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Ed Hicks

Yoshichika katana with REALLY Odd Stamp in English!

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Yoshichika katana with REALLY Odd Stamp! Okay, someone explain this one to me...I recently acquired a sword made by Yoshichika, a good quality sword with a fine hamon and strong construction...Signed with a deep stamp at the tip of the nakago with what I believe is a helmet and the word WARRIOR in English!!! It resembles Pacman with a Mohawk!

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the stamp is original and there is no way to remove it without removing a major quantity of steel.....not the job of a togi....

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Chris, do you mean to say that this stamp is a trait of the Gendai smith Yoshichika ?

 

That is quite cool then, and shows that gendaito smiths are of this era, with the pacman logo and all !!

 

:)

 

KM

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I am flabbergasted. If Chris hadn’t stated his opinion to the contrary I would have assumed it to be a later addition. How bizarre.

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I would look at this a little more critically. Note the dark substance like corrosion surrounding the object as well as the shiny extruded part at the top, like an epoxy glue. The yasuri go in a perfect line under the glue. I think it is a later addition put there by a dealer who had this sword go through his shop. A dealer logo. It is not any kind of kokuin and may not even be steel itself, but, plastic. It is incomprehensible to me that this logo could be circa 1930-45 era. John

BTW, I think this would chip right off with some careful tool work as it is above the plane of the nakago's surface. J

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Is it just me or is this the most ugly mei ever? :shock: It looks like it was cut with an ax! :roll:

 

I would tend to agree with John that the "kokuin" looks like it is a bit of plastic that's been glued on. I reckon you could remove it with a dab of paint stripper and not affect the steel or patina at all.

 

regards,

 

Ford

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This stamp is a horses head...it has been noted before. See page 62 of "Modern Jap. Swords & S/smiths" by Kapp & Yoshihara (sorry, can't post it).

I think a showato...mei is typical of nakirishi-mei...not gendaito in my opinion.

Regards,

George.

PS...just checked Seki Kaji list Yoshichika...real name Yoshioka Kojiro...started swords Sho 18-04-26.

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I based my assessment on the words of the op, to wit: a "deep stamp", assuming it was indeed stamped into the blade. If it is in fact something glued on, then of course it would have been something added later.

 

Wondering how something protruding from the nakago would allow the blade to fit into the tsuka?????

 

Yes, as Ford has observed and George has commented, the signature is extremely poor and typical of the mass produced showa-to which came out of Seki. I very much doubt it would be found to be a traditionally made blade.

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George, I see it's a horses head now, ta :) I had thought it was a pigs ear ;)

 

I still think it's an applied bit of plastic or resin. It's not difficult to take an impression from a genuine kokuin and to use that to make an open mould to cast a resin copy. Why one would go to all that trouble beats me though. :dunno: unless, of course, who ever did it didn't know that this mark isn't at all desirable.

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I believe the photo is misleading ...It is a stamp and is not raised ...I will post images in different light. ..Theblade is a true tempered sword of fair quality. Ed

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It certainly looks different now. Being a recessed stamp with english could this sword be post WW II make? From the fifties and made for export? George, I don't have that book, but, is the stamp you mention pictured? I am gobsmacked!! John

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This stamp is pictured on page 227 in Japanese military and civil swords and dirks. I quote what the authors say. Unidentified. Noted only on the reverse of signed, but undated, tangs (one of which had a Seki stamp) by the Showa period smith Shimada Yoshisuke. Probably the logo of a private manufacturer/retail company. Regards Daniel

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Hi John,

yes stamp is pictured on page 62 (cute too). If I wasn't such a techno trog and it wasn't 27C temperature at 12.28 am I'd try to post it...someone capable must have this book?

I think definitely a WWII stamp...I have seen similar period WWII black lacquer scabbard with leather cover which had paper labels that are in Japanese and English and have a stylish logo.

I also think that the pic posted here was "quirky"...one second I'd look at it and it was concave, the next blink and it was convex...just wouldn't stay one or the other...but at last a pic that shows it clearly as a proper concave stamp.

 

The blade IMHO looks reasonable but I think definately showato.

 

Regards

Geo.

oops, Daniel beat me to it! I see there is more than one Seki kaji using this stamp...must be as stated, a "company" stamp.

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Well that'll teach me not to trust images :oops: Yes, clearly a stamped mark.

 

The much referenced illustration from page 62.

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Damn, I have that book!!! I must have looked at that page a hundred times in the past and it never clicked in. Funny how the mind's eye works. John

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Brian, i came across a few German WWII flashlights and other artefacts which had the Made in Germany stamp on them in English ! , and the year 1943. All original military issue. The reason for that i do not know but will ask on another forum. Also i have a record in my posession of a Glenn Miller concert which was performed in 1944 in Berlin, by a Berlin orchestra. All very strange, considering.

 

KM

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Ford, the point is indeed not at all nihonto, but stamp related.

It just meant to show that axis countries did use English on their items, and continued to do so during the war,

for whatever reason we do not know about. :)

And since this one is a Showato, apparently from the war years...

 

KM

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I am not that surprised to see the english word "warrior" on the NCO. As many Japanese words are taken from other languages, I assume it was somehow cool or fashionable to use the word warrior. At least for this swordsmith. Was not the use of foreign steel for nihonto also considered fashionable in Japan during a certain period of time.

 

@ KM: Although the Nazis disliked Jazz and Swing, it was quite popular in Germany during the 30s and 40s. By the way, the word "Germany" or "Made in Germany" was used on export goods already before WW1 as a designation of origin.

 

Cheers,

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