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Hello NMB, 

 

I was directed here by a member for any Nihonto related questions I may have. I’m relatively new to collecting Nihonto, and need help validating the authenticity of, and finding a place to restore for my Wakizashi. I’ve been able to identify the signature as that of Yasuhiro’s. However, I’m aware gimei are rather common, so I’d like to see what you folks think of it. I haven’t translated the kozuka yet, and there happens to be two of them included with this blade (I’m aware that at least one of them happens to be added at a later date). Both kozuka match the color and texture of the kashira and fuchi. Dragons are also displayed across both the kashira and fuchi. The rayskin has a rough/hard texture, and has grown brittle from age. The habaki and tsuba were extremely difficult to remove, as there was a lot of dirt congealed beneath them. The Let me know what you guys think, and if it happens to be a gimei, I’d be interested in how to identify such convincing fakes in the future. The previous owner(s) didn’t reassemble it correctly, and most of the photos taken are before I removed the tsuka, and reassembled it properly. 

 

Imgur album:

https://imgur.com/a/uNMKrkg 

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Not a lot to see. The koshirae seems legit tho the seppa are installed together on the same side which is incorrect. Not much to say about the rest except looks legit.
good luck with what you decide

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9 hours ago, Cream Cheese said:

I’m relatively new to collecting Nihonto, and need help validating the authenticity of, and finding a place to restore for my Wakizashi.

 

Validation is done by submitting your signed wakizashi to a shinsa/judgment. You can check the Sword Shows, Events, Community News and Legislation Issues forum or ask about upcoming (shinsa) events. You might also ask for opinions in the translation forum on the mei.

Serious collectors build a library that includes books and computer files with examples of valid signatures in which to compare to even before submitting their blades for shinsa. Examples of signatures for lesser known and unrated sword smiths may not be found. In such cases forgeries are not expected. 

 

Suggest using the search feature to read about polishers, polishing, and restoration. There are a number of qualified polishers available in the US/Canada that range in ability and skill level. 

 

9 hours ago, Cream Cheese said:

I haven’t translated the kozuka yet, and there happens to be two of them included with this blade (I’m aware that at least one of them happens to be added at a later date). Both kozuka match the color and texture of the kashira and fuchi.

 

For clarification, the kozuka is the handle portion. The knife part is the ko-gatana. Both may be signed.

Signatures on the kozuka can be valid or gimei. Mei on ko gatana can be genuine or simply 'honorary' generally to a famous maker.

Fittings can be ensuite matching completely, or they can simply compliment each other, or might display the taste of the owner. 

Sword furniture is a category of study in and of itself. Just as it is not recommended to restore mediocre or below average swords, the same can be said for fittings/koshirae. 

 

9 hours ago, Cream Cheese said:

The Let me know what you guys think

 

When it comes to restoration, the first question becomes is it worth it? As restoration can quickly exceed the value of the sword/fittings.

Polish + new habaki + new shirasaya = cost , restoring the koshirae will not be inexpensive either.

The first step is to research/validate/understand exactly what you have, then decide. 

 

When in doubt, ask.

 

Regards,

 

 

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P.S. When evaluating any sword one of the very first steps is to carefully examine the blade for flaws. 

Note that a quartz halogen lamp is excellent for this purpose as it reveals the smallest details including very fine scratches.

Beware that sometimes flaws, even fatal flaws, will be revealed during polish. 

Quartz halogen also works great for viewing fittings. 

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42 minutes ago, Franco D said:

P.S. When evaluating any sword one of the very first steps is to carefully examine the blade for flaws. 

Note that a quartz halogen lamp is excellent for this purpose as it reveals the smallest details including very fine scratches.

Beware that sometimes flaws, even fatal flaws, will be revealed during polish. 

Quartz halogen also works great for viewing fittings. 

I’ve never heard of this technique before, very interesting. Thanks for informing me about this method of examination, I’ll be sure to look into it. 

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Since you are in California, you may want to take it to the next SF sword show and ask some of the knowledgeable collectors / dealers.

An inexpensive first option; much can be determined with the sword in-hand as opposed to photos.

Dan K

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@O koumori Whilst that is a valid option, I wouldn’t exactly call it inexpensive. It’s a 13 hour drive each way for me (without stops), and I’d have to pay for a hotel room as well. Not that I’m unwilling to do so, but I’d like to see what options I have before I commit to such a trip. I’ve been recommended Mike Yamasaki  (as he supposedly is located around 40 minutes away in LA), but I have absolutely no clue how to contact him. Regardless, if I’m not able to find a reliable local source, then the SF sword show sounds perfect for my needs. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! 

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You can come to the Southern California sword club (Nanka Tokenkai), which meets once a month in Torrance. Mike usually comes to those meetings to present swords. I can't speak for him, but he's always been happy to look at things people bring in. The meetings are open to the public, but its best to check with the club, as sometimes Mike is away and is unable to attend the meetings. Facebook is the best way to contact the club.  If that's not a good option for you, you should be able to contact Mike at his business, Tetsugendo (also on Facebook). 

 

My gut feeling is that your sword may be too scratched up to make any kind of determination. The mei looks very close, but the important thing is the sword itself, and it will be hard (if not impossible) to see the steel grain and the hamon and activities through the scratches. 

 

Yours has no "kiku" flower symbol on the reverse side of the tang?

If not, the authenticated sword (left) would have been made around the same time as yours.

 

 

yasuhiro.jpg

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@SteveM That’s perfect, as I was also looking for something relatively local to participate in (hopefully to further my knowledge on Nihonto in general). I’ll be sure to contact their facebook account. As for the blade itself, I suppose I’ll take a chance and bring it (even if a solid determination cannot be made). I plan on going regardless, so there’s no point in not bringing the blade I suppose. Thank you for your help, I look forward to participating in the Nanka Tokenkai. 

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