakiZASHI not Wakishabi (sounds like middle east fast food :laughing: )

It’s actually a Wakizashi designed to make sushi..it has a small reservoir that holds wasabi so every time you cut a piece of sushi with your Wakishabi it deposits a small dose of Wasabi onto your bit of sushi…….( this fact may or may no have been made up).

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Despite all the light-heartedness, we all started somewhere, Jasper. There’s some sober truths mixed in above. We learn something from every blade, good or bad. 
And each of us finds a slightly different aspect to these blades where we feel more comfortable accumulating knowledge. Spend some time looking around this website. The knowledge base here is huge, comprehensive, and growing.

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