The Japanese Sword Forum

what can you tell me about my blade?
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Author:  bobaedd [ Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  what can you tell me about my blade?

As i told in my introduction, i'm absolutely new in Japanese swords. Like most i have always been fascinated by these works of art..... but at this moment i can't call my blade a work of art. I bought it at a local auction house. The sword as listed as being a 17-18 century sword.
as for price, i payed 450 euro + commission. My obvious questions are: is this a real Japanese sword? What can you tell me in regards to it's age, and finally in your eyes, is it worth a (partial?) restoration?

After i bought the sword i was confronted with my absolute lack of knowledge on these swords. Yesterday i received the book " Japanese Swords" by Nobuo Nakahara (translated by Paul Martin) and i must say it is an eye opener! Don't worry about harsh words on my blade, it is a learning piece for me!

I uploaded some photos on my webspace :
If you need more images/ better quality, let me know!

the length of the blade is 1 shaku 9 sun 2 bu (578 mm.) Does this make it a long wakizashi or a small katana?
curvature is 16 mm

the slot for the kurikata is 9x 32mm.

many thanks for taking the time to read and/ or comment.

Eddy Hijmensen


Author:  Stuart [ Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what can you tell me about my blade?

Hi Bob, Wakizashi. Pretty good for the price. John

Author:  Toryu [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what can you tell me about my blade?

Eddy -
or is it Bob? Although it is short it appears to my eye to be mounted as a katana - without mounts we go by length but with mounts you can see how it was worn and used. I think this is a short katana.

The blade unfortunately appears to have been acid-etched to bring out the hada - what has happened though is that this was poorly done and now the blade is showing delamination and deep pits where the acid has eaten into the metal. In this condition it is impossible to say where or when it might have been made. The nakago hints at Bizen but it really could have been made anywhere.

The mounts are likely late-Edo, handachi style was popular then. Hate to say it but if the Euro is worth more than the dollar I would think you paid too much.

my two cents

Author:  bobaedd [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what can you tell me about my blade?

Thank you for your detailed an honest reply.

Is it possible to polish the etching out? I know the deep pits will always be visible. Will a good polish possibly bring out the hada?
In other words... can this blade be saved... or do you guys say "take your loss and find a healthy blade to start over with."

many thanks


Author:  peter [ Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what can you tell me about my blade?

Hi Eddy,
I like yourself am a novice in my opinion you done ok for your 1st purchase, although the experts do say more books and study before blade but I fear I to got more blades then books to start,but I'm learning. I would say unless you are keeping the sword you would get most of your money back on the fittings alone as I've seen handachi tsuka go on ebay for what you paid. So no loose. I THINk the blade could be shinto 1600/1764? And I'm sure would have tales to tell of battles past. Someone thought enough about it to remount it in edo period if they wherent original to the blade to start with. As for polish I think maybe not as it would take of more steel thus opening up old wounds.
Good luck with your next 1 because there will be another now you have the nihonto bug.
Peter McCafferty

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